Sony TC-600D

I wasn't sure where to place this deck in the timeline of my acquisitions of magnetic recording devices since it was in my life long before it was really "mine."

My dad purchased this deck, new, in about 1964. It is the first deck that I remember him having and it took up residence in our family room corner where he kept his other audio equipment including a Sansui 1000A receiver. I was allowed to use the deck and I did on occassion, recording music from the radio or copying vinyl using his turntable.

The photo to the right shows the deck as it is today. I even have the original reel clips.

The deck is a real tank. It weighs about 50 pounds and is a hybrid machine containing both tubes and transistors which was not uncommon at the time when tubes were being phased out. All the controls feel solid and the quality of the recordings were quite good. It came with microphones which my dad used to make family recordings, some of which I still have. Here is an excerpt:

Family recording, circa 1965

He used it to record TV shows on occassion including the "Lawrence Welk Show" as in this excerpt that included a breaking news story about the death of Eddie Cantor, from October 10, 1964. You can even hear my dad saying the date into the microphone.

Lawrence Welk Show excerpt

My dad was a fan of Richard Nixon and recorded this speech from KNX radio in which the president-elect announced his cabinet. This was recorded sometime between November 1968 and January 1969:

Nixon Speech

I used all the recorders at my disposal to tape music from local radio, primarily KHJ in those days. Here's "scoped" sample from the 1968.

Music and sports from KHJ

I used to listen to radio station KNAC (Long Beach, CA) quite a bit and tape whatever I found interesting and, even though I did have my Panasonic RS-760S, I used the Sony whenever I taped off the radio because my dad's Sansui was better than whatever I had at the time. In an attempt to be super edgy, in the fall of 1969 the station played a bootleg copy of an upcoming Beatles album titled "Get Back" which actually turned out to be the "Let It Be" album that wasn't released until May of 1970. The sound quality was really poor but it's the price one pays for getting a bootleg. They played this at midnight and, of course, I rolled tape.

Here is an excerpt from that recording which is followed by the announcer and then an ad for the upcoming Three Dog Night concert to be held New Year's Eve, December 31, 1969, a concert that I attended.

KNAC excerpt

The Deck Becomes Part of My System

My dad decided to upgrade his system with an Akai GX-4000D and gave me the Sony TC-600D. This was in about 1978, the date determined by this photo to the left which shows it as part of my system in an apartment I rented on Stanley Avenue. It shows up in a similar photo in a duplex I rented on Bennett Ave. in 1978, again at the same place in 1979, but was missing in 1981. In that image it was replaced by my Panasonic RS-760S which I had pressed back into service, probably to transfer some radio programs at 1-7/8 i.p.s. Also in that photo is my dad's Akai GX-4000D which I had for some reason.

The Deck Today

It appears that I retired the deck in the early 1980s. At some point, using lumber leftover from from a kitchen remodel, I built a box for it to keep it safe and free from dust. It made the move to Montana in 1991 and has been stored here since then. I know it will need work before it plays again but I have no doubts that it won't take much to get it going again.

When I dug through my trove of reel parts I found this collection that came with the deck. The parts list indicates it's for a TC-500. Hmmm, might be close enough.

Review of the TC-600

Note that this is the 600 not the 600D, the latter which does not have an internal amplifier and speakers.

TC-600 Review, Page 1

TC-600 Review, Page 2

Click on an image to enlarge it.

Updated November 2020.