No it’s not a play on the song “Return of the Mack”. Far from it actually.
Not so long ago I was perusing TradeMe‘s listings of goods nobody wants any more in search of a HiFi cassette deck. I’ve got a small pile of old music cassettes I’d love to be able to listen to, but no decent playback equipment. Few days of scouring and one popped up.
A Nakamichi BX-150.
Anyone who knows their HiFi, can speak a language graced with such words like Moving Magnet and understands that Vinyl means possibly the best music medium ever made and not a material for making kinky hot-pants, knows the name Nakamichi. The veritable Maserati of cassette decks. They made killer just about everything else, but their cassette decks are what got them their name. Looking over the listing, all looked good until reading further down.
The pictures showed some minor scuffs and wear and tear, but the sad story begins here. This poor piece of audio brilliance had taken a spill from a height during the Christchurch earthquakes. Approximately half a metre to be precise. Since that spill the spindles haven’t been moving whenever the deck is operated. Fortunately it still powers up and the motors are fine. The heads read music on cassettes, but they cut off after about a second due to the take-up spool not moving correctly so the heads are fine at least. The soft-touch eject works, all the electronics are good and the buttons all behave the way they should as do the output and record level sliders.
What remains is to pull it apart and have a look at the spindle drive mechanism, but that’s part 2!