desertjets
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Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:44 pm

Well it is officially official, Sony has finally ended production of the cassette Walkman after 31 years.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/1...ny-cassette-walkman-_n_772973.html

Though the article mentions that they will continued to be produced under license in China and southeast Asia for local markets.


I remember having one, some no-name knock off bought at KMart for 30 bucks sometime in the late 80s. I don't remember when I finally got rid of it, but it lasted for a long long time. The great thing about the cassette based Walkman, vs. a Discman, was that the battery life was a fair bit better on a pair of AAs and you didn't have to worry about skipping. By contrast my portable CD player had a shorter useful tenure in my life than the Walkman did.

On a less nostalgic note it is odd that Sony failed in moving towards a digital/mp3 based portable audio player. Given the brand equity they had with the Walkman and Discman, the technical know how and the fact they also own a huge music label that they lost out to Apple.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
sw733
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:04 pm

Quoting DesertJets (Thread starter):
cassette

Huh?  
Quoting DesertJets (Thread starter):
Though the article mentions that they will continued to be produced under license in China and southeast Asia for local markets.

Would make sense, though I must say I don't see it lasting all that much longer there either...with the increasing income in both areas, MP3 players are quickly making cassettes a thing of the past as well.
 
Superfly
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:32 pm

Me and my sisters got 1 Sony Walkman Christmas 1979.
All 3 of us were to share it.
That didn't go over well.   
It was made of nice quality and it came in a leather case.

Quoting DesertJets (Thread starter):
they will continued to be produced under license in China and southeast Asia for local markets.

Glad to hear that since I now live in Thailand but I have no idea where to buy one here. There is no older technology here at all. Went shopping for a VCR and salesreps at the stores thought I was nuts. Older technology dies faster here than in the US. The only exception being the LaserDisc.
Many of the cars here still cassette players.

Quoting DesertJets (Thread starter):
On a less nostalgic note it is odd that Sony failed in moving towards a digital/mp3 based portable audio player. Given the brand equity they had with the Walkman and Discman, the technical know how and the fact they also own a huge music label that they lost out to Apple.

Sony really should have called their new mp3 Walkman the 'Digital Man'.
That way all of their portables would have their own name to identify with.
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Klaus
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:23 pm

Quoting DesertJets (Thread starter):
Well it is officially official, Sony has finally ended production of the cassette Walkman after 31 years.

It's had an amazing run in any case.

I don't miss its hunger for batteries, low medium capacity and various analog quirks and limitations, but it was okay for its day.

Quoting DesertJets (Thread starter):
On a less nostalgic note it is odd that Sony failed in moving towards a digital/mp3 based portable audio player. Given the brand equity they had with the Walkman and Discman, the technical know how and the fact they also own a huge music label that they lost out to Apple.

The "Discman" brand never really got anywhere – the "Walkman" brand was emblematic in its day, but it also stuck to the 1980s. I think among many other mistakes they made, trying to revive that brand instead of creating a fresh one was one of the major ones.

Quoting sw733 (Reply 1):
Quoting DesertJets (Thread starter):
cassette

Huh?

That's been the official name:

Compact Cassette - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
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OA260
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:29 pm

Quoting DesertJets (Thread starter):
I remember having one, some no-name knock off bought at KMart for 30 bucks sometime in the late 80s.

Yeah same here my Dad didnt want us to have them but my Mum got them for my Sister and myself , was a ripp off make called ALBA , didnt last that long though lol...End of an era for sure. Wont miss the chewed up tapes though  
 
Kent350787
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:13 pm

I got into the walkman fairly late, with a WM10 in 1983 - the one that ran on a single AA battery and folded to the size of a cassette case. But it was fragile, and the design meant that, after a while, you didn't get constant contact with the heads. Had sevaral of various brands over the years but, funnily, never a portable CD player. Not sure why, given I'm now onto my 4th ipod.

I was surprised to see that they were still making the things - haven't been sold in Australia for ages. Now, off to ebay to pic a up a cassette deck for the few I still own before all the player disappear....
 
planeguy727
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:14 pm

I bought mine in 1984 - still have it, still works, still listen to the one tape I bought that same day.

BTW - I feel like the weight is the same as my macbook
I want to live in an old and converted 727...
 
