The TC-100 was Sony’s first cassette recorder and so became the first step on the path that would eventually lead to the Walkman a decade later. Sony’s choice to adopt the Philips Compact Cassette format rather than developing an incompatible one of their own did much do popularise tape recording, which became an attractive and viable domestic activity with the establishment of the cassette as the single worldwide standard. Had this not happened the market would have probably fragmented, something that occurred with the various mini and micro cassette formats in the following years where at least two European and two Japanese systems competed for recognition, limiting to the medium to business users and ensuring that pre-recorded releases, a key part of any audio format, would never become a marketable reality. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
The TC-100 was a trim and attractive machine whose styling set the tone for portable cassette recorders for the next twenty years. The attractive casework was finished with a thick overlay of satin-finished aluminium onto which the various legends were engraved, meaning that they would not wear away with use. Instead of the joystick lever which Philips used for controlling the mechanical functions of their first machines (later copied by Sony for their TC-12), the TC-100 used piano keys, later a universal fitment to all cassette machines. At this stage the keys for winding did not latch, meaning that the user had to hold the key down throughout any winding operation. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
The TC-100 was not a basic machine, it included automatic recording level control, inputs for a microphone and a line-level source, a well designed tone control and a built-in mains power unit which could be easily switched to suit the supply voltages found in most countries. For portable use the unit was powered by either 4 “C” sized cells or a rechargeable pack which could be recharged in-situ by connecting the recorder to the mains. There was no automatic stop function but an audible alarm would sound when the tape ran out during recording if Sony’s own “auto sensor” cassettes were used. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.