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Crown 800 Series (CX-824) Vintage Reel to Reel Deck with SA 20-20 Amplifier

Sale price£0.00
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Pickup currently unavailable at SkyFi 479

Crown 800 Series (Cx 824) Vintage Reel To Deck Tape

Crown 800 Series (CX-824) Vintage Reel to Reel Deck with SA 20-20 Amplifier

SkyFi 479

Pickup currently unavailable

479 South Broad Street
Glen Rock NJ 07452
United States


Super cool and retro vintage reel to reel from Crown considered by many to be the Holy Grail of vintage decks.

Crown model numbers can be a bit confusing but I believe this configuration would be considered a CX-824. Meaning it's a 1/4 track 2-channel unit.

I was able to confirm operation of the machine in both playback and record.

The included Crown SA 20-20 amplifier allows you to hook up a pair of speakers directly to this deck. Also included is a module that allows semi-automatic operation which I did not test.

Your purchase includes the reel to reel machine, amplfiier, captive power cord, and two aluminum take-up reels. Take-up reels may vary in brand/looks from those pictured. 

We also currently have an additional 1/2 track drive if you're interested which can be combined into a single unit.

More from Phil Van Praag’s book “Evolution of the Audio Recorder” “…

"This was a machine with “quality” displayed all over it. With a massive brushed front panel, oversize knobs, large VU meters, and about the finest tape threading path in the industry, this was a recorder that commanded instant respect. Crown International of Elkhart, Indiana never marketed a large number of recorder models, but

every one that did come to market was a gem…”

In late ’60s, Crown released the 800 series, the successor to the 700 series transport. Two versions of the electronics were offered: the “SX” series and the “CX” series."


Speed accuracy:

Crosstalk rejection:
-55dB minimum

Total harmonic distortion:
Less than 1.5% for “0” VU at 1 kHz

Bias frequency:
100 kHz

Start time:
Less than 0.1 seconds to full speed

Stop time:
2″ at 15 ips
1″ at 7-½ ips
0.5″ at 3-¾ ips

Fast wind speed:
38 seconds for 1200 ft
58 seconds for 2400ft on 10-½ inch reel

Four 100K unbalanced line

17-½ x 19 x 8″
(444.5 x 483 x 203mm)

Recommended Cables:

Kimber Kable - RCA Interconnects - Better

Kimber Kable - RCA Interconnects - Best

The SkyFi Testing Process for Tape Decks and Reel to Reel Machines:

First steps are performed to determine if the unit is a candidate for our full restoration process or if its just in need of a light service.

We first do a basic functionality test to ensure proper playback fast forward and rewind. We look for smooth operation of the motors, transport engagement and associated rolling parts.  

We then do an internal physical inspection to ensure the belts and rubber consumable parts are up to spec.  

Internal components are checked to make sure that there are no signs of heat stress or damage particularly in the power supply section. Capacitors are checked for telltale signs of predictive failure including bulging, shrunken wrappers, or physical leakage. We also inspect the PCBs for discoloration from resistors or transistors that may have been running hot. On vintage units we often spot check select capacitors for value and ESR. 

A light service will involve replacement of belts and rollers, external cleaning of heads, mechanism and boards and basic record and playback tests.  

A full restoration will often include disassembly of the drive system and replacement of all consumable and wearable parts including pinch rollers, belts, brakes, bearings. We then clean lubricate and re-assembly the drive and perform basic mechanical alignment to ensure proper tape path and head alignment. 

Final calibration will involved adjustment of playback erase and record heads and optimization of the bias for a specific tape type. We do this with the aid of a Soundtech 1510A tape deck analyzer and a Nakamichi T100 unit and reference calibration tapes.  

Final listening tests are done while monitoring with our reference Grado HP1 headphones and a variety of factory and custom reference recordings. We find that there is no better system for critical listening on tapes than the headphones specially when comparing a live feed to a recorded feed.  



Original Box

Not Included


Not Included


Not Applicable


Yes - Captive Power Only

Physical Condition (Info Here)

7 / 10

Working Condition

10 / 10

SKU: 104368