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Francoflier
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:00 am

Quoting DesertJets (Thread starter):
On a less nostalgic note it is odd that Sony failed in moving towards a digital/mp3 based portable audio player. Given the brand equity they had with the Walkman and Discman, the technical know how and the fact they also own a huge music label that they lost out to Apple.

I thought SonyEricsson was carrying over the 'Walkman' brand now, a well as pretty much being Sony's digital media player line of products, even if they're phones...

I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
JA54123
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:23 am

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...551&storeId=10151&categoryId=16178

Uhm guys, the sony MP3 players are all selling well as "Walkmans"
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Superfly
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:53 am

Quoting JA54123 (Reply 8):
Uhm guys, the sony MP3 players are all selling well as "Walkmans"



You wouldn't understand, it's a Texas Thang!

I already pointed that out in reply #2.
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Klaus
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:24 pm

Quoting JA54123 (Reply 8):
Uhm guys, the sony MP3 players are all selling well as "Walkmans"

What's your definition of "selling well"? What's their market share?
 
desertjets
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:41 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 10):
Quoting JA54123 (Reply 8):
Uhm guys, the sony MP3 players are all selling well as "Walkmans"

What's your definition of "selling well"? What's their market share?

The simple fact that Apple and their iPod, with no prior presence in the portable audio market is by far the dominate player represents a huge failure on the part of Sony.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
Kent350787
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:23 pm

Rumours today that Apple is seeking to acquire Sony....
 
Marcus
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:54 am

Sony failed to jump on the mp3 bandwagon....I have a sony digital walkman from the early 2000's that plays a format called ATRAC4 that Sony used at that time, and I sometimes have problems playing regular mp3's.....if I convert a CD to ATRAC4 and then replay it in my home system it sounds way better (like 99.99% of consumers I have an untrained ear) than the same CD in mp3 format from the ipod we have.

This is basically the same thing that happened to Sony back in the days of the Betamax and VHS wars, Sony had the better technology but failed to market it properly.
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Superfly
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:22 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 3):
The "Discman" brand never really got anywhere – the "Walkman" brand was emblematic in its day,




Mainly because the Discman would skip, especially the early models.
With a cassette walkman, you can go exercise with the tape playing and not worry about the music skipping.
You could of course make your own mix tape of your favorite songs. Not every CD is filled with great songs that you want to hear.
Discmans were more expensive as well.
I remember Sony had a Discman that was almost $400.00!  Wow!
It was intended to play in the car and had a remote control.
It was the D822-K model.
One cool feature was you could chose green or amber lighting displays to match the lights on your car's instrument panel.
If you bought this with the Good Guys or Circuit City 3 year service agreement, it could cost you as much as $600.00!
It even had true surround sound for when you connected to a preamp / receiver.

http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Sony-D822-K-Car-Discman-Teardown/1197/1
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cgnnrw
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:50 pm

In 1986 I studied at the University Vienna for a year. I took my Walkman (bought in 1985) along with about 50 cassettes with me. During the year I spent many hours listening to it while travelling all over Europe on my Eurail pass. What great memories. I still have the Walkman in a box stored away somewhere. I wonder If its worth anything?
A330 man.
 
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RayChuang
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:48 am

The best thing about the Walkman: no more people lugging around big "boomboxes" and annoying the whole neighborhood playing that boom box at high volume.

But I will miss the cassette-based Walkman, though. The idea behind behind the Walkman evolved into the portable media player that stored music on flash memory or hard drives--a concept that Apple really made wildly popular with the introduction of the iPod in 2001.
 
Superfly
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:15 am

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 16):
The best thing about the Walkman: no more people lugging around big "boomboxes" and annoying the whole neighborhood playing that boom box at high volume.

  
Well said!

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 16):
The idea behind behind the Walkman evolved into the portable media player that stored music on flash memory or hard drives--a concept that Apple really made wildly popular with the introduction of the iPod in 2001.

Actually that award belongs to the 8track tape cartridge.
The 8track tape was the first portable audio format and it started in the automobile, yatchs and private jets in the mid 1960s.
Here is the first portable and it had it's own headphone jack.




Us serious audiophiles never took the walkman or any portable seriously. My question is, was there ever a walkmand that had high quality playback heads?
Did any of them go up to 18,000hz?
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Klaus
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:33 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 17):
Us serious audiophiles never took the walkman or any portable seriously. My question is, was there ever a walkmand that had high quality playback heads?
Did any of them go up to 18,000hz?

