Akai ST-1

1 9 6 3 c.1963

Part of the first 'consumer-comestible' Akai... and also the last : this will quickly drive to the 3000D, therefore to the 4000D bestseller, its many subsequent versions and therefore to the early...1980s !

The ST-1 "stereo in a suitcase" had one dynamically balanced 4-pole hysteresis synchronous motor, a dubbing function (sound-on-sound), four tracks for stereo, micro-gap head (Akai made), automatic end-tape shut-off, even a DIN input/output terminal,stereo VU meters, 3-digit counter, built-in monitoring loudspeaker, 100-245V multi-voltage transformer, instant stop and - and an attractive case in two-tone fashion.
True 1960s portability in "charcoal grey and off-white" at... 18,8kg.

Although the catalog touts an all-transistor design "without unpleasant hum"... there are three tubes inside the ST-1.

Akai was then a tiny outlet, much like what it remained throughout the rest of the 1960s and 1970s, before problems started arising and Mitsubishi came actively onboard in 1979, just when Akai's ultimate reel-to-reel GX-620 deck was launched.

The rest of the Akai story isn't as pleasant and friendly but some of us still have an old ST-1 to remember the glorious days of a fast and furiously inventive market which allowed quality and durability to flourish, seemingly to no end.

Akai ST-1, image 1 Akai ST-1, image 2
Akai ST-1 specifications
Title Value
Heads : 1x 1/4" rec/play + 1x erase
shielded & plastic impregnated (Patent #233093)
VU meters : 2x with illumination lamps
Tape speeds : 19cm/s & 9,5cm/s
Motor : 1x 4-pole hysteresis synchronous
THD : within 2% (0VU, 1Khz)
Wow & flutter : < 0,17% (RMS, 19cm/s)
< 0,28% (RMS, 9,5cm/s)
FF/REW time : 150 seconds (370m tape, 50Hz AC)
120 seconds (370m tape, 60Hz AC)
Reel size : 7"
Frequency response : 30Hz...18Khz (19cm/s)
40Hz...15Khz (19cm/s, ±3dB)
40Hz...9Khz (9,5cm/s, ±3dB)
Playback EQ : NARTB curve
Loudspeakers : 2x 5x7", oval
Power output : 2x 3W max.
Transistors : 4x 2SD75
(rectifier-silicon diode)
Tubes : 2x 6BM8
1x 6AR5
Dimensions : 34 x 53 x 22cm
Weight : 18,8kg.
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page online since : november 2008
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