Sony Corporation

Superscope Technologies

Part 1

reel to reel tape recorders

Sony TC-777 Limited Edition reel to reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
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Manufacturer Profiles

This is a list of information we have gathered from a variety of sources on some of the major analog reel to reel tape recorder and related equipment manufacturers. While we have strived to provide the best information available to us, there will be corrections and additions. We include personal stories about the companies when they are provided to us.  We always invite input on corrections and updates. Thank you!

Statistics 20142015  •  KXAN Austin Recording Museum Update  • view overview video of tape recorder collectionmobile videomore info • See also Multi-Track recording

Please help us create a permanent facility for the preservation of vintage sound recording devices!

Go to: • 3MAEG/MagnetophonAkaiAmplifier CorpAmpexAmproAstrocom/MarluxBang & OlufsenBellBell & HowellBell LabsBerlant ConcertoneBeyerdynamicBrüel & KjærBrenellBrushCetec GaussCraigCrown • DokorderDualEdisonEicoElectro VoiceEMI/GramophoneFerrographFostexGrundigHeathKitKLHLeevers RichLyrecMagnecordMarantzMCIMitsubishiNagraNakamichiNeumannNewcombNeveOkiOtariPentronPhilipsPioneerPrestoRangertoneRCARobertsRolaSansuiScullyShureSolid State LogicSonySoundcraftSpectoneStancil HoffmanStellavoxStephensStuder ReVoxTandbergTape-AthonTapesonicTeac/TascamTechnicsTelefunkenTolnai ToshibaUher VikingWebster Chicago/WebcorWebster ElectricWilcox-GayWollensak

View calendar which lists company creation dates associated with world and recording history

Go to Sony Part 2 ADS  •  Go to Sony Part 3

 

 

Sony/Superscope

Sony
1-7-1 Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0075, Japan
Founded May 7, 1946

Superscope Technologies, 1508 Batavia Avenue, Geneva, IL 60134, founded 1954

Akio Morita in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collectionAkio Morita (right) - Sony founder , Born January 26, 1921, Nagoya, Aichi – Died October 3, 1999, Tokyo

Sony found its beginning in the wake of World War II. In 1946, Masaru Ibuka started an electronics shop in a bomb-damaged department store building in Tokyo. The company had $530 in capital and a total of eight employees. ] The next year, he was joined by his colleague, Akio Morita, and they founded a company called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation). The company built Japan's first tape recorder, called the Type-G. In 1958 the company name was changed to Sony

Sony remains one of the world’s largest media conglomerates, with over 158,000 employees worldwide and revenues in excess of US $63 billion.

Masaru Ibuka, the co-founder of SonyMasaru Ibuka (left), the co-founder of Sony

Sony was founded May 7, 1946 as Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo, Ltd. with capital of only $500 US. The name "Sony" was chosen for the brand as a mix of two words. One was the Latin word "Sonus", which is the root of sonic and sound, and the other was "Sonny", a familiar term used in 1950s America to call a boy. The first Sony-branded product, the TR-55 transistor radio, appeared in 1955 but the company name did not change to Sony until January 1958.

Initial developments included an electric rice heater and an electric heating pad.

The Sony founders obtained a military wire recorder, as well as a Webster Chicago wire recorder from the US and began experimenting with recording.

However when they were able to see a demonstration of a WilcoxGay tape recorder used by the occupying forces, it was decided this was their future. 

