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  #1  
Old 10-14-2008, 05:06 PM
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What's The Best Walkman/Portable?

I know this is a loaded question, but I am tired of these po-dunk, mid-grade Sony Walkmans. The wow and flutter is horrible, the "Anti-Rolling" mechanism doesn't work as advertised, and Dolby B sounds like someone is trying to smother the music. (I know that can be calibration issues, but still...)

Can anyone recommend a place where I can find one very good portable that plays GOOD? I know Sony made some good ones, but they seem to be so hard to find nowadays. Something like these:

http://pocketcalculatorshow.com/walkman/sony/

I mean, most of these models listed are freakin' awesome, what with Cobalt Amorphous heads, quartz lock servo for constant tape speeds, cassette stabilizer, etc. And some like the WM-FX822 have built-in nice LCD screen and is fully logic. Anyone have any ideas? The models I currently have are WM FX415-, WM FM-45, and WM-F2015.
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:20 PM
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Scorpion8 Scorpion8 is offline
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Poke around here....http://www.walkmancentral.com/

The ultimate reference, although I have 9 Sonys and not all of them are listed. I've found that the Sony and Aiwa units (I have 3) are the best built, and with the most features. Must be some reason that Sony bought up Aiwa later in life. Your decision should be based on what features you need, how advanced you want, and how small you want. Some of the Sony's (older units) are large(r).
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  #3  
Old 10-14-2008, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpion8 View Post
Poke around here....http://www.walkmancentral.com/

The ultimate reference, although I have 9 Sonys and not all of them are listed. I've found that the Sony and Aiwa units (I have 3) are the best built, and with the most features. Must be some reason that Sony bought up Aiwa later in life. Your decision should be based on what features you need, how advanced you want, and how small you want. Some of the Sony's (older units) are large(r).
I think I found my poison.... the Sony WM-DC2. Seems perfect, laser amorphous heads, Dolby B&C NR, metal casing, and full-logic transport. Not bad at all. Thanks for the help and the site for reference!
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  #4  
Old 10-14-2008, 09:59 PM
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Glad to help. Surprisingly I think you picked one of the bestest of them, and finding one may be a search. All the ones I have I picked up at thrifts or yardsales for between $0.50 and $5. I even have one of the original WM-2's that I got for free! Just keep looking. And if you find a good one, belts can be changed to keep them going for many years.
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  #5  
Old 10-15-2008, 03:49 PM
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i've got a DC2 myself. or, more accurately, what's left of one. it was my ex-father's. he stared having issues with it in the late '80s because of some issue with the servo motor. both he and one of his co-worker's at wick's airfreight in portland, OR owned one of these, both bought at the downtown portland SONY ONLY. first his copy developed the problem, then a year or two later my ex-father's did as well. either they were both from a bad batch, or it is a problem inherent in the design. at any rate, my ex-father was doing drugs at the time, and his already unstable personality was only the worse as a result. one evening, when he first discovered that his DC2 no longer worked, he stormed into the living room in a frothy rage swearing out the "JAP PIECE OF SHIT" and flung it with all his strength at the wall, leaving a tremendous gouge in the wall and a finished-off DC2 in pieces on the floor. i have no idea if this poor thing is at all repairable, but my mother thought so, and kept it all those years, giving it to me back around 2000 or so. at any rate, the impact snapped the metal cassette bay door off it's mountings, and the only way i could repair it was to directly superglue the door to the steel cassette bracket that houses the pinch roller and heads. i still have it's original red foil box, faux leather carry case and all paperwork as well...
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  #6  
Old 10-17-2008, 11:04 PM
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JXBJXB JXBJXB is offline
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My Sony WM-D6C "professional", which I bought off of Craigslist recently for far less than it should have been (with AC adapter, case, and some sealed SA and UX cassettes) sounds awesome. No speed issues, stable sound, and most impressively it can drive just about any headphone I throw at it, probably due to the 6 volts it requires (4 AA). I tweaked the head alignment just a bit to match up well with my Nak decks, and honestly, the playback out of the Sony is almost as good. As I type this I'm listening to a Radiohead CD recorded to a late 70's UDXL-II, and Beyerdynamic DT770 phones. It sounds fantastic.

I get the oddest looks when I pull it out on airplanes, especially next to the iPod Shuffle I carry for podcasts. I'm waiting for the TSA to tell me that I must be suspicious because nobody else carries such a beast on planes anymore.