Sure. Mine did (WM-701C).

The Compact Cassette format was popular enough worldwide so electronics manufacturers actually bothered to refine it over the years. 8-track never got anywhere beyond the US and even there it didn't get far.
 
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aerdingus
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:06 pm

When I was a kid, hearing about Walkmans (Walkmen?) for the first time, I actually thought they were little box shaped men with arms & legs that listened to music.

But I 've had many a good Walkman. I last bought (coincidentally a Sony) one as late as 2000. Better than discmen, without the skipping, more charismatic than an iPod. But would a person back in the 80s have said, ah, a 75 RPM has more charisma than these new fangled Walkmans?!

Goodbye Sony Walkman.

I'd give mine a Viking burial...but I duno where the hell it walked off to.
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BAViscount
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:15 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):
8-track never got anywhere beyond the US and even there it didn't get far.

8-track was pretty popular here in the UK, but mainly as an in-car based hi-fi system. I really can't remember seeing any kind of portable or home-based 8-track system, but then what do I know?!

I LOVED the advent of the Walkman!! The concept of a mobile personal stereo system was just the best thing ever as far as I was concerned, especially for someone like me who was seriously into rollerskating in the early 80s! Ironically though, I never actually owned a Sony Walkman, but had a whole string of "personal stereos" of other manufacturers. We had a brand here called Binatone (who I didn't think actually existed any more until I recently bought a new telephone system for my flat only to find that it was made by Binatone!) - they very quickly came out with their own version of the Sony Walkman, known as the HipFi - for obvious reasons! It looked very much like the Walkman 1, and was considerably cheaper, although the first personal stereo I ever owned was actually Binatone's pre-HipFi offering, which was about the size of a house brick, but it sounded great and I really didn't care - I could listen to good quality stereo music on the move, so whether it was Sony or not, I had Sony to thank for coming up with the original idea.

Things have moved on, and now I have my iPod and, more recently, my iPhone to listen to music on, but who knows whether they would have even existed if the people at Sony hadn't come up with the original concept of sound on the move.
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Superfly
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:00 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):
8-track never got anywhere beyond the US and even there it didn't get far.

It lasted 30 years so I'd say it was a very successful format. It led to the development of the cassette walkman, Discman and now the ipod.
By the way, Cheap Trick released a 8track tape last year.

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 20):
8-track was pretty popular here in the UK, but mainly as an in-car based hi-fi system.

Rolls Royce and Ford/Mercury/Lincoln were the only two car manufactures in the world to offer 'quadraphonic' 8track players in their cars. I've seen a few old Jaguar and Rovers with 8track players in them.
Becker never offered 8track players for Mercedes so my guess it that it didn't take off in Germany.
I have a few imported 8track tapes from Japan, Taiwan, Canada, Italy, Spain, France and the format lived though the 1980s & 1990s in Latin America.

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 20):
I really can't remember seeing any kind of portable or home-based 8-track system, but then what do I know?!


There were HUNDREDS available here in the US. Some were high-end decks.
The most sought after are the Akai glass-head quadraphonic player/recorders and the Superscope by Marantz 8track decks that had Dolby (TM).
I've managed to get impeccable sound quality out of new old stock blank 8track tapes. I'd record from LP or compact disc on to 8track using Dolby (TM). Sounds wonderful playing the recorded tape in my car.
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BAViscount
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:01 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 21):
I've seen a few old Jaguar and Rovers with 8track players in them.

Yes, in the early-mid 70s one of my uncles always drove Rover cars which always had an 8track in.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 21):
I'd record from LP or compact disc on to 8track using Dolby (TM).

I didn't even know you could make your own recordings onto 8track!! I do remember a time when if a new album was advertised on TV, they would always end the advert with "Available now on record, cassette and 8track in all good record shops"!!
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Superfly
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:24 am

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 22):
Yes, in the early-mid 70s one of my uncles always drove Rover cars which always had an 8track in.

Sounds like your uncle had style.  
Quoting BAViscount (Reply 22):
I didn't even know you could make your own recordings onto 8track!!

