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AKAI AS-1080DB/980 quad receivers- any good? looks pretty

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8trackman

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2010
Messages
212
are these units any good? AKAI seems to get little love in this forum (unless its the fabled quad 8 track unit)

my heart is set on sansui but I dont see why I cant have more then one receiver (not the best logic oh well)

heres a pic of the AS-1080DB


and of the AS-980


thanks again

Colin
 

Q-Eight

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Sep 30, 2003
Messages
3,112
Location
Castlegar, BC, Canada
I want a 980. It looks even MORE impressive than my Pioneer 9900. Plus, the onboard Cd-4 means I can get rid of another demodulator. (I've upgraded and sold off several in the past)
 

spenceo

400 Club - QQ All-Star
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Dec 6, 2003
Messages
413
Location
Ohio
Colin,

Yea , I have and use both of these and just love them. Of course I'm biased because both of these unit have been around for most of my life. The 980 was my Fathers and the 1080DB my Uncles. I first had the 980 opened up for repairs when I was 12 years old. Enough about me, the Akai unit sound great (IMHO)!! Big power and the bass just pours out of them. And while I've had to repair them on occasion (they are 35 years old), Both these units have been remarkably reliable. Your right, Akai doesn't get a lot of love around here, Sansui always steels the show. But I will always wave the Akai flag high and proud!!

Spence

P.S. If your interested in any specs on either of these or have any other questions, feel free to ask. I have any and all info on these two units.
 

segacd

Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2010
Messages
12
Location
Illinois, USA
Sorry to revive an older thread, but I like to throw in that I have been an owner of an Akai AS-980 for a few years now and a few of my experiences for anyone who is slightly interested in this little known receiver.

I bought on Ebay a few years back for ~$100 (that includes shipping) as non-working and as-is. I was looking for a good receiver that I could connect a bunch of stuff to without having to by a bunch of decoders and other things. The Akai seemed to be it so I took the risk. It was well worth it. It turned out all it was was some dirty fuse connectors on the back. Some buttons are still dirty which kind of stinks. I really don't want to rip this apart to clean the knobs since it works so well. Also, watch out for the proprietary speaker plugs on the back. Luckily, Pioneer still sells them (or did sell them back in 2008.)

I love the receiver. I've been through quite a few receivers, both stereo and quad, but the Akai has always come out on top. Its always sounded very, very warm even compared to my good, old SX-3800. Its a pleasure to listen to anything from classical to techno/pop music. I always run it with the loudness on (don't we all?) but at that point, everything is perfect. No need to mess with any other tone controls. Plenty of power. I can crank it up till my ears hurt and the walls resonate through all four speakers and still no distortion. I still haven't encountered any distortion. I need a much bigger room to put it in... ;)

The lights started to go on me so I replaced all of them (except for the meter lights) with LEDs. The front panel doesn't run so hot anymore. While doing that, I accidentally shorted out the rectifier circuit for the meters, but luckily Akai seemed to place everything so that it is decently accessible and I fixed it with Radio Shack parts. Plenty of wires inside and looks quite intimidating, but unless you want to remove all the knobs from the front panel, everything is positioned quite well for service.

The matrix setting on it is amazing IMO. I'm not a pro on quad decoders like some people on here, but compared to other receivers I've tried, I have never heard such discrete sounds out of stereo material. My Dolby Surround doesn't even sound so discrete (Its just that artificial delay that makes it sound like it is!) SQ decoding is decent...I suppose... Front left/right information and rear left/right information always seem to blend into the sides, but I think that is how it is on basically every non-Tate device. :rolleyes: CD-4 works well. I have a few problems with channel separation, but that is probably because I'm using a Grado turntable cartridge that is non-Shibata and a turntable that doesn't seem to have flattest azimuth in the world. I've heard though that it works really well though if properly set up (I'm planning on doing that as soon as I have the money to buy a linear tracking turntable and Shibata stylus.) The FM section is quite strong especially after some tweaking. The AM reception seems to have some sort of muting feature that is pretty cool; It seems to squelch frequencies without a station. None of my other (non-digital) receivers do that...