Drawbacks? It weighs a ton, it is WAY big for a walkman, no radio, and the various 1/8" jacks can be delicate. They are hard to find for a good price. The later versions of the same model had a more robust PCB inside that improved reliability somewhat. But in general, these units are tanks, and just run and run and run. They were recommended in Stereophile for years as a possible home-deck stand in.

A lot of the smaller models, including the other "professional" model WM-D3, have a main gear that develops a crack and/or missing teeth that is very difficult to repair and is impossible to replace (no parts available). When they start to go, you evidently hear a clicking sound that gets worse and worse.

A good resource for all things Walkmen is stereo2go.com.
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  #7  
Old 03-11-2009, 05:34 PM
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keesue keesue is offline
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I have the WM-6DC also. (I actually have two in case one failed. Neither one has). I opened one up and the build quality is typical Sony, very top notch. The belt drive is simple.

I bought the first one in 1987. I have connected it to my full range system and it acquits itself extremely well. As stated, it will drive any headphone you can throw at it. I currently use Senn 600s on it and it is pure heaven. Like stated, people on airplanes always want to know why I still listen to cassettes. I pass 'em the phones and that says it all. I haven't used it to record. I use it to play back tapes made on my home machines. I also use it to connect into my IPOD port in my Yaris. Tapes on the road sound great. I've also connected my WM-EX20 and I gotta say, I'm impressed.

There was a reviewer who stated that one needed only this deck for recording and portable playback. Frankly, I agree. if I only had this deck, I'd be quite happy.

I also tweaked the azimuth just a tad - a fine hair - to get the imaging spot on.

Thanks for the stereo2go link!
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  #8  
Old 03-12-2009, 09:29 AM
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Wm-D6 is a very good model. It has 2 high failure parts both of which Sony has kept in production.
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  #9  
Old 06-22-2009, 02:35 PM
T.W.G T.W.G is offline
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Hi,

personaly I would recommend the Sony WM-DD33.

For me it's one of the best cassette Walkman ever made :-)
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  #10  
Old 06-22-2009, 03:55 PM
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JaeTee JaeTee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JXBJXB View Post
My Sony WM-D6C "professional", which I bought off of Craigslist recently for far less than it should have been (with AC adapter, case, and some sealed SA and UX cassettes) sounds awesome. No speed issues, stable sound, and most impressively it can drive just about any headphone I throw at it, probably due to the 6 volts it requires (4 AA). I tweaked the head alignment just a bit to match up well with my Nak decks, and honestly, the playback out of the Sony is almost as good. As I type this I'm listening to a Radiohead CD recorded to a late 70's UDXL-II, and Beyerdynamic DT770 phones. It sounds fantastic.

I get the oddest looks when I pull it out on airplanes, especially next to the iPod Shuffle I carry for podcasts. I'm waiting for the TSA to tell me that I must be suspicious because nobody else carries such a beast on planes anymore.

Drawbacks? It weighs a ton, it is WAY big for a walkman, no radio, and the various 1/8" jacks can be delicate. They are hard to find for a good price. The later versions of the same model had a more robust PCB inside that improved reliability somewhat. But in general, these units are tanks, and just run and run and run. They were recommended in Stereophile for years as a possible home-deck stand in.

A lot of the smaller models, including the other "professional" model WM-D3, have a main gear that develops a crack and/or missing teeth that is very difficult to repair and is impossible to replace (no parts available). When they start to go, you evidently hear a clicking sound that gets worse and worse.

A good resource for all things Walkmen is stereo2go.com.
I have a WM-D3 that had the cracked gear problem as described. I've been a member of stereo2go.com for a couple of years now and it was there where I found the fix. I delicately custom-cut an additional gear slice and fitted it to the gap in that gear wheel and epoxied it into place. It plays like a champ now. It runs on only two AA batteries and sounds fantastic with my Grado SR-80 headphones. I use it almost every day for walking the dog.

The neighbors probably think I look funny wearing the Grados around the hood, but I really don't care what they think. The sound of those tapes via those headphones puts a grin on my face every night. In fact, it's time to walk the dog right now...

