Updated 31 March 2021


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




Greetings !!! You will find an abundance of useful info regarding the Nak ZX-9 deck here.



Autumn 2004 - 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 capstan 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 rehabilitation. 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. Many 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 parallel 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 & Updates - The BleusNak Nak ZX-9 deck was successfully rehabbed during the winter months of 2004 - 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 in south-central 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 needed additional tune-up maintenance and refurbishing of rubber products
including key capacitor electronics. Inevitable deterioration of moving parts, and cleaning of key contact components within the deck were accomplished
during October 2013. We can report that the ZX-9 deck performed at a consistent level meeting original specifications.
Willy Herman, based in the San Francisco Metro Region USA, did work on the ZX-9 deck during 2013.

Update 2018 - After several years, the Nak ZX-9 deck has been performing as expected. Except for the new-fangled LED bulb lighting in the cassette bay that
blinked out soon after installation, all standard functions have performed excellently. A personal bulb fix-it was accomplished by yours truly during 2016.
Periodic maintenance has been done successfully. Gosh, my ZX-9 deck is aging gracefully, its production date was August 1983 (that's nearly 37 years).




Update 2021 - With the years passing, several issues cropped up, and prompted me to seek a full rehabilitation of the ZX-9 Deck.
Primary choice for complete rehab, Perry Esposito was contacted and chosen, based on his exemplary skills and experience.

For those that are seeking expert technical services for Nakamichi ZX-9 & Dragon cassette decks, consider Perry Esposito.
He is located in the Richmond, VA metro region in USA. Contact Perry via the TapeHeads Cassette Deck Forum at:

Perry Esposito - Profile Page at TapeHeads.Net Forum





Welcome to the Mohican Pass basement vault!


Created 26 May 2005
Interim Updated 11 October 2016
Current Updated 31 March 2021

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Email: BleusNak Studios, Ltd