Aiwa XK-S9000 Tape Decks

5/5 (6 Reviews)


Product Description

3 head,2 capstan,tone oscillator,dolby S,the only cassette with digital input "dangerous sound" recommended to have one,especialy with metal tapes like TDK MA-XG,MAXELL VERTEX


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Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by braxus a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 4, 2008

Bottom Line:   
Im posting a followup to my last entry in here about this deck. I have since had it serviced and can now comment on its sound. I have had this deck for a few years since I bought it used, but didn't get it operational till recently. It needed new belts. Anyway I already had a Sony 909ES deck of which to compare to. Both decks were TOTL in their day. The 909 was designed similar to the Aiwa decks and built in the same factory I was told. Anyway I have been using the Aiwa for some months now and can comment on its sound. First I'll mention its features. It has a D/A converter which is 18 bit if you feel like recording directly from a CD player and having the Aiwa do the conversion. I don't use this feature since D/A converters have improved since then and any CD player today will have something better. This deck uses a motor to open and close the cassette door. You pop in a tape and if it senses it, the door will close by itself. The clamoing feature in the cassette housing crushes the tape a little to absorb resonances and keep the shell from moving. This is a 3 head 4 motor deck and yes it uses belts to drive everything. I counted 4 belts in this deck. When this deck was new it was going for $1600 Canadian. Far cry from the predesessor Aiwa which was the XK-009 and was only $1200. The Aiwa Xk-S9000 was known as the last best deck ever made. The last hoorah before tape decks started to go down hill and be taken over by CD burners. Someone commented that the designers of this deck must of burned the candle at both ends up to the 11th hour to make this the best deck possible. Based on the used price of this deck online, the upper range typically sells for $800-1000 used and as high as $1300 even. Not many decks go higher in price, not even the Naks or Tandbergs. The Tandberg 3014/ 3014A which is said to be the best cassette deck ever built period, doesn't even sell for as much. Back to the Aiwa. The deck has a record feature when using virgin blank tapes, to turn off the erase head which is supposed to lower the noise floor and give a better sound. Since I use the tape calibration features on this deck, I don't use that record feature. This deck has a fine bias control as well. HX-Pro can be turned off on this deck, but from what one reviewer said- this is one of the few decks that impliments HX-Pro properly and recommends leaving it turned on. The frequency response on this deck is rated with metal tapes to be 13HZ to 24Khz. Signal to noise with Dolby S is rated to 87db. And yes I love Dolby S. Much improved over Dolby C. But even Dolby C sounds excellent on this deck. I made a recording on a Sony Metal Master tape from an Elton John CD and the recording was so good, it blew me away tape can sound this good. This deck has excellent dynamics and the sound is warm with excellent low end and crisp highs. The low end is better on this deck then any other I've heard to date. Other decks just don't have it in the lows compared to this Aiwa. This deck has a rich sound with excellent depth to the notes. If the Aiwa sounds as good as this, I can't imagine what the Tandberg 3014 sounds like! This deck also uses the dual capstan setup with 3 heads. The heads in this deck are made by Sony and are amorphous- so the high end is better and the heads last longer. This deck also has a wood base on it to absorb external resonances and the deck itself weighs quite a bit. Its a heavy deck. The wood gloss side panels on this deck are very attractive as well. I wish I got this deck as new instead of my Sony. The tech who serviced this deck for me commented it was made with decent caps in it, so they don't wear out as soon as newer decks do. The tech was impressed with what this deck could do. Keep in mind the caps can still drift in these decks, so if your deck is not within spec, check the caps and such for out of tollerance performance. My deck needed some work to bring it back into spec again, but being a 16 year old deck with probably heavy use, it doesn't surprise me. If you can afford the used prices on these decks, and sometimes you come across one at a lower price- grab it. Only the top Naks like the ZX-9 will equal this deck or maybe surpass it. If you really must get the best deck ever made, look for the Tandberg 3014A. PS- this Aiwa comes with a remote- so ask for it if you buy a used one. By the way- I also have the predesessor to this Aiwa which is the XK-009 Excelia and that deck has nothing on the 9000. The 9000 is a better deck then the 009 is many ways including sound quality.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $1300.00

Purchased At:   Ebay



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by braxus a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 23, 2006