So I use the AS-980 as my main receiver. I route all my music, TV shows, and usually movies through it and have never once thought twice about it. The fact that one has four full range speakers connected basically solves the lack of a subwoofer. All in all, the AS-980 is a great purchase as quad/stereo unit for a starter or obsessive quaddie. I'm sure the AS-1080db is similar.
 
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8trackman

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2010
Messages
212
thanks for the reply, does the 980 receiver have a quad controller unit capability?

if so what does it look like? I have a Technics sh 1010 quad control remote, and I am wondering if they are compatible?

it has 5 prongs and looks almost like a remote jack
 

segacd

Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2010
Messages
12
Location
Illinois, USA
Yes. It does have a port for a remote controller. The socket is on the front, under the volume knob (You can see the socket and the button to enable it on your photo.)

I don't own one but it goes under the name Akai RC-4. There seems to be a compatible and more common Marantz branded version under the same model number. The socket is a standard 8-pin DIN so your Technics remote wouldn't work. :(

FYI, if the "remote enable" switch becomes dirty....its by far the worst switch to get dirty! I've had all the channels drop out because of it and I've had to fiddle with it for like 15 minutes just to get them back. (I used to have a piece of tape holding the button slightly down which helped, but its gotten a little better recently so I removed it. ;) )

EDIT: Also, I forgot to add this in my previous post. The tape monitors are a little odd. Tape 1 is stereo only (AKA made for cassette tapes.) Tape 2 is stereo or quad so that if you have the decoding mode knob set to stereo, the front channels are duplicated out the rear, and in 4ch discrete mode, it is, obviously, in four channel discrete. Here is the weird part. Tape 3 is QUAD ONLY. When the decoding mode switch is set to stereo or any other selection, it still outputs in discrete 4ch mode! So you'd want that connected to a reel-to-reel or 8track player that repeats the front channels to the rear when playing a 2ch tape. In terms of dubbing, tape 3 has precedence of tape 2 and tape 2 over tape 1. There is no way to change that. There are also "dub" sockets on the front that are automatically enabled when you plug something into them and have priority over all 3 tape monitors, but I never have really tried them. When recording to tape 3, oddly enough, it receives ALL tone adjustments and decoding output! So it is great for archiving quad records/tapes/etc. Hook it up to your computer for an easy way for archiving any quad format digitally!

Also, the display on the AS-980 is set on black. The lights are mostly blue (tuning dial and meters) while the mode selection lights alternate between orange and blue for whatever reason. It looks good though! ;)
 
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jsrstereo

Senior Member
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
214
Location
oklahoma city
thanks for the reply, does the 980 receiver have a quad controller unit capability?

if so what does it look like? I have a Technics sh 1010 quad control remote, and I am wondering if they are compatible?

it has 5 prongs and looks almost like a remote jack
Hey 8trackman: if ever you feel ready to part with your SH-1010 remote, let me know - we'll work something out.

John R
 

mtgc

600 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Mar 3, 2004
Messages
669
Location
Cedartown, Georgia
Here is what I have been able to find out. Not sure is this is good info or not, so take it with a grain of salt:

Information & Specifications Year: 1973 -1976 Wattage: 32x4 ch, 60x2 ch Built-IN quadraphonic decoding systems: SQ (front-back logic), RM (regular matrix), CD-4 Speaker zones:3 (A,B,C) (Available combination: A,B,C,A+B,A+C,OFF) Other: Low filter, high filter, separate front and back tone controls, optional wired remote (controlled balance and volume), 4 ch FM out

MTGC
Michael
 

8trackman

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2010
Messages
212
jsrstereo- I am keeping the sh-1010 for now, theres a guy on the forum who I am hoping will sell his sa 6700x

here are pictures that show the 980 from behind







 

eyg2181

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
238
Location
Levittown, PA/Pottsville, PA
WOW! lots of ins and outs on this baby! whats FM 4 CH out?? theres only one jack for it??? is it like, the vintage version of the orange coaxil digital audio out that we have today?
 

