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Akai GX-265D

Stereo Tape Deck (1976-78)

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Akai GX-265D


The GX-265D has a 6 head system with automatic and manual reverse recording and playback. One each GX forward recording, GX reverse recording, GX forward playback, GX reverse playback, forward erase, and reverse erase heads make up the superior GX Head reverse recording and playback system of this model.

The quality and special process of the GX Head materials result in a wider dynamic range, better high frequency characteristics and tone quality and longer lasting performance. Manual Reverse Buttons and Automatic Sensing Tape Reverse completely eliminate the necessity of inverting reels by hand.

The arrangement of the head block is completely symmetrical in relation to the centre capstan. The short and equidistant tape path within the head block and between heads and reel tables on both sides assure identical performance in both directions. Tension Arms on both the take-up and supply reel sides provide perfect tape tension, also contributing to operating stability.

The GX-265D employs a 3 motor drive system with a new AC Servo Motor for direct capstan drive. Rubber belts, flywheels, etc are eliminated for reduced interference. This coupled with the centre capstan system of this model reduces wow and flutter to an amazing 0.06%.

Individual Microphone and Line Input Level Controls and a built-in mic-line mixing circuit facilitate easy sound mixing from two separate sources.

Depress the Pause Switch to immediately suspend reel movement. When Pause mode is effected, the pinch wheel separates from the capstan by only 0.5 mm for a quick and smooth start when released. Especially convenient for editing tape.

Tape/Source Monitor Switch enables comparison of source signals with just recorded signals for more professional recording results.

The Tension Arm/Stop Lever drops at the end of the tape, activating an automatic stop mechanism which completely stops reel movement for operating safety.

Recording mode can be effected using individual left or right channel selectors or both channels simultaneously. A Recording Indicator Lamp lights to confirm recording mode.

An Output Level Control facilitates adjustment of output level to correspond with your amplifier input.

A Tape Selector Switch facilitates the use of Low Noise or Wide Range tape. While high performance low noise tape is standard for this machine, the ability to use wide range tape further extends high range frequency response.


Track system: auto reverse, 4-track, 2-channel, stereo/monaural system

Heads: 2 x playback, 2 x record, 2 x erase

Motor: 2 x reel, 1 x capstan

Reel size: up to 7 inch reel

Tape speeds: 3 34  7 12 ips

Wow and flutter: 0.06% (7 12 ips)

Frequency response: 30Hz to 25kHz (7 12 ips)

Signal to Noise Ratio: 56dB

Total harmonic distortion: 0.5%

Input: 70mV (line), 3mV (DIN), 0.25mV (mic)

Output: 0.775V (line), 0.5V (DIN)

Semiconductors: 38 x transistors, 26 x diodes

Dimensions: 441 x 404 x 207mm

Weight: 16.6kg


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Reviewed Feb 07th, 2019 by 71451RC

Great recording and playback. Extremely difficult and expensive to repair and parts are almost impossible to find (unless you buy a parts unit).

Reviewed Sep 01st, 2017 by Graay

Fantastic machine.
With 6 heads it enables each way play and recording with auto reverse when sensing foil is in place.
My only criticism is that after 30 years the record buttons need to be pushed in a certain way when pressing play to stay in, but once you have the knack no problem.

Reviewed May 26th, 2016 by left2handgo

This is a nice machine. I have 2 of them and they are fun to play around with. I have found tho, the din cords are hard to find. When played for a long time the break on the right seams to warm up and stopping may become a little longer. All in all, a great piece of equipment to have in the collection.



jack1951wilson's picture

re: GX-265D

I purchased a used Akai GX-265D from an eBay seller. It looked great and the specs were terrific. However, the audio went from poor to none. I mailed the unit to Bammel TV in Houston because they have techs who actually know reel to reel technology. ( I live in Jacksonville, FL) After spending over $500 on repairs and round-trip shipping I got it back. They worked on the deck, resoldered connections, and cleaned it. It sounded great on the forward play and record mode (poor sound on the reverse side, still). After recording a couple of excellent-sounding tapes, the problem of the right VU meter pegging out and lots of static began. If the commenter who experienced the same issues would be kind enough to contact me, I would like to get info about his technician who fixed the problem. I have a lot of money tied up in this machine and need to get it working right. Thanks.

