As you can see in the post below, I have purchased yet ANOTHER Sony ES cassette deck, despite swearing off Sony and only knowing two other people still using tapes. What can I say, I'm a geek AND a sucker. I got the TC-K700ES under the impression that it would work, and work it does. The only thing I have done to it so far is taken the LCD cleaner and canned air to it for a thorough cleaning, and I ran a brand new TDK dry head-cleaner through it a few times. I also took the hood off and tightened the record timer switch. The switch is connected to a small board that is held in place by a nut located just behind the faceplate. The nut had come loose and the switch was floating around. Unfortunately I scratched the switch plastic while holding it in place and tightening the nut, but it's not very noticeable.
I would only rate the deck a 7.5 for cosmetics, but even so, it is very impressive to look at. The interior is divided into three discrete compartments, and there are two Elena caps and a power supply nearly as big as those found in my NAD 3125 integrated amp! I know very little about cassette deck guts, which is why I have two nice examples awaiting dismantling in the 606ES and RX79ES (just ordered belts- if all goes well the seller will get a plug). The 700ES mechanism looks very impressive indeed, and as I learn more I will pass it on. I have only played one tape on it, just to ensure all is functioning properly, and from that cursory listen i would have to say it sounded better than my nearly brand new TC-W8AESA dual deck. It certainly is a beast, and it bears saying again- they don't make them like they used to! Anyone with experience with a high-end deck like this, your comments and advice would be most appreciated.