Sony TC-399

1 9 7 8 1978
1 9 8 2

Sony's other Volks-RtR.

Not a supersonic masterpiece but, superceding the TC-377 and TC-378 old timers, the TC-399 was the last of the Mohicans but outside Japan-only : this was an export item for those who weren't hot on the TC-D5 or the EL-D8 and/or those willing to buy in 1979 a black-repackaged TC-366 recoder originally developed in... 1969.

The drive is more or less equivalent to the aforementionned TC-377 or TC-378 - more more than less that is.

Simple and reliable recorder with contoured F&F heads, VU meteres with an added peak LED, mic/line mixing, bias & eq settings and a DC playback amplifier.
And then some : the 399 sold in verrrrry large numbers.

The R-7MB reels shown here are the uncommon black ones - these nevertheless command high prices on eBay, not to mention the really rare red R-7MB or the really really rare orange R-7MB. Even the common silver R-7MB costs !

Speaking of color, the TC-399 was also available in silver, seemingly only in the US.

Given the TC-378 ancester it was after all normal and less technoid looking, too.

Sony TC-399, image 1 Sony TC-399, image 2 Sony TC-399, image 3
Sony TC-399 specifications
Title Value
Tape speed : 19 cm/s, 9,5 cm/s, 4,76 cm/s
Reel size : 18cm or smaller
Drive system : AC servo motor, belt drive system
19cm/s Frequency response : 30Hz...25Khz (FeCr tape, ±3dB)
30Hz...25Khz (ULH tape, ±3dB)
30Hz...18Khz (PRA tape, ±3dB)
9,5cm/s Frequency response : 30Hz...18Khz (FeCr tape, ±3dB)
30Hz...18Khz (ULH tape, ±3dB)
30Hz...15Khz (PRA tape, ±3dB)
4,8cm/s Frequency response : 30Hz...7Khz (FeCr tape, ±3dB)
30Hz...7Khz (ULH tape, ±3dB)
30Hz...7Khz (PRA tape, ±3dB)
S/N ratio : 61dB (FeCr, 19cm/s)
58dB (ULH, 19cm/s)
55dB (PRA, 19cm/s)
Bias : 160Khz
Crosstalk (tracks) : 45dB@1Khz
Separation (channels) : 60dB@1Khz
Erasure : 65dB@400Hz (FeCr)
Speed accuracy : 1% at all tape speeds
Meter type : VU balistic (-20...+5dB)
THD : < 0,8% (FeCr tape, 0dB rec. level)
Max recording time : 12 hrs (4-track mono, 4,8 cm/s, 330m/1800ft tape)
FF/REW time : 2 minutes (330m/1200ft tape)
Inputs : MIC (0,25mV / low impedance)
LINE (77,5mV / 100kOhm)
Line outputs : 0,435V / 10kOhm control at detent
0,775V / 100kOhm control at maximum
Headphones output: 38,8mV / 8 Ohm nominal
PC : 25W max.
Dimensions : 43,5 x 19 x 41,5cm
Weight : 12,6kg.
- Discrete 3-head Ferrite&Ferrite design
- Contoured playback head for smooth low frequency response
- Patented, direct-coupled head/playback amplifier
- Switchable tape/source monitoring
- AC servo tape drive & Supply reel servo back tension
- Scrape flutter filter
- Dynamically balanced, oversize flywheel
- Locking pause control
- All-mode Auto Stop
- Three-position bias and eq contols
- Mic/line mixing with dual concentric controls
- Two-position MIC input attenuator
- Line output level control with center reference detent
- Built-in reel locks
- Large illuminated VU meters
- Removable head cover
- Headphone jack
- Four-digit tape counter
Sony TC-399 : 0 topic
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page online since : november 2004
page updated : september 2010
page type : LGT / KNB
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