re: GX-265D

For those of you buying an Akai GX-265d on that well known site (where a lot of sellers are less than truthful when it comes to vintage electronics), you may run into a problem with heavy static and the needles pegging - high distortion. I thought it was the pots, which are well buried inside the unit, as it had been stored for at least 25-30 years.
Deoixt did not cure the problem. The problem was actually caused by a deteriorated solder joint on the playback/record circuit board that caused a short across 3 transistors and a capacitor. That circuit board is buried below and behind the output pot, left side of the unit, and necessitates almost a complete teardown of the reel to reel to get at it, and even then, there will be a ton of wires in the way. Thank goodness I found a great technician who could repair it. Now that these items have been fixed, the GX-265d plays and records very well.
FOLLOW UP: Bought a 2nd one of these units (locally), mostly to get the super rare dust cover that was with it. Guess what ? It also has a lot of heavy static and a right vu meter that pegs. After spending $150 to get it serviced, it plays but the record function does not work (multiple problems with heads/switches). My tech said not it's not economically repairable.

re: GX-265D

My Play, FF & Rewind buttons do not engage, I can manually get some reaction if I push in the solenoids then the buttons. I am assuming that the micro switches are not getting any power (on the switch board). Any suggestions? Where to look, what to look for? Thank you in advance!

re: GX-265D

See the comments that I posted on 2/7/19. The problem may be a deteriorated solder joint(s) on the payback / record circuit board. That circuit board can create a lot of problems. You can expect to pay your technician 3-5 hours to fix it, if that is where your problem is. My tech charges $70 an hour.

re: GX-265D

As per my comment in my review of this RTR the record buttons on my machine have to be pushed in a certain way when also pushing play to start the record mechanism.
I remember the first use of it after purchase it took more than half a dozen tries to get the knack to push very firmly in before the mechanism would hold the buttons in.
Persevere for a little while (before removing the faceplate for further investigation into dried lubricant) and you just may get a result.

Akai GX-265D - RECORD buttons won't stay depressed

Hello! I just received an Akai GX-265D from a friend today, and it looks brand new, sounds great, and functions properly in every way except one -- the deck will only record if the RECORD button(s) is/are manually held in the depressed position. They will not "click into place" and stay depressed, and instead act like momentary switches. Perhaps just a worn out part? Any guesses as to how difficult and/or costly this might be to fix?

Also, is it possible to determine the year of manufacture based on the serial number? [10804-00964] FWIW, the tape that was loaded when I received the deck features the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. :o)

Thank You!

willowsnow's picture

re: Akai GX-265D - RECORD buttons won't stay depressed

The record buttons wont stay depressed. To record, you hold the record buttons and then press play at the same time. It will then go into record mode:) I hope that helps.

TBL's picture

re: Akai GX-265D - RECORD buttons won't stay depressed

The original grease inside the buttons' mechanism must hv frozen or dried out. Try to open up the deck and renew the grease.

RECORD buttons won't stay depressed

I had a similar problem with another tape deck (not AKAI). The push-push switch would not stay depressed. I could hold it in and cause it to perform properly. This sounds very much like your problem. With my switch, there was a cam and it was coated with dried, hard grease and dirt. After thoroughly cleaning out the old hard grease, the switch performed again. It was not an electrical, but strictly a mechanical issue.

Try this first, even though as I said, this was not exactly on the same machine. Also, I bet you can find other opportunities on your deck to clean and remove old dried grease. If it has never been cleaned before, it is time.

Good luck.

Thanks, Oxy. And yes, it

Thanks, Oxy. And yes, it sounds like identical problems on two different decks. I was thinking that perhaps a spring or plastic detent or somethin' broke on mine -- some sort of mechanical part that keeps the RECORD buttons depressed. I'll try to get in there see what's up. Everything else on my deck works, feels, and looks virtually brand new. I even got the plastic dust cover and manual. It appears that the original owner only used this deck to record a half dozen reels of business meetings, plus the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.

Might you (or anyone else) know if there's some sort of hidden switch that enables/bypasses the recording function, i.e., some sort of "playback-only lockdown mode switch" that I may have missed?

Any other ideas about why my RECORD buttons don't click into place and remain in the depressed (record) position?


