Category:Mid High Fidelity
Country of Manufacture:Japan
Release dates:1969 - 1972
Original Price: $450
Speeds: 1 7/8, 3 3/4, 7 1/2
Max Reel Size("): 7"
Number of heads: 3
Dimension: 18 x 20 x 11½ " (454 x 508 x 296 mm)
Head Composition: Permalloy
Head Configuration: Stereo
Frequency Response:7½ ips: 30Hz - 22kHz (3 dB)
Wow and Flutter:0.09% at 7½ ips, 0.12% at 3¾ ips and 0.16% at 1 ips
Sound quality rating:5 / 10
Long-term reliability rating: 7/ 10
Weight: 46.2 lbs (21 kg)
The TC-630 was a quarter-track stereo, three speed, three head recorder, equipped with
a comprehensive pre-amp control panel designed to be used as a “stereo
centre”. This control panel included separate bass and treble controls, balance control and inputs for phono, tuner and auxiliary as well as microphone inputs for recording.
Previously, Sony had often been criticized for their apparent desire to “conceal” the various recording controls. Tiny level controls, awkwardly placed, and miniature level meters almost
gave the impression that Sony considered recording a secondary function
and were more interested in the playback aspect of their tape recorders.
On the TC-630 however, large professional type VU meters were provided with calibrated slide-type record level faders positioned in between the meters.
Transport was controlled by a single large rotary lever on the right hand side of the deck and a pair of large, red-coloured slide keys on the left hand side controlled the record function. An input selector was supplied for routing the various input devices and a “before/after” monitor selector enabled playback during record.
Motor noise was almost nonexistent and there was a four-digit tape counter (protected by a transparent plastic cover).
Whilst the two detachable lid speaker systems were adequate they were not hi-fidelity. However, with the addition of a pair of high quality external speakers this unit would have been a very good little home hi-fi center.
One of the few criticisms of the TC-630 was that the pinch wheel was brought into pressure contact with the capstan by mechanical action of the “run” lever. As a consequence there is no “safety” trip to separate these two components when the micro-switch auto stop mechanism stops the motors. The user had to remember bring the machine into “neutral” to avoid prolonged contact and possible indentations to the pinch roller resulting in wow.
All in all, the TC-630 represented exceptionally fine value for money at £199 (UK) and heralded the ascendancy of Sony into the upper end home-recording market.
By this time, the people at Sony had realized that many people already owned component stereo systems and did not need an all-in-one recorder with amplifier and speakers. They began to offer their models in two forms, deck only and complete recorder with the lot.
A “D” was added to the model number to signify ‘deck only’ and therefore the TC-630D was identical to the TC-630 but without the audio output and speakers, and for about two-thirds the price.
Price £199 in the UK, $449.95 in the USA (Stereo Review Directory, 1975)
7½ , 3¾ & 1 7/8 ips
Frequency response (3 dB)
7½ ips: 30Hz – 22kHz
3¾ ips: 30Hz – 13kHz
1 ips: 30Hz – 10kHz
Wow & flutter
0.09% at 7½ ips, 0.12% at 3¾ ips and 0.16% at 1 7/8 ips
Signal to noise ratio
Total harmonic distortion
40 silicon transistors, 7 diodes (TC-630)
Audio output power
20 watts per channel (dynamic), 15 watts RMS per channel (TC-630)
mic: 0.2mV/ 250 ohms, aux: 60mV/ 560 kohms,
tuner: 60mV/100 kohms, phono: 2mV
line 0.775v at 0 VU; speakers: 16 ohm (lid) 8 ohm (ext); headphones
Two wide-range units detachable comprising lid for transportation
18 x 20 x 11½ ” (454 x 508 x 296 mm)
46.2 lbs (21 kg)