Earlier this year my old walkman finally gave up. I had owned this walkman for a long time, and by that I mean a few decades. It was a lovely device, a lovely piece of engineering. It was barely bigger than a cassette itself and it would run for ages on just a single AA battery.
But it stopped, just stopped working one day and I have no idea why at all.
You might ask if I tried to repair it. The answer is no. The technology was so small that you’d have to have been a specialist to even attempt a repair. I knew that I wouldn’t be up for it.
But I have considered replacing it. I had a good look around eBay and I was amazed at the prices that a functioning walkman will go for. I’m sure that I had looked some years ago and they were going for next to nothing. My guess is that the prices spiked after the first ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movie came out.
Anyway, so far I haven’t replaced it, I’m not sure that I will now. I still have cassettes. I still like them. So I expect that one day I will.
When this first came out I can remember buying it. It was such an exciting idea. A magazine that you could listen to! It was a revelation. I didn’t buy many of them. It wasn’t cheap, or at least I didn’t really have the money back then. But I’m pretty sure I bought a few of them.
Sadly, as they were on tape, I eventually recorded over them, and they’ve been lost along the way. So one day I had a look for them on eBay, and of course, there were quite a few available. After a while I’ve got hold of one of the ones I wanted.
So far I haven’t played this, I’m half expecting it to jam up the mechanism, and perhaps I won’t actually even try. We’ll see.
I’ve been exploring some of my tiny modular devices. Above you can see. I posted this picture a while ago on Instagram. It was a fun thing to play around with, and I think that these devices go very well together.
I can see myself doing a lot more little sessions like this. I’ve been recording them on tape too. Yep, real cassette tape.
I had one of these years ago. In fact, I had a number of these. But one that was very like this one. I think it was the Ferguson that was almost identical to this. It was excellent. Ok, not excellent, but really good for its time. I used it to record all sorts of things and amassed a huge cassette collection, and have very little of it left.
Even so, now I have a nice tin. I’ve decided to use it for field recording accessories. That seems like an appropriate use for it.
I used to have a Fostex X-15, but when it finally gave up I got rid of it. So I got the X-14 to replace it. It’s not as good. It’s ok, but it isn’t the same. Even so, I do like these old cassette 4 tracks. Their kind of awesome.