No playback sound AKAI GX636 Reel to Reel


New member
Username: Hsilvera

Augusta , Georgia

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jul-09
I have an AKAI GX 636 reel to reel it is in top shape but has been in storage for over 10 years. it records fine and the meters display recording levels and I can monitor with headphones but I get no sound on playback and the meters do not move. I took a tape that I recorded to another player and that music I recorded played back great with clear sound. Can anyone tell me what my problem is and how expensive to repair
Thanks in Advance

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18018
Registered: May-04

You don't provide sufficient information to even give a truly educated guess regarding a problem. That the unit has been in storage for over ten years suggests parts may have failed due to the long period of no use. Capacitors are the most likely suspects here but which one or more might be most likely, there's no telling until a tech gives the machine a look. The deck was manufactured at a time when most caps didn't display obvious sings of problems and typically must be taken out of circuit to be checked. If you have a schematic for the deck a tech can, however, check for signal flow and get in the area of suspected failure rather quickly I would think.

You don't say what equipment is paired with the Akai nor how it is connected to the system. Reversing in and out connections was the most common mistake made.

There's a headphone output on the deck. Have you checked for output with headphones? I'm not familiar with the layout of the machine but that's your first step. Whether the headphones are driven by a dedicated small wattage amp directly off the pre amp of the deck or the output is connected through a splitter (headphones/line out separated) is something I can't tell you. Knowing just whether the headphone output produces sound might, however, narrow your options for where the parts have failed. Or where you have made an incorrect connection.

Since this is a three head deck, you should also check the "Source/Tape" button for proper output. "Source" monitors the incoming signal while "tape" provides output from the play head.

And, of course, check your system for proper switch positions. You need the deck to feed into a tape monitor input on the rear of your pre amp/receiver and the switching on the pre amp/receiver needs to be in the "tape" or "monitor" position before you'll get output.


Gold Member
Username: Magfan


Post Number: 3310
Registered: Oct-07

Plug some headphones into the Akai. If it plays, go to Jan's suggestion. If no play? best of luck finding a GOOD repair guy who may actually have access to PARTS, schematics and some special tools.

I gave away my Akai, a TEAC A4010S, and a SONY TC355. but kept my Tandberg 3000X. And I just gave away my DBX NX-40 compressor / expander.
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