Later, JT
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Tape Decks: Naks: Dragon, ZX-7, RX-303, RX-202, 480, Akai CS-F39R | Reel To Reels: Sony TC-765, Tandberg 9200XD |
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  #11  
Old 08-05-2009, 11:03 AM
R.Daneel R.Daneel is offline
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Hi!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaeTee View Post
I have a WM-D3 that had the cracked gear problem as described. I've been a member of stereo2go.com for a couple of years now and it was there where I found the fix. I delicately custom-cut an additional gear slice and fitted it to the gap in that gear wheel and epoxied it into place. It plays like a champ now. It runs on only two AA batteries and sounds fantastic with my Grado SR-80 headphones. I use it almost every day for walking the dog.

The neighbors probably think I look funny wearing the Grados around the hood, but I really don't care what they think. The sound of those tapes via those headphones puts a grin on my face every night. In fact, it's time to walk the dog right now...

Later, JT
Hello! You can't imagine how happy I am for reading this. My beloved WM-DC2 has that same problem (clicking). Would you perhaps be willing to fix my walkman? I am not really handy with electronics... or could you maybe direct me to someone who would. I would be willing to pay a generous fee to that person of course.

And funny how you fixed the problem. I had the exact same idea when I took out the gear of my other DDIII walkman.

Thanks!
Toni
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  #12  
Old 11-11-2009, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keesue View Post
I have the WM-6DC also. (I actually have two in case one failed. Neither one has). I opened one up and the build quality is typical Sony, very top notch. The belt drive is simple.

I bought the first one in 1987. I have connected it to my full range system and it acquits itself extremely well. As stated, it will drive any headphone you can throw at it. I currently use Senn 600s on it and it is pure heaven. Like stated, people on airplanes always want to know why I still listen to cassettes. I pass 'em the phones and that says it all. I haven't used it to record. I use it to play back tapes made on my home machines. I also use it to connect into my IPOD port in my Yaris. Tapes on the road sound great. I've also connected my WM-EX20 and I gotta say, I'm impressed.

There was a reviewer who stated that one needed only this deck for recording and portable playback. Frankly, I agree. if I only had this deck, I'd be quite happy.

I also tweaked the azimuth just a tad - a fine hair - to get the imaging spot on.

Thanks for the stereo2go link!
Yes, I love these machines. I have several WM-D6Cs and a TC-D6C. They are disk drive though. Not belt drive. It uses a belt for ffw and rewind.
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  #13  
Old 11-12-2009, 12:15 AM
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Mr_rye89 Mr_rye89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keesue View Post
I have the WM-6DC also. (I actually have two in case one failed. Neither one has). I opened one up and the build quality is typical Sony, very top notch. The belt drive is simple.

I bought the first one in 1987. I have connected it to my full range system and it acquits itself extremely well. As stated, it will drive any headphone you can throw at it. I currently use Senn 600s on it and it is pure heaven. Like stated, people on airplanes always want to know why I still listen to cassettes. I pass 'em the phones and that says it all. I haven't used it to record. I use it to play back tapes made on my home machines. I also use it to connect into my IPOD port in my Yaris. Tapes on the road sound great. I've also connected my WM-EX20 and I gotta say, I'm impressed.
Haha I also plug my d6c into my car stereo too! my kenwood tape head unit is crap anyways and that is the only thing that makes my car stereo sound decent. before that i was resting my Nak bx-125 on the folded-down back seat of my Supra and using that to play tapes it sounded great but it was kinda weird and a pain in the

but anyways the d6c is a top notch portable and its way better built than any of my broken (and now parted) wm-dd/wm-2 type walkmans with their crappy center gear
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  #14  
Old 01-06-2010, 07:11 PM
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Amusing - I'm thinking that when I eventually buy a car with no cassette headunit, I will plug the walkman right into the headunit.

Someone up above mentioned a reviewer that said the WM-6DC was the only cassette deck that anyone really needed. Actually, I believe that review was in Stereophile in the mid 80's, and the reviewers opinion was that cassette was at best a mid-fi medium anyway unless you got up into the upper echelon (those days, Nakamichi, Tandberg, Revox, pretty much).
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  #15  
Old 01-07-2010, 08:36 PM
JeffeM JeffeM is offline
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Wow this is amazing, all these Walkman/WM-D6 and D6C owners, same here, won't complain, is not very "walkable" but sound is top notch! Same here too, tweaked the AZ to match the Nak and happy ever since. I do have a WM-FX671 that I don't see listed on the links below, its just larger than a cassette and I still amaze that it has enough stuff in it to play a tape, just looked at it for the first time to see if it has a tuner, and it does (tape nut, yep, me too). Found info on Amazon here:
http://www.amazon.com/Sony-WM-FX671-.../dp/B00001ZUGF

Never had an issue with it and have used it a lot, only Dolby B but sound is very good. Rechargable battery is still good though no more available No worries though, affordable Lithium AAs off ebay, now cheap to fuel.

