Originally Posted by guillaume3
You might have some difficulty attracting members to this section, because there were 2 different Nakamichi companies. The original one built high-end audio equipment, was very elitist, and stopped production in the early 1990s. The second one is more of an entry-level, average equipment manufacturer, and shares nothing of the 1st company's technology or reputation, except for its logo. The machine you got is pre-1990 and was a superb (and pricey) unit when it first came out. These machines sounded so good, they retained their value pretty well, especially the cassette decks and the power amps (and for a few lucky ones, the turntables). All you have to do is look at eBay and see how much people still get for a Dragon or a PA. To me (and for the money), it is hard to beat an old Nak.
From what I have found in my research of the company and my unit, the old company declared bankruptcy in 2002. They produced high-end equipment all through the 90s, mostly receivers carrying the "Harmonic Time Alignment" technology that was the replacement for the "Stasis" technology from Nelson Pass and Pass Labs that they could no longer use when the agreement ran out in the early years of the 90s. It appears they largely failed because they couldn't keep up with the changing times, i.e. the surround sound and digital era, as well as losing some of their high end reputation that came with using Stasis technology. Their CD players, maybe with the exception of the cool and beastly Dragon which was still too expensive for most, never really caught on and seem to have had a lot of mechanical problems with their door mechanisms.
My unit, from everything I have looked at, appears to have been made in 1992 and retailed for $650 (~$1100 in today's dollars). The "Harmonic Time Alignment" series was around until the very end, including the AV series and (I believe) ending with the RE-10, which boasted 100 watts/channel in stereo.
Since then, yes, Nakamichi has reorganized and is nothing like it was before 2002. It has gone the way of Sansui and Akai (although they had a longer decline), which are owned by the same holding company coincidentally. I will be including "vintage" in the title of the thread to differentiate them.
As far as their value, the Stasis stuff has largely retained its value, especially the power amplifiers and the best of the receivers. Their high-end cassette decks (especially the Dragon), Dragon CD players and turntables are generally mega-expensive (and very cool). However, even the best of the receivers and amplifiers largely aren't fetching the prices that the high-end vintage Marantz or Pioneer get, as there is not the large dedicated following for Nakamichi as those two companies have in the used market pushing the prices up. The Harmonic Time Alignment series seems to be slipping through the cracks at the moment, which is how I picked up my RE-2 for $58. Even the mammoth RE-10 is only selling for ~$150 at the moment (one sold yesterday in mint condition for $120; I would have bought it if it had stayed below $100). Is the HTA series as good as the previous SR or TA series? Maybe, maybe not, but it sounds damn good and suits my needs.
That's what I have seen in my research, so anyone can feel free to correct me. Despite Nakamichi's downfall, the good times are still rolling with my unit.