greasespot
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Walkman Is 30

Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:11 pm

Well 30 years ago this week a revolution started....Sony launched the walkman..Before this you had to strap a turntable to your back if you wanted portable walk around music.....and it really skipped something fierce.... Big grin Big grin Big grin Big grin  laughing   laughing   laughing   laughing 

.I still remember my first walkman..I remember those terrible headphones with the sponge ear protectors.....I was to young for the first but I had a Yellow Sony Sports...water resistant..

When I moved to Ottawa I finally tossed all the mix tapes I had created...

gs
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casinterest
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:19 pm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/8117619.stm

Great article about a kid giving up the ipod for a walkman for a week.


Funny how much things have changed.


from the article

" It took me three days to figure out that there was another side to the tape. That was not the only naive mistake that I made; I mistook the metal/normal switch on the Walkman for a genre-specific equaliser, but later I discovered that it was in fact used to switch between two different types of cassette"

 silly   rotfl 
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RGElectra80
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:42 pm

Walkman WOULD HAVE BEEN 30 would probably be a more appropriate title to this thread... Big grin Are they even still making these?
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greasespot
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:46 pm

I bet Superfly still uses his walkman.....

The name is still used but it is now attached to a phone...but yeah I would have been 30....

I wonder if I went home and started digging through boxes if I could find my old Walkman...

GS
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:52 pm

Bought my 1st Sony Walkman 1980 with crappy earphones, the quality was so ´n so....

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OA260
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:26 pm

I was so excited the day ( Christmas Day ) that my Sister and I got our first Walkmans. My Dad didnt want us to have them but my Mum persuaded him. Ours were black and gold and the earphones had Orange sponge covers .  Big grin
 
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:52 pm

God I've had my fair share of Walkmen (?) in my time! The first one I ever got was made by Binatone and was the size of a house brick, but I didn't care, I was just happy to be able to listen to hi-fi quality stereo sound wherever I was! I even bought a talking one in Japan in 1992 (which I still have to this day...I just can't throw it out, even though I never use it) - whenever you pressed a button, a female American voice would tell you what you had just pressed!
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:07 pm



Quoting BAViscount (Reply 6):
Walkmen (?) in my time!

Id say you have  Wink  Big grin

Binatone still exist they make cheap phones .
 
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:24 pm



Quoting OA260 (Reply 7):
Quoting BAViscount (Reply 6):
Walkmen (?) in my time!

Id say you have

 Silly Yeah, most of them were walking away as fast as their legs would carry them!!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 7):
Binatone still exist they make cheap phones .

Blimey, I thought they disappeared years ago! I remember they marketed a cheap alternative to Sony's 'Walkman 1' and called it the Hip-fi!!
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falstaff
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:30 am

I got a Sony Walkman in 1985. It was the deluxe model with a cassette and radio. It was very cool. I had a Sanyo model before that with only a tape player. The Sony unit worked well until 1991 when headphone jack wore out. I still have that one. I have not used it in a long time. I got a Sony Discman in 1990, but I rarely used it outside my house because it would use batteries really fast and it would skip. I also have a 1990 Sony Watchman. It is the Black and White 2 inch TV. It worked great until the switcher to HD. I can still pick up the Canadian channels with it.
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ACDC8
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Thu Jul 02, 2009 8:09 am



Quoting Greasespot (Reply 3):
I bet Superfly still uses his walkman.....

Didn't know he had hit the 80s yet  Silly  Big grin

The first one I had was a blue and white one from Canadian Tire, it was there house brand, think it was Pulsar or something like that. It didn't have a rewind, so I had to flip the tape and fast forward. But it did have a 3 band equilizer to get the most out of the crappy headphones ... lol!
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fatmirjusufi
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:34 am

I still can remember my dad's tape Walkman. I don't what brand it was but I'm sure it was the green one. Big grin
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:04 pm



Quoting CasInterest (Reply 1):
Funny how much things have changed.


from the article

" It took me three days to figure out that there was another side to the tape. That was not the only naive mistake that I made; I mistook the metal/normal switch on the Walkman for a genre-specific equaliser, but later I discovered that it was in fact used to switch between two different types of cassette"

silly rotfl

Give that boy a telephone with a rotary dial disk and watch the fun!  devil 

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RE: Walkman Is 30

Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:59 pm

Somehow Sony made the transition from cassette to CD, but didn't make the transition to MP3.
Presumably because they didn't know how to cope the intellectual property rights issues.
Not a trivial matter given their investments in record companies.
IMHO they would have been better off staying out of the media business.
It's really hobbled what their electronics side can do.
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falstaff
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:53 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 13):
Somehow Sony made the transition from cassette to CD, but didn't make the transition to MP3.

