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TCS-2000

(1990)

TCS-2000, picture by Nick Jarman

This unassuming model was packed with Sony’s best cassette technology. It was offered as a portable stereo recorder with built-in stereo microphones and a built-in mono loudspeaker for monitoring purposes, stereo headphones could also be connected. The simple mechanical controls of the mechanism suggested nothing of the sophistication that lay beneath, the deck featured two motors, one a direct drive type whose shaft formed the capstan spindle. Such an arrangement was never offered in a Walkman, even the likes of the WM-D6C and TC-D5 offered only “Disc Drive” instead of direct drive. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The direct drive capstan gave the transport the necessary flexibility to offer a unique cue search system. In playback, the tape could be run at a faster speed but instead of heard garbled speech or music the user heard brief snippets of sound at normal speed. This was done by digitising the off-tape signal, storing it in a memory and then reading the memory back into a digital to analogue converter (DAC) at a reduced rate. Such a feat was not easily performed using the technology of the day and this, along with the sophisticated motor and the generally high standard of build, made the TCS-2000 nearly as expensive as the WM-D6C. During recordings, cue signals could be recorded onto the tape which the search system would stop at automatically, making the model an ideal tool for business dictation. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The TCS-2000 lacked Dolby noise reduction (although a simple NR system could be switched in during playback) and could only record on ferric tape. The microphone input was fitted with a switchable attenuator so that it could be used for recording from line sources too, level control being automatic only. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The mix of facilities offered by the TCS-2000 made it suitable as a high quality means of taking down dictation and recording meetings that could also be used for music replay on the move to a decent standard. This in practice turned out to be less a appealing package than was offered by some of the other Sony models at this price point and therefore the TCS-2000 did not sell particularly strongly. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.