Sony TTS-8000

July
1 9 7 6 july 1976
May
1 9 8 1 may 1981

The TTS-8000 is an LP drive sold as such or with several Sony bases.
As for quite a few high-end Sony audio components, however, "sold" is a sizeable overstatement : it was not exported, was advertised for very little and got relegated to the catalogs' back pages very quickly.

The only local Sony to have imported the TTS-8000 was that of the UK : a country where Sony never was neither strong sales-wise, nor particularily "respected". I guess several top executives there badly wanted one.

Even more surprising is the fact the Sony SDL did not import any, despite the fact that Germany always was Sony's strongest european market where oodles of TTS-3000, TTS-2500 and TTS-4000 were sold. Obviously the work of one german marketing genius who thought he knew better - and missed many easy sales.

The TTS-8000 was quite obviously somewhat overshadowed by the PS-X9 masterpiece but despite appearances managed to sell rather well even if only in Japan.
One can wonder why Sony picked a consumer tag (PS-X) for its professional deck and a professional tag for this last "audiophile & consumer" deck (TTS) - typical Sony ;-)



The Drive
Technically, TTS-8000 was partly derived from the PS-8750 but as it uses a different motor/rotor and a more streamlined electronic design, all that came strictly untouched from the PS-8750 is... the platter !
The overall engineering theory and X'Tal Lock system are the same, though : barium-ferrite magnetic strip on the platter, two 8-pole reading heads, brush-less & slot-less DC Servo motor with multiple dividing circuits and phase comparators.

The important neon stroboscope is commanded by the 3.932.160Hz X'Tal oscillator through a divider and its own rectified and regulated power supply straight off the transformer.



The Platter
The platter is damped with a yellow-ish compound on its underside (like that of the PS-X9) which can be found elsewhere in the multi-ribbed and round SBMC chassis.
The big transformer is suspended on 3 springs with fairly elastic rubbery surrounds and the bottom cover is damped with something that looks like bitumen - needless to say, none of this rings or resonates.

As in all 1974-1982 Sony turntables, the magnetic imprint on the outside rim of the platter must remained intact : the X-Tal lock system will otherwise not function anymore and speed locking will become erratic. And unrepairable.

The first production batches, up to about s/n #201400, sported either clear strobe dots on a painted black background or the opposite scheme (black dots on a clear/natural aluminium background) with a predominance of the former. All later ones were delivered with the latter version, which was a way back to the PS-8750's original design.



The Functions
The controls under the flap are pitch controls for each speed, the speed selector and the X-Tal switch which disables the former.
The stroboscope, feather-touch start/stop and power-on button are on top ; in between are three red LEDs which indicate which speed is selected and if the X-Tal lock is active.
Two primary speed adjustment pots are located under the drive and they must be set with the X-Tal lock turned off.



The Mat
The OL-2K mat was very special and quite effective : it contains a micron-thick plastic "skin" itself containing a very thick oil.
The problem that may arise with prolonged use is that the oil ends up concentrated at the periphery of the plastic skin, thus making the mat not flat.

Due to this, many OL-2K mats have had their exterior plastic holder disformed by that prolonged concentration... Maybe some heat treatment can return them to flat status ?
But without that, this OL-2K is the best and most neutral mat made, short of the AT600 Audio Technic ceramic powder 600g. mat/slab.

The drive itself can however handle heavy platter mats like Micro CU-180 or SAECs, plus a heavy record clamp : the TTS-8000 is a driving drive.



The Base(s)
Besides marketing, this is where Sony was, as ever, Sony : there were seven different bases made for the TTS-8000 !
Two were the official ones, three were pre-production samples and two were sold but never shown or advertised. And, whatever the base, in chaotic Sony tradition, a TTS-8000 in TB-2000 or TB-1000 base was not named PSE-8000 : it remained a TTS.

Official
TB-1000 and TB-2000, the official ones, are based on that of the PS-6750 : a massive SBMC piece (Sony Bulk Mold Compound) is placed on a supplementary slab of compressed wood particles, the interface between the two being four enormous rubbery cushions with a guide so as to keep the two pieces perfectly aligned.

The maximum effective length of any tonearm on the TB-2000 is however set at 27,3cm - an SME3012 will not fit.

