Most popular last month

  1. WM-D6C
  2. WM-10
  3. TPS-L2
  4. WM-2
  5. WM-1
  6. WM-D6
  7. TC-D5
  8. WM-DD
  9. WM-22
  10. WM-W800

FAQ

What is Walkman Central?
Walkman Central is a site containing pictures and descriptions of miniature portable audio and video equipment made by Sony of Japan. The authors do not have any connection with the Sony Corporation. The site can be used for historical research or just to bring back memories of equipment you once owned or wanted. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
What is a Walkman?
“Walkman” was originally a name made up by Sony for their range of personal stereo cassette players. Strictly speaking, a Walkman is a cassette player rather than a recorder, though there are numerous recording models. The name was later applied of many of Sony’s portable ranges, including compact disc players, MP3 players and mobile telephones. When spelt with a lower-case “w”, walkman has become a generic term for any personal stereo, but when spelt with a capital it refers to Sony equipment only. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
What is a Discman?
“Discman” is a name that was used to describe Sony’s personal compact disc players. The first models did not use this name, but were referred to as “compact disc compact players”, a bulky term that did not endure. Later on, personal CD players would be called “CD Walkman” or just “Walkman”, though the Discman name did become accepted by the public to the extent that it too became a generic term. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
What is a Watchman?
“Watchman” is a name used by Sony for their range of miniature television sets. As most of these were monochrome the “Trinitron” branding was not applicable, nor was it to the more limited number of colour LCD models. The name was not as widely used as “Walkman” or “Discman”. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
What is a Network Walkman?
A Network Walkman is a Walkman that can be connected to a computer so that music can be downloaded to it and uploaded from it. There are three basic types of Network Walkman, NetMD Minidisc recorders, Flash Memory music players and Hard Drive music players. The computer software for use with Network Walkmans is called Sonic Stage. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
Which was the first Walkman?
The TPS-L2 of 1979. The D-50 of 1982 was the first Discman, though it is worth noting that neither of these models used the now familiar names when launched. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
Which was the smallest Walkman?
The smallest cassette playing Walkman was the WM-10, the smallest Discman was the D-88. Both of these models were smaller than the media they played and had to be folded out before use. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
Where do you get your pictures from?
All the pictures on this site show restored, working examples of the equipment under discussion and were taken specially for Walkman Central. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
I can’t find the model I have on your site, where is it?
There are estimated to be between 300 and 500 different models of Walkman, Discman and Watchman, and whilst we are working hard to cover them all it may take some time. In addition, some models are only available in certain countries or regions, meaning that information on them is hard to come by in this country. As we only use original pictures and base each description on seeing, using and dismantling each machine there is always a chance that you will see a particular model before we do. We’ve tried to include the more popular and interesting models first. Models with radios sometimes have more than one model number depending on the version, often prefixing the model number with an “A” or a “B”. As a rule, “B” models were sold in the UK, so these tend to be the versions we list. “A” models are noted in the text (and can be searched for) once we have confirmed that they exist. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
Where can I find the original headphones for my Walkman/Discman?
There is no easy answer to this question, many Walkmans have outlasted more than one pair of headphones and the originals have often been discarded years ago. If this level of originality is important to you, try to buy examples that still have the original accessories with them, though in some cases this will make them much more expensive. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
How much is my Walkman/Discman/Watchman worth?
This is a very difficult question to answer. Sadly, most are worth very little, though some of the more collectable models are becoming quite sought after. On the whole, those that were particularly mould-breaking or expensive when new command the highest prices, though this is not always the case. Condition is also vital, and unmarked cases and complete sets of accessories all help. Look for similar models on one of the internet-based auction sites to see what price the public will stand. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
How can I buy something from your website?
Walkman Central is intended as an information resource only, we don’t actually sell equipment, manuals or parts. Any prices mentioned in the text are for historical interest only. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
Where can I buy a belt for my Walkman?
Sony may be able to help you, ask in one of their dealers. Alternatively, some electronics shops and distributors sell bags of belts in the right sizes for Walkmans, though they don’t tend to fit the later auto-reverse models. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
My WM-2 (or similar type, see our pictures) makes a ticking sound and the tape speed jerks, why is this?
There is a large gear in the centre of the mechanism of these models that splits and cracks, causing this problem. Unfortunately at the time of writing Sony have no stocks of this part, so there is not much that can be done. We will make it clear if the situation changes. The part is also tricky to fit properly, so if you do find one it may be wise to employ someone who is used to dealing with small mechanisms to fit it. The part number is X-3578-142-0. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

