Sony PS-B80

1 9 7 8 november 1978
1 9 8 2 1982

Here is a really complex beast - more of a showpiece than anything expected to sell. And given the price that was asked, Sony indeed didn't sell that many.

However, the PS-B80 was to embody the future of LP replay... if that format had had a future beyond 1983.

Using the PS-B80 is a true joy : the ECT tonearm does wonders and so does the VFB system, the electronic stylus force control, the X-Tal lock, the Magnedisc servo control (barium-ferrite imprint read by a magnetic head), the electronic tonearm damping and even the included stylus cleaner.

Today, only one problem can arise : if the electronics go haywire... you're cooked. Some units still function fine, some don't and there is no way to tell if a PS-B80 will go crazy or not. A fate which befalls all electronica-filled components, Sony or not.
The inside is filled with boards and very abundant wiring ; big motor, big heatsinks, all-metal mechanism and huge SBMC non-resonant composite base.

The PS-B80 was however a grand engineering feat when developed in '77 and '78 which paved the way for all later "sensing" or "active" tonearms from JVC, Yamaha or Denon.

Its smaller, later siblings (PS-X600, PS-X700, PS-X75 and PS-X800) made and still make many music listeners very happy.

Sony PS-B80, image 1 Sony PS-B80, image 2 Sony PS-B80, image 3 Sony PS-B80, image 4
Sony PS-B80 specifications
Title Value
Speed accuracy : ± 0,002%
Wow & flutter : 0,02% (WRMS)
S/N ratio : 78dB (DIN-B)
Platter : 32cm / 2,2kg
Speeds : 33 1/3 & 45rpm
Startup time : 1/4 rotation
Tonearm balance : static
Tonearm length : 32,5cm
Tonearm effective length : 23,5cm
Overhang : 14mm
Stylus force : 0,5...3g
Anti-skating : 0,5...3g
Cartridge/headshell : 12...23g or 23...34g
Cable output capacitance : 45 pF/m
Dimensions : 50 x 17,5 x 43cm
Weight : 15kg.
List price : 200,000¥ (1978)
> electronic tonearm with Velocity Feedback
> electronic stylus force with digital LED readout
> automatic eelectronic anti-skating compensation
> automatic tonearm balancing
> electronic tonearm damping
> automatic record-size sensing
> automatic shutoff at end of side
> Litz-wire tonearm leads
> gold-plating at all contact points
> brushless-slotless BSL direct-drive motor
> Magnedisc servo control with multi-pole pickup head
> Quartz X-Tal Lock speed reference
> non-resonant SBMC cabinet
> Fluid-filled platform insulators
> Zinc diecast tonearm base
> built-in stylus cleaner
> memory control indexes tonearm to pre-assigned spot
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page online since : april 2007
page updated : march 2010
page type : LGT / KNB
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