Sony PS-X600 'Biotracer' Turntable


Image attribution: British Sony Brochure, 1982

The Sony PS-X600 may look like a cheap, mass-market automatic turntable with a plastic plinth and mediocre sound quality, but don't be fooled - appearances can be deceptive - the PS-X600 was a very good turntable incorporating some innovative technology. It was available from 1981 to 1983.

The Sony PS-X600 features Sony's 'Biotracer' tonearm and is a decendant of the PS-B80 from 1978. Unlike the high-end PS-B80, the PS-X600 was available for a very reasonable 180 which representated extraordinary value considering the engineering that went into producing it. It featured fully automatic operation, intelligent repeat modes, record size and speed selection, plus forward and backward cueing at the touch of a button For those not familiar with Sony's Biotracer tonearm, it was a very advanced design for it's time (and still is now!) being fully microprocessor controled whereby lateral and vertical sensors passed signals to tiny linear motors controlling the arm's motion, while tracking weight and side-thrust were continually monitored and corrected. The system also electronically controlled subsonic damping too and allowed the tracking force to be safely adjusted while a record is being played. This was a genuinely useful and almost unique feature which allowed changes in sound quality to the monitored and accessed instantly as small changes in the tracking force were made.

The Sony PS-X600 was surprisingly well made and was heavy (8.5 Kg) for it's compact size. The plinth as not cheap plastic as one might expect but was instead made of "SBMC" (Sony Bulk Moulding Compound). SBMC is basically polyester mixed with fibre-glass and minerals to make it strong, dense and non-resonant. The 1.5Kg aluminium alloy platter was driven by quartz referenced Sony brushless and slotless direct drive motor which achieved superb specs for speed stability.

The Sony PS-X600 was capable of excellent sound quality, not just excellent for an auto deck but excellent full stop. An obvious competitor of the PS-X600 would have been the superb Technics SL-7. So, which was the better deck? Well, excellent though the Sony is, I'd spend my money on the Technics but the Sony is more flexible in terms of cartridge choices.


Image attribution: British Sony Brochure, 1982


Image attribution: British Sony Brochure, 1982


Image attribution: British Sony Brochure, 1982


Image attribution: Earthshine eTrading Ltd. Used with permission.


Image attribution: Earthshine eTrading Ltd. Used with permission.


Image attribution: Earthshine eTrading Ltd. Used with permission.


Image attribution: Earthshine eTrading Ltd. Used with permission.


Image attribution: Earthshine eTrading Ltd. Used with permission.


Image attribution: Earthshine eTrading Ltd. Used with permission.

Speeds 33, 45 RPM
Type of operation Fully Automatic
Drive method Direct drive (quartz servo controlled)
Wow & Flutter < 0.023% (DIN)
Rumble No Data
Platter Material Aluminium alloy
Platter weight (Kg) No Data
Platter mat material Rubber
Standard arm Electrocinally controlled "Biotracer"
Dust Cover Yes, acrylic, hinged
Fine speed adjustment No
Width x Height x Depth (cm) 43.0 x 12.0 x 38.0
Weight (Kg) 8.5
When manufactured 1981 to 1982
UK new price 180
eBay price guide (full working order and in good, clean condition) 95 and 165
ClassicHiFi.info Rating
Rarity










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