Sony has had some duds over the years. Beta sort of worked out for them Betacam SP was successful for commercial use, but betamax didn't last all that long. Sony was also big on the mini disc and 8mm VCR in the 1990s. Both of which went nowhere. I think Sony also had a device to print images off of video too, in the 1990s.
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Superfly
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:14 pm



Quoting Greasespot (Reply 3):
I bet Superfly still uses his walkman.....

Nope.
I never cared for portable audio. I like to be aware of my surroundings when I am out in public.

Quoting RGElectra80 (Reply 2):
Walkman WOULD HAVE BEEN 30 would probably be a more appropriate title to this thread... Big grin Are they even still making these?

Yes they are and are very cheap.


Me & my sisters got 1 Sony Walkman to share for Christmas back in 1979.
It was gray & black and had a leather case. Even then, I still preferred the LP and 8track tape.

Quoting Greasespot (Thread starter):
Before this you had to strap a turntable to your back if you wanted portable walk around music.....and it really skipped something fierce...

Actually the first portable audio device that you could walk around with was the Panasonic Dynamite 8track player.
Even though 8track tapes were stereo, this player was mono and so was the headphone output.

http://www.8trackheaven.com/images/PanasonicTNT.jpg




The first portable audio format was the 8track cartridge invented by Lear Jet.
The 8track format started in 1964 in private jet aircraft, yachts and Cadillacs.
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falstaff
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:32 pm



Quoting Superfly (Reply 15):
Panasonic Dynamite 8track

I had a Yellow Dynamite 8. It was a dandy. I picked it up used and it had Led Zepplin Rules carved into it. It ate a bunch of tapes and I traded it for a car 8-track deck.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 15):
The 8track format started in 1964 in private jet aircraft, yachts and Cadillacs.

Ford put 4-tracks in some up market products, in 1966. I never saw one in a Lincoln, but I saw one in a 1966 Country Squire and a 1967 Mercury Cougar.
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Goldenshield
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:55 pm



Quoting Superfly (Reply 15):
The first portable audio format was the 8track cartridge invented by Lear Jet.

It wasn't invented by Learjet, but Bill Lear, who founded Learjet.
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Thu Jul 02, 2009 8:59 pm

I bought a Walkman back in 2002 when the cassette tape's popularity was winding down. It collected dust until this week, when inspired by the BBC article I dug it out and used it for a few days. Going from a very light iPod with thousands of songs to one tape with a handful of 70s and 80s tunes made me thankful for how far portable audio has come, but the Walkman had a sense of nostalgia and even charm that the iPod will never possess (in my mind, anyway).
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falstaff
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:47 pm



Quoting N867DA (Reply 18):
Going from a very light iPod with thousands of songs to one tape with a handful of 70s and 80s tunes made me thankful for how far portable audio has come,

I thought it was a big deal when we got 100 minute tapes. Then those tapes wouldn't work well in my car. I liked the walkman because it was big and difficult to lose. The iPod is small and be can be misplaced easily.

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 17):
It wasn't invented by Learjet, but Bill Lear, who founded Learjet.

I have some older 8-tracks that have "Learjet Stereo 8" written in the plastic on the back of the cartridge.
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OA260
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:00 pm



Quoting Falstaff (Reply 19):
I thought it was a big deal when we got 100 minute tapes. Then those tapes wouldn't work

This was always happening to me::

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Asturias
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:29 pm

I got my first Walkman in 1987. My uncle bought it for me in Vancouver. I used it day and night  Smile

Now I have an iPod touch. It's a good replacement.

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RE: Walkman Is 30

Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:52 pm



Quoting Falstaff (Reply 19):
I have some older 8-tracks that have "Learjet Stereo 8" written in the plastic on the back of the cartridge.

Okay, but that doesn't mean that RonCo, as a company, has the right to claim to have invented the items that its founder, Ron Popiel, had actually invented using his own name.
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falstaff
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:09 am



Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 22):
Okay, but that doesn't mean that RonCo, as a company, has the right to claim to have invented the items that its founder, Ron Popiel, had actually invented using his own name.