Oh yes and it became very controversial. The first wave of copyright lawsuits against fans & consumers and bootlegs started with the 8track cartridge.
Read this article. Very similar to the Napster issue 30 years later.

http://www.publiccollectors.org/TapePiracy.html



I really freak people out when I play newer music on an 8track tape. Especially since I get great sound qualit out of them. NOS blank 8tracks on ebay are still cheap but the RCA and TDK blanks were the best and those do go for more money.


http://www.publiccollectors.org/TapePiracyWEB.jpg

Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):
8-track never got anywhere beyond the US

Here is an 8track in German but it appears to have a Swiss flag.

It's a shame the 8track didn't catch on in Germany considering Germany invented the magnetic recording tape.
Also the 450SL and 280SE convertible were in production during the 8track era. Shame none of those came with a factory 8track player.
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Klaus
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:22 am

All very nice anecdotal evidence, but I still don't see how the numbers for 8-Track ever approached the ones for CC which was completely pervasive on all levels and on a global scale.
 
Superfly
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:33 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 24):
I still don't see how the numbers for 8-Track ever approached the ones for CC

"CC"
You mean compact cassette?
Of course not. The 8track had it's build in limitations.
Tape formulations improved for cassette tape with the CrO2 and METAL bias tape that greatly improved tape fidelity.
Remember, the cassette came out before the 8track but the sound quality was horrible for music because it travelled at only 1 & 7/8IPS. The 8track was 3 & 3/4 IPS.
Also the cassette had the back cue (reverse) advantage over the 8track.
There is no denying the importance and success of the 8track format.
Germany just missed out during the 8track heyday.
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RayChuang
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:33 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 25):
Tape formulations improved for cassette tape with the CrO2 and METAL bias tape that greatly improved tape fidelity.

The earliest cassette recorders had a signal to noise ratio of around 40 dB. By the middle 1980's, thanks to pure-metal formulations and Dolby C noise reduction, they were pushing 76 dB signal to noise ratio, a huge improvement that made it possible for near CD sound quality. Today, audio encoded with AAC (the format used by the Apple iPod and more recent portable media players) at 256 kbps variable bit rate (the so-called iTunes Plus format) has sound quality better than the metal tape/Dolby C formulation.
 
Flighty
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:57 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 17):
Us serious audiophiles never took the walkman or any portable seriously. My question is, was there ever a walkmand that had high quality playback heads?

Sure. WM-DC2 is one good one.

Akai also made a walkman. My dad bought one. Around 1981.

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 26):
Today, audio encoded with AAC (the format used by the Apple iPod and more recent portable media players) at 256 kbps variable bit rate (the so-called iTunes Plus format) has sound quality better than the metal tape/Dolby C formulation.

It's not quite that simple. For one thing, it should be called the Dolby music destruction system. Dolby is the worst thing ever invented. Dolby C probably the biggest offender of all. It sounds like a horrible cheap nightmare. I have some great decks too. Akai M50, for one. Nakamiche CD2 also, which sounds killer. Without Dolby, Compact Cassette is a lovely format.

iTunes Plus is okay by the statistics, and it's convenient. I'd take cassette over any MP3 though, even 320k or anything like that. Most anything human hearing can use, cassette can provide. It just got a bad rap.
 
Klaus
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:12 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 27):
Dolby is the worst thing ever invented. Dolby C probably the biggest offender of all. It sounds like a horrible cheap nightmare.

Nonsense. Dolby-C could work very well if the circuit was properly designed and calibrated.

Which was not always the case, obviously.
 
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solnabo
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:40 pm

.
Aaaahhh...memories and the Walkman! RIP you piece of ¤%&

We called it Freestyle in Sweden (don´t ask me why) Got mine when I turned 20 *1979*
I was over the moon and strut down Sthlm with this awesome machine in metallic blue n orange earphones, it was disco disco baby yeahhh, iirc Donna Summer, Village People etc  

  
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Flighty
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Sat Oct 30, 2010 6:02 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 28):
Nonsense. Dolby-C could work very well if the circuit was properly designed and calibrated.

Which was not always the case, obviously.

Hopefully the calibration is to disconnect the Dolby distortion from the signal path. Lots of people like Dolby. Can't explain that. I have good Dolby equipment, good tapes. It just sounds mutilated to me. Meanwhile, Cassette itself sounds like hi-rez digital... with some background hiss. Which is okay. Hiss is far from the worst thing that can happen.

