Sony Tape Decks

Published: July 15, 2021
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In 1950, Sony launched Japan's first G-type tape recorder and "Soni-Tape" magnetic tape. Shortly after, the use of reel-to-reel tape recorders proliferated from government offices to schools, broadcast stations and private homes. In the 1950s, stereophonic sound and transistor technology were developed and commercialized. Norio Ohga, section manager of the Tape Recorder Division, began the push to make reel-to-reel tape recorders easier to use in the 1960s. In 1964, the TC-357, known as the "SONY-O-MATIC Seven," was fitted with a fully automatic recording level control function. The TC-357 afforded simple and automatic operation thanks to its escalate drive mechanism. At the same time, however, Ohga began to think that the reel-to-reel system had limitations.

Tape decks

Looking further ahead, the 1958 launch of tape cartridges by RCA spurred companies worldwide into developing tape cartridges, cassettes and "magazine tapes" under various names and based on different standards.

At first, cassette tape recorders could not match the sound quality of reel-to-reel recorders and were mainly used as study aids and for general-purpose recording. However, technology was soon developed that allowed high quality recording and playback of music. Radio cassette tape recorders and other such products were launched, and the compact cassette tape became a widely used medium for the listening of music.

One day in September 1963, at the opening of the Berlin IFA Exhibition, Fredrich Lachner of the German company Grundig proposed to Ohga that the two companies cooperate in developing a DC International Standard for cassette tapes, a standard conceived by three German manufacturers. While Ohga considered this possibility, another proposal came from Wisse Dekker, manager of the Philips Electronics Far East Division and later president, and L.F. Ottens, a technical expert also from Philips. They came to Japan and proposed the co-development of the compact cassette to Ohga. Philips had already developed a compact cassette in 1963. The advantages of both the Grundig and Philips formats were weighed and considered. In the end, Ohga chose the Philips compact cassette because of its smaller size.

The compact cassette developed into a successful worldwide standard, living up to the expectations of Philips and Ohga. However, while regarding Ohga as a crucial partner in the success, Philips viewed him as someone who had caused them to lose a potential fortune in royalties.

High-end Sony decks

Popular and top of the line Sony tape decks are:

  • Sony TC-K777ES
  • Sony TC-K808ES
  • Sony TC-K990ES
  • Sony TC-K950ES
  • Sony TC-K60
  • Sony TC-K970es
  • Sony TC-KA3ES

Browse other Sony cassette players

WalkmanTPS-L2 WalkmanWM-10 WalkmanTC-KA3ES deckBoodo Khan

Sony Tape Decks value and price guide

What's your Sony tape decks worth in 2021? Here are some recently sold items with prices.

Item Title Date Price
Sony Sony Superscope TC 850 2 Track Sony Superscope TC 850 2 Track Stereo 06/2021 $ 1 700.39
Sony Sony DTC 77ES Digital Audio Sony DTC 77ES Digital Audio Tape Deck 08/2021 $ 1 422.06
Sony Sony TC 177SD Stereo Cassette Sony TC 177SD Stereo Cassette Corder 3 07/2021 $ 1 413.58
Sony Sony DTC 77ES Digital Audio Sony DTC 77ES Digital Audio Tape Deck 08/2021 $ 1 039.70
no pictureSee all sold items on eBay for more prices12/2021-.--

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