Review: Sony Sony TC-KA3ES Tape deck

Category: Miscellaneous

This Tape Deck is really good. To simplify this review, I will tell you the few regrets I do have :
- Rewind a little bit slow (slower than Sony TC-KA2ES)
- No memorisation of the bias, equalization and record level
- No microphone input
That's it ! A dream.
It is equipped with 2 cabestans, 3 motors (one QLL), 3 amorphous heads, Dolby B/C/S/HX, excellent meters, and it is build like a tank !
As for the sound, with a good tape, a well-tuned recording, Dolby S and HX in function, I am not sure I could tell the difference with the source. Treble and bass (often a weakness of tape decks) are excellent. Piano is perfectly stable. Saxophones are amazingly realistically reproduced (if the source was good). My previous Nakamichis (2 heads 1 cabestan only) were able to compete in the medium and treble in "Dolby C" mode, but couldn't match the Dolby S recordings made by the Sony. And they didn't have as much "punch" in the low frequencies.
I know, cassettes are out-of-fashion (too cheap and too good to make profits), but this tape deck is a great way to record your 33 rpm collection, CDs, etc.
I think that the Sony TC-KA3ES is still available new at Happy Medium, were I bought it. I was happy with their service and price.

Associated gear
Adcom GFP-565, dbx DriveRack, Adcom GFA-545-II + Adcom GFA-545-II + Parasound HCA-1000A, Cabasse 12", Focal 8", Dynaudio 2", Dynaudio 3/4"

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Hi, I also own A Sony KA3ES deck, it is really a great deck and I do use it and enjoy it but I have to say I think my B&O 9000 was better. I owned that one for 16 wonderful years but had to give it up as I needed a part that was no longer available. I found the Sony brand new and feel it is a close second to the B&O.