Especially buying old used tapes, putting the Dolby decoder "on" results in comically distorted, pumping, treble-free sound. That is also my reaction to new Dolby made on a fresh tape. It just doesn't work, for me, on my units, anyway.
 
Klaus
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Sat Oct 30, 2010 6:27 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 30):
I have good Dolby equipment, good tapes. It just sounds mutilated to me.

If it sounds "mutilated", you don't have good Dolby equipment! (Or it's very badly calibrated.)

I've tested it with my three-head tape deck switching between source and tape during recording of demanding material – Dolby-C is a noticeable improvement in signal/noise ratio with hardly any audible distortion if it's done properly. But that requires proper pre- and de-emphasis and correctly calibrated bias for the tape being used in addition to correct implementation and calibration of the Dolby-C circuits themselves.

In the analog domain this is certainly not trivial, but it is in fact quite feasible.

If yours doesn't work properly, that's not a problem of the mechanism as such but just of the implementation you happen to own.

Problems like these are among the reasons why the transition to digital made things so much easier and usually better.
 
Superfly
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:25 am

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 26):
The earliest cassette recorders had a signal to noise ratio of around 40 dB. By the middle 1980's, thanks to pure-metal formulations and Dolby C noise reduction, they were pushing 76 dB signal to noise ratio, a huge improvement that made it possible for near CD sound quality. Today, audio encoded with AAC (the format used by the Apple iPod and more recent portable media players) at 256 kbps variable bit rate (the so-called iTunes Plus format) has sound quality better than the metal tape/Dolby C formulation.



Very true.
When comparing a 1st. generation cassette to an 8track, the 8track sounds better. The 8track was initially a high-end format. Hence why it was only available in private Lear jets, Cadillacs and private yachts. Those early Lear Jet stereo 8tracks from 1964-1967 sound fantastic (once you've replaced the melted pinch roller).
Amazing those tapes still sound good 40+ years later.
Then then they decided to go mass production and cheapened the production process. Yet they still sounded better than cassette until higher quality blank cassettes hit the market in the late 1970s.
Yet 8tracks still sounded better than cassette releases all the way till the end.
I have a few Columbia Record Club 8track releases from the 1980s and even those sound better than the cassette releases.

I've achieved impeccable sound quality with METAL type IV cassettes without dolby C.
I prefer dolby B. I've never had a deck that allows for the adjusting of bias calibrations.
Just simple, normal; CrO2; Metal and also had a deck that had FeCr setting.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 28):
Nonsense. Dolby-C could work very well if the circuit was properly designed and calibrated.


Not really.
Dolby C only works well when you playback on the same unit.
Almost all of my blank cassette recordings are for playback in my car deck or a rental car deck.
No stock car audio deck had a Dolby C setting but almost all had Dolby B.
That is why I always record using Dolby B on metal bias tapes.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 30):
Especially buying old used tapes


Yikes!
Not a good idea to play those on a high-end deck.   
Record companies always used the cheapest normal bias tape that easily erodes. Many albums on cassette lived very hard lives. Many spend their life in extreme hot & cold conditions of cars and occasional cheap beer spills under the seats of Trans Ams, Escorts and Lebarons.
Even when new fresh out of the factory shrink wrap, they sound awful compared to the LP which ironically cost the same price.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 31):
I've tested it with my three-head tape deck switching between source and tape during recording of demanding material – Dolby-C is a noticeable improvement in signal/noise ratio with hardly any audible distortion if it's done properly.



I've rarely seen a factory album release on cassette that was encoded with Dolby C.
Almost all use Dolby B.
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Klaus
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:19 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 32):
I've never had a deck that allows for the adjusting of bias calibrations.

That would be part of the explanation why you didn't have good experiences with Dolby-C. Proper bias adjustment to the respective tape during recording is critical to reduce distortions particularly for signals with higher dynamic range, particularly affecting the higher frequencies. And that is exactly what Dolby-C relied on.

Dolby noise reduction critically depends on proper bias calibration - and Dolby-C even more so than Dolby-B. That most people either didn't have the capability or didn't care to calibrate bias (or didn't even know what it was) is one of the reasons why these analog complications could never reached their full potential back then.

And these kinds of difficulties ultimately contributed to the demise of analog recordings overall.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 32):
Dolby C only works well when you playback on the same unit.

No, that is not true.