Bottom Line:   
Ok. I was looking for this deck for a while and found one on Ebay I was able to bid on. The last deck sold for $300 of this model, so I was hopeful. I bid on the deck I was able to and won the deck. But I ended up paying more then brand new price for this deck in near mint condition. These decks are rare to find for sale and still usable. The Aiwas have a tendancy I'm told to chew gears up due to a bad design flaw. So I overpaid for my deck, but I got it. It was to compliment and take over duty from my Sony TC-K909ES deck. Not suprising that Aiwa and Sony share technology and parts in their tape decks and I believe were made in the same factory in Japan. The S9000 deck is probably Aiwa's best ever made tape deck. It was very heavy and solid. It had some good technology built into that would compete with the Naks and Revox decks. Its a shame Aiwa has basically gone under and was taken over by Sony before that. Keep in mind parts for these decks will be hard to come by today. But if you really want a good deck and able to find one of these, you won't be disapointed. Yes the metal tape frequency response is 13Hz to 24 khz +/- 3 db. My Sony does come close to that though. There are 4 motors in this deck and are quart locked direct drive, not like one previous poster who said it was belt driven. There are belts in this deck yes. Any used deck should have its belts replaced regardless. The LED meters on this deck are great. I also like the blank tape recording function which turns off the erase head for better performance. I also have a use for the mike inputs in the back for live recording which allows me to leave my mixer at home. Dolby S is a must listen. Its a shame it didn't catch on more then it did. Even decks you find for sale new today don't have Dolby S anymore. Tape decks are old technology today in the CD-R digital world. But tape still has a softer sound which is smooth and easy on the ears, unlike digital. I listened to LPs on tape and the sound is very relaxing and will suprise you. CDs are just edgy sounding to listen too compared to vinyl and tape. This deck is very faithful to the sound original and will be hard to tell the difference. This deck is a keeper. Its like those old tube amps that just keep going and have a faithful following. Tape may never become mainstream again, but I suspect people will still use it for years. It may not be 2 track 30 IPS reel to reel, but it will give R2R a run for its money. Tapes are still cheap to buy new and there are lots on Ebay NOS, though metal tapes make a killing these days. I haven't listened to the Aiwa for too long yet, so maybe I'll post a follow up. But the low end is very good and strong. My deck needs an azimuth adjustment so I cannot review the decks high end yet. These decks came out in 1991-92. I dont know when it was discontinued, but I suspect it held around for at least 3 years. New cost on these decks were $1150-1200 US and $1600 Canadian. Computer recording may have it all on these decks today, but if you prefer the softer analog sound these decks wont dissapoint.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $1300.00



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dan D. a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: April 16, 2006

Bottom Line:   
I purchased my XK-S9000 without knowing how great this audio component really is. In fact, I fell in love with the gold finish and shiny rosewood panels before I ever heard a note. As it goes I was retreiving my reel to reel from the nice folks who service most of my tape equipment and I happened to glance across the workshop, spotted the beast and asked about its history. Come to find out the Aiwa had been brought in for a belt change and the original owner didn't care to come back for it. I paid for the labor and it was MINE! Now mind you I have some serious Pro decks at home but was completely unprepared for the excellent sound quality to eminate from this piece. Extended highs, serious bottom end and smooth mids with nary little hiss using metal tape and Dolby C. The capstan drive is belt driven which is not on par with the best direct drive quartz setups but then again never had any speed or flutter problems show up either. The deck auto self loads the cassette and sets the tape immediately up for playback or record. Everthing about the controls to the sound of the solenoids whispers QUALITY!! If you can find one you'll never let it go...

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $275.00

Purchased At:   consignment/repair f



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Karsten Not Importand a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: April 17, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Okay, I made the ultimative test. I bought a Sony TCK 6, Dragon and the AIWA XKS 7000 as well as the 9000. I cheked them all with my Marantz System on Nautilus 800. My summary is that the XKS 7000 is even a little bettter in sound and sharpness, even without any dolby function, it has all of them incl. HXPro, the sound is my opinion better then CD. Here it is only the question how good is the mastertape! I had the luck to get some master tapes from EMI directly from the studio and the sound was awaresome, it´s hard to tell if you cannot compare directly the three machines. The Dragon is to complicated to handle and quite "lady like" if dont touch me right I wont play right, the sony is simply to cold, the sound is not warm at all. The Aiwa XKS 7000 and 9000 ( which is older) are the last Decks build like a tank and for ever. My decission I keept the 7000 and the 9000 and the rest : EBAY

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1997

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   Warner studio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ED a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: August 26, 2000

Bottom Line:   
First the system at the moment Sony-TA F222ESR modified to be power amp only and beeft up power rails old amp but awesome. Pioneer preamp C72 reference series
Sony CDp-203es and TEchnics SL-PS900 wich is my favorite after again upgraging power supply's and dampening of CD Assy plus a view other mods. And oh no we still use a turntable have had LINN but found old Sansui XR-Q11 far more accurate

To the review
Most people proberly don't use tape anymore i myself burn more CD's these day's than using tape tryed MD but that stuff should never have been invented
The aiwa tape deck makes recordings to the tape without using the erase head if a virgin tape is used this results in ultra low noise it also allows for very accurate bias settings in various modes.
Dolby BCS are provided but found that C gives best results
Music wise the difference between original and souce when using it's build in DAC are virtually nill the sound is alway's stable, free of interverence and hiss
It's cabable of recording those little background noises that are on today's CD's but here of course the paradigm's monitor 7 come to good use
As for making multi session recordings it has a little pop everytime it gets paused between tracks but because it does everything else so well i've learned to live with that
For people who want awesome bass and treble from thier tape this is the machine and for those who want second best there is others but from my few as a tape deck nut the aiwa is the best deck ever made

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   second hand store




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