Sony tape recorder - Heyyyyy. My summer girrrl.

Some "we are spoiled babies" news now, from 1968, home of this Sony ad. Buy a Sony tape recorder, to have loads of music with you at all times!
This marvel of technology only cost $69.50 in 1968 - a bargain price for a constant soundtrack to your life, right? In today's Future Bucks, that's $430. "Budget price" it says. Well, at least it's only the size of a small suitcase. Then there's all the cassettes you'll want to carry around. Oh, and the batteries it will devour, because rechargeable battery technology was sucky in '68 and generally didn't exist in the consumer market, apart from car batteries. Yikes. You'd better enjoy Van Morrison's Astral Weeks at a gradually decreasing speed and volume. I kind of suspect that's how he intended for it to be heard.

And only a few weeks ago I was annoyed that my new smarty phone only had 16Gb of onboard storage, plus the 32Gb micro SD I stuck into it. That's just 48 gigs of storage. My complete music collection is 80 gigs minimum. Boo hoo. I want to punch myself for being disappointed.

Hey, I think there's  a
tape recorder over there!

The fiction presented by the ad copy suggests that a girl would want this tape recorder so that guys will be attracted to her company. I don't think anybody working on this ad campaign were men, or ever met a man, or heard of men, or had one described for them... or were from Earth. The guys in the photo are ogling her from behind, where they can't see the tape recorder. The Sony product is not part of the equation in this picture. Way to misunderstand a simple eternal truth of human existence, Sony.

Anyway, this photograph was taken in 1968, when I was far too young to appreciate the model. I'm glad she waited for me to see her picture 44 years later. She's nice like that.

Click for huge.


Joe Max said...

Phil, those tape decks were not cassette players, but small reel-to-reel recorders. They used 3-inch or 5-inch "open-reels" of 1/4-inch wide tape. (Remember the self-destructing tapes in the old "Mission:Impossible" episodes?) So it was not even as convenient as carrying around cassettes, but carrying around lots of small reels of tape in individual boxes!

The giveaway is the "two-track" and "four-track" designations; two-track reel-to-reel decks only recorded in one direction, (each track being one stereo channel) but a four-track meant you could turn the tape reel over and record in stereo on the "other side".

Cassette tapes were introduced in the USA in 1964, but reel-to-reel decks had much better sound quality. Cassettes were sold mostly for dictation use until 1971 when Advent/Dolby brought out the first "hi-fi" cassette deck.

Here's a link to a photo of the 910A recorder that the lovely bikini-clad miss is sporting in the ad:


There were commercially-made pre-recorded music tapes in the 7-inch format in the 1960s, but those didn't exist in 3-inch format. So you had to record your own music tapes using the "tape rec/monitor" jacks on your stereo receiver.

The 3-inch reels the 910 used had about 10 minutes of recording time. So after three songs you had to flip or change the tape, and doing this on a beach with wind-blown sand all around was not going to do your expensive, open-reel tape deck much good.

And yes, the oglers are clearly ogling her butt, not the Sony.

Joe Max said...

With a bit of research, I amend my statement:

The smaller recorders like the 910 were monophonic, one-track recorders, recording in one direction. The "two-track" recorder was two-direction (turn the reel over for "side two") but still monophonic. The "four-track" was the only STEREO deck, recording two channels (stereo) in both directions.

Post a Comment