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Nakamichi LX-5

Three Head Stereo Cassette Deck (1981-84)

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Nakamichi LX-5


Even the music lover unaccustomed to audio tape decks will find it remarkably easy to produce extraordinarily recordings on the LX-5 thanks to the sophistication that lies hidden within. Microprocessor control virtually eliminates the possibility of tape damage even if you press the wrong button, and a special feature creates professional fades to and from full recording level at the touch of a bar!

An advanced 4-bit N-MOS microprocessor monitors the silent mechanism transport, control panel and (optional) remote-control unit, senses your every command, interprets it, inserts intermediate commands if they are necessary to prevent tape damage, and instructs the drive on how best to carry out your wishes. A light touch on any operation button is all that is required on your part, and it is virtually impossible to make a mistake! The microprocessor also makes possible such added features as Auto Playback and Punch-In Recording.

Want to repeat a favourite selection or advance to another? Just press rewind (or fast forward) along with record to engage Auto Playback. The transport rapidly winds the tape until the counter reads 0000 and automatically begins to play from that point. To mark the point to which you want to return, just tap the tape counter reset button.

To do tight editing - say, to insert a narration between selections - you can switch directly from the playback to the recording mode without stopping the tape. Just press record and play together.

Once channel balance and maximum recording level are adjusted, you can create smooth fades up to full level and down to silence by pressing the right or left side of the Master Fader bar. A single tap initiates a 6-second fade; press and hold the bar and you create a 2-second fade - automatically!

Optimum bias often differs slightly among the various brands of tape even among those that are nominally of the same type. Since bias affects recording Characteristics (especially at high frequencies) and thus might prevent the very best performance, the LX-5 has a Bias Fine Tuning control to achieve optimum response with each tape. The control is set so that the playback sound matches the original as closely as possible.

This is very easy to do with the Discrete Head by switching between Tape and Source and adjusting the bias control until the sound quality is the same. The control's center detent marks the correct setting for Nakamichi tapes.

You can command the LX-5 remotely via the optional RM-200 Remote Control Unit. From your armchair, you can delete commercials from an FM broadcast, eliminate selections from a disc you are recording, or perform any other function which normally would be handled by the deck's local mechanical controls.

Connect the LX-5 to an ordinary electrical timer, and you can have the recorder wake you with music in the morning, turn itself off when you retire, even record a not to be missed FM broadcast while you are away!

Whenever the record mute switch is depressed, the tape continues to move but no new information is recorded. With record mute you can erase unwanted material, edit out unnecessary announcements during recording, and create blank sections of tape whenever you wish.

Each of the two electronic recording level indicators spans an exceptionally wide range to encompass the dynamics of modern program material. The 16 LED segments in each channel provide excellent resolution and accurately respond to peak recording level even during brief transients.

The LX-5 features an advanced bidirectional electronic tape counter that counts to 9999 when the tape is moving in the forward direction and to –999 in rewind. When the Memory switch is activated, the deck stops automatically at a precise indication of 0000 during fast forward or rewind.


Type: 3-head, single compact cassette deck

Track System: 4-track, 2-channel stereo

Tape Speed: 4.8 cm/s

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

Motor: 1 x reel, 1 x capstan

Tape Type: type I, CrO2, Metal

Noise Reduction: B, C

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

Signal to Noise Ratio: 70dB  (dolby C)

Wow and Flutter: 0.06%

Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.9%

Input: 50mV (line)

Output: 1V (line)

Dimensions: 450 x 135 x 307mm

Weight: 8.5kg

Year: 1981

Price: USD $850 (1981)


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Reviewed Oct 09th, 2016 by CORVUS

Good machine, nice sound on metal tapes. Use Dolby B with great effort. Look out for pinch rollers bushes without grease 2nd hand on long still stand machines.

Reviewed Sep 13th, 2016 by Cassette tape head

Best sounding deck I've ever used. I'm awestruck at the quality of recordings it makes.

Reviewed Oct 05th, 2015 by Namikis

Best 3 head Nak deck I have experienced so far. Bass is outstanding, and it has a sweet mid range tube-like sound that makes you want to record digital music to take the digital edge out. Best metal tape recording I have was made on one of these. May not be pretty to look at but produces stunningly good sound.



re: LX-5

Best metal recording on a Nak deck I have made to date. The freq response is amazing - solid bass all the way to 20hz on a 35 year old deck. Wow.

Thank you!

Thank you for making these manuals available. Having the good fortune to find myself owning a functioning LX-5, but sadly lacking the documentation your making it available is most appreciated!

Onward and upward!

nakamichi lx 5 cassette deck

i am locking for a service manual of this cassette deck and system control chip
thank you
lakshman fonseka

re: nakamichi lx 5 cassette deck

Would treasure a copy of the owner's manual.

so am I

I got an LX-5 and it suddenly start working madly. It stopped and didnt and yet dont let me take the cassette out nor rewinding nor nothing. Its like its complely stuck and out of order. If you by chance get a service manual, please let me know it. Thanks alot.

This website is not affiliated with or sponsored by Nakamichi. To purchase LX-5 spares or accessories, please contact the company via their website or visit an authorised retailer.