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Sony TC-560

Stereo Tapecorder (1971)

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Sony TC-560


The Sony model TC-560 solid state 4-track stereo tape recorder features the exclusive Sony ESP electronic sensory perceptor, a truly automatic tape reversing system which is activated by any type of recorded tape without the inconvenience of recording reversing signals or applying metallic cue strips to the tape.

The amazing ESP constantly scans and automatically senses the voice or music modulations on your recorded tapes.

When these modulations stop and your tape track is completed, this ESP system automatically reverses tape direction within 8 seconds.


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

Reel size: up to 7 inch reel

Tape speeds: 1 78  3 34  7 12 ips

Wow and flutter: 0.07% (7 12 ips)

Frequency response: 30Hz to 18kHz (7 12 ips)

Signal to Noise Ratio: 52dB

Total harmonic distortion: 2%

Input: 120mV (line), 0.2mV (mic)

Output: 0.6V (line)

Output power: 10 watts

Dimensions: 20-3/8 x 11-1/4 x 17-1/8 inches

Weight: 50lbs

Accessories: F-98 microphone, R-7A reel, reel cap


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Reviewed Dec 19th, 2015 by rescueme

Excellent reel to reel recorder

Reviewed Jun 25th, 2015 by phylum

Sony TC-560 is awesome even for today...



re: TC-560- troubleshooting- way too slow!

I just hooked up my grandmother's old reel to reel today for the first time in years.

Anyway, at first, the machine worked pretty well- the tripwire wasn't staying in place consistently, but when it stuck the machine appeared to work correctly at all speeds.

However, after about 30 minutes of playing, I tried to record something. I hit the "record" button, and then the play button, and the machine stopped. The next time I tried to play anything on it, the speed was WAY too slow.

I'd guess that it's playing about 1/4 speed of the slowest possible setting (1 7/8). Nothing sounds like music anymore, it's all just really low wobbly junk. The speed dial doesn't make any difference (and it worked just hours before!). I can still fast forward and rewind, but not consistently. My guess is that the motors are weak or some springs are busted or something? Help!

Again, this device is probably 45 years old or more and I doubt the belts have ever been replaced. I'm worried that it worked for a couple hours just because it hasn't been touched in 40 years, but now that it's been moving again the parts are just breaking. :-Z

re: TC-560- troubleshooting- way too slow!

edit: resolved

re: TC-560- troubleshooting- way too slow!

I bought a TC 560 brand new in 1971. It stopped working several years ago. There is a website and Facebook page called "reeltoreeltech.com" The guy is a retired technician and can answer all of your questions. He said Sony tape recorders made before 1976 have only one motor which runs everything. The motors have all died and the old Sony pre-1976 recorders are not worth fixing. But he repairs and resells scores of used recorders. I bought a refurbished Philips 1978 unit from him for about the same price I paid 50 years ago for the Sony. I needed a working one because I have about 40 open reel tapes to transfer to digital on the computer.

re: TC-560 power cord

I have a TC-560D, basically the same machine. My power cord plug is basically square with 4 female sockets, which mate to corresponding 4 male pins on the recorder back/top panel.

There is also a molded in key so it only goes in one way.

Additionally one pair of pins has a different measure between them.

The 2 pins nearest the keying notch are the ones for AC power, these are the pair that are closer together as well.

The other pair are for DC operation only.

If you examine the original power cord for AC, it only has active one pair sockets, the other 2 have nothing inside. By extension, if you came across a cigarette lighter socket 12VDC cord, it would likely only have sockets to connect with the further apart pair of pins.

So any 2 socket AC power cord that would pick up the 2 pins closest to the keying notch would work.

Also be aware that the label under the voltage selector knob, (which pulls straight out) can come loose, and be mis-positioned or missing. the correct orientation for 117VAC is, (with the machine sitting flat on a table), just to the left of exactly vertical.

The belt kit is available from "Vintage Electronics"

Thecableguy's picture

re: TC-560 power cord


Have you ever changed the belts on your TC-650?

I have one thats in amazing condition aside from the belts. I am ordering the kit.


re: TC-560

does anyone know if the two pins correspond to the label , meaning the two closest together pins are 117 v ac ? i opened my unit up and it looks like there is a different connection to each set of pins , the sony powercord that goes to my dvd player will work on the pins that appear to be labeled for 12 v , just don't want to fry the unit testing this out . thanks for any help on this matter

wdwright's picture

re: TC-560

As I remember because my Sony TC-630 used the same cord, you could find one of these at just about any hardware store. The plug side for the tape deck used a smallish thin rectangular style end with the plug-sort of like an extension cord-pushing onto two blade prongs for the AC. My Pioneer RT-1020L (a fantastic NAB deck by the way) uses the same style cord.

re: TC-560

can someone give me a tip where I can buy a plug to the TC 560

re: TC-560

did you ever find a power cord for your tc560?

i just found a tc560 at a thrift store and it had no power cord either :( if i knew i could get one somewhere, i would by the tapecorder in a second!

re: TC-560

I have a TC 560 that I bought new in 1971. The power cord has a non-standard 4-pin connector. Only 2 of the pins are needed, the other two are for using with a 12 volt power supply. If you know how to repair electronics you should be able to rewire or rig something to use the 2 pins for 115/120 volt ac. There is a selector knob on the back that is normally set to "117" volts. My problem with this machine is the push button selector switches. It has inputs and outputs for "tape, tuner, phono, mic". The switches are dirty and cause the signal to cut out, static, etc. I only use the recorder now for digitizing old tapes.

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