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Sony TC-500 reel to reel player restoration

Sony TC-500 reel to reel player restoration
TC-500 is 4 track stereo reel to reel player which is build around 1960 – 1970 by Sony Corporation. This is vacuum tube base reel to reel player with 2 × 3W audio output power. TC-500 is dual speed (3¾ and 7½ ips) tape recorder and it support reels up to 7 inches (18cm). Amplifier stage of this tape recorder is build around 12AX7, 6AU6 and 6AQ5 vacuum tubes and 12BH7 tube is used in biasing oscillator. Other than above tubes, 6CA4 is used in PSU for rectification.

Restored Sony TC-500 reel to reel tape recorder.

Recently we got a chance to restore TC-500 reel to reel player which we got from one of our friend. The player which we got is heavily damaged and we spend nearly 2½ months to restore this player.

In first stage of restoration we disassemble mechanical parts of this player and clean everything. In this player capstan idler wheel and take-up idler wheel is damaged beyond repair and we reconstruct those wheels using rubber sheets.


Disassembled TC-500 reel to reel tape recorder.

In second stage we dismantle amplifier and power supply circuits of this player and replace all the capacitors and some damaged electronic components. After restoring the circuits we rewire the unit because most of the wires are damaged due to corrosion.

Restored amplifier of TC-500 tape recorder.

The most time consuming part of this project is restoration of output transformers. We rewind 2 output transformers of this unit with new copper wires and it took nearly 2 weeks to complete this job.

Restored mechinical assembly of Sony TC-500 reel to reel tape recorder.

After above fixes and calibrations we test this unit and it produces very good results. The speaker pair which comes with this player is not very good but when it couples with large professional speaker system it gives excellent sounds.

Motor, output transformers and PSU of restored Sony TC-500 tape recorder.

Schematic and services manuals of TC-500 is available in lot of internet sites, which including hifiengine.com or at radiomuseum.org.

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