I wasn't saying that Learjet invented the tapes I was just mentioning that some tapes had the name on the back. But the company must have had something to do with them at one time or else they would not have put Learjet Stereo 8 on the tapes.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 20):
This was always happening to me::

That was what happened to a lot of 100 minute tapes. Also they would twist around. My Walkman could handle 100 minute tapes, but car couldn't. In most, if not all, GM cars of the 80s and 90s the owners manual said not to use 100 minute tapes. I guess they may have been either too thin or too heavy for the mechanism.
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Superfly
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:39 am



Quoting Falstaff (Reply 19):
I thought it was a big deal when we got 100 minute tapes.

Actually there were 120 minute tapes.
1 hour per side.
Those only came in type I normal position tapes. Ideal for recording speeches and bringing down Richard Nixon.  Wink
The longest type IV Metal position cassettes I've seen were 110 minutes.
TDK and Radio Shack made them and they sound awesome.
I made some mix tapes on TDK MA-XG tapes that sound perfect.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 20):
This was always happening to me::

Very common with cheap equipment which was what most people had.
Portables/boom boxes and car stereos are notorious for chewing up tapes. I've never had a cassette tape chewed up on any of my home cassette decks.

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 23):
I guess they may have been either too thin or too heavy for the mechanism.

Combination of the two.
Longer tapes are thinner and tend to stretch over time. Some high-end cassette decks have pitch control to correct this problem. Too bad no car deck ever had that feature. That is the only place I'd listen to a cassette tape. I only use my home deck to make recordings for the car.
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:55 am



Quoting Superfly (Reply 24):
I only use my home deck to make recordings for the car.

In the early 80s my friend had a great Aiwa deck he paid $400 for, and a great turntable with a great needle too. I forget the make of these, but he was a very talented musician and sound-tested everything he bought. Also his dad was an audiophile and had great stuff in his house, especially the Klipsch Horns.

My frined dumped all his 70's albums onto cassette so we could play them in the car. He had a great stash of Rush, Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, Kansas and Dixie Dregs going back to their first albums. I threw in a bunch of old Yes and Grateful Dead albums I had, and some early Police, and we were good to go.

We liked the 70 min tapes, 45 mins a side was great for most LPs, and you avoided a lot of the problems people had with tapes stretching or twisting. We both also carried cassette deck cleaners with us in our box of tapes, and used them religiously. Never a problem!

You could take a look at the crud that came off other people's cassette deck heads and know they never cleaned them. Since the tape made contact with rollers, and the tapes got gunky if they got too hot, there'd be all kinds of crud after you ran a cleaner over their decks. Then they said boy my deck sounds better! Also had a head demag, but you had to use that with a bit of care or you'd blow out their preamps.

I no longer have a quality cassette deck running. It seems almost all of them used rubber belts in them, and they all either stretched or snapped by now. Luckily I'm much happier with a lot of the great remasters done to CD over the years. I'm sure audiophiles choke when I say that, but for the average listener like me, a remastered CD beats the hell out of the cassettes we made ourselves from albums in the 80s.

Happy 4th weekend, Mr Superfly!
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Superfly
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:28 am



Quoting Revelation (Reply 25):
You could take a look at the crud that came off other people's cassette deck heads and know they never cleaned them. Since the tape made contact with rollers, and the tapes got gunky if they got too hot, there'd be all kinds of crud after you ran a cleaner over their decks. Then they said boy my deck sounds better! Also had a head demag, but you had to use that with a bit of care or you'd blow out their preamps.

Very true!
I have cassette tapes that I will not play in other people's car decks unless I clean & demagnetize the heads myself. People are often shocked by the superb sound quality I get from cassette tapes.
It does require some work and know-how.
A good turntable with decent phono cartridge, audiophile pressing half-speed master LP or 7 & 1/2 half speed reel to reel tape recorded on to a type IV Metal bias blank cassette tape using Dolby 'B' can produce astounding fidelity.
It's too bad that type IV Metal bias tapes are no longer in production but there is still a ton of NOS available on ebay.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 25):
It seems almost all of them used rubber belts in them, and they all either stretched or snapped by now.