Sony tape and tape recorder products

In 1949 they concentrated on making tape and were successful after several experiments. Once they reviewed how a tape recorder worked at NHK, they created a prototype recorder in just one week

First Sony Tape  Prototype called Soni-Tape - 1949.  First Sony Tape Recorder Prototype1950Sony reel tape recorders being built in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection

Sony "G" reel tape recorders being built in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collectionIn 1950, Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation (the predecessor to Sony) launched Japan's first tape recorder, the "G type." Called "G" type because it was sold mostly to the government

Spring wound "M" Type for professional broadcast work - 1950

In marketing the G-type tape recorder, Totsuko registered it under the trademark name of " Tapecorder" (Later Sony used "Sterecorder")

This machine featured a tape speed of 19cm (7.5 inches) per second & 10 inch reels

TC-301. It was the first small tape recorder designed for the consumer market and was sold for 49,000 yen - $600 (the G type tape recorder launched 4 years before was sold at 160,000 yen -$2,600). It was this less-than 50,000 yen model that started the mass production of what until then were expensive products. Sony Corp.

Building and testing Sony reel to reel tape recorders in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection  Building and testing Sony reel to reel tape recorders in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection  Building and testing Sony reel to reel tape recorders in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection  Building and testing Sony reel to reel tape recorders in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection Building and testing Sony reel to reel tape recorders in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection 

Building and testing Sony reel to reel tape recorders in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection  Building and testing Sony reel to reel tape recorders in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection  Building and testing Sony reel to reel tape recorders in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection  Building and testing Sony reel to reel tape recorders in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection  Building and testing Sony reel to reel tape recorders in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection 

In the early 1950s, Ibuka traveled in the United States and heard about Bell Labs' invention of the transistor. He convinced Bell to license the transistor technology to his Sony 553 reel to reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collectionJapanese company, for use in communications. Ibuka's company made the first commercially successful transistor radios.

 

The Sony factory in Tokyo Japan in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collectionIn 1957 the company's name was changed to Sony.  One of the first Sony reel to reel recorders available in the US was the 553 shown here (right) and is also in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection collection.

1957 ad for the Sony 555 reel to reel tape recorders in the Reel2ReelTexas.com's vintage recording collection

 

 

First US Sony Tape recorder ad we found was in the 1957 HighFidelity magazine for the Sony 555 (right)

 

Sony's prototype ES-22-T professional reel tape recorder

Sony co-founder Akio Morita founded Sony Corporation of America in 1960.Sony C37P microphone in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection

In 1961, the Sony Corporation of America became the first Japanese company to ever be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. 

One of the most sought after Sony microphones is the Sony C37 shown at right.

Sony's prototype ES-22-T professional reel tape recorder (left)

In 1971, Masaru Ibuka handed the position of president over to his co-founder Akio Morita.  

Sony launched the Betamax videocassette recording format in 1975

Sony Elcaset

Elcaset info  in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collectionElcaset was a short-lived audio format created by Sony in 1976, building on an idea introduced 20 years earlier in the RCA tape cartridge.

In 1976, it was widely felt that the compact cassette was never likely to be capable of the same levels of performance that was available from reel-to-reel systems, yet clearly the cassette had advantages in terms of convenience. The Elcaset system was intended to marry the performance of reel to reel with cassette convenience. The name "Elcaset" may simply mean L-cassette, or large cassette, since the 1/4" tape inside 1976 ad for the Sony Elcaset  in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collectionwas double the 1/8" width found in standard cassettes. They were divided into six tracks.

The cassette itself looked very similar to a standard cassette, only larger—about twice the size. Like the earlier RCA tape cartridge it contained 6 mm (0.25 1976 ad for the Sony Elcaset  in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collectionin) tape running at 9.5 cm/s (3.75 in/s), twice the width and twice the speed of a standard cassette, providing greater frequency response and dynamic range with lower high-frequency noise than the compact cassette. Another notable difference from compact cassettes was that the tape was withdrawn from the cassette when run through the transport mechanism so that the manufacturing tolerances of the cassette shell did not affect sound quality. The Elcaset also had all the features of deluxe open reel decks, such as separate heads for erase, recording, and playback, remote control, and heavy duty transports for low wow & flutter.

