Published: July 15, 2021

The Sony TC-KA3ES is a stereo tape deck with Dolby B/C/S and HX-Pro noise reduction, it was first sold by Sony in 1995 with a suggested retail price of USD $800 -almost $1400 in today's money (2021), and discontinued 4 years later in 2000. This is a true audiophile three-head, three motor cassette deck with Dolby B, C and S noise reduction, and manual adjustments for tape bias and equalization. Built like a tank. Bias, Dolby level and Record Equalization adjustable. Excellent sound. Better than 99% of tape decks in the extreme-low frequencies. Equivalent to Nakamichi decks in the high frequencies. The Dolby S is really a plus: very low noise, and a less "steril" sound compared to Dolby C.


The main features of the TC-KA3ES are: 3 heads and off-tape monitoring, digital linear tape counter with 4 digits and memory stop, automatic tape type selection and capable of handling normal, chrome and metal tapes, dual capstan transport.

Typical front loading cassette deck with the cassette compartiment located on the center of the deck. Tape loading/unloading is operated motorized and the cassette needs to be placed with the side to be played facing forward in the cassette well.

Level meters used on the Sony TC-KA3ES are generic digital peak reading meters with multi-color indication to provide visual saturation level of tape. Full-logic transport controls used on this deck let it respond to the slightest finger contact for fast and effortless transport function selection.


  • Year: 1995
  • Type: 3-head, single compact cassette deck
  • Track System: 4-track, 2-channel stereo
  • Tape Speed: 4.8 cm/s
  • Heads: 1 x combination record/playback, 1 x erase
  • Motor: 1 x reel, 1 x capstan, 1 x assist
  • Tape Type: type I, CrO2, Metal
  • Noise Reduction: B, C, S
  • Headroom Extension: HX Pro
  • Frequency Response: 15Hz to 22kHz (Metal tape)
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 85dB (dolby S)
  • Wow and Flutter: 0.04%
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: 1.3%
  • Input: 160mV (line)
  • Output: 0.5V (line)
  • Dimensions: 430 x 135 x 360mm
  • Weight: 7.6kg
  • Accessories: optional remote control


// repair service manual //

Want a copy of the service manual?
Download here the Sony TC-KA3ES service manual (PDF).

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Sony TC-KA3ES value and price guide

What's your Sony TC-KA3ES worth in 2021? Here are some recently sold items.

Item Title Date Price
Sony SONY TC KA3ES Cassette Deck 4 SONY TC KA3ES Cassette Deck 4 Track 2 05/2021 $ 1 061.98
Sony Sony TC KA3ES Cassette Deck Sony TC KA3ES Cassette Deck Black 4 05/2021 $ 932.20
Sony SONY TC KA3ES 3 head cassette SONY TC KA3ES 3 Head Cassette Deck 05/2021 $ 765.56
Sony Sony TC KA3ES 3 Head Stereo Sony TC KA3ES 3 Head Stereo Cassette 05/2021 $ 471.99
Sony Repair for Parts SONY TC KA3ES Repair For Parts SONY TC KA3ES Stereo 05/2021 $ 29.50
no pictureSee all sold items on eBay for more prices07/2021-.--

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