Built to embody the new Walkman aesthetic, this redesign of the vintage TC-510-2 slaps you with its sexiness. Although the analog tape recorder’s design still fundamentally remains the same, the entire device gets a new aesthetic treatment, with a stormtrooper colorway with a hint of orange accents, and a more premium Walkman-inspired black and gold colorway that absolutely elicits heavy breathing.
Designer: M MAO
Created as a CMF exploration of the original TC-510-2 reel-to-reel tape recorder from 1978, this modern rendition makes retro uber-cool by cleaning up its design and polishing it around the edges. The original had an undeniably futuristic look even by today’s standards, but took a few design directions that kept it in the past. For starters, all the knobs and dials were a brushed metal finish, while the device itself was bronze-ish on the top, black on the front, with that one hint of orange on the pause button. Designer M MAO cleans up the appliance by giving it two distinct colorways – one with a funky aesthetic and the other with a more serious audiophile energy.
Side by side, the white and black variants have completely different appeals. They’re both absolutely delicious to look at, but the white and orange variant captures a youthful, Teenage Engineering-inspired vibe. The black and cold variant feels much more high-end and refined. The gold creates just the right classy contrast against the black, while the orange screams loudly against the white in a way that’s much more rock and roll.
The Sony TC-510-2 was a portable reel-to-reel stereo tape recorder in the late 70s, also seen in Netflix’s psych-thriller series Mindhunter. Designed to work on a 12V battery pack or an AC-26 adaptor, the tape recorder could record both left and right channels (you can see the L and R mic inputs in the bottom left corner of the image above). The recorder was a viable alternative for professionals or semi-professionals who needed a high-quality portable stereo deck.