These official bases did have tiny stickers with serial numbers but the latter often were lost (my own has #140) and a TTS-8000 in its TB-2000 base makes for a hefty 40kg ! The TB-2000 is a very rare item as only about 150 were made.
Dustcovers for it are of the unhinged type, obviously hand-made & hand-glued, and have to be removed entirely to play a record. When on, they rest on four rubbery dots set in the base itself.

UNofficial
The three "unofficial" ones all had a (beautiful) "TTS-8000 cabinet SAMPLE" orange front sticker and kept the dual-base system... with a twist : there is no SBMC but only wood, matte for the bottom part and shiny for the top ! Beautiful cradle-like shape but the big "I am a pro" handles weren't really worthwhile a visual addition.
Variations between the three versions are of size and single- or dual-tonearm but none have a dustcover (hinged or not) ; all were in fact pre-production items before the TB-1000/2000 design was chosen... and the SBMC molds ready.

Small
The remaining two are the smallest bases at 12 kg : SBMC only, no wood sub-base, single-tonearm only, hinged dustcover, "Resinamic Sound" back badge, and available in shiny black or dark matte grey (JP) and lighter matter grey (UK). At least one was also in made in matte black (JP).



The Armbases
Apparently not available separately from any of the bases, they are made of SBMC with an aluminium top and are fastened with three (too) basic screws ; they generally weigh 1,5kg each and are generally 1,2cm thick.
They sometimes have a silkscreened centimeter graduation (or not) and were sometimes pre-drilled for SMEs (or not) or with a wide oval/rectangular hole of varying size (or not).

As a recent experience proved, they are not necessarily interchangeable : some have straight edges (fittng some of the bases), some have evased edges (fitting the other bases) and overall height isn't always consistent...
None of this is documented anywhere and this tends to prove the off-center manufacturing of the bases, ie.: not at Sony but by a (small) sub-contractor. And with a clearly wandering product planning !



Sound-wise the TTS-8000 is rock solid and very clean from top to bottom : where the PS-X9 is a tank à la EMT, the 8000 is more subtle and "musical", fluid, laid-back while still clearly being a direct-drive.
As silly as this may sound, the 8000 is like the best of both belt-drive and direct-drive slants.

I believe the total production run to have been of 3000 units so they are not rare... but they are.

As new evidence suggests, about sixty were imported in the UK, some of which may have found their way to the BBC broadcasting studios.



Nudies aplenty at the indispensable amp8.com.

A 8000 in TB-2000 base here, a 8000 in small black base with Resinamic Sound sticker here, a 8000 in small grey base with Resinamic Sound sticker here, a 8000 in big sample base sans sticker here, a 8000 in TB-1000 base here and the underside of a small one here.
(how many versions can you live with ?)

Sony TTS-8000, image 1 Sony TTS-8000, image 2 Sony TTS-8000, image 3
Sony TTS-8000 specifications
Title Value
Motor : BSL DC Servo regulated
Platter : 32cm
Componentry : 8 ICs
73 transistors
45 diodes
1 FET
Speeds : 45rpm & 33 1/3rpm
Pitch control : ± 4% for each speed
Full speed ahead : 1/2 rotation (33 1/3 rpm)
Torque : 1,2kg / cm
Wow & flutter : 0,025% (WRMS)
Drift X-TAL lock on : 0,0005% (no cart)
Drift X-TAL lock off : 0,1% (no cart)
Load characteristics X-TAL lock on : 0% (3g tracking force or 180g of platter pressure)
Load characteristics X-TAL lock off : 0,05% (3g tracking force)
Speed deviation X-TAL lock on : 0,003%
S/N ratio : 70dB (DIN-B)
PC : 14W
Weight : 9,9kg
Dimensions : 37 x 13 x 39,5cm (TTS-8000)
29kg ; 61 x 55,5 x 20,5cm (TB-2000)
19kg ; 55 x 44,5 x 20,5cm (TB-1000)
List prices : 69,800¥ (TTS-8000)
58,000¥ (TB-2000)
43,000¥ (TB-1000)
32,300¥ (RS-8000 [Resinamic Sound])
130¥ (OL-2KA)
Sony TTS-8000 : 1 topic
(last updated topic shows up first)
  • Sony TTS-8000 turntable                             (6)last updated by Axel - 21/04/2013, 10H32
page online since : october 2006
page updated : january 2011
page type : LGT / KNB
page weight : 1.69 Mb / 1.53 Mb

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