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Sony TC-651

Stereo Tapecorder (1971)

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Sony TC-651


The Sony Model TC-651 is a solid state stereo tape deck designed for the dedicated audiophile.

The use of all silicon transistors and four precision heads including a reverse playback head results in extremely accurate handling of transient waveforms, low noise and low distortion.

The three motor tape transport mechanism is designed to provide flutter-free, stable operation either in a vertical or horizontal position.

Independent mechanism, electronic plug-in card system, plug-in head assembly and plug-in head cover make this recorder extremely simple to service.

Special features include:

APS (Automatic Program Scanner) senses the beginning of a recorded tape

Automatic reversing system may be programmed for non reverse, one reverse cycle, or continuous play

Microphone inputs, line inputs and outputs which correspond with level controls on the front panel

Tape equalization selector switch for standard or Low-noise High-output tape

Professionally calibrated VU meters for accurate record level setting

Automatic shut-off

Instantaneous comparison of source and tape


Echo effect for artistic recording techniques

Level adjustable headphone output


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

Heads: 2 x playback, 1 x record, 1 x erase

Motor: 2 x reel, 1 x capstan

Reel size: up to 7 inch reel

Tape speeds: 3 34  7 12 ips

Wow and flutter: 0.04% (7 12 ips)

Frequency response: 20Hz to 25kHz (7 12 ips)

Signal to Noise Ratio: 54dB

Input: 70mV (line), 0.2mV (mic)

Output: 0.775V (line)

Semiconductors: 74 x transistors, 92 x diodes

Dimensions: 422 x 457 x 243mm

Weight: 20.2kg


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re: TC-651

Well, I found a great thread on Tapeheads.net that not only described all of my problems but showed how to correct the motor problems by replacing the "snubbers" .They are resister-capacitor networks designed to protect the relay contacts in the drive mechanisms. They are shown on the schematic on this page. Sony called them capsuled devices. For the TC-651 they amount to a 120 ohm resister and a 0.1 mfd cap in series. They fail often and sometimes catastrophically. They are potted and not readily available but easily replaced with discrete components. There are 8 on the syscon 3 board which is easy to get to, and 1 on the brake relay. It took me about 15 minutes to pull the NCC snubbers and intsall the caps and resisters. It brought the machine back to life. When they short out they slow or stop the affected motor. The only adjustment I saw for the brakes was in some adjustable springs in slots. The main problem is that the brake "shoes" get hard or unglued or folded. Clean the drums and replace the felts. What a great machine after the relatively simple repairs.doug

re: TC-651

Tape deck has been in storage many years. Plays well, have not tried to record. Only one perceptible problem--fast forward and rewind. In one direction, it spills tape when stopped; the other, it breaks the tape. Sounds like brakes are out of adjustment, but I have no idea how to adjust. Any ideas?

re: TC-651

My tc 651 sounds slow, is there a adjustable Potentiameter for the capstan motor? ty bob

re: TC-651

Asides from cleaning/re-lubrication of the motor and mechanism, the motor-run capacitor can fail, burning out the capstan motor if continued use.

re: TC-651

I have just acquired a 651 and it has the same brake issues and the capstan motor starts normally then slows down. I cant find any drag in the tape path or motors. The reel motors seem to be doing their job. I see capacitors on the reel motor circuits but not on the capstan motor. It is a hysteresis motor, do they have start/run caps??? doug

re: TC-651

I worked on one with this issue and ended up replacing all the capacitors on the "system control circuit board 3" they are 0.1mfd with a 120 ohm resistor is series. That seemed to take care of the issue. But I now see it has already been answered so sorry for the redundancy.

re: TC-651

My almost identical TC-650 was doing the same thing and I had to clean the motor with CRC lectra-motive and re-oil it.

This website is not affiliated with or sponsored by Sony. To purchase TC-651 spares or accessories, please contact the company via their website or visit an authorised retailer.