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Sony TC-630

4-Track Stereophonic / Monophonic Tape Recorder (1968-71)

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Sony TC-630


The compact, but incredibly powerful stereo music control center TC-630 consists of an amplifier utilizing quality Sony silicon transistors, a precision three head tape deck and high performance speaker systems.

Silicon transistors and selected power transistors assure lowest possible audio distortion and uniform gain characteristics throughout its operating ranges and also improve signal to noise ratio.

Four pairs of stereo inputs, phonograph, tuner, microphone and auxiliary, correspond to the settings of the source selector on the front panel. Line outputs and stereo headphone jacks are provided for versatility.

The tape transport mechanism is designed to provide flutter-free, stable tape drive either in vertical or horizontal operation. The symmetrically arranged slide volume levers and the precise VU meters will be convenient for record volume setting.

Other features are automatic sentinel shut off device, retractable pinch roller for easy tape threading, instantaneous comparison of source and tape, noise suppressor for undesirable high frequency noise, sound on sound and echo effect for the professional recording techniques.


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

Tape speeds: 1 78  3 34  7 12 ips

Wow and flutter: 0.09% (7 12 ips)

Frequency response: 30Hz to 22kHz (7 12 ips)

Signal to Noise Ratio: 50dB

Total harmonic distortion: 1.2%

Input: 60mV (line), 0.2mV (mic)

Output: 0.775V (line)

Output power: 15 watts

Semiconductors: 40 x transistors, 7 x diodes

Dimensions: 454 x 506 x 294mm

Weight: 21kg


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Reviewed May 18th, 2018 by

Decent deck that made vibrant recordings for me which I still play.

Reviewed Jun 10th, 2014 by

The rubber parts are getting a bit old these days and the costs to remake them limit the value of these machines. The heads are standard metal and tend to wear - watch for excessive use. They will run like new with a relube and new idlers. Good solid unit.



re: TC-630

Need to find a replacement axial lamps/bulbs for the VU Meters in my Sony TC-630. Or, is there an LED replacement? What's the voltage of these lamps? Haven't had a chance to make voltage measurements yet....

re: TC-630

Is it possible to change bulb in vu meter? SOLVED now where to find one!

re: TC-630

Did you find a replacement bulb for your VU Meter? - Where and part number? Do you happen to know what the operating voltage is for the bulb?

re: TC-630

I just inherited my dad's reel to reel. It is in excellent condition but I don't have the connection cord or power cord. Any suggestions?

re: TC-630

amazing guitar preamp!

William Ambrose's picture

re: TC-630

My TC-630 worked well before I stored it for 5 years and now it will not move in forward mode. I t will fast forward and reverse. I have downloaded the service manual and parts book and I do not see what drives the capstan and pinch roller. Should the idler pulley contact the Capstan and motor pulley to drive the capstan. The manual shows many adjustments but nothing to do with the problem I have. I assumed that the take up spool would draw the tape through the pinch roller and capstan as they float together..Any help would be appreciated. Thank you for your understanding. Bill Ambrose.

re: TC-630

In general, the old grease in the mechanism dries into almost glue on these machines. In particular on the TC-630, the idler arm A assy should pivot freely (Ref A32) on which the idler (A30) is mounted to. I use a very powerful powerful cleaner to dissolve the grease at the pivot point, which allows it to contact the capstan flywheel (Ref A1), and add new lubricant. Also, the pinch roller must pop up whenever play is selected. It will suffer from the same issue from the spring loaded mechanism located inside the flywheel. Good luck.

Mike W
Vintage Audio

Sony tc630

Is it possible to get new set of tension springs for this machine?

re: Sony tc630

Did you/anyone reading ever source a set of tension springs for this machine? I'm looking for the same thing.
Does anyone know where to find compatible springs, not specifically designed for this machine, but that will work?

Cannot get SonnyTC-630 to play

I have a Sony TC-630 Stereo Tapecorder that belongs to my father. He is in the nursing home now and cannot help me with it. I got it out awhile back so that I could play some of his old reels. I can get it to rewind and fastforward, but when I put it on play it will not do anything. The tape does not turn. I went to our local radio station and they have an old reel to reel player simular to my father's but a newer model. It had been years since anyone had tried to work their player. Only one woman knew anything at all about it there and she tried and tried to get it to play and could not. It did the same thing as my father's. It would rewind and fastforward, but not play. The tape would not turn when she pushed the play button. When she took the tape off the player and pushed play with no reels on it the things would spin that the tape reels go on. I figure there has got to be some little something we are not doing right. Can anyone help me please?

TC-630 will not play

@ craftydiane - The Idler wheel may need cleaning. (the TC-630 doesn't use a drive belt) They get crusted over and become hard and shiny so have no "grip". (this is usually caused by using isopropyl alcohol to clean at a earlier time but it eats into the rubber and hardens it). Rubber cleaner/restorer can be purchased at an Electronics Supply shop that will refurbish the surface to like new. Remove the faceplate of the recorder and the idler wheel is almost dead-center on the machine. It makes contact to the motor shaft and the capstan flywheel. Remove the idler wheel and apply the cleaner with a rag and lots of "elbow grease". I hope this helps.

TC 630 will not play.