I am sure there is a stereo repair shop in your town that can replace all of your belts for about $45. Replacement belts are still available.
I need to get one for my Yamaha K-550 deck.
My Marantz 5220 is indestructible but unfortunately doesn't have type IV Metal capabilities.





Quoting Revelation (Reply 25):
Rush, Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, Kansas

As of last year, Rush 'Permanent Waves' was released on Mobile Fidelity Half-Speed Master audiophile LP.  Cool

Kansas 'Leftoverture' and 'Point Of Know Return' on CBS Half-Speed Master is INCREDIBLE!  drool 

Steely Dan 'Aja' on Mobile Fidelity Half-Speed Master audiophile LP is a must for any audiophile and is a favorite in-store play demo record. Same for Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side Of The Moon'.
I was so lucky to pick up a mint condition copy of that Steely Dan album for $1 at a used record store.
That record goes for well over $70 today.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 25):
Happy 4th weekend, Mr Superfly!

Thanks!
Same to you!
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:26 am



Quoting Superfly (Reply 26):
A good turntable with decent phono cartridge, audiophile pressing half-speed master LP or 7 & 1/2 half speed reel to reel tape recorded on to a type IV Metal bias blank cassette tape using Dolby 'B' can produce astounding fidelity.

Sounds fabulous! Back in the day we made due with carefully chosen cartridges, consumer grade discs and religious use of Disc Washer.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 26):
I am sure there is a stereo repair shop in your town that can replace all of your belts for about $45. Replacement belts are still available.

The decks I had were not really worth saving, I'd have do EBay myself one worth restoring.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 26):
I need to get one for my Yamaha K-550 deck.

Sounds like one worth restoring!

Quoting Superfly (Reply 26):
As of last year, Rush 'Permanent Waves' was released on Mobile Fidelity Half-Speed Master audiophile LP. Cool

Kansas 'Leftoverture' and 'Point Of Know Return' on CBS Half-Speed Master is INCREDIBLE! drool

Steely Dan 'Aja' on Mobile Fidelity Half-Speed Master audiophile LP is a must for any audiophile and is a favorite in-store play demo record. Same for Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side Of The Moon'.
I was so lucky to pick up a mint condition copy of that Steely Dan album for $1 at a used record store.
That record goes for well over $70 today.

Oh, you are making my eyes mist with the shear ecstasy of hearing that stuff!

'Aja' is one of my all-time favorites, for both musical and sentimental reasons.

I shall listen to it later in your honor!

The only consolation I can give myself is I now have the Cream 2005 Royal Albert Hall DVD on the plasma widescreen right now! Current tech doesn't suck!  Smile

I must say one of the glories of the current day is to see some absolutely fabulous DVDs of artists from the good old days.

Some of my current favs are:
- Cream Royal Albert Hall 2005 (aforementioned)
- Eric Clapton / Stevie Winwood Madison Square Garden 2008
- Pink Floyd in Concert - Pulse - 1994
- Jethro Tull - Jack in the Green - 1970 - 1993
- Grateful Dead - Dead Ahead - Radio City Music Hall - 1980
- Gentle Giant - Giant on the Box - 1974
- Yes - Yessongs - 1974

I am finding a lot of these hard to find dvds on HotMovieSale.com for good prices. They have some interesting shipping policies. In essence it pays to put in one big order for the best shipping option they have, they send out what they have immediately on the best shipping option, then send the rest free of charge as they get it back in stock.

Would love to come across some great Steely Dan DVDs. I love the ones with just concert footage. I hate the ones with "critics" talking about what the music means. I can figure that out myself!

Also haven't found a really good Rush DVD. Most are from live shows not recorded off the board so they are just buried in crowd noise.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 26):
Thanks!
Same to you!

Thank you, Larry.

I love your love of all things from the American 70's, including ladies who don't shave between the legs!  Smile

Seriously, it's great you are so into the things you are into.

I'm really happy to share my recollections of growing up in the 70's. Like I've said before, to me, I kinda felt the 70s were the bad hangover from the peace and love decade of the 60s, but there were a lot of great things that came out of that decade. We were really into living in the moment and not having a lot of pre-conceived notions, not like I see today where everyone has decided they either love the current state of the world or they hate it.

I must say some of the greatest things that came out of the 70s were geeky things like microprocessors and programming languages and even the Internet, but I think the world will look back at that decade and be amazed at what happened.