Broken centre gear with split indicated., picture by Tim Jarman
Broken centre gear with split indicated.


When the centre gear is removed the split can be seen clearly., picture by Tim Jarman
When the centre gear is removed the split can be seen clearly.
My WM-10 (or similar, e.g. WM-20, WM-30, WM-F10, WM-F20) does nothing, the motor won’t even run, despite me having fitted new batteries. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited. What could be wrong?
These are all over twenty years old now, so it could be anything. However, before you despair, be aware that this series of machines have a switch inside the headphone socket and will not operate unless the headphones are plugged in. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
I’ve heard the WM-D6/WM-D6C is one of the best tape recorders you can buy, but mine sounds disappointing. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited. What’s wrong?
The WM-D6C is indeed an excellent machine, but it comes from the factory set up for Sony’s own tapes, which differ quite considerably from the standard types. If you are serious about making good recordings, get the machine properly set up for tapes which you can still get (e.g. TDK SA). Even if you use Sony tapes, the adjustments may have drifted and should be checked. A Sony dealer with a proper workshop should be able to help you. Similar comments apply to the TC-D5 models. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
How should I look after the rechargeable battery that came with my Walkman/Discman?
It is wise to care for your batteries as they are very expensive to replace, assuming that you can still get them. The method depends on which type you have. Nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal hydride batteries that come with some Walkmans should only be charged when completely empty, and then recharged fully, not partially. The “chewing gum” style units are normally recharged externally in a charger called the BC-7. Later Nickel metal hydride versions of these batteries can be substituted for the earlier types without alteration. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

Some Discman models use lead acid batteries (e.g. the BP-100 used in the D-100 or the BP-2EX used in the D-66 and others). These batteries must be kept charged at all times and “topped up” after every use or they will quickly become useless. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

No rechargeable battery should be stored in a completely discharged state. Some models came with accessory holders to allow normal types of batteries to be used instead of the special rechargeable ones. These should be coveted as they are very useful for keeping a machine as a usable proposition. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The most difficult battery to care for is the internal one fitted to the WM-F107 “Solar Walkman”. This can only be charged using sunlight, and should ideally be completely discharged and then recharged every few months. To avoid discolouring the casing during charging we recommend making a box which fits over the machine, with a “window” cut out for the solar cell. Paint the box white to keep the heat down inside. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
What is ATRAC?
ATRAC stands for Adaptive Transform Acoustic Coding. It is a signal compression technology that reduces the amount of storage space required for digital music data. The original version was used in the first MiniDisc recorders, this then evolved into ATRAC 3 which offered the higher compression “LP2” and “LP4” modes. The latest version is known as ATRAC 3 Plus which is used in Hi-MD recorders and hard disc music players and offers “Hi-SP” and “Hi-LP” modes. The newer variants are compatible with their predecessors. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
What is MiniDisc?
MiniDisc is a home digital recording format that uses miniature magneto-optical discs in conjunction with ATRAC coding. MiniDisc players and recorders were made as both full-sized home units and as portable Walkman models. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
What is Hi-MD?
The Hi-MD format is a development of MiniDisc. It expands the usefulness of the MiniDisc system by enabling the storage of computer data as well as music. Up to 1GB of music or data can be stored on a Hi-MD disc. Hi-MD recorders can also record and replay in all the earlier MiniDisc formats. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.