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How do i use a sony TC-440 reel to reel player? Answered

Last saturday I hit up a garage sale and scored a Sony TC-440 reel to reel player.  It was never used, circa 1972! Same year I was born.  Anyway, its awesome and all but they didn't have the take up reel for it.  I've spotted numerous take up wheels on ebay, kinda pricey considering I don't know if it indeed works or not.  Oddly enough old stock of various reels are fairly cheap.  Thing is I'm not sure what size it uses.  Pretty sure its needs 7" reels, but they seem to be available in different widths.  Second, since the tape reels are so cheap, would it work just to buy one of the reels with tape on it, and remove the tape to use as a take up reel?  Any help would be great.  I'll post a generic picture of it, as I haven't taken a pic yet.


WOW, the lady who held the garage sale tracked me down through facebook to let me know she found the manual and a box of about 20 reels! This garage sale keeps on giving, love it!


Best Answer 7 years ago

It uses 7" reels of 1/4" tape.

Even though it has never been used you may still have to refurbish it. It has several belts that are made of rubber or a similar material that may have dried out or broken, or will soon. It may need oiling in the motors, guides etc. There was a model near this time that had a rotating head, similar to the head on a video recorder, that will need some maint.

If a filled reel is cheaper than an empty reel the just empty one. Dispose of the waste tape safely. Dogs and cats for some reason like to chew on it and swallow it with serious consequences.

It's a nice home quality unit. It has automatic reverse which is great. IIRC it uses foil tape as a reversing signal.

It could be a great chance to make a good profit on ebay and buy something that you really want.

I bet this cat "really wants" it. I held on to a copy of The Wall (till it fell apart) just hoping I could score one........ say that reminds me, I got a reel of Casablanca on super 8.

I've got a couple reels of 35mm, from a theater that closed down. I've sometimes wondered what they're worth, but haven't tried to find a collector's community yet. I think one may be the trailer for Patton....

I bet its wanted someplace. Mine is a tiny little part of the movie. Its pretty odd because its a small can and there must have been a lot of them. Not an easy way to watch a movie. But I guess an 8 track stopped mid song as well. Not a good way to listen to Framton Comes Alive !

I need a operating manual for a TC440. I'd be glad to pay you to photocopy it.

I need a operating manual for a TC440. I'd be glad to pay you to photocopy it.

Will watch as soon as I get home, pesky internet security at work does not allow video

Yes, those are 7" reels. And yes, reels are interchangable; it was/is fairly common to run tape from one reel to another, then use the reel it came off to run the next tape and so on.

You can probably find a scanned or recopied users' manual somewhere on the web, though they may want to charge you a buck or two for it.

Note that, like cassettes, this is a four-track recorder -- two stereo tracks in each direction on the tape. Unlike some, this one can play/record both directions without physically flipping the tape over, and can auto-reverse if you glue the appropriate reflective foil to the tape so the machine sees it before the tape comes off the reel.


There are sites which claim to have the user's manual on line, but they want users to register and I haven't wanted to do so. I might be able to find the manual from my old deck; operation would be essentially similar, outside of the fact that this is a three-head deck and mine is two-head.