- Question for Axel (Sony Falcon) (12)last updated by Sergey1977 - 15/07/2012, 23H11
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Even less remembered than the Precise P7 system, the Falcon system made somewhat swift appearances in the catalogs here and there, only to vanish just as rapidly.
The Falcon systems were made to celebrate Sony's adventure into the leasing of Falcon jet planes which started in 1977.
Fairly traditional by their width and technologies, the Falcons were planned with a lineup complete enough to satisfy every possible customer - every possible customer in the universe that is.
The individual components are, all markets :
TAN-15F : Class A power amp
TAE-20F : MM/MC preamplifier
TC-15F : k7 recorder (low)
TC-20F : k7 recorder (high)
ST-10F : am/fm tuner
ST-20F : am/fm digital tuner
PS-10F : turntable (low)
PS-20F : turntable (high)
SA-10F : active 'speaker
SA-20F : active / passive 'speaker
VC-20 : MC cartridge
WS-32 : SA-xF stands
SU-10 : rack (small)
SU-750 : rack (tall)
SU-770 : rack (library)
SU-760 : rack (horizontal)
And, only in Japan :
TAE-10F : preamp with mix/reverb
ST-5F : am/fm tuner
PS-5F : turntable
SA-5F : active 'speaker (sans leaf tweeter)
Since all export units were available either in silver (F) or bronze (FB), this already made crazy cost-multiplications. But product planning went further into madness as each Falcon component was produced in up to six different versions with differences in finish (scipting, surrounds color & texture) or even circuit !
Two examples :
The export-only TAN-15F saw three versions, none of which corresponds entirely to the single service manual printed : actual ICs and cabling differ !
The TAE-20F has two versions, one with custom terminals to feed the SA-10F with one cable carrying the L/R & AC lines, the other doesn't have the terminals but was built... in a different Sony factory !
Multiplication-wise, only Luxman did better (world record, hands down) but, for Sony, the multiplication of the little Falcons was a first and it remains to this day as the absolute record.
Rather strangely, the Falcon systems were dubbed "Avatar" in the USA and "System 20" in Canada. GG is the original japanese name, Falcon being the original japanese nickname.
The Falcons were just as expensive as a jet plane : up to 250,000¥ for a GG-20FB with its SU-760 rack !
The finish quality remains truly excellent for the main top units : thick slab of aluminium making the one-piece top and front, perfect anodization, chiseled design - Sony as usual.
But I understand why these are so rare : compact never did rhyme well with high prices.
Anyway - if the Falcon systems didn't sell well, they were a preview what hi-fi would be for most very quickly. I guess that, by trial and error process, the Falcon production also taught Sony how to properly make the ultimate and worldwide bestseller compact system : the 1982 FH-7.