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a "new" old tape deck

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by DonnyThompson, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    A friend of mine called me yesterday... he had been helping a friend of his clean out the house of the friend's father who recently passed.

    He had called to ask me if I wanted an old R t R tape recorder that they found in a closet. I told him that I absolutely did, that I'd love to see what he had.

    What I found amazed me. A Sony 630TD 2 track deck, in as close to mint condition as you would find for a deck built in 1970.

    My guess is that it had been used maybe twice. LOL... It came in the original box, the owner's manual was still sealed in a brown paper wrapper.

    This deck is in magnificent shape. I know, however, that I will need to go over it, because while it wasn't used much, it's still been sitting a long time.

    My thoughts are capstans, pinch rollers, etc.

    This was a beautiful consumer deck at the time, when record labels were still releasing commercial albums on 1/4" tape.

    I'm looking for ward to giving it a going over later today, and I'll take and post some pics. You guys won't believe the condition this machine is in!
  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Lucky you !!
  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Attached Files:

  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Attached Files:

  5. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Wow very clean. Looking at the features, I remembered that ECHO was very important back then !! :D
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    My intention is to perhaps use it to track vocals with in the hope that it might add some nice warmth and smoothness. The range on this baby tops out at 10k, but I'm betting I could still get something useable out of it..
    As far as alignment, no fancy sync code needed - I could just use the old "manual slate" technique, and simply clap my hands in a four count intro before I recorded the vocal. I could then track the performance, or even various takes or phrases, and then fly them into the DAW - using the clap waveforms against the measure or beat as an alignment tool.

    T 'aint necessorrily hi fa-lootin' tichnology, but it'll do. ;)


  7. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    or better yet.... see if I can rig a way to tap signal directly off of the repro head... hmmmm...:sneaky:
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I love that deck! That was my first real production recorder, when I was still a teenager. Outside of my dad's advertising agency, production studio, I had also used.

    I never throw anything out LOL. I still have it. From the late 1960s.

    One thing ya have to be careful of Donny is that the high-frequency record equalizers are on coils with ferrite slugs, requiring a plastic adjustment tool. Don't even think about putting in an Allen wrench even if it fits. You're guaranteed to crack the ferrite. Yup, that's what I did when I was 14, trying to tweak it up to Scotch 206. Whoops. Thankfully, it still worked out. All I did was tweak until play back sounded like input. And I know I was within 1 db.

    I made some lovely recordings with that deck. The sound on sound and the sound with sound and Echo features, made it a blast for a teenager. No it did not have SelSync, dammit. Thankfully, I also had a Sony TD-250, reel to reel. So I would just bounce back and forth. Though I realized, early on, my passive mixer, was crap. I was longing for a SHURE M-67 or a Gately kit? A couple of years later I got a pair of M-67's which I modified to have on-off-cue, to create a DJ, broadcast board. From which I made my radio station demos as a DJ, landing me as the overnight guy at the number one album rock station in Baltimore, Maryland, 1976. And I think somewhere, I still have that demo?

    This machine came in two versions. One was just a deck, TD-630, Walnut grain cabinet. The other version, TC-630, featured 2 speakers, as 2 half's of the lid/cover to the TC-630. It had a built-in amplifier. Which is the one I had/have. And that amplifier allowed me to do other cool things like feed some Hammond reverb springs. So I have a soft place in my heart for that machine.

    And you mean the pressure pad for the playback/record head, is still intact? On yours? Fabulous! I've had to glue a few on over the years.

    So here is that recording, I made on my Sony, TC-630, 44 years ago, when I was only 14. Electro-Voice 636's, Omni, dynamics on the piano. The included Sony cardioid dynamic microphone which, when I think of it, was a little bit like a SM-57, with the output transformer removed and single ended out on a 1/4 inch TS plug.

    View: https://soundcloud.com/user3139903/mom-i-dream-too-much-1970

    So unlike all of the superb equipment, we talk about here. This was made with, essentially, consumer toys.

    Hope y'all enjoy it.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    This was for you Steve Solomon. Rest in peace... oh God I just lost a friend of mine a year and a half younger than me.
  10. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    That was a pretty amazing recording... the fidelity, considering it was recorded in '70. I'm very impressed with the top end. It has nice silk. I don't expect to be able to get that uber high frequency "air", because the deck specs out at 10k, but as I said, I think I can pull some useable tracks off of the deck by recording some vocals to it and then fly the parts into the DAW. At least that's my hope.

    The deck I was given is the TC 630 D, which is just the deck - no speakers - in a simulated walnut grain cabinet... LOL. Again, I was very impressed at how well this has held up since it was made in 1970. It even came with the hard plastic dust cover that has "Sony" imprinted on it. The owner's manual was in it's original packaging... a VERY heavy and thick kind of visquine plastic that you don't see much anymore. ;)
  11. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    well, I've cleaned and degaussed the heads - they really weren't bad at all.

    I ran a 1k test tone in at 0db, recorded it on a 7' reel of 456 that I had, then played it back while putting a frequency counter on it, and it played back perfectly... no oscillation or drift in the tone at all, other than what electronic measurements would show on any properly working tape deck...

    It's very quiet as well. Of course there's the trace of tape hiss, but it seems to be biased correctly, at least to itself. I'm digging around for my lab tape later today, at which point I'll have a better idea, but as of now, it seems to be just fine.

    All the jacks work, no crackling or noise on the input attenuators; all the mechanics - capstan, pinch roller, tension arm, lifters and sensors work great and run very smoothly; no drift in speed, all levers, buttons and their respective lights work perfectly.

    I wouldn't go so far as to say it's never been used, but it wasn't used much... and certainly not what you'd expect to see evidence of in a commercial usage sense.

    Ya... I think I scored on this one, considering it was given to me for free.


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