Dolby noise reduction works by analog compression and expansion of certain dynamic and frequency ranges. Ideally, both would cancel each other out (with theoretically marginal distortions more than compensated by the additional dynamic range gained in the process).

But proper calibration (not just bias, but also overall levels and frequency response) was indeed critical for proper operation. On already decalibrated units the existing deficiencies could be exacerbated even further. That's simply the nature of this kind of analog signal processing.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 32):
I've rarely seen a factory album release on cassette that was encoded with Dolby C.

Dolby-B was much less effective, but it was also less critical regarding decalibrated playback and at least decently compatible with units which didn't have any kind of Dolby circuit built in. The latter usually had such a bad frequency response that the Dolby preemphasis on the higher frequencies effectively compensated for that deficiency to a certain degree (of course at the cost of additional distortions).
 
N1120A
Posts: 26468
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:34 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 2):
Sony really should have called their new mp3 Walkman the 'Digital Man'.
That way all of their portables would have their own name to identify with.

Digiman would work. That said, I like the idea of keeping the "Walkman" brand for newer media.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 3):

The "Discman" brand never really got anywhere

It made its way into pop culture. Even Russell Peters mentioned his "Discman" in some of his early 2000s comedy sets.

Quoting JA54123 (Reply 8):
Uhm guys, the sony MP3 players are all selling well as "Walkmans"

Good.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 14):

Mainly because the Discman would skip, especially the early models.

My last Discman (actual Sony branded) was purchased for about $25 just before a trip to Europe in 2001. No skipping and it sounded good.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 14):
You could of course make your own mix tape of your favorite songs. Not every CD is filled with great songs that you want to hear.

You can make your own mix CD.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 17):
Quoting RayChuang (Reply 16):
The best thing about the Walkman: no more people lugging around big "boomboxes" and annoying the whole neighborhood playing that boom box at high volume.


Well said!

I can totally see Superfly carrying a boombox right next to his ear.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
Superfly
Posts: 37735
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:08 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 33):
That would be part of the explanation why you didn't have good experiences with Dolby-C. Proper bias adjustment to the respective tape during recording is critical to reduce distortions particularly for signals with higher dynamic range, particularly affecting the higher frequencies. And that is exactly what Dolby-C relied on.

Like I said, I almost never played my tapes back in the unit I recorded it on. My tape recordings (8track and cassette) are almost always played back in a car.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 33):
Quoting Superfly (Reply 32):
Dolby C only works well when you playback on the same unit.

No, that is not true.
Quoting Klaus (Reply 33):
Dolby-B was much less effective, but it was also less critical regarding decalibrated playback and at least decently compatible with units which didn't have any kind of Dolby circuit built in.

  
Sounds like you backed up my main point.

The few recordings I made with Dolby C sound too compressed. Quite passages were almost louder than the loud passages. There was no dynamic range what so ever.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 34):
My last Discman (actual Sony branded) was purchased for about $25 just before a trip to Europe in 2001. No skipping and it sounded good.

Of course not.
2001 would be late in the game for the Discman. The Discmans from about 1989-1993 would have the skipping problem.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 34):
You can make your own mix CD.

Would every Discman 'read' every mixed CD?

Quoting N1120A (Reply 34):
I can totally see Superfly carrying a boombox right next to his ear.

NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   
Bring back the Concorde
 
Klaus
Posts: 20687
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:12 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 35):
Like I said, I almost never played my tapes back in the unit I recorded it on. My tape recordings (8track and cassette) are almost always played back in a car.

With badly or uncalibrated bias you'd have significant additional distortions in any case, independently of Dolby.

Dolby-C just relied especially on an undistorted recording.

Magnetic tape recording is inherently nonlinear which was a major problem for analog recordings, because the main nonlinearity was unfortunately exactly across the zero line, damaging the lower-volume signals proportionally more than the louder ones.

Adding a radio-frequency bias voltage to the recording signal was a trick to mostly compensate for that effect (again with its own analog side effects), but unfortunately the bias voltage needed was different for every tape material and varied even within the main types of tape.

That's why the better tape decks had either manual or automatic bias adjustment to eliminate most of the remaining distortions; Where bias was fixed you just had to live with the distortions if you happened to use kinds of tape which your deck happened not to be calibrated to.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 35):
Sounds like you backed up my main point.

