TC-12, picture by Nick Jarman

The TC-12 represents the typical Japanese cassette recorder product of the early 70’s. For this model, Sony used an identical mechanical layout to that employed in early Philips cassette recorders, as can be seen from the familiar control layout. The electronics differed slightly, including the most welcome change that only four batteries were required, instead of five. As a basic model, Sony had not applied their flair for miniaturisation to the TC-12, which was in fact slightly larger than the Philips original. While it would not satisfy the serious listener, the TC-12 gave reasonable results for dictation, speech programmes and popular music. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The TC-12 represents an early commitment by Sony to the Philips Compact Cassette format. Had Sony chosen another type of cassette, or developed their own, it is unlikely that the Walkman would have become as popular as it did so quickly. A later attempt to develop a non-compatible audio cassette format, the “Elcaset”, predictably ended in disappointment. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.