Akai M8 Semi-professional reel-to-reel vintage audio
Many years ago my father owned an M8 – it was an expensive piece of equipment in those days, I recall it was about 1966/67 and he purchased it from the proceeeds made from the profit of a sale of our (his) house. What fascinates me now about this piece of equipment definitely wasn’t the power but the quality of the sound – these units only delivered something like 2 x 6 watts to the loudspeakers but good quality vinyl on a turntable (I remember Cat Stevens music) produced some really good audio.
Akai M8 – Cross Field Head
The BIG thing about this machine was the marketing around cross field heads and 27 ips (by changing the capstan diameter). 27 ips was no big deal but the quality at 1 7/8 ips was. Compared to latter day cassette decks this thing was simply archaic but you know what? Who cared. It looked good and was very well made. For the price I doubt one could have found a better piece of machinery. Have a look at Revox pricing and you’ll know what this is all about.
I often think about all the hype associated with thermionic tubes versus semiconductors these days and although I built a few speaker busters in my hay day, the amplifiers on this unit would really have been a good add-on to my sound system now. In those days I think the Akai M-8 went for something like 300U$ and guess what – that’s what they still reach today – in good working condition.
The Akai M8 Amplifier
My dream is to go into a pawn shop and pick one up for 50U$ but this will remain a dream – I think most pawn shop owners know what valve amplifiers are worth these days – a pretty penny. The Akai M-8 had two removable class-A modules or monoblock units as I believe they are called now. So for anyone out there looking for a fine solution to their wanting a tube amplifier problem – look for one of these.
I’m looking for the schematic of one of these – hopefully someone can send me a link or the actual schematic – it’s time to do some cloning.
(Update: schematic attachment here)
Interestingly enough research brought up this article: http://www.tdpri.com/forum/shock-brothers-diy-amps/333890-akai-m8-conversion.html – someone with similar ideas.