Updated 16 October 2013


The BleusNak ZX-9 Project
Complete Rehab of a Super-Tuned Edition Nakamichi Cassette Deck




Here's the ZX-9 partially undressed. First evaluation of the insides about to commence.
Refer to the top of the BleusNak main page for a full view of this deck and other analogue cassette black beauties stacked in the studio.


Two photos of the ZX-9 partially disassembled on the bench, being prepared for initial diagnostic specifications evaluation and flywheel belt replacement.

As the project continues, including expert assistance from a good friend and pro technologist, we will post photos showing progress of the BleusNak ZX-9 cassette deck rehabilitiation. We hope that this page of photos and explanation will intrigue and help you understand what goes on inside of a classic Nakamichi cassette deck. Enjoy the view, ask questions if you wish!




A view of the cassette bay with partial transport frame pieces removed to allow inspection of reel hubs and head adjustment mechanism.



Here's a glimpse of the ZX-9 stripped open to reveal bias, level and azimuth adjustment control components, plus a view of the
bottom solid-state preamp circuit boards and wiring harness. Alot of electronic components packed into the inner frame of this deck!



A clear view of the critical capacitor and preamp circuit boards. Note the orange colored capacitors, often these little orangies are the cause
of problems due to age and leakage. That's where reference to the term 'Orange Cap Disease' originates.



Big work tearing down, diagnosing, adjusting, replacing, testing and reassembling a rig as sophisticated as the Nak ZX-9 cassette deck.
The photo above shows use of the Nakamichi Tilt Check Gauge in operation. This gauge checks correct tilt of record and playback magnetic heads.
This maintenance adjustment is as essential as azimuth or other key alignment procedures. After doing this tilt gauge adjustment and verification,
the head top surface will be perfectly parellel to the tape surface. Since play and record heads are floating independently in a Nakamichi deck,
this step ensures tape path movement is ideal and correct for tape record and playback performance.


Postscript - The BleusNak Nak ZX-9 deck was successfully rehabbed during the March and April of 2005. I can report that the ZX-9 deck has performed excellently since then, with regular home maintenance of demagging and transport mechanism cleaning. Sincere thanks to my reliable and favored Nakamichi cassette deck technical expert, Kannan Srinivasaraghavan, based on the west coast of continental USA, for his respectful advice and exemplary skill/responsiveness completing the intricate tuning aspects of the original Nak ZX-9 project. Update 2013 - After many years of reliable use, the BleusNak ZX-9 cassette deck has needed tune-up maintenance and refurbishing of rubber products and key capacitor electronics. Inevitable deterioration of moving parts, and cleaning of key contact components within the deck have been accomplished during early October 2013. We can report that the ZX-9 deck is now performing at a consistent level meeting original specifications. Many thanks to Willy Hermann Services for outstanding maintenance and repairs!

For those that are seeking expert advice and technical services for Nakamichi ZX-9 & Dragon cassette decks,
contact Willy Hermann Services in the San Francisco, CA metro region in USA:

Introducing Willy Hermann Services

The next BleusNak project will be rehabbing the most exhalted and esteemed
Nak 550 Versatile Recording System Components, which will be accomplished sometime during year 2014.



Welcome to the Mohican Pass basement vault!


Created 26 May 2005
Updated 16 October 2013

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Email: BleusNak Studios, Ltd