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Lafayette RK84 4 channel 8 track deck finally working right.

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Xdevo1973

Active Member
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
91
Location
New Jersey
Well this has been an odyssey. I've owned this 8 track player for a number of years and it never worked right: channels going in and out, poor speed control, slipping belts, channels hissing, you name it. Well, I finally dug into it and replaced all of the caps-that improved things dramatically but I still had a problem with a channel going in and out. It turned out to be a flaky opamp IC that I was able to order new on Ebay believe it or not. No matter what I did, I couldn't overcome wow and flutter, especially with quad 8 tracks which are obviously longer in length. New belts didn't help, neither did cleaning the capstan or roughing it up, etc. It turns out that Lafayette used 3 different motors in this unit until they finally got it right. I just scored a parts unit and swapped out the motor for the third time. Now it sounds great! It is interesting to note that this unit was most likely built during a very narrow window of time-most likely from 1972 to 73. It is interesting that there were three different motors used. Apparently the third one is a charm. I understand that there's the wow and flutter problem with 8 track tapes in general, but they played without a problem in my 2 channel 8 track players, so I knew the problem wasn't with the actual tapes. The only reason I stuck with this unit is that I like the actual look of it-that Lafayette aluminum/black combination with the metal wood grain case. It's all metal and doesn't look cheesy like many of the quad 8 track decks. I'm glad I can finally enjoy it.
 

tonesteroc

New member
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
2
Location
NYC
20191228_233845~01.jpg
hello. I'm new on this forum. I also have two of these. I haven't ordered belts, they were missing. Do you know off hand the size of your belt? thanks and enjoy.
 

quadsearcher

800 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Nov 8, 2010
Messages
851
I'm not the OP, and it is not my deck in the 2018 photo, but are you sure the belts are missing? They would be found on the opposite side of the plate that the motor is mounted upon. Interesting that one of the decks has the upper capstan bearing, and the other does not.
 

tonesteroc

New member
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
2
Location
NYC
hello not to hijack the post, I took them out years ago and misplaced them. hehe. I measured with 1/4" painters tape at 12-3/8". If Xdevo1973 is around, maybe he/she could chime in with the proper size. I'm going to try the closest I could find on turntablesneedles.com (12.1"). I also wonder which to tackle first, maybe one has the better motor that Xdevo1973 has.
 


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