Sony TC-D5

Sony TC-D5M

1 9 7 8 may 1978
1 9 8 0 march 1980
2 0 0 5 2005

Well-known professional portable recorder which played Attila the Hun vs. the competition, the TC-D5 was THE field recorder throughout the late 1970s and 1980s alongwith the smaller and just as excellent WM-6DC and paved the way for the TCD-D10 digital series.

The "D" in TC-D5 stands for DENSUKE : a nickname forged after a Sony portable recorder was shown in a 1950s popular weekly press cartoon of the Mainichi newspaper. The name stuck and Sony Densuke survived the original Densuke chararcter, hero of the cartoon.

Of course, in absolute Sony style, Densuke isn't written or tagged anywhere : one just has to know if a recorder is of the Densuke family or not.
Starting with the TC-D5 series, those belonging to the Densuke family always had a "D" added to their name : TCD-D3, TCD-D10 etc, where the second D is the Densuke (and the first is Digital).

The D5's diecast aluminium case holds "pro" features and functions and an excellent but untyipcal mechanism : the Disc Drive.
Small rubber / metal capstan driven at its edge by a 90° slanted motor with a Magnedisc system inside the flywheel to correct speed on the fly.

The overall low-mass of the ensemble allowed the D5 to remain fairly immune to speed changes caused by the movement of the enclosure and the added Magnedisc made the drive absolutely stable. Shake it wildly dancing the rumba while recording : no wow, no flutter.

The rest of the TC-D5 sees a Ferrite & Ferrite rec/play head, a DC-DC converter (3V to 12V), a simple Dolby, a well-calibrated limiter, two backlit VU meters indicating battery level as well, two MIC inputs with 0dB/-20dB attenuator, RCA i/os and a small 5cm monitor built-in loudspeaker.
The Type I / Type III tape selector switch has a third (automatic) detection for Type II tapes.

Updated in 1980 as TC-D5M with the sole addition of Type IV tape compatibility. This however called for a slight change in the head type : S&F (Sendust & Ferrite) instead of the original F&F.
The maintained switch automatically "sees" Type IV if the selector is on Type III, just as the original TC-D5 automatically "saw" Type II if the selector was on Type I.
RCA i/os got gold-plated, too, but the rest is the same.

Updated later on as TC-D5Pro and TC-D5ProII, the latter surviving until at least 1999, while the TC-D5M remained on sale until 2005 ! And still selling very well then, despite its own Sony DAT competitors.

A specialist repair shop : libermansound.

Sony TC-D5, image 1 Sony TC-D5, image 2 Sony TC-D5, image 3
Sony TC-D5 specifications
Title Value
Heads : 1x F&F (rec/play ; D5)
1x S&F (rec/play ; D5M)
1x ferrite (erase)
Wow & flutter : 0,06% WRMS
Frequency response : 20Hz...18Khz
30Hz...16Khz (± 3dB ; Duad tape)
20Hz...16Khz (JHF tape)
20Hz...19Khz (Type IV ; TC-D5M)
S/N ratio : 59dB (Dolby OFF)
THD : 1,3%
1,0% (Duad tape ; TC-D5M)
Inputs : 2x MIC (0,2mV / -72dB)
2x LINE (0,06V / 100kOhm [-22dB])
Outputs : 0,435V / 10kOhm (100kOhm load)
-inf...-16dB / 8 Ohm (headphones)
200mW (5cm monitor speaker)
Power : 5,5 hours (alkaline batteries)
PC : 6,8VA (50Hz) / 5,5VA (60Hz) (TC-D5)
12VA (50Hz) / 11VA (60Hz) (TC-D5M)
Dimensions : 23,7 x 4,8 x 16,8cm
Weight : 1,7kg
List price : 99,800¥ (1978, TC-D5)
105,000¥ (1980, TC-D5M)
96,800¥ (1989, TC-D5M)
Sony TC-D5 : 0 topic
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page online since : june 2010
page updated : june 2010
page type : LGT / KNB
page weight : 232.5 Kb / 0 b

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