Sony Tc 102 Zip
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The Sony Tc 102 Zip: A Vintage Reel to Reel Tape Recorder
If you are a fan of vintage audio equipment, you might be interested in the Sony Tc 102 Zip, a reel to reel tape recorder that was released in the mid-1960s. This compact and portable device was designed to record and play back mono audio on half-track tapes at two speeds: 3.75 and 7.5 inches per second. It also featured a built-in amplifier and speaker, a VU meter, a pause control, and inputs and outputs for microphone, line, and external speaker.
The Sony Tc 102 Zip was a hybrid device that used both valves and transistors in its circuitry. It had four valves: 6ME5, 6AU6, 6AR5, and 5MK9; and two transistors: 2SD64 and 1T-22G. The device had a frequency response of 50 Hz to 13 kHz at 7.5 ips and 50 Hz to 8 kHz at 3.75 ips. The wow and flutter was 0.2% at 7.5 ips. The device weighed 18.3 lbs (8.3 kg) and measured 13.5 x 7.5 x 10.5 inches (340 x 190 x 265 mm).
The Sony Tc 102 Zip came with a Sony F-96 dynamic microphone and retailed for $129 in the USA. It was one of the many reel to reel tape recorders that Sony produced in the 1960s and 1970s, along with models such as the TC-230, the TC-250A, the TC-440, and the TC-580. These devices were popular among hobbyists, musicians, and audio enthusiasts who wanted to record and enjoy high-quality sound.
Today, the Sony Tc 102 Zip is a rare and collectible item that can be found on online platforms such as eBay or Reverb. Some users still use it for recording or playback purposes, while others appreciate it for its nostalgic value and aesthetic appeal. The Sony Tc 102 Zip is a piece of music gear history that showcases the innovation and craftsmanship of Sony in the field of audio technology.
How to use the Sony Tc 102 Zip
If you have a Sony Tc 102 Zip and want to use it for recording or playback, you will need some accessories and supplies. First, you will need some reel to reel tapes that are compatible with the device. The Sony Tc 102 Zip can use up to 7-inch reels with half-track mono recording. You can find these tapes on online platforms or specialty stores, but they might be expensive or hard to find. Alternatively, you can use smaller reels with adapters or splice your own tapes from larger ones.
Second, you will need a power source for the device. The Sony Tc 102 Zip can operate on 110-120 volts AC or on six D batteries. If you use batteries, make sure they are fresh and inserted correctly. If you use AC power, make sure the cord is in good condition and plugged into a grounded outlet. You can also use a voltage converter if you live in a region with a different voltage standard.
Third, you will need to connect the device to your audio sources and outputs. The Sony Tc 102 Zip has inputs for a low impedance microphone (600 ohms) and a high impedance line (100k ohms). You can use the included Sony F-96 microphone or any other compatible microphone for recording. You can also use a line input from another device such as a radio, a turntable, or a cassette player. The Sony Tc 102 Zip has outputs for line and external speaker. You can use the built-in speaker for playback or connect an external speaker for better sound quality. You can also use a line output to connect the device to another recorder or amplifier.
Fourth, you will need to set up the device for recording or playback. To record, you will need to load a blank tape on the left reel and thread it through the tape path to the right reel. Make sure the tape is aligned with the heads and the capstan and that there is enough tension on both reels. You will also need to set the speed selector switch to either 3.75 or 7.5 ips depending on your preference and tape type. You can then adjust the input level knob and the VU meter to get the optimal recording level. You can also use the pause control to start and stop recording without rewinding or fast-forwarding the tape. To play back, you will need to load a recorded tape on the left reel and thread it through the tape path to the right reel. Make sure the tape is aligned with the heads and the capstan and that there is enough tension on both reels. You will also need to set the speed selector switch to match the speed of the recorded tape. You can then adjust the volume knob and enjoy your recordings. ec8f644aee