nakamichi 480

Hi All,

I just picked up a nakamichi 480 tape deck for about $50, meant to be working AOK. Anyone out there using one of these? From what I've read it seems to be pretty respectable - anyone have any experience with this deck?

I also have an option on another nak deck, this time a 700ZXE, but this would be a good bit more expensive.

I will be using the deck for listening to original tapes that I seem to have quite a few of! I don't intend to be recording anything!

So did I get a piece of junk or a hidden gem? Should I follow up on the 700 as well or be happy with the 480?

thanks in advance,
Be happy. Owned this model for years. Had it internally tweaked for Maxell II for recording/playback and ran it without Dolby for better highend extension and no phase shift. If the tapes you have are mostly of a particular formula you might do the same thing for optimal playback.

Rat Shack has a decent demagnetizer, find some denatured alchohol (regular with dry out pinch rollers) and clean up heads, rollers and anything else that needs it.

The 700 is definitely superior, but with lots more in the way of mechanical parts.
I have a 480 and I will not part with it. While IMO the 680ZX is the best NAK I own, the 480 is a tank and great for your purpose, not to mention the price you paid makes it a steal. I have owned the 700 (a Ferrari even by NAK standards), 550, and 500 as well, and along with the 550, the 480 still hangs with me.
Thats really great to hear!

I still have to get back to the guy about the 700 deck, but I think I'll wait until I receive the 480. So I may be getting a bit ahead of myself here, but seeing as this deckmust be of the order of 25 years old, where do you guys recommend for belts and any other bits that may need replacing?

Please reconsider on the 700. When I referred to it as a Ferrari I meant that when it works it is great, but reliability is not one of its strengths IMO. There is a place in CT that specializes in NAKs, ESLabs. Here is the link:
The 480 is a good deck and better than most other manufacturers decks. The controls could be better but it is good sounding and reliable. A good choice! The later series Naks like the ZX and LX are the cream of the crop.
Ah, I'm afraid the 700 has slipped away on me.. to be honest it was going for just more money than I was willing to spend on it. I really just want something decent to play my existing tapes on, real money would be spent on either more music/turntable/cart or else a new valve diy project ahead of a better tape deck.

thanks to everyone for the advice - looking forward to getting the deck now and hearing it!