And in any case, the 4th is the time to celebrate Americana!

I think if nothing else I'll put on the Boston Pops and crank the 1812 Overture!

And blessings to the rest of the world too!
Inspiration, move me brightly!
 
Superfly
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:17 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 27):
The decks I had were not really worth saving, I'd have do EBay myself one worth restoring.

...or just buy an ebay deck that is ready for use. There are plenty of high-end decks that have already had the belts replaced.
Look for Yamaha and Denon decks.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 27):
'Aja' is one of my all-time favorites, for both musical and sentimental reasons.

My oldest sister got that one when it was new. It was among the 11 LPs she got for a penny through Colombia House Record Club.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 27):
Current tech doesn't suck!

My roomate has a copy of Deep Purple recorded live with an orchestra back in 1969 on DVD. It looks and sounds great!
I play my DVD through my Marantz 4400 quadraphonic receiver.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 27):
Also haven't found a really good Rush DVD. Most are from live shows not recorded off the board so they are just buried in crowd noise.

Sure about that?

Quoting Revelation (Reply 27):
I love your love of all things from the American 70's, including ladies who don't shave between the legs!

 drool   drool   drool   drool 

Quoting Revelation (Reply 27):
I kinda felt the 70s were the bad hangover from the peace and love decade of the 60s,

I see the 1970s as a celebration of the hard fought struggles of the 1960s.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 27):
I must say some of the greatest things that came out of the 70s were geeky things like microprocessors and programming languages and even the Internet, but I think the world will look back at that decade and be amazed at what happened.

Very true.
Other great inventions;
quadraphonic / surround sound
vibrating chairs
Lumbar suport in car seats (1973 Lincoln Mark IV was the first to offer)
Air bags (1974 Oldsmobile was the first to offer)
Power glass moonroof
Electronic ignition
Video games
Fondu maker

Quoting Revelation (Reply 27):
And in any case, the 4th is the time to celebrate Americana!

I'll be studying calculus & physics.  Sad

Quoting Revelation (Reply 27):
I think if nothing else I'll put on the Boston Pops and crank the 1812 Overture!

Boston Pops conducted by Arthur Fiedler?
I have the Boston Pops 'Saturday Night Fiedler' album from 1979.
You can just imagine what that sounds like.  Wink
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:45 pm



Quoting Superfly (Reply 28):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 27):
'Aja' is one of my all-time favorites, for both musical and sentimental reasons.

My oldest sister got that one when it was new. It was among the 11 LPs she got for a penny through Colombia House Record Club.

LOL! My brother joined without my mom's permission, and I can remember how pissed off she was, because she new she'd end up paying for all the recordings. My brother had an 8-track stereo, and one of the 8-tracks I remember was Styx Pieeces of Eight.

Back when I was in high school, the school had a Modern Dance Club for the girls. I think the main purpose of it, and of the Synchronized Swim Club, was to give the boys raging hard-ons! Schwing! All the hottest girls in school were in Modern Dance and Synchronized Swim. The dancers wore skin-tight black loetards and danced around to songs like Hair or Age of Aquarius.

To tie this back to Aja, the daughter of one of mom's friend had a reputation of being a huge cock tease. She gave me and a friend a personal demonstation of her dance routine for Aja in her living room. I have no idea how I was able to control my raging teenage hormones. Probably because she was the daughter of a friend and becaue the friend was in the room. She seemed to realize I couldn't / wouldn't do anything, so she turned up the heat every chance she got. Damn! That dance was hotter than anything I've seen in gentlemen's clubs. I haven't seen her since high school, but from what I'm told, she's still a hottie.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 28):
My roomate has a copy of Deep Purple recorded live with an orchestra back in 1969 on DVD. It looks and sounds great!
I play my DVD through my Marantz 4400 quadraphonic receiver.

A friend's dad had one of those. He had some great classical music records for it.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 28):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 27):
Also haven't found a really good Rush DVD. Most are from live shows not recorded off the board so they are just buried in crowd noise.

Sure about that?

So far I haven't found any.

I have a Netflix subscription I use to check out various music DVDs. If I like them enough, I try to find a copy to buy.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 28):
Boston Pops conducted by Arthur Fiedler?

