Colours/finishes

See also

WM-EX49

WM-EX49

This attractive model was part of a new range, the “EX” series. At the time, this prefix indicated a top-line model, though later it became devalued and simply differentiated a tape only model (EX) from a radio model (FX). Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The name came from the “EX head”, a fact proudly reinforced by some text visible when the cassette door was opened. It was not made clear what the advantages were, though in some ways the head limited the possible performance. It was mounted in a pair of pre-set guides and so could not be adjusted into correct azimuth. Such an arrangement seemed a long way distant from previous models (e.g. the WM-106), which had provision for independent azimuth adjustment for each direction of play. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The mechanical sections were similar in layout to those of the WM-106 and the WM-503. The control keys opposed the heads, which were mounted in the lid in order to allow as compact a case as was possible. Like the WM-106 and the WM-503, the cassette lid was held shut with a catch, though unlike those models it could not be locked. Switchable auto reverse was included, though there was no direction indicator, a thin strip through which the spools were visible was considered satisfactory. As one would expect from a more expensive model, Dolby B NR, “Mega Bass” loudness (two settings) and chrome/metal tape compatibility were all included. The minor controls for some of these functions were located on the rear face of the machine. The cassette door was made of pressed metal and was decorated with a large embossed “Walkman” logo. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

In a bid to make the casework compact, the designers seemed to have “squashed” it around the assemblies inside. There was a raised section in the cassette door to clear the thicker part of the cassette and the heads, while at the rear was a bulge to house the battery. The latter would have not been necessary if the machine had been made to be operable only with a flat-type rechargeable cell, but it was also possible to use a single “AA” type battery instead. The battery holder could accept either type, though only one at a time. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.