Harman Kardon CD491 3-Head Cassette Tape Deck Working! All photos are the actual item. Pictures are part of the description. Look at all the pictures.
This was Harman Kardons Nakamichi Killer, based on the same Sankyo dual-motor, dual-capstan, direct drive transport and (at least on paper) a head/electronic back end hitting 20hz-24khz on Type I and II and 20hz to 26khz on Type IV (+/- 3db) (per the specs in the owners manual). Harman/Kardon never made a better deck.
Its possible that no one made a better deck. Ive actually used it for its intended purpose! All transport control button covers are present. Which is a good thing - because these frequently are missing on CD491s and cannot be replaced. All meter and front panel element LEDs work.This deck has a fantastic green-yellow-red display. I dont have the instrumentation to check meter calibration, but it looks about right. Sound is continuous, and levels look stable. Transport controls and control logic work. Does not seem to have any control motor dead spots. Reel motor and FF/RW idler work well (I replaced the tire about a year ago with a Nakamichi one). Plays and records without skewing or chewing tapes.
Recorded cassettes sound good when played on my other CD491 (my other unit was cleaned and calibrated this year, so it is a good judge of recording quality). Pinch roller is in decent shape. You can judge yourself from the circuit board pictures, but Im not seeing any obviously bad capacitors. Tape well backlight burned out sorry. This is a minor repair, though.
There is a small amount of haze near the bottom edge of the meter window (between the counter and the meter). It does not obscure any of the lit elements, and it is visible only when running the unit in very low light. See picture with lit meter in very low light. No representations on the calibration tones (bias or record cal).They look like they are generally working, but its better to bias by ear and set levels using off-the-tape metering. I have no idea whether the mic jacks work - I dont have a mic that fits. 3-head decks have tons of calibrations (a CD491, for example, has a master fader and individual L/R level controls, as well as a calibration for getting the input meter reading to match the off tape meter reading). If you have OCD, I would not recommend 3-head decks.
Too many things going on. CD491s are jam-packed with electronics and have huge, warm-running transformers (check out the gorilla-fist-sized power supply). They cannot be used in closed cabinets with no ventilation - unless you want to cook your tapes and shorten component life. Please note that even though there is popular lore about retrofitting a Nak gear idler (if for some reason 20 years of rubber life are not enough - and you like noisy gear drives), the CD491 uses a sensor wheel on the motor that prevents the Nakamichi part from fitting. As a warning, use only high-quality tapes in a dual-capstan deck.
Cheap cassettes or ones in poor condition could easily get destroyed. Dual-capstan decks are designed for ultimate sound quality, not ultimate fault tolerance. All pictures are part of the description.
_gsrx_vers_856 GS 7.0.20 (856). The item "Harman Kardon CD491 3-Head Cassette Tape Deck Working! Harman/Kardon" is in sale since Saturday, November 14, 2020. This item is in the category "Consumer Electronics\TV, Video & Home Audio\Home Audio\Home Audio Components\Cassette Tape Decks".The seller is "cadillac1701" and is located in Detroit, Michigan. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Japan, Sweden, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, South africa, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Bahamas, Israel, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, Norway, Saudi arabia, Ukraine, United arab emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Croatia, Malaysia, Barbados, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Brunei darussalam, Bolivia, Egypt, French guiana, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Jersey, Jordan, Cambodia, Cayman islands, Liechtenstein, Sri lanka, Luxembourg, Monaco, Macao, Martinique, Maldives, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Reunion, Uruguay, Philippines, Antigua and barbuda, Aruba, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Saint kitts and nevis, Saint lucia, Montserrat, Turks and caicos islands.