Nakamichi Dragons worth the fix?

I have bought a Nak Dragon from an auction, which the shipper has claimed to be in fine shape. When it came to my door, something had happened to it, either the gorillas from UPS or a untrusworthy seller. My question is, is the deck worth fixing and keeping or would it better leave it as a learning lesson to never trust anyone again at auctions or at places like Audiogon? I saw the problem, the inside plastic skeleton that holds the Nak tape deck drawer together and aligns it properly is cracked...I realize that the technician who has to fix this will spend SOME hours changing this part, which is tangled up with wires and switch connections galore. What is your take on this puzzling problem? PAUL
If I understand your description of the problem, it sounds like the tape door may have opened during transport, and then been jostled, which would cause cracking of whatever arms and such that support it. In general, a Dragon would certainly be worth getting looked at, to get an estimate for repairs. Secondly, was it shipped in original box? If so, it might be worth pursuing a damage claim with UPS. That is tricky, because the first thing they will want to do is ship the deck back to the seller, from what I have experienced. This gets tricky if you have already paid the seller. Thus, it becomes a question of what the seller is willing to do help resolve the situation....... as for buying things at auction, etc, there is always a risk when buying from an individual, and there is always a risk when shipping things. If this is your first purchase over the net, then it is really sad that it would result in such problems. I have bought and sold about 20 things over the last couple of years, and have had one item damaged during shipping. Others have told me 1 out of 10 or so. You just have to assume that is going to happen, if you are going to buy used gear, I guess :( BUT, I have saved so much money compared to buying new, that a few repairs and such are way more than offset :)
I sold my Nak dragon around 3 years ago as I found it seemed to have some difficulties with certain tapes. Some of those tapes (Sony Metal) are no longer available so that may not be a problem. I replaced the Nak with a $300 Denon single well, 3 head deck with Dolby HX. While the Nak had better bass response and was auto reverse, the Denon is very close in overall sound quality. I would suggest not spending more than $300 to fix your deck.
I guess that depends on how much you want to have into it. More than likely service could be a bit costly. You can contact Jeffrey Galin of ES Labs ( 860-529-3700) or Stephen Sank at 505-296-8795 for service. My guess is the deck could use general service anyway to be aligned etc. The Dragon is still a desired deck. It will easily outperform any deck currently being marketed and as long as they keeping making cassettes there will be a market for the Dragon.
The Dragon is one of the finest cassette decks ever made. Steve Sank offers the best value in Nak repairs(much fairer pricing than the CT Co) & Steve Sank is a very nice person too. He can also fix other vintage gear too! I would fix the dragon . If Not I would be interested in buying it from you !
Hey Paul, Sorry to hear about your Lesson/Problem. Either way you should fix it. My first look at NAK.DRAGON I was 15 years old, and it was my fisrt time in a High End Stereo Store.I sat down and when that door flip open and then around then closed, lets just say I thought I was a 5 yr. on Christmas morning again!!! I am now 32, and yes I have a DRAGON. I would not trade it in for any reason!!! I mean I love the CD/DVD 5.1 A/V world now, but I still love to sit and watch that door flip. What can I say about the sound, everybody knows it is the best that money can buy to this date. Mine is still working great and when something goes wrong, "I will fix it". Good luck with the fix,it sounds like some of the Audiogon,com members can help you.
What are you guys talking about? The Dragon, if I remember correctly, did not "flip". The flipping models were post Dragon and much cheesier. Maybe you are watching too many reruns of Micky Rourkes bachelor pad scene in nine and a half weeks? In any case, with or without flip, the Dragon was a beautifully made machine, state of the art at the time and well worth keeping for emotional if not sonic reasons.
The last guy better go back to stereo days before his briefs were wet !!! I own Nak. Dragon that was made in 1983 that comes out and flips ,want a picture or a short clip for your media player??????????? Now days at Nakamichi they are still trying to come back. Now that they aren't such d_ _k heads they might make it. Hopefully in time there equipment will get good again. Oh did a forget to tell you I use to sell Nakamichi car stereo's at the time I purchase my Dragon??? OPPS!!!!
Get your dragon fixed!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hands down, Let Steve Sank fix your Dragon cassette deck. He's the best at fixing it. His website is and his email address is
Just for additional info to help you decide, Sonic Sense also specializes in Nak stuff. Their website was
Dayton -- No offense, but it's not the REAL Dragon. Like 914s, 924s, 944s and 968s aren't real Porsches.