Nah, Keith Lockheart is the current guy. It's a Bahstn tradition for the Pops to play at the Esplanade on the 4th to a fireworks show over the Charles. The finale for both the music and the fireworks is the 1812 Overture. These days I usually watch it on TV. Usually A&E Network broadcasts it so I terrorize the neighbors by cranking it loud.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 28):
I have the Boston Pops 'Saturday Night Fiedler' album from 1979.
You can just imagine what that sounds like.

The mind boggles!
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Sat Jul 04, 2009 2:55 am



Quoting Revelation (Reply 29):
The mind boggles!

It's disco.  Cool
For some reason, I am having trouble uploading photos in this thread.
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:17 am



Quoting Superfly (Reply 28):
Look for Yamaha and Denon decks.

Those are good...if you can find one, try to get a Nakamichi cassette deck. I still have mine which we bought about 11-12 years go....some of my old mixtapes, specially the Metal IV ones, sound awesome! I just listen to them whenever I'm feeling nostalgic (+ some of the music I have on those, I can't find anywhere else)
Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
 
Superfly
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:03 am



Quoting Phoenix9 (Reply 31):
try to get a Nakamichi cassette deck.

I've avoided Nakamichi decks simply because they have their own equalization curve which is fine if you playback on a Nakamichi deck.
I rarely playback a cassette at home or on the same deck I record on.
I record cassette and 8track tapes to playback in car decks.
No car deck has ever had capabilities for the Nakamichi equalization curve.
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RayChuang
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:07 am

What I find fascinating is that while everyone bemoans the loss of portable cassette players and portable CD players, they're forgetting a couple of things:

1) Cassette players have motors, drive belts and heads that wear out, and the tapes wear out, too. Not to mention that for the best audio quality you're pretty much stuck with C-90 tapes with about 45 minutes per side of recording. And sound quality is actually not that good unless you have Dolby C noise reduction and record on "pure metal" (Type IV) tapes.

2) CD's tend to skip (even with the newer portable models that have "shock memory") and you're limited to 74 minutes of playback time per disc.

Today's portable MP3 players can store many hours of music per player (my 4G Apple iPod nano can store around 2,000 four-minute songs with near-CD quality 256 kbps data rate MP3 format, which is about 133-1/3 hours of music!), or can store many, many hours of podcast audio discussion shows recorded at a lower-quality MP3 encoding rate. Can't beat that!  bigthumbsup 
 
Superfly
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:39 pm



Quoting RayChuang (Reply 33):
What I find fascinating is that while everyone bemoans the loss of portable cassette players and portable CD players

I don't think people "bemoan" the loss of the Walkman or Discman they're still in production
We're just simply sharing our stories of our first Walkman. That's all.

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 33):
And sound quality is actually not that good unless you have Dolby C noise reduction

I don't like Dolby 'C'.
I've noticed too much compression when recorded with Dolby C.
Recordings sound like an FM broadcast where loud & quiet passages are of equal volume.
Bring back the Concorde
 
4holer
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:14 pm

I had a very early Walkman about '80 or '81. When I got mine, it wasn't even called a "Walkman" yet. They called it a Soundabout. At the time those lame sponge earphones were groundbreaking; sound like that was never before experienced by something that portable. I remember taking it on my High School band trip to Disney World and all the band directors were clamoring for a listen. They included a sound effects tape to show off its capabilities and we were just blown away. At the time, I was listening to alot of Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, and AC/DC. Unfortunately I still to this day have hearing issues bacause of that thing. I figured at the time, "Surely they wouldn't make something so loud it would damage your hearing". I was wrong. The stupidity of youth.
Mine was blue and finally bit the dust when I dropped it and cracked the aluminum(?) casing.

Here's what mine looked like...
Ghosts appear and fade away.....................
 
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OA260
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:48 pm

Walkman celebrates 30 years

It is 30 years since Sony launched the Walkman - the gadget that revolutionised the way people around the world listened to music.

The portable cassette player was launched on 1 July 1979 and it helped transform the Japanese company into a global electronics powerhouse.

30,000 Walkmans were sold in the first two months - 50 million within a decade.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0701/walkman.html
 
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RayChuang
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:58 pm



Quoting Superfly (Reply 34):
don't like Dolby 'C'.
I've noticed too much compression when recorded with Dolby C.
Recordings sound like an FM broadcast where loud & quiet passages are of equal volume.

