Huge heavyweight monster which would be bettered by later models such as the DRAGON or the ZX-9 - or so said marketing :-)
Unlike the latter two, the 1000ZXL kept a shape directly reminiscent from the the original 1973 1000 which was with Sony's TC-177SD the first three-head K7 recorder.
Unlike the latter, too, the 1000ZXL saw in 1981 a 1000ZXL Limited edition with outerspace gold-plated finish and (some) parts for marginally better specifications.
So the 1000ZXL refined cassette replay for a bandwidth response up to 25Khz (higher in fact), could keep in memory up to four user-defined presets of tape eq & bias & azimuth & calibration & level.
A.B.L.E. handles the process of calibartion for any tape - just press PLAY and AUTO-Cal/run and there you are : azimuth, bias, level and eq are all set for the optimum best (pleonasm) possible not for "that kind of tape" but for the specific tape inside your tower-of-cassette-power !
As 0,1° error in azimuth can result in -3dB response at 25Khz, this was no toy - see the ABLE flow chart.
R.A.M.M. is more conventional although it isn't : instead of simply searching blank spaces of 3 or seconds, RAMM tags every selection with a 5Hz / 20-bit digital code. The first 7-bits automatically choose playback eq and NR ; the remaining 13bits identify the program itself.
Tagging can be made automatically or manually - in fact, just like adding a start ID on a D.A.T. recorder ;-)
RAMM playback can be set up to 15 tracks, in reverse, in random and in whatever you may wish at a given moment.
Mechanically, the 1000ZXL sports Assymetrical Dual-Capstans (3mm on supply, 2,5mm on takeup), C-MOS logic-control for the motor-driven cam. Four motors are used in the ZXL : capstan, reel, record-head azimuth and cam control - all damped and resonance-free.
The P-8L head for playback features a laminated Crystalloy core with an ultra-narrow gap of 0,6µ and a new contour to extend response down to the subsonic region.
The R-8L crystalloy record head has a 3,5µ gap to produce an extremely sharp critical recording zone and minimize post-erasure.
The E-8L dual-gap erase head employs a low-loss ferrite core and high stauration Sendust poletips ; a low erase frequency (52,5Khz, locked to the 105Khz bias supply) maximizes efficiency.
Playback amps and record amps are on par by being directly coupled to the heads and using with double NF equlization.
- and then some.
All in all a masterpiece that looks like one.
One might get almost as much musicality with less remembered decks such as Tandbergs' TCD or Sony's TC-K777 series but the pleasure of mastering a big black monolith such as the 1000ZXL was and still is obviously second-to-none.
Units produced until about mid 1981 had a semi-matte varnished enclosure ; subsequent runs had it shiny-glossy.
All about Nakamichi and more Nakamichi right here and more again here.