Aiwa AD-S950 Tape Deck

Aiwa AD-S950 Tape Deck


One of the last great tape decks ever made. Launched in 1993, the Aiwa AD-S950 Tape Deck was a fully featured 3 head machine featuring the then lastest Dolby S technology. Aiwa by that time had become a subsidiary of Sony and a lot of the circuitry and components were derived from Sony.

Retailing at a modest £300, the Aiwa AD-S950 Tape Deck received rave reviews and some felt it was only bettered by more expensive Nakamichi units costing twice as much. I managed to purchase one from Richer Sounds in Newcastle for the extremely modest price of £199.

As expected the Aiwa AD-S950 Tape Deck makes the best recordings with Metal type IV cassettes. I have never been a great fan of Type II Chrome type tapes, Type III was slightly better but had all but disappeared by the early nineties. I personally found with this machine that if you did not use type IV metal tapes, then TDK's type I AD-S was the best alternative. People use to rave about TDK's SA range of type II chrome cassettes, but i never liked the sound they produced as it jut did not sound natural enough.

When using a good quality type IV tape and Dolby S, the Aiwa AD-S950 Tape Deck really does reproduce a faithful dynamic recording of any CD source with very little background hiss. It was this ability with the minimum of set up that made the Aiwa AD-S950 Tape Deck stand out from the crowd. It has a wonderful 3 head transport mechanism, an excellent display and a sensible host of features with a remote control to boot.

Sadly the Aiwa AD-S950 Tape Deck is hardly ever used these days and is packed up in its original box. As a technology cassette has had it's day, CD recording is so much easier and cheaper but the Aiwa AD-S950 Tape Deck really did do the format justice in it's latter years. The only reason I have kept it is because the Aiwa AD-S950 Tape Deck is just too good to be auctioned on Ebay. The last one I saw auctioned fetched only £10.50 !

The Aiwa AD-S950 Tape Deck is worth so much more than that.

This entry was posted on Saturday December 16th, 2006 at 12:07 PM and is filed under Tape. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response.

3 Responses to Aiwa AD-S950 Tape Deck

Jerry Says:
September 24th, 2007 at 1:07 AM


I recently reacquired ad-s950 (what was I thinking selling it off?)
but this one doesn't have a manual, and I can't for the life of me
remember how to do the tape calibration--that is the auto-thing
that zips forward, tests the tape and rewinds.

Could you set me straight on this one?


Jerry B.

PS: Don't sell your deck. It will haunt you later in life.

Erik Says:
October 10th, 2007 at 7:52 AM

I bought a s950 to replace my ad -f810 and to see what the difference is inside the machines. That was not much, except from the 2 huge vertical mounted decode/encode Dolby S boards, the used IC's / opamps / switchIC's were almost the same. The initial sound was worse than my allready upgrated f810, so it was time to put the Weller into use. I bought a repair manual on internet to see what i could change. The playbackhead signal amplifier IC101 "nmj2068dd" is a good one and i could not find a replacement. I changed decoupling elco's C127/C129 & C128/C130 for 2 Blackgate 4,7 microFarad nonpolar. I removed muting transistors Q251/252/253. I also cut off the signal to the headphone-amp IC881"nmj4558l". I only want to use the s950 for playback - it's 2007 - so i removed the Dolby S boards from their connectors. The AD-f810 uses seperate non shielded cables from the playbackhead, which i liked, it gives a better sound than the cheap shielded ones (capacity build up between signal and shield wire). The S950 has those shielded ones so i changed it for signal wires from a old turntable. The result == clean, vibrant, rich, musical sound ! I'm still wondering what a Nakamichi looks like on the inside and why companies cut on their buget and use cheap elco's in the signal path, etc. It doesn't cost much more and the result is that you sell (sold) more decks ! Thank's for reading this, regards Erik (Netherlands)

Paluse Says:
July 24th, 2009 at 9:55 AM

Hello, well... yesterday i get one of these for 10 Euros at Cash Converters in Alfragide, Portugal, EU, Europe! It dont have the transport working, the two belts were out of place, but after i disassemble the transport block and clean the fly wheels, belts, and the hub drive rubber wheel, it works. The heads, capstan, and pinch rollers were full of sh...!Light brown oxide residue, cheap cassette tape, and careless use! After full cleaning and demag, this guy starts singing. No remote, but never the less, a good buy!
My main deck is Nak CR-4 heavily tweaked, and its from another league, specially the transport, chassis, power supply and the sound!



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