I had this fault on my 630 after it had been standing for a few years. I managed to fix it like this.
Remove the tape spools, speed knob and start knob.
Remove the cover over the heads and undue the two screws holding the chrome plate in place.
Remove the four screws from the 4 corners of the facia and remove the facia.
At the bottom centre you will see the edge of the capstain wheel (a big diecast wheel). just above that is the jockey wheel that drives the capstain. This is mounted on a lever that can become seized stopping the jockey wheel from making contact with the capstain. I removed the complete mechanism from the machine, by removing the circlip on the spindle, and freed the seizure with a little release oil. Once the lever is moving freely replace the assembly putting a little drop of light oil on the spindles, do not use grease as it can harden over time,. It may be wise to take a photo of how the mechanism fits before you remove it so that you can see how it fits back into the machine. Before you replace the facia panel and power up, just try the play switch and make sure the jockey wheel makes contact with the fly wheel, and also try the speed control to make sure the jockey wheel moves up and down correctly
I hope this is of some help to you.
Anyone out there got a copy of the user manual for the TC 630 I'd be very grateful for a copy, I already have the schematics but I would like to know how to use the machine!!

Sony TC 630 Reel to Reel

The problem is that your main drive belt is broken. You could try to get one or make your own.
To make your own belts you need a disk of wood larger than the diameter of the belt. Cut a disk of inner tube (one from a tractor works best as it is thicker) to fit the wooden disk. Place a boss from a sanding disk into the centre and place it in the drill press. Start it spinning and carefully (mind fingers) lower a sharp NT cutter or hobby knife onto the disk of spinning rubber. Cut through to the wooden disk. It will cut the outside nice and round. Now lift and move the blade inside to the thickness of the belt that you want and cut again. It makes nice round belts. While you have it clamped go on and cut as many as you can. Each one will be smaller than the first but you will wind up with enough belts to fix many tape decks and things.
Have fun


Hi all, just picked one of these up from a garage sale....its had a hard life by the looks, not well looked after and scratches/nicks/blemishes/scrapes all over the place. Much to my dismay, its missing the play back head - the erase and record heads are there, not sure of course if they work. I have the speakers too, but haven't checked them out yet.

So.....being new to restoring reel to reels, what are my options for heads ? I sent an email to magneticheadcompany.com, but looks like Sony didn't use Nortronic heads and I have no reply yet.

Does anyone know another place I might be able to get a PB head ? Can another head be used ? If so, what ? I'm good enough with electronics to fix the circuits if need be, but the missing head is obviously a no-go.

If I can't replace the head then my only option would be to pull it apart and sell off the parts to others looking for them, at least other owners could keep their stuff going.

re: headless

Hi flyflytn,
I know this is an older thread here & you may have already done something. But I'd like to suggest going to Ebay for a PB head. I've seen them there recently.
Wishing you success in whatever you do or have done with your TC-630.
Best regards....

My grandad bought one of

My grandad bought one of these all the way from Japan. The head and belts are totally dead, so there goes the chance of playing old spools... Quite impossible to find spares for it...
Anyway, my brother plugged it into the computer at home and viola! Ready amplifier. He made a complete surround-sound system for the room.
But now, for some reason it doesn't seem to be able to split the sound between the two speakers. The surround-sound is gone, now I have only the two of original speakers left.
Hoping the manual will help me there!!!

TC-630 belt

You can find it at vintage-electronics

I have gotten belts for both a Yamaha K-1020 (cassette, 3-head) & Sony TC-388-4 (r2r, 4-channel) and they both arrived promptly.

PS - If anyone has the Svc Manual (or even the Owners Manual) for a Sony TC-388-4 and would not mind uploading into hifiengine (...when they start allowing that again...) that would be greatly appreciated.

Sony TC-630 manual

thank you very much

re: Sony TC-630 manual

Dear nikogibson I wonder if you would let me know where you got your manual from ?, or was it downloaded to the other member ?. I'm a fairly new member from Queensland Australia and have been searching High and Low on the web and although there seems to be a few for sale .....the postage to Australia is dearer than the manual in the ones I've located. I've just acquired one of these lovely TC 630 Decks which looks to be in great condition, and I don't want to harm it. I've been watching some very good videos on " You Tube " about repairing these machines etc, many people want to show how good their machine is by putting on a hot tune, so they are obviously a very popular machine owned by a lot of dedicated enthusiasts , and I can see why too.
Any information would be gratefully received.
Don Yates

Amplifier Power Switch for TC-630

The Switch I need is a Lever Power Switch
Ref No. S 305,306 Part No. 1-514-325
Here,s hoping,
Thanks in anticipation.


Thank you for the download of the Service Manual for this machine.
I am also looking for a parts supplier as my machine needs a new Amplifier Power Switch.
I prefer to use the proper part rather than a lash up.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in anticipation.

Bought one on Craigslist and;

I bought one on Craigslist for $150.00 and of course it does NOT work because it was "In great shape and sounded good a few years ago." The manual is the only thing that can save me. THANKS!

TC 630

Congratulations and thanks to put these manuals availble. I got one for years in the attic and plugged it in. It worked for 2 hours and then suddenly havy smell and smoke. Now I need the manual....and I got it.

power cable


As you seem to be quite handy and I am not at all, do you know if there is any chance to buy a new power supply cable?
I lost it when we moved and Sony in the Netherlands tell me they don't have it anymore.

Regards in advance.

Sony TC 630 service manual

Thank you
My "new" TC 630 will need a lot of TLC .... this manual will be a great help.
(The TC 630 was the first "stereo" I ever heard!!!!)


Great! Thanks a lot for making this manual available. I have 2 TC-630´s that needs a little attention after 20 years of hybernating.

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