sub006

New member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
1
I bought an AS 1080DB new around 1976, six or seven hundred dollars as a replacement for a quad Marantz. Today it's on a shelf somewhere in the garage! It was a good performer back in the day, I had 10" oak JBLs in front and 8" matching units in the back. The joystick speaker control was lots of fun, especially with psychedelic music, movie sound tracks and event sounds like auto races.

The VU meters WERE troublesome, and the occasional light bulb would burn out. Before retiring it and going into low-fi video, I had it hooked up through an Audio/Pulse Model One time delay unit with some additional small Radio Shack metal speakers to create catherdral sound in a small living room.

I'm kind of spoiled now by remotes that adjust everything from your chair, rather than getting up and siting back down several times to dial in settings for a particular performance.
 
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Quadgreg

New member
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Messages
6
Colin,

Yea , I have and use both of these and just love them. Of course I'm biased because both of these unit have been around for most of my life. The 980 was my Fathers and the 1080DB my Uncles. I first had the 980 opened up for repairs when I was 12 years old. Enough about me, the Akai unit sound great (IMHO)!! Big power and the bass just pours out of them. And while I've had to repair them on occasion (they are 35 years old), Both these units have been remarkably reliable. Your right, Akai doesn't get a lot of love around here, Sansui always steels the show. But I will always wave the Akai flag high and proud!!

Spence

P.S. If your interested in any specs on either of these or have any other questions, feel free to ask. I have any and all info on these two units.
Do you have the service and operators manual? I just picked 980 up. Greg
 

zaccarezi

New member
Joined
Aug 5, 2016
Messages
1
Colin,

Yea , I have and use both of these and just love them. Of course I'm biased because both of these unit have been around for most of my life. The 980 was my Fathers and the 1080DB my Uncles. I first had the 980 opened up for repairs when I was 12 years old. Enough about me, the Akai unit sound great (IMHO)!! Big power and the bass just pours out of them. And while I've had to repair them on occasion (they are 35 years old), Both these units have been remarkably reliable. Your right, Akai doesn't get a lot of love around here, Sansui always steels the show. But I will always wave the Akai flag high and proud!!

Spence

P.S. If your interested in any specs on either of these or have any other questions, feel free to ask. I have any and all info on these two units.
Hi. I'm Brazilian, I bought an Akai AS-980 and I need to restore it. My Akai AS-980 is without the cover, I would like to know details (photos, millimeter measurements and etc.), and on the finish of that cover, the coating is a vinyl sticker imitating wood?
I will have to check the audio outputs (2 FET transistors are missing), the VU's do not turn on and the VU's of audio indication are not moving.
Other equipment I would not have bought, but I always wanted to have this Akai AS-980 and so I am facing the challenge of restoring.
Thank you for your attention, my friend.
 

Bill West

New member
Joined
Mar 13, 2010
Messages
2
I bought an AS 1080DB new around 1976, six or seven hundred dollars as a replacement for a quad Marantz. Today it's on a shelf somewhere in the garage! It was a good performer back in the day, I had 10" oak JBLs in front and 8" matching units in the back. The joystick speaker control was lots of fun, especially with psychedelic music, movie sound tracks and event sounds like auto races.

The VU meters WERE troublesome, and the occasional light bulb would burn out. Before retiring it and going into low-fi video, I had it hooked up through an Audio/Pulse Model One time delay unit with some additional small Radio Shack metal speakers to create catherdral sound in a small living room.

I'm kind of spoiled now by remotes that adjust everything from your chair, rather than getting up and siting back down several times to dial in settings for a particular performance.
Hey guy, I’d be happy to buy that akai 1080db from you, if you still have it, on that old dusty shelf in the garage !!!
 
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