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Sony TC-399

Stereo Reel to Reel Tape Recorder (1978-82)

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Sony TC-399


The TC-399 has large-sized VU meters which indicate the average level of complex musical waveforms.

Other features include high performance Ferrite and Ferrite heads, tape bias and equalization switches to obtain the maximum characteristics according to the type of tapes, and a tape tension regulator to reduce wow and flutter.


Track system: 4-track, 2-channel, stereo/monaural system

Heads: 1 x playback, 1 x record, 1 x erase

Reel size: up to 7 inch reel

Equalization: NAB or JIS

Tape speeds: 1 78  3 34  7 12 ips

Wow and flutter: 0.06% (7 12 ips)

Frequency response: 30Hz to 25kHz (7 12 ips)

Signal to Noise Ratio: 61dB

Total harmonic distortion: 0.8%

Input: 77.5mV (line), 0.25mV (mic)

Output: 0.775V (line)

Dimensions: 415 x 435 x 190mm

Weight: 12.6kg


service manual   English -

instruction/owners manual   English - alexanderreddington

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Reviewed Jan 26th, 2015 by Lolek

Very surprised deck,easy to service,heads after 33years like new,very quiet engine,very good recording don't colored voice.Watch for condition idler wheels you be very glad.



re: TC-399

These comments are from personal experience of the TC-399 and TC-377. TC-366

Motor Start capacitor (metal can) 2uf 450v (240v mains) or 1.5uf 250v (120v mains) failing will cause low motor torque and slow running. The motor running pretty hot is a good clue here to a failing capacitor.
The rubber Idler wheel tension spring becomes weak with time and won't put enough tension against the metal flywheel. Especially noticable at 7.5IPS with running slow. Rubber deposits on Motor pulley and flywheel will cause flutter. Check the pinch roller is not damaged too. (It will cause wow otherwise) Clean everything with isopropyl alcohol. I also use print roller restorer/cleaner (Plantenclene) sparingly on rubber surfaces to restore grip and it softens hard rubber, but be frugal with this as it removes some rubber too. Be warned, but it helps.
Belt change is a must, they're cheap. It makes a huge difference. There are four belts in total. Two round belts drive the wind/rewind and two small square section belts for the tape counter. The capstan is driven through a rubber idler wheel direct from the motor pulley. This also needs to be in good condition. After removing the top panel and knobs plus pause knob. you have to remove the head block and top flywheel bearing housing . Six screws here. It lifts upwards.
MOST IMPORTANT. When unscrewing the pause button screw on the front panel, IT IS LEFT HAND THREAD. Therefore undo it CLOCKWISE!
The Silver knobs on the Mic/Line and Output on the TC-399 are locked on using 2mm Hex bolts. (Allen bolts). Hope this helps

re: TC-399

How on earth do you remove the front panel. I cannot get the lock switch or the 3 knobs to come off.

re: TC-399

Does this machine have sound on sound?

2 or 4 track

is this machine switchable between 1-4 and 2-3 tracks, as i cant see this option on the machine.

Yes, it has two source-tape

Yes, it has two source-tape switches and two record buttons which can be used to play and record the tracks separately.

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