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Aiwa FX-A120

Auto Sorting Stereo Cassette Deck (1985-86)

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Aiwa FX-A120

Specifications

Type: 6 compact cassette deck

Track System: 4-track, 2-channel stereo

Tape Speed: 4.8, 9.5 cm/s

Heads: 1 x playback, 1 x record/playback, 1 x erase

Motor: 2 x DC servo, 4 x DC

Tape Type: type I, CrO2, Metal

Noise Reduction: B, C

Frequency Response: 20Hz to 16kHz  (Metal tape)

Signal to Noise Ratio: 73dB  (dolby C)

Wow and Flutter: 0.038%

Input: 50mV (line)

Output: 0.28V (line)

Dimensions: 330 x 106.5 x 330mm

Weight: 7kg

Year: 1985

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Reviewed Dec 22nd, 2016 by rickrhua

Have just acquired this deck recently in need of a bit of TLC. All belts were goo and the heads were very dirty. Got a set of belts for it and then began the long slow process of dismantling the deck to clean the pulleys/heads and replace all belts (4 in total - 2 capstan belts and 2 sorting deck spindle belts.) The inside of this deck is packed to the roof with boards, wires, switches, pulleys and guides. Definitely not a simple task. Once I got all in place and the heads cleaned, I was nervous - to say the least - wondering if this 30 yr old deck would fire back into life. I paired it up with the rest of my old V1200 mini system (BX-120, GX-120, DX-1200, TX-80) I tried the standard auto reverse deck first and all went brilliant. Sounded as good as expected for a deck of this nature. It was then time to try the auto-sorting beast. The eject seemed to work ok and the 5-cassette box was slowly but surely presented to me on the slide-out tray. I put in a couple of tapes in the first 2 slots and hit the close button. All seemed to disappear into the unit ok and now it was time to hit play. I still had the cover off to hopefully witness the wonders within. On clicking play the fist tape got pushed along the guide and locked up into position. Play was a bit garbled due to what seems the pinch roller not coming into position properly. On clicking reverse play all worked good and then pressing play again and all went ok this time. I have found that still sometimes the forward play takes a while to get going properly and maybe I just need to revisit the relevant pinch roller spring or oil its axle - not sure but not the end of the world.
In any case I now have a 99% functional old deck up and running again and sounding great. I have also messed with the programmable feature and realise how much patience we had back in the day to scan through cassettes to get to different tracks. It too though does seem to work perfectly according to the user manual.

All in all this old deck seems to work great and has so many features squeezed into such a small space.
This now completes my old V1200 system that I bought in pieces back in the 80s but never could find the proper cassette deck for. (I had been using a FX-90 instead)

This whole system has laid dormant for the last 15 years and required quite a few capacitors changed to sort out transformer hum but now is all running fine again in true 80s fluorescent glory!

 

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