WM-2Walkman 2

Sony WM-2 feature
WML ID #2
Manufacturer
Sony
Model
WM-2
Nick
Walkman 2
Gang
Pioneers
Together
4
Year
1981
Made in
Japan
Initial price
32000 ¥Today 297 $
Technical details, specifications
Battery
2AA
Battery life
9h (with 2)
Colors
black red gray white
Dimensions
30*109*80 mm (262 cm³)3D size
Weight
280 gr
Window
yes
Frame
plastic
Case
plastic
Carry
clip
Expandable
no
External compartment
no
Tape selector
Manual switch
Waterproof
no
Speaker
no
Frequency range
40-12000@1, 40-15000@4 Hz
FMax output
2x20 mW
Functions
DC in
yes
Record by input
no
Record by int mic
no
Hotline mode
yes
Cue
no
Balance (L/R)
no
Phone type
1
Equalizer
no
Auto volume no
Auto reverse
no
Anti rolling
no
AMS no
Blank skip no
Logic control
no
Hold lock
no
Radio
no
Remote control
no
Wireless headphone
no
Indicator
led
Description

This milestone walkman was the second walkman after the legendary TPS-L2 and set the form factor for the DD line.

The WM-2, or "Walkman II" as it was known, took the mantle from the TPS-L2 as the smallest stereo cassette player in the world, only just larger than the cassette it played.

The main change that made this miniaturisation possible was mounting the tape heads in the lid and arranging for the cassette to be inserted the other way round. Because of this, the heads did not have to retract into the casing for the cassette to be removed, saving a very worthwhile amount of space. The engineering precision required to make this complex arrangement work properly was not inconsiderable, though there were few problems in practice. Not content with simply making the machine smaller, the designers went a step further by making the engagement of the heads power-operated. This allowed the control keys to have a short travel and to be placed on the front of the machine rather than along one edge, reducing the size yet further. To protect the delicate parts, all keys were automatically released if the door was opened.

The small size made stability even more critical than it had been before, so the counter rotating flywheel was beefed up somewhat, now large and heavy enough to make a real difference. As with the TPS-L2, the play key was released mechanically at the end of the tape, and in later versions of the machine, the motor was stopped electronically in the winding modes, using an optical sensor and a reflective disc driven from the supply spool. These later models can be identified by putting the mechanism into rewind with no tape inserted, after a few seconds the red "battery" light should go out and the spindle should stop rotating. Later models can also be identified by the writing on the controls, early sets have "fwd" engraved on them, later ones say "play". The excellent core-less servo motor was carried over unaltered from the TPS-L2, though little else was.

In comparison with the mechanics, miniaturising the electronics to the required degree must have been fairly straightforward, with new and smaller components becoming available all the time. There were three distinct designs used for the electronics, such was the pace of development at this time. Most of the features of the TPS-L2 survived, except for the separate left and right volume controls (a miniature stereo volume control was now available) and the "hot line" microphone. In place of this, the original headphones had a large orange push button where the two leads separated that muted the sound, a similar but less interesting arrangement. The WM-2 retained dual headphone sockets however. The tone switch was also retained, but it was marked for normal and chrome/metal type tapes.

The sleek appearance of the WM-2 was made possible in part by it having no "front" or "back" as such. All faces were styled with equal attention to detail, and unless the cassette-viewing window was visible it did not look obviously like a tape player at all. A battery door would have spoiled the lines, to this was placed inside the cassette compartment. This also made the machine more robust, reducing the chance of the door falling open by accident and the batteries spilling out. So sleek was the basic design that there was no real way of attaching a handle, clip or strap, so a strong plastic holder with a belt clip and attachment points for a shoulder strap was included that it could be clipped into. This too was beautifully designed and made the WM-2 no less attractive.

The WM-2 was the best selling cassette Walkman model of all to date, selling around one and a half million units. Originally only produced in metallic grey, though later black, red and white (rare) versions were offered too.Via Walkman Central (edited

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Additional notes
Boxed photos reused with permission from boxedwalkman on IG.
Created
2021-07-10 18:46:34
Updated
2024-04-14 21:55:06
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WML @ 2023-05-31 14:20:18

Youtube commercial: youtube embed

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