1976 ad for the Sony Elcaset  in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collectionThe system was technically sound, but a complete failure in the marketplace, with a very low take up by a few audiophiles only. Apart from the problem of the bulky cassettes, the performance of standard cassettes had improved dramatically with the use of new materials such as chromium dioxide, Dolby B noise reduction, and better manufacturing quality. For most people, the quality of standard cassettes was adequate, and the benefits of the expensive Elcaset system limited. Audiophiles turned away from Elcaset and towards high-end cassette decks from companies like Nakamichi, which began making very high-quality tape decks using the regular audio cassette in late 1973. The tapes they made could be played on any standard cassette machine. Also, the machines were expensive. Elcaset began a fast fade-out in 1978.Sony TC-765 reel to reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collectionllection

The system was abandoned in 1980, when all the remaining systems were sold off in Finland.

1977/78 The last Sony reel to reel tape recorder

The last consumer Sony reel to reel tape recorder produced was the Sony TC-765.  The TC-765  shown to the right is in the Museum of Magnetic Sound recording.

 

Sony produced the world's first portable music player, the Walkman in 1979.

 

 

Sony tape recorder products in our collection

Sony 555A reel to reel tape recorder- 1957
 
Sony 300  reel to reel tape recorder - 1957
1957 ad for the Sony 555 reel to reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection1959 Sony 555 reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
 
1957 ad for the Sony 555 reel to reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection1957 Sony 300 reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
     
Sony 777-S reel to reel tape recorder- 1962
 
Sony 263-D reel to reel tape recorder - 1962
1962 ad for the  Sony 777 reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection1962 ad for the  Sony 777 reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection1962 Sony 777 reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
 
1962 ad for the  Sony 263D reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection1962 Sony 263D reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
     

Sony 777  Mixer & Speakers - 1962

 
Sony 102 reel to reel tape recorder- 1963
1962 ad for the  Sony 263D reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection1962 Sony 777 reel tape recorder Mixer and Speaker system accessories  in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
 
1963 ad for the  Sony 102 reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection1963 Sony 102 reel tape recorder  in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
     

Sony 600 reel to reel tape recorder - 1963

 
Sony 777 LE Limited edition reel to reel tape recorder  - 1964
1962 ad for the  Sony 263D reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection1963 Sony TC-600 reel tape recorder   in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
 
1964 ad for the  Sony TC-777 LE Limited edition reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection1964 Sony TC-777LE Limited Edition reel tape recorder  in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
     

Sony TC-500 reel to reel tape recorder  - 1964

 
Sony TC-800B Audio Recorder - 1964 Oval Office/White House Recorder
1964 manual cover for the Sony TC-500 reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection1964 Sony TC-777LE Limited Edition reel tape recorder  in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
 
1964 ad for the  Sony TC-800B reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection1964 Sony TC-800B reel tape recorder  in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
     

Sony TC-260 reel to reel tape recorder - 1965

 
Sony TC-350 reel to reel tape recorder deck - 1965
1965 ad for the Sony TC-260 reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com's vintage recording collection1965 Sony TC-260  reel tape recorder  in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
 
1965 ad for the Sony TC-350 reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com's vintage recording collection1965 Sony TC-350  reel tape recorder  in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
     
Sony SSA-905 portable reel to reel tape recorder - 1966
 
Sony TC 230 reel to reel tape recorder - 1967
1965 ad for the Sony TC-350 reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com's vintage recording collection  1965 ad for the Sony TC-350 reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com's vintage recording collection1965 Sony SSA-905A  reel tape recorder  in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
 
1965 ad for the Sony TC-230 reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com's vintage recording collection1967 Sony TC-230  reel tape recorder  in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
     
Sony TC 772 1/2 track 15 ips reel to reel tape recorder - 1969
 
Sony TC 630 w/speakers reel to reel tape recorder - 1970
1969 ad for the Sony TC-772 2 track professional on location reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com's vintage recording collection1967 Sony TC-772 2 track professional on location   reel tape recorder  in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
 
