Originally Web posted Wednesday, 26 June 2013.
Content last modified Wednesday, 26 June 2013 .

Audiopak AA-3

Like other AA-type carts, Audiopak AA-3 carts have the tape exit the center hub away from the heads

As you can probably guess from the model number, this is Audiopak’s NAB AA cart. They “lost” the brake, and replaced it with a brake pad on the left side (yes, another foam pad to wear out & get gooey). Pads are wider and will interchange with A-2s, but A-2 bodies with AA-3 pads are difficult to reassemble. Plan on stocking A-2 pads for both. Front pads are essential, the side pad highly desirable. Hubs are interchangeable with A-2s, covers are only partially: AA-3 covers will work on A-2 bases, but not vice-versa.

There are 7 pieces of a disassembled Audiopak AA-3 cart

A massive quantity of AA-3s was donated by KYUU around late ’82-early ’83 (if memory serves—check the files if you really want to know), most of which were clean and worked right out of the box! Most Audiopak AA-3s have a blue lower shell, but they come in other colors.

The same hinge rules as for the A-2 apply. As the tape exits the pack, it is supposed to be guided by the 45° nose-like protrusion in the top shell, however i have never encountered any grief by allowing the tape to run beneath. Although the pads seem to slightly outlast Fidelipac pads, the poor startup characteristics of Audiopacs drop them to an even level with the equivalent Fidelipac models, in this reviewer’s opinion.

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