The few recordings I made with Dolby C sound too compressed. Quite passages were almost louder than the loud passages. There was no dynamic range what so ever.

When a Dolby-C recording was played back without Dolby-C or on a badly calibrated unit, things like that could indeed be the result. With a properly calibrated playback deck Dolby-C recordings had significantly better dynamic range than raw recordings on the same tape where the noise floor would drown the finer details.
 
Superfly
Posts: 37735
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:25 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 36):
That's why the better tape decks had either manual or automatic bias adjustment to eliminate most of the remaining distortions; Where bias was fixed you just had to live with the distortions if you happened to use kinds of tape which your deck happened not to be calibrated to.


My tape decks that had Dolby C as an option was automatically calibrated.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 36):
When a Dolby-C recording was played back without Dolby-C or on a badly calibrated unit, things like that could indeed be the result. With a properly calibrated playback deck Dolby-C recordings had significantly better dynamic range than raw recordings on the same tape where the noise floor would drown the finer details.


All of the Dolby C fans I know insist that playing back with Dolby C 'on' would achieve the best result. That would be a huge problem on car decks that didn't have the Dolby C option.



I remember making a mix tape of my favorite Chicago (the rock group) songs. I used a Maxell MX metal type IV tape.
I used Dolby C and the result was as if I was listening to an FM stereo broadcast. It was not good.
Minor clicks & pops that were barely audible on the LP was highlighted and sounded like a huge bang during the soft parts of songs and between songs. Yet the loud, upbeat parts of the song, the record levels dropped off.
This was never a problem with Dolby B.
Bring back the Concorde
 
Klaus
Posts: 20687
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:38 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 37):
All of the Dolby C fans I know insist that playing back with Dolby C 'on' would achieve the best result.

Nothing subjective about it – a proper Dolby-C recording objectively had a much higher dynamic range.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 37):
That would be a huge problem on car decks that didn't have the Dolby C option.

Dolby recordings were simply not compatible with playback devices which didn't have matching circuits.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 37):
This was never a problem with Dolby B.

Sure it was. Playback would be significantly distorted if the compensation circuits weren't there. The distortions were lower than with Dolby-C (as was the noise-reducing effect), but they were still very much there. You could kiss any claim to high(er) sound fidelity goodbye in that case.

Effectively half of the signal processing chain was just missing then.

[Edited 2010-11-01 21:40:03]
 
Superfly
Posts: 37735
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:45 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 38):
Sure it was. Playback would be significantly distorted if the compensation circuits weren't there.


If the record levels were set properly, distortion wouldn't be a problem.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 38):
Dolby recordings were simply not compatible with playback devices which didn't have matching circuits.



Not necessarily.
If anything, you get a clear higher frequency.
Bring back the Concorde
 
747m8te
Posts: 414
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RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:49 am

My casset Sony Walkman served me well, and lasted a long time, used it from 1988 till 2002/03 where I moved onto the Minidisc Sony Walkman, before finally getting an mp3 player in 2008 (also carrying the Sony Walkman brand   ).

Never had a problem with any of the walkmans....infact they all still work today, though the practicality and compact size of the mps player means the others are obsolete in my use....

Quoting marcus (Reply 13):
Sony failed to jump on the mp3 bandwagon....I have a sony digital walkman from the early 2000's that plays a format called ATRAC4 that Sony used at that time, and I sometimes have problems playing regular mp3's.....if I convert a CD to ATRAC4 and then replay it in my home system it sounds way better (like 99.99% of consumers I have an untrained ear) than the same CD in mp3 format from the ipod we have.

Agreed! ATRAC4 quality was superb! back in the day when some of my mates were early adopters of the first gen Ipod, if we wanted to play music through our sound system we always used my Minidisc player with the ATRAC4 format as the sound alot clearer.
Flown on:DHC8Q200,DHC8Q300,DHC8Q400,EMB145,E170,E175,E190,A319,A320,A321,A332,A333,A343,A380,MD80,B712,B733,B734,B737,B738,B743,B744,B744ER,B762,B763,B77W
 
Klaus
Posts: 20687
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:12 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 39):
If the record levels were set properly, distortion wouldn't be a problem.
Quoting Superfly (Reply 39):
Not necessarily.
If anything, you get a clear higher frequency.

