Audio Cassette Hardware

Servicing Sony Walkman TCS-30D

I’ve got this one for cheap, sold as “working” but we all know how much does in mean when you buy from ebay 😂

It wasn’t working very well, couldn’t fast forward and played only some cassettes, others it couldn’t advance at right speed. As always, this is its rubber belts that are too old and need to be replaced.

Other than that, this is a very nice and clean unit made around 2000, one of the latest recording Walkmans that still used their old design from the early 90’s – much easier to work on than the compact “slim line” models of the early 2000’s.

It records in mono from its internal microphone, but will record in stereo using an external stereo mike (that was originally sold with this player, but I don’t have it unfortunately). The recording quality isn’t really suitable for music, but is perfect for voice. Having an integrated speaker is also nice, but again, maybe not for music. Using headphones, it can be used to listen for music, an in stereo of course.

It has “double time” (half speed) setting for voice recordings and also a fine speed control, very useful for transcribing.

Need to be careful when listening to unprotected self-recorded mix tapes, not to press the “Record” button by error or it will ruin the existing recording. The prerecorded cassettes or self recorded with removed record tabs won’t let the “Record” button to be pressed, there is an interlock lever sensing if the tabs are there or not.

The back cover is opened unscrewing 4 screws, giving easy access to the mechanism. There are two belts to change, and this is very easy to do. Once this was done, I also cleaned the mechanism and the play/record head and spayed some contact cleaner in the volume and speed potentiometers.

This was all that was needed to make it work like new 😊