I've only had our Dragon devour one tape, an older C-120.  No surprise 
there, though.

Rule #1 as I've come to understand--when getting a Dragon off Ebay it is 
a very good idea to have it overhauled by someone who knows what he/she 
is doing.  I've had excellent experience with Electronics Service Labs 
in CT:

They are not cheap, but they're good.  And they do mail order service.


Trey Bunn wrote:
> I have a Nakamichi Dragon cassette deck.  This is the model with the
> auto azimuth correction, and I noticed recently when playing some old
> (25 years) tapes in it that the sound was mysteriously fluctuating
> between the left and right channels, sometimes moving all the way over
> to one channel and staying there.  All the while, the blinking light
> on the deck indicating its azimuth adjustment was working.  If I
> stopped the tape and started it again, the sound became normal for a
> bit but then would start going strange.  After taking the tape out and
> looking at it, I saw that it was wrinkled, but I assumed that this was
> the condition the tape was already in (as I said, these were old
> tapes, many of which got wrinkled like that due to being played so
> much and in various consumer brand machines).
> But today I played a much more recent tape and found the same problem,
> and I realized that it's the deck itself that is chewing up the tapes.
> Has anyone else had this problem with this model?  I don't know if
> it's just a deck that has crapped out on me (yes, I believe that is
> the technical term...), or maybe if this is related to the
> auto-adjusting "feature."  (And yes, I know now that I should have
> gotten the one with manual azimuth adjustment instead.  But I didn't
> also buy a time machine, so there's no way to fix that now.)
> When I was growing up with consumer brand tape recorders, this was
> usually the point when I'd pronounce a machine dead and get a new one,
> but I'm wondering if there's a way to repair this problem.  This
> Nakamichi deck was, after all, what these wacky kids these days would
> call hella expensive.  And because I bought it used off of eBay almost
> a year ago, I doubt I can return it (especially because it worked fine
> for months).  Do electronics guys typically work on this problem and
> have a way to fix it?  Am I going to have to track down someone who
> works specifically on Nakamichis?  Will replacement parts be
> impossible to find?
> This hasn't been a good day.
> ------
> Trey Bunn
> Folklife Archivist
> Alabama Department of Archives and History
> Montgomery, AL
> 334-353-4711


Andy Kolovos
Vermont Folklife Center
3 Court Street ; P.O. Box 442
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 388-4964
akolovos @