Aiwa
  • Aiwa XK-S9000

  • Stereo Cassette Deck

  • MSRP $1150
  • 1991 - 1992
Dolby B NRDolby C logoDolby SDolby HXPro3 HeadMetal Tape
Aiwa XK-S9000
Compact Cassette
  • Super Stabilized Tension Dual Capstan
  • SAMTS (Super Anti Modulation Tape Stabilizer)
  • Resonance Damping Wood Base
  • Manual Recording Calibration System
  • 18bit Linear Dual D/A Converter
  • Twin Transformer
  • Blank Tape Optimized Recording System
  • 8 Times Oversampling
  • 4 Motor
  • Head Stabilizer

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Aiwa XK-S9000
I own a XK-S9000, which I bought brand new in New York back in 1992. It worked fine (although not many hours) until 2006, when I started noticing some difference when clicking the source/tape button. It's a three-head deck, mind you. The left channel showed a higher volume in "tape" position than in "source" position. I cleaned the heads with alll the best fluids in the market, and finally sent it to Aiwa agent here in Rio de Janeiro. He re-aligned the heads and provided a pro-style maintenance...but the problem is still there, less annoying, it's true, but still there. Since it seems that I have to live with this, I decrease a little bit the recording volume of the left channel...and that's it, problem solved!
Other than this, this deck is a fantastic piece. The incoming sound ("source") from any CD is indistinguishable from the outgoing sound ("tape"), when Dolby S is used. The tape transport is flawlessw, with a dual capstan. And you can calibrate the deck for each type of tape, since it includes an array of little knobs to adjust the bias, recording equalization and tape sensitivity via a 400hz test-tone calibrator. In addition to that, it has a digital direct input (optical), switchable HX-Pro and a 18-bit linear dual D/A converter (no other deck has it). I would dare to say that the recorded sound is EVEN BETTER than the original CD. Of course, this very unlikely, but it is how it sounds to my ears. I've had all the high-praised Naks (CR-7, Dragon, CR-5 and so on), as well as Tandberg 3040, Denons, Teacs, Revox, Tascam, you name it - but the Aiwa XK-S9000 swallows them all at the breakfast, very easily and by a GREAT margin. There's nothing equal in the cassette deck domain, guys! And you better believe me!!!