• Sony TC-KA3ES

  • Stereo Cassette Deck

  • MSRP $800
  • 1996 - 2000
3 HeadDolby C logoDolby B NRDolby HXProDolby SDirect Drive
Sony TC-KA3ES
Compact Cassette
  • Three-Point Record Calibration
  • Sapphire Main Bearings
  • Quartz-Locked Speed Servo Control
  • Laseramorphous Head
  • Free-Action Sorbothane CassetteStabalizer
  • Anti-Resonant Ceramic Cassette Holder
  • 3 Head
  • Closed Loop Dual Capstan
  • 160 kHz Super Bias
  • AMS (Automatic Music Sensor)
  • ES (Elevated Standard)

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Sony K3ES
Sony K3es is one serious hifi deck. Heavy and big, it became my no 1 deck after my Nakamichi 680 broke down a few years ago.
Almost sounded as sharp as the Nak, but lacked in the upper upper higher regions. It has low wow and flutter, not only specs but also audible in comparison with other decks, because of the dual capstan transport mechs. , and due to the cassette stabilizer. Base region sounds were very low and sounded good but I have to admit K3es sounded a bit more wooly overal, specially in the base region compared with the Nak. Natural sound was almost as good as the Nak. Specially one could appreciate the sound quality when turning up the volume on my Luxman L-410. But I noticed a gap was slowly emerging on the playback-recording head because of the endless years of tape travelling and eating away the head surface. That interfered with the sound more and more last few years, and it so would be destroying tapes more frequently. After 15 years I gradually took it out of use. Which was a shame, because the rest of the machine mechanically was bravely moving on. I liked the way it could be monitoring and comparing the recording and the original sound by turning knobs like monitoring, bias and rec equalizing for different brands of tape. The logicality of the knobs is perfect and the readout on the vu meters was very precise and many. The many K3es-recordings that I made are still sounding perfectly on other decks and are also more interchangeable with all other brands as opposed to the Nakamichi recordings. One time I had one mishap, in which a cassette was fed in the deck by my hand while at the same time the automatic door closing mechanism was prematurely and accidentally activated, so the lid got stuck with the cassette half in. That automatic door always was one surprise to my as I am always using more cassette decks at the same time without these automatic doors. Now the deck is seized up in one mode between playback and stop, and has not been played since february 2012. I made a small Youtube film with the K3es still in action that time, soon available on YouTube. This deck has a better build quality than Nak, I had the impression, if only it had the nak heads too. I got this Sony K3ES from a second hand shop for only 25 Dutch Guilders= 25 Euro. What a great way to spend so little money on such a valuable deck. Greeting from Frans Wiegmans, Nederland.