You'd get a substantially distorted frequency response which had absolutely nothing to do with audio fidelity.

Nothing "clear" about it, just incorrectly overemphasized since the proper de-emphasis circuits were missing which would have done both the actual noise suppression and the frequency response correction on playback.

When I got my equipment back then, my recording deck, my car cassette units in my radios and my Walkman all had to have Dolby-C. The quality was pretty good for its time, but it could only work with all components really being compatible.
 
N1120A
Posts: 26468
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:47 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 35):

Would every Discman 'read' every mixed CD?

If you burned them in WAV, it wouldn't be an issue. MP3 CDs, which hold a ton more, would require a Discman that could read the format. It would be the difference between 20-30 songs and 200-400 songs. Would still be as many or more songs than on cassette and you wouldn't have the issue of wasted space because of the A and B sides of the cassette.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 35):

NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Defensive a bit Larry?  
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
Flighty
Posts: 8406
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:58 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 41):
When I got my equipment back then, my recording deck, my car cassette units in my radios and my Walkman all had to have Dolby-C. The quality was pretty good for its time, but it could only work with all components really being compatible.

Well, these days, I just like using Type II tape, no Dolby at all, and it sounds great IMO. Of course, portable decks are usually not in the same league as an upper level home deck.
 
Superfly
Posts: 37735
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:49 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 41):
my car cassette units in my radios

What car brand offered a cassette deck with Dolby C?
Was yours some aftermarket deck?

Quoting N1120A (Reply 42):
Defensive a bit Larry?

Well of course. I hated when people did that.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 43):
I just like using Type II tape,

No more metal type IV tapes made anymore.  
Bring back the Concorde
 
Klaus
Posts: 20687
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:06 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 43):
Well, these days, I just like using Type II tape, no Dolby at all, and it sounds great IMO.

Yeah... the side benefits of aging ears... If it's bad enough, the significant noise floor of the "naked" tape may eventually become inaudible...!   

Quoting Flighty (Reply 43):
Of course, portable decks are usually not in the same league as an upper level home deck.

Indeed, but for what they were, they could still be pretty good.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 44):
What car brand offered a cassette deck with Dolby C?
Was yours some aftermarket deck?

The first was a Kenwood, the second a Blaupunkt. I've never had one of the expensive but shoddy units the car manufacturers saddle their products with.
 
Superfly
Posts: 37735
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:19 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 45):
The first was a Kenwood, the second a Blaupunkt. I've never had one of the expensive but shoddy units the car manufacturers saddle their products with.



Junk car stereos in high-end cars was strictly a German thing.
American, British, Japanese and Italian cars had nice stock car stereos for their cars.
Germany hoped on the bandwagon in just the past 10-15 years.
Bring back the Concorde
 
Klaus
Posts: 20687
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:13 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 46):
Junk car stereos in high-end cars was strictly a German thing.

You yourself said yours never had Dolby-C, didn't you? Doesn't sound like high end, exactly!
 
Superfly
Posts: 37735
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:21 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 47):
You yourself said yours never had Dolby-C, didn't you? Doesn't sound like high end, exactly!

It's a total waste in a car stereo.
No need to be defensive because Mercedes, Audi and BMW were too cheap to offer nice stereos on their high-end sedans.
Many times, an S-class would only offer an AM-FM stereo and that's it.
No cassette, 8track or CD.
Bring back the Concorde
 
Klaus
Posts: 20687
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Sony Finally Ends Production Of The Walkman

Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:47 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 48):
It's a total waste in a car stereo.

No, it's not. I've never made more than one recording of any given music – and that single recording was for use at home, on the road and for my Walkman alike. So maximum possible quality was a must, and that meant Dolby-C.

Making multiple recordings for separate uses (some of them at sub-par quality just to be compatible with lower-grade equipment) would have been complete overkill, and it was simply not necessary. So I had maximum convenience and maximum attainable quality wherever I was,

And yes, the noise floor of the tape can be quite audible, even in the car if it's sufficiently silent.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 48):
No need to be defensive because Mercedes, Audi and BMW were too cheap to offer nice stereos on their high-end sedans.

I've never driven one of these models in the days when tape drives were still relevant.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 48):
Many times, an S-class would only offer an AM-FM stereo and that's it.
No cassette, 8track or CD.

I've never seen such a frugal combination "in the wild".

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