Category:Mid High Fidelity (most Japanese recorders fall into this category)
Country of Manufacture:Japan
Release dates:1971 - 1975
Original Price: $500
Speeds: 1 7/8, 3 3/4, 7 1/2
Max Reel Size("): 7"
Number of heads: 4
Head Composition: Permalloy
Head Configuration: Stereo
Frequency Response:( 3dB) using SLH-180 Tape: 7½ ips: 30Hz to 25kHz 3¾ ips: 30Hz to 20kHz 1 ips: 30Hz to 9kHz
Wow and Flutter:
Signal-to-Noise Ratio:56 dB
Sound quality rating:5 / 10
Long-term reliability rating: 5 / 10
Sony described this unit
as ‘state of the art’ in their 1972 product brochure.
The three-motor TC 580 incorporated Electro-Bilateral Heads and ESP Automatic
Reverse which provide continuous bi-directional playback.
The ESP system worked by monitoring both sides of the tape simultaneously
(the right channel only). if it detected 7 seconds of un-interrupted silence,
it would “presume'” that the end of the program had been reached
and switch into reverse mode. Rather annoying if only one side of your
tape was recorded. the thing would reverse after every track! Luckily
there was a manual override.
On paper, the transport looked impressive. center capstan tape drive,
feather-touch control buttons, servo-control capstan motor, automatic
tape lifters, no pressure pads, electrical speed change, full logic feather
touch pushbutton transport and automatic total-mechanism shut-off.
Bias frequency: 160 kHz / Rewind speed: 60 sec. / Inputs: line: input sensitivity: 0.06 V, impedance 100k Ohms microphone: low impedance / Outputs: line: greater than 10k Ohm impedance stereo headphone: 8 Ohms / Dimensions: 17½ x 18 x 9″ (444 x 457 x 228mm) / Weight: 43 lbs (19.5 kg) / quarter-track stereo