WM-DD9Sony Walkman King

Sony WM-DD9 feature
WML ID #81
Manufacturer
Sony
Model
WM-DD9
Nick
Sony Walkman King
Series
DD
Gang
Dolby C
Year
1989
Made in
Japan
Initial price
43000 ¥Today 350 $
Technical details, specifications
Battery
1AA gumstick
Battery life
2.5 h
Colors
black
Dimensions
77.7*109.2*33.1 mm (281 cm³)3D size
Weight
330 gr
Window
yes
Frame
plastic
Case
metal
Carry
pouch
Expandable
no
External compartment
no
Head
EX Amorphous
Drive
DirectDrive, Double Quarz capstan servo
Tape selector
Manual switch
Waterproof
no
Speaker
no
Frequency range
20-20000 Hz
FMax output
2x5 mW
Functions
DC in
yes
Record by input
no
Record by int mic
no
Hotline mode
no
Cue
no
Balance (L/R)
no
Phone type
3
Equalizer
no
Auto volume no
Auto reverse
yes
Anti rolling
yes
AMS no
Blank skip no
Logic control
yes
Hold lock
yes
Bass
so-exdbb
Noise reduction
Dolby BC NR
Radio
no
Remote control
no
Wireless headphone
no
Indicator
led
Description

Sound to Match the Ingenious Mechanism

Sony WM-DD9 was a top of the line Walkman, together with WM-D6C and WM-D3. It was very small, but uses logic controlled instead of mechanical or soft-touch commands. At the first glance almost nothing on DD9 gives any clue that we are talking about hi tech Walkman. But, under closer inspection, it is easy to understand that this small machine is different. I've never seen gold plated headphone socket on a Walkman (including players from other manufacturers) and I had dozens and dozens of them, but DD9 has it.

Its cassette interior is not cheap in any way, made using metal plates and intelligent system to change batteries… and everything looks like it is made with special care in mind. WM-DD9 also uses Dolby B and C which only a handful of cassette players had. It sports not one but two independent Disc Drive motors so it could have the same wow&flutter specs in both forward and reverse playback. This is important since WM-DD9 is the only Disc Drive Walkman Sony has ever made. So there are no belts at all – which is gorgeous.

Just a few Sony Walkmans, namely DC2, D6C and some others (Aiwas, for example) used amorphous head which is better for wear and electromagnetic characteristic resulting in better frequency response and overall dynamics. Well, DD9 also has such.

This small Walkman really is a nice piece of equipment. The wow&flutter are not audible as long as you don't start shaking it like crazy. I didn't measure it, but it looks to me that is sufficiently small.

The sound has a very special character and sounds much more like WM-DD33 or some Aiwa top notch players of this era than, for example, Sony WM-D6C.

While comparing it to WM-D6C I found them to be on the opposite sides: DD9 is clear and crisp, with extremely good details for a Walkman, while D6C is not so clear, but is soft and very musical, and sounds more like some tube preamps. The different characters may suite different tastes: some may like tube-like sound of D6C and other may prefer precise sound of DD9. I have to be straight: some micro details I heard on DD9 were not so explicit on D6C and this made DD9 creating substantialy good 3D scene which D6C could not achieve. The bass lines had better definition on DD9 and this is what I couldn't forgive D6C. Just to mention, azimuth was adjusted on each machine independently prior to test. The record machines were Sony TC-KA6ES (modified) and Harman/Kardon TD4800. Although I like WM-D6C sound very, very much, it is hard to listen to it after you get use to DD9's character, so getting back to D6C takes time.
Conclusion: One of the best, and maybe the best of all Walkmans (i.e. portable personal cassette players) I had an opportunity to listen to.Via zokiaudio

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Additional notes
Battery compartment accepts either a gumstick or single AA celll.
Created
2021-07-10 18:46:34
Updated
2024-05-24 01:52:03
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tapefactor @ 2024-03-08 16:16:05

Got mine today in absolutely S+ tier condition.

Beats every single device in my collection hands down (except my EX2000). Sound, design, everything.
I don't even mind the battery life isn't that good. It's smaller than I expected too which is a good thing.
Official carry case also in perfect condition and it fits like a glove.

This will be my daily carry probably.

Truly has and will be the centrepiece of my collection alongside my mint/brand new WM-EX2000.

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