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First Model of Walkman

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An original cassette walkman  

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  1. 1. What is a first model Sony cassette Walkman

    • It's a collectors item that might fetch a decent price.
    • It's a curiosity that might fetch a few bucks if you're lucky
    • It's a piece of junk that's not worth the time it would take to dig it up again.

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Since there seems to be a lot of Sony experts around here, I'd thought I'd ask about a walkman I'm considering selling.

A year or so ago, I ran across what I believe (and correct me if I'm wrong) is the first Walkman model sold in the U.S. It's blue, all metal and built like a tank with a red button for the dual "buddy" headphone jacks. I stuck a cassette in and powered it up and it works fine. It's in like new, excellent condition with it's original blue leather case. I remember paying close to $300 for it in the late 70's when I could afford, and had to have, the latest and greatest gadgets I could get.

I stuck it back away and what I'd like to know is if it's worth hunting for again. Does anyone know if it might be worth anything? I even have the original headphones, which were surprisingly good despite the foam being deteriorated.

So, is it a museum piece, or just another piece of obsolete crap better off left buried wherever it is right now?

TIA for anyone's opinions.

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Thanks for you guys' feedbacks.

I hunted it down today and tried to fire it up before I took some pictures.

No go. I pulled off the outer case and saw that one of the belts inside had snapped..

Motor still runs and everything looks o.k., but I need to decide if it's worth hunting down a belt to fit it.

If anyone has any ideas about where the heck I can get a belt for it, or were I can find out what size belt it is, I'd be appreciative.

It looks like it's not too terribly difficult to replace, but I'd rather not remove the old belt for measurements, etc. until I have a reasonable chance of lining up a new one, or two. Might as well replace the other one while I'm at it.


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Sadly, that is the fate of many cassette player/recorders. I have one old "boombox" left and it still plays tapes but the belts are so stretched out the "Wow & Flutter" would probably measure around 10%! There has to be some source of new belts online somewhere. Google is your friend. :-)

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If the belts are simple rubber/synthetic rubber (so-called BUNA, it's an acronym) and circular, here's what you do:

Buy a so-called O-ring from one of the companies that supplies multiple industries. Your only problem is figuring out the right size. I had to do this because B&O couldn't sell me drive belts for my reel-to-reel machine (they had no more and these would have been dried up no doubt). It's actually surprisingly easy as long as you can get used to the strange way they dimension them.




You are going to need some calipers to measure the one you have, I fancy.

Good luck!


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I gave mine to my sister some years ago, and said "don't bin it, it's a museum piece". But I bet she has.

That feature of having a mic to enable you to hear what's going on around you without taking off the headphones was pretty neat - and not implemented again? Now that sound-sealing in-ear buds are popular, they should bring back the mic.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Ha. Believe it or not, I found an easy source of the belts for this thing on line. They had it cataloged by model, so no measuring necessary.

So... I replaced the belts. Unfortunately, I broke off the wires where they attach to the microphone. No big deal. I never used it anyway, so I didn't bother to re-solder them.

I powered it up. Everything looked great. I put in a tape. It was the only one in the house. It was promptly eaten.

It seems like the spindles, or whatever they're called, work fine until they encounter some resistance. I don't know it would do the same thing with a less ancient tape or if there's some easy adjustment.

The headphones also have lost a channel. Knowing Sony, my money is on a broken wire, but who knows??

Fully operational ones on the bay are pulling down near $200, and they aren't in nearly the same cosmetic condition as mine.

I'm thinking of listing mine for $140-$150 or thereabouts and see what happens.

If someone here is interested, let me know and make me an offer. I'll let it go much more reasonably if the ebay leeches are out of the picture.

Here's some pics.

post-125105-0-57876600-1307936227_thumb. post-125105-0-78387200-1307936413_thumb.

post-125105-0-07187600-1307936458_thumb. post-125105-0-37016500-1307936442_thumb.

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