Category:Mid High Fidelity (most Japanese recorders fall into this category)
Country of Manufacture:Japan
Release dates:1977 - 1980
Speeds: 3 3/4, 7 1/2
Max Reel Size("): 5"
Number of heads: 3
Dimension: Dimensions: 13 x 11.8 x 5.5" (330 x 300 x 140mm)
Head Composition: Ferrite
Head Configuration: Stereo - Stacked
# Motors: 2
Voltage(s): 110-120v, 220-240v, Multi
Frequency Response:30Hz - 16kHz +- 3dB
Wow and Flutter:0.05%
Signal-to-Noise Ratio:64dB (with FeCr tape)
Sound quality rating:8 / 10
Long-term reliability rating: 4 / 10
Weight: 6.2 kg.
Professional level portable tape recorder styled in the manner of Nagra, the TC 510-2 was a two track stereo tape deck which could work from a 12v battery pack or an AC-26 adaptor, pictured below that was offered in all 3 world voltages. An optional Ni-Cad rechargeable battery pack BP-55 and adapter to plug the AC-26 into was also available (pictured) The 510-2 has 2 speeds, 3 3/4 and 7½ ips with wow & flutter at a very decent ± 0.05%.
The deck featured three heads, a DC servo motor and a 5″ reel capacity.
Other features included fine speed tuning, record limiter and a three position (low, medium & high) bias selector switch.
At about half the price of a Nagra, the TC 510-2 (£540 in the UK) was a viable alternative for the professional or semi-professional needing a high quality portable stereo deck. These days it is relatively hard to find in working condition. The 510-2 has a bad design of a cam that wears out and would be hard to replicate. This causes the machine to not click in or engage in the record mode. Too bad that Sony didn’t figure out a way to accommodate 7 inch reels, where Nagra did and bigger. A significant quantity of these 510s were sold to TV and radio stations for interviews. As quarter track had become quite decent in the late 70s, maybe it might have been a better consideration for running time on 5 inch.
Sony also produced two other models that are similar, the TC-5550-2, which is apparently a Japanese model designation and the APR-2003 which was for more professional applications with XLR connectors.
Inputs: mic low: 0.2mV, line: 0.06V 100K / Outputs: 435mV at 100K. Accessories Included- Shoulder Strap , reel locks, battery case ( 8 x D-type) Optional Accessories- blue canvas carry bag, Ni-Cad rechargeable battery pack BP-55.
Very similar in style to Sonys EL-D8 Elcaset portable.