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Nakamichi RX-505 Tape Deck - 3 Heads With Unique Auto Reverse - Just Serviced

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Pickup currently unavailable at SkyFi 479

Nakamichi Rx-505 Tape Deck - 3 Heads With Unique Auto Reverse Just Serviced Tape Deck

Nakamichi RX-505 Tape Deck - 3 Heads With Unique Auto Reverse - Just Serviced

SkyFi 479

Pickup currently unavailable

479 South Broad Street
Glen Rock NJ 07452
United States


This is one of the coolest decks from the 1980’s-90’s featuring a unique mechanical auto reverse system. It is also our second best selling deck after the Dragon.

To auto reverse/change the side of the tape being played, the entire tape actually FLIPS around while the heads and mechanism stay in place! It's quite a sight.

It was featured in several films at the time since it was just so cool of a feature and like nothing else out there, including 9 1/2 weeks starring Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke:

At the time Nakamichi though this was the most exacting way to reverse a tape since the heads were locked in place. 

This system came in 3 models - the RX505, RX303, and RX202. All were ranging in features and performance, with the RX505 at the top of the range. 

This particular unit was just serviced and is working very well. All of the belts were replaced, and the head was carefully aligned and calibrated. All functions are working as they should. 

Overall condition is very good. The faceplate is near mint with all lettering intact and no signs or wear. The top cover does show slight signs of wear.

This listing is for the tape deck plus the often lost or broken drive cover. Nothing else is included.

The main features of the Nakamichi RX-505 are: 3 discrete heads and off-tape monitoring, digital tape counter with 4 digits and memory stop, manual tape type selection and capable of handling normal, chrome and metal tapes with additional manual equalization selection, belt driven dual-capstan transport.

Typical front loading cassette deck with the cassette compartiment located on the center of the deck. Tape loading/unloading is operated motorized and the cassette needs to be placed upside-down in the cassette well.

Level meters used on the RX-505 are digital LED peak reading meters. Full-logic transport controls used on the RX-505 let it respond to the slightest finger contact for fast and effortless transport function selection. Cue and review can be used to easily and quickly locate the beginning of a passage.

Dolby C-type used in the RX-505 provides 20 dB of noise reduction above about 1,000 Hz, fully doubling the amount given by B-type. The three-head configuration of the RX-505 requires a Double Dolby system, one for recording and one for playback.

A Subsonic filter is provided in the RX-505 to prevent infrasonic signals generated when playing a warped record. These signals can upset the Dolby system and prevening it from functioning properly. The 19kHz multiplex pilot slgnal present in FM stereo broadcasts can cause false triggering of the noise reduction system. The switchable MPX filter of the RX-505 filters out the pilot signal, and assuring proper Dolby processing of FM stereo programs.

For undisturbed listening a jack connector for a pair of stereo headphones is supplied. Connection to other audio components for plaback can be achieved by a RCA cable and recording from a source by a RCA cable. All main transport commands can be issued remotely with a wired remote control.

Brand Background:
Nakamichi was founded in 1948 by Mr. Etsuro Nakamichi, starting from a small research institute in Tokyo, Japan that provided R&D for major brands, government entities, universities and organizations.

Since then, it has established itself as a trusted creator of high-quality audio products, such as the Nakamichi 1000, the world's first 3-Head cassette deck.
Nakamichi's product lines are driven by an intense scientific curiosity, the passion for audio, and commitment to uncompromising quality and performance.

Single Owner

RCA Inputs and outputs, captive power cord.

General Sound:
Accurate to the recording

Cosmetic Condition:
7/10 = Good. One or two minor scratches. Well Maintained.. See our detailed rating description here.

Working Condition:
Working perfectly and tested in our lab.

Just the unit and power cord.

Will be packed using our highly developed in-house process and custom packing materials.Reviews:
Click Here

Recommended Cables:

Kimber Kable - RCA Interconnects - Better

Kimber Kable - RCA Interconnects - Best



Auto reverse, 3-head, single compact cassette deck

Track System

4-track, 2-channel stereo

Tape Speed

4.8 cm/s


1 x record, 1 x playback, 1 x erase


1 x reel, 1 x capstan, 2 x mechanism

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


Total Harmonic Distortion



50mV (line)


1V (line)

50mV (line)

1V (line)

17.7"W x 5.6"H x 11.8"D (450 x 144 x 300mm)

22 lbs.

Approximate Age:

Link to Manual:
Click Here

Testing Process:

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.

SKU: 104591