Nakamichi Dragon


I remember well when the call went out that Nakamichi would stop making parts for and servicing the Dragon. The main issue at hand seemed to be desiccation of diodes. I had no need at the time and remarkably (especially since I live in the desert) my Dragon has performed famously right up until three days ago. Suddenly, it began detecting resistance before the end of the tape and auto-reversed or stopped. After a day or less it behaved this way from the very beginning of the tape. I am completely naive, but it strikes me that this could be a mechanical problem that might be fixable without the need for parts that are no longer available. My question is "how" or perhaps better still "is there anyone out there anywhere who is competent to work on it?" I sure could use advice!

Ironically, this all started when I finally decided to digitize my vintage tapes, knowing for years that both the deck and the tapes had finite lifespans. It had been playing flawlessly right up until I only barely got started digitizing. Predictable, right?
phoude
If you're looking for someone to service it for you, Willie Herman on the west and ESL on the east. Advice can be had at Naktalk@lists.naks.com, good luck.
In general a good high FI repair shop should be able to fix it. For a competent repair shop these things are electromechanical devices made up of standard components… sensors, motors, resistors… etc. tThere is a shop up here in Portlnd that fixes anything from vintage radios to B&W subwoofers. They are certified repair place for many contemporary hifi equipment.
I really doubt a good repair shop would have a chance at fixing a Dragon! Those things are very special and only a handful of experts. Heck, even changing belts is a major job. The guys that do it right use test equipment to select the best belts for a particular machine. The belts and rubber available nowadays is the biggest problem!
Tape decks, like cars, can break down over time. Luckily, there are a few true experts around the country. Willy Hermann's garage and workshop are graveyards for Nakamichi decks. He repairs many, but some are simply there for parts. I know there are others on the east coast that also can repair Naks. Relax, phoude, just contact a competent expert that has experience repairing Nakamichi decks. I recommend Willy Hermann.  Dragons, like other Nakamichi decks ARE repairable!
Thanks to all who responded so quickly and helpfully!!! Cheers, Peter
I had my Dragon serviced by Willy (and absolutely love it). But, just know, great service techs are REALLY backed-up, so be prepared to wait. Check the forums over at tapeheads.net for more info and options.