1969 ad for the Sony TC-630 reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com's vintage recording collection1967 Sony TC-630 reel tape recorder  in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
Sony TC 854-4 reel to reel tape recorder - 1971 (no longer in collection)
 
Sony TC 654-4 reel to reel tape recorder - 1971
Sony TC-654-4 donated by Don Nattinger to the Reel2ReelTexas collection
1971 ad for the Sony TC-854-4reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com's vintage recording collection1971 Sony TC-854-4 reel tape recorder which is no longer in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
 
1971 ad for the Sony TC-654-4 reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com's vintage recording collection1971 Sony TC-651 reel tape recorder  in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
     

Sony TC 580 reel to reel tape recorder - 1971

1971 ad for the Sony TC-580 reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com's vintage recording collection1974 Sony TC-755 reel tape recorder  in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection

 

Sony TC 730 reel to reel tape recorder - 1971

Manual cover for the Sony TC-730 reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com's vintage recording collection  Manual cover for the Sony TC-730 reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com's vintage recording collection  1974 Sony TC-755 reel tape recorder  in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection

 
Sony TC 651 reel to reel tape recorder - 1971
Sony TC-651 donated by Don Nattinger to the Reel2ReelTexas collection
 
Sony TC 755 reel to reel tape recorder - 1974
Sony TC-651 donated by Don Nattinger to the Reel2ReelTexas collection
1971 ad for the Sony TC-651 reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com's vintage recording collection1971 Sony TC-651 reel tape recorder  in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
 
1974 ad for the Sony TC-755 reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com's vintage recording collection1974 Sony TC-755 reel tape recorder  in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
     
Sony TC 510-2 reel to reel tape recorder - 1976
 
Sony TC 765 reel to reel tape recorder - 1976
1976 ad for the Sony TC-510-2 professional on location recorder  reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com's vintage recording collection1976 Sony TC-510-2  reel tape recorder  in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
 
1978 ad for the Sony TC-765 recorder  reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com's vintage recording collection1978 Sony TC-765reel tape recorder  in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
     
Sony/MCI JH-110 reel to reel tape recorder - 1976
 
Sony APR-5003 reel to reel tape recorder - 1988
Information article about the MCI JH-110 professional reel to reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collectionMCI JH-110 professional reel to reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection
 
Sony APAPR-5003 in phantom productions' studioSony APR 5003 professional reel to reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com's vintage recording collection
 

Music Center Incorporated (MCI) is the former name of a United States manufacturer of professional audio equipmentthat operated from 1955 until 1982 when it was acquired by the Sony Corporation. The company is credited with a number of world firsts: commercializing the 24-track multi-track recorder, the tape Auto Locator and in-line mixing console.

Sony APR 5003 professional reel to reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com's vintage recording collection

1988 Sony's professional APR-5003 in our Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection  MCI/Sony

MCI JH-110 professional reel to reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection

MCI JH-110

 

Go to Sony Part 2 ADS  •  Go to Sony Part

 

 

Please help us create a permanent museum for this collection

Go to: • 3MAEG/MagnetophonAkaiAmplifier CorpAmpexAmproAstrocom/MarluxBang & OlufsenBellBell & HowellBell LabsBerlant ConcertoneBeyerdynamicBrüel & KjærBrenellBrushCetec GaussCraigCrown • DokorderDualEdisonEicoElectro VoiceEMI/GramophoneFerrographFostexGrundigHeathKitKLHLeevers RichLyrecMagnecordMarantzMCIMitsubishiNagraNakamichiNeumannNewcombNeveOkiOtariPentronPhilipsPioneerPrestoRangertoneRCARobertsRolaSansuiScullyShureSolid State LogicSonySoundcraftSpectoneStancil HoffmanStellavoxStephensStuder ReVoxTandbergTape-AthonTapesonicTeac/TascamTechnicsTelefunkenTolnai ToshibaUher VikingWebster Chicago/WebcorWebster ElectricWilcox-GayWollensak

 

 
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