Record button

I looked for some combination of buttons/switches that needed to be depressed at the same time or just before engaging the record button, thinking that some electrical condition would have to exist for the button to stay in.

That was however, not the case. As I said it was strictly a mechanical problem occasioned by the cam within the switch itself not being able to extend to a "locked/record" position because of old hardened grease.

I hope others may chime in with something more helpful. My deck was a TEAC 2300.

Good luck and please reveal the solution when you find it.

Thanks again! I examined the

Thanks again! I examined the deck again last night, and cannot discern any sort of rearward "play" or "give" in the record buttons when depressed -- the buttons smoothly depress for an equal distance and then hit a "brick wall" and cannot depress further. The maximum depression depth seems to be right at the point where the buttons should click/lock into the record position -- it's not like I can only depress them a little bit before they're immediately blocked, and it's not like one button is able to depress any more rearward than the other.

* * * If anyone reading this happens to own an Akai GX-265D, will you please post a picture of your fully-depressed-and-locked-down-into-place record buttons? T H A N K S ! ! * * *

I live in Hawaii, where plastics and rubbers seem to deteriorate at a fast rate. The dried grease idea may very well be the culprit (although it doesn't "feel" that way in a tactile sense), but I'm also wondering if a some small plastic part broke or wore out -- something spring-loaded that snaps into place and locks "in" the record buttons after they've been depressed a certain distance.

It's also odd that only the record buttons are affected, as every other button, knob, and lever on the deck works and feels great, and the deck itself looks 100% brand new, like it just came out of the box. It appears that the deck was only used to record a total of eight reels, making a broken part a less likely (and the dried grease theory a more likely) explanation. The deck has been stored since at least the early-80s in an air conditioned office building, and if any rubber or plastic parts did deteriorate, they'd probably all be equally affected. So the grease theory seems the best in lieu of any other pertinent discoveries or suggestions, but still, it doesn't "feel" like I'm hitting old dried grease when I depress the buttons.

Whether it's grease, a worn out part, or something else, it looks like I'll need to disassemble the deck in order to find out. :-(

HEY! One more question -- the deck has settings for "Low Noise" and "Wide Range" tape -- what are the modern day equivalents? (Or perhaps I should just rebias for modern tapes...in which case, what use should be made of these Low Noise and Wide Range settings?)

Thanks again, again! ~ALOHA~

record button


you wouldn't necessarily feel any resistance from the grease. Speaking only from my own experience again, the button is "hollow" for lack of a better term. Within the hollow is a grease for lubrication of the moving parts. Within the hollow button is a spring and cam mechanism. Pushing the button in to a certain depth allowed the spring to push the cam outward and "catch" in the REC position. Another push of the button compressed the spring and allowed it to retract into the NOT REC position.

When the spring is caked with grease it will not retract nor reset itself after a subsequent push.

Akai GX-265D

Ahhh, OK, I now understand -- the dried grease in your deck didn't prevent the rearward movement of the record buttons, but instead prevented a different, spring-loaded part from sliding over and locking down the record buttons once they've been depressed into the "record" position. Got it. I realize that you're talking about an entirely different deck (not an AKAI GX-265D) but I can see how the locking-down of the record buttons may for similar decks of this era be based on a similar (or even possibly nearly-universal?) design. Thanks again!

Anyone else have some GX-265D-specific experience with this issue?

Also, what about my "Wide Range" versus "Low Noise" tape question? Were these common designations in the mid-1970s, or something AKAI-specific? What are the modern tape equivalents, and/or how should I utilize the Wide Range versus Low Noise options on my deck? (One or other other must be selected.) I certainly intend to "use my ears," but it's also helpful to know what should theoretically be expected.

Thanks again, again!

Service Manual for Akai 265-D

It will be highly appreciated, if any of R-R Lovers have Service Manual for Akai 265-D and share it with Hifi engine.

Service Manual for AKAI 265-D

Hello every R-R lovers,

thanks for posting Service Manual for AKAI 265-D, but the scanning have happened at low resolution, if I try to maximise a bit, letters are distorted, and not clear, if any of our hifiengine members have quite a good resolution copy of the same service manual please upload, so that it will be easier for me to service this piece of equipment.


AKAI 625D service instruction

Does someone have 625D srvice instructiuon please offer to me. I wonder how to fix not able to FF & RR operation.

from AKI lover

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