The big problem with Dolby C noise reduction was that if you don't set the bias and equalization right for the specific tape type, the sound quality can be quite bad like you described. That's why I used an Aiwa 3800 cassette deck, a three-head model that including a function to automatically set the bias and equalization to match the tape being used. It still works even today, but why I would use it when I can store all my music in 256 kbps data rate MP3 format on my iPod nano?
 
Superfly
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:11 pm



Quoting RayChuang (Reply 37):
The big problem with Dolby C noise reduction was that if you don't set the bias and equalization right for the specific tape type, the sound quality can be quite bad like you described. That's why I used an Aiwa 3800 cassette deck, a three-head model that including a function to automatically set the bias and equalization to match the tape being used.

I am sure the Aiwa 3800 can make fantastic records with Dolby C but what about playback on other decks?
Bring back the Concorde
 
Klaus
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:45 pm

I got a 10-year anniversary Walkman back then. It had autoreverse, Dolby C, electronic control (with cable remote!) and was almost smaller than a standard cassette box. Almost a work of art and a high point of mechanical and electrical engineering at its time, but it ate batteries like there was no tomorrow.

I usually carried a bunch of charged accumulator cells with me, and several cassettes. Not very convenient.

Unfortunately my main tape deck had a very slight misadjustment of its recording head, so autoreverse decks which were also not perfectly aligned would always play back one side of the tape in near-perfect quality but the other side would always suffer a significant loss in the higher frequencies.

Autoreverse heads have all four tracks fixed in the same housing, so they cannot be adjusted to match a misaligned single-side head on both sides. You only had the choice between adjusting for one side perfectly and abandon the other or make a less-than-perfect compromise with both sides suffering equally. In case of the walkman there was no choice – the head was glued tight in a fixed position which was slightly off center as well (like most tape decks).

When I realized the problem it was already too late – I would have lost quality on all my already existing tapes if I had corrected the problem.

A typical problem from the analog era. I acknowledge the achievements of the time, but looking back from the digital age I can only say goodbye and good riddance!

[Edited 2009-07-05 14:47:32]
 
Aeri28
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:54 am

I remember buying my first "walkman" which was not a sony walkman, but rather an AIWA one with am/fm radio and cassette recording (even from the radio) feature back in 1985 from Macys in Union Square when they had an electronics section on the top level of their main building. this apparatus was incredible to me at the time. I still remember one of the first songs I heard on tthe radio from it walking down Powell Street in SF right after buying it. It was UB40s "Dont Break my Heart". I rembember this machine not at all being too large, but it was HEAVY. It wass not cheap as I remember as I put it on my Macys card (one of my first purchases on it).

That AIWA lasted me a good 2 years and even accompanied me to France while I went to school in aix en provence in 1985 and 86. I still have the original tapes I recorded onto from NRJ in Marseille.

I must have lost that machine in 86 or 87, and found i afterwards preferred to purchase the yellow Sony weather resistant ones or the Sony Outback simply because they still had ROTARY radio tuners (I hated the digital ones as I lived on bad receptioned Nob Hill in SF and found the plastic casing and rotary tuners to get me great channel surfing).

joined the cd age in the 90s and stopped with the 'walkman's". BUT I still have the last one I bought, which was a Panasonic RQ A200 with cassette, am/fmm and recorder (from radio). I loved this as it was one of the last to have a rotary tuner for radio. I still have it. It's beat up, but it still works and I use it to (rarely) listen to an old cassette or if i want to listen to radio while cleaning.

Funny how those of us who were of age in the 80s to experience these still have fond memories. Those machines and the following Mp3 machines have been a staple in travel for over 2 decades. I cannot leave home without one.
 
Superfly
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:10 am



Quoting Aeri28 (Reply 40):
in 1985 from Macys in Union Square when they had an electronics section on the top level of their main building. this apparatus was incredible to me at the time. I still remember one of the first songs I heard on tthe radio from it walking down Powell Street in SF right after buying it.

Macy's is still there but the electronics section is gone. Now it's an expensive restaurant in place of it.
Bring back the Concorde
 
Aeri28
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RE: Walkman Is 30

Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:24 am

Thanks Superfly.. I was trying to think of whether the electronics section had moved to the Macys mens across the street, but probably not. Lot of the old dept stores stopped selling electronics after places like Good Guys and Circuit city started popping up.

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