Jeff M
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:22 AM
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For the best portable PLAYBACK ONLY walkman i would have to say its the sony WM-DD9 20–20,000 Hz frequency range ,amorphous tape head,auto-reverse,two-motor, quartz-locked i dont think you can get anything better then that for portability
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  #17  
Old 01-08-2010, 04:43 AM
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For the best portable PLAYBACK ONLY walkman i would have to say its the sony WM-DD9 20–20,000 Hz frequency range ,amorphous tape head,auto-reverse,two-motor, quartz-locked i dont think you can get anything better then that for portability
Wow, that looks nice. Bet is sounds nice too. How come we don't see many full-logic, laser amorphous walkman's around here in the US?
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  #18  
Old 01-08-2010, 05:25 PM
tcp100 tcp100 is offline
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I know this is a little "unconventional", but the best players I've found - and they're hard to find, but DO still show up on ebay about once a month - are the portable Philips DCC players that play analog.

They're phenomenal as sound is concerned, as the 16-track MR head pretty much eliminates azimuth issues. Only problem is the battery is proprietary, and hard to find.

If I could find a way to adapt these to use AAAs or something (3 might do it; battery voltage is 4.8v) I'd carry 'em everywhere.





Metal casing, full logic, quartz controlled for low W&F.

DCC 170 is the recorder / player,
DCC 134 is the player only model.

There's also a DCC 175 which could be connected to a computer, but this goes for a premium. (One is on ebay right now.)

What I say here does NOT apply to the US-only model DCC 130, which was shaped, and built, like a discman. Not good.
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  #19  
Old 01-09-2010, 07:20 AM
Dazen1 Dazen1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcp100 View Post
I know this is a little "unconventional", but the best players I've found - and they're hard to find, but DO still show up on ebay about once a month - are the portable Philips DCC players that play analog.
Good call.

More info here: http://www.marantzphilips.nl/philips..._dcc_recorder/
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  #20  
Old 01-11-2010, 08:41 AM
R.Daneel R.Daneel is offline
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Hi

Hello guys!

I have found that DCC players don't last very long and it is risky to buy them on ebay unless they are in perfect condition.

The best cassettes players imo you can still find are:

Sony WM-DC2: has amorphous head, disc drive which is quartz-locked, dolby b/c encoding, metal tape capability, genuine line out, a really solid amplification stage

Sony WM-DD100 Boodo Khan: it is not a dolby c machine, nbo quartz control here but it is disc drive, has no amorphous head but I have found it sounds awesome with full size headphones. Much better than any modern player

Sony WM-DDp: I don't have this one but I have listened to it a lot, it has an advanced EX amorphous head, dolby b/c, auto revers which uses 2 separate quartz-locked motors for each side individually. It is not nearly as loud as a DC2 but sounds best with good highly-sensitive headphones.

Aiwa HS-PX505: this is probably the best sounding cassette player ever made. Think of it as a fusion of Son WM-DD9 which is extremely extended and transparent and a Sony WM-DC2 drive and energy. Has an Aiwa HX amorphous head, dolby b/c, parametric dynamic loudness, autoreverse, remote control and something called BBE syste. This is not an equalizer but is actually a sound improbement system. It was developed for portable audio by BBE systems and works on the same principles as their studio and concert systems do. I am generally against hthese kind of things but it just sounds better that way. Everything sounds better in every area. i'd say this walkman is my favourite. Though a belt drive, it has a really stable and reliable transport mechanism. It is also all metal design. Very expensive machine.

Aiwa HS-PX303: This is actually a predecessor of the aforementioned 505 model and the main difference it has no BBE system but has everything else the same - ven the HX head. Also, all metal case, remote and so on. Truly wonderful machine. However, the mechanism was improved in the 505 and the head stabilizer so generally 505 is the better choice. Both 303 and 505 use real electrolytical caps inside - 4 caps per channel. Ridiculously overengineered machines!

I have more walkmans at home but these are my favourite. I have sent the 303 and the 505 to a friend of mine for servicing so I can't wait to get them back.
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