Following Techmoan video on walkman’s I too have started re-considering walkman’s outside of the DD line. When I re-discovered my interest in cassettes and walkman’s some years ago I immediately turned my attention to DD walkman’s as they are and were considered the best walkman’s; in the end I managed to buy three DD’s, the first, (WM-DD), the last (WM-DD33) and one in the middle (WM-DDIII currently being serviced). The DC2 and the DD9 are too expensive for my pockets so they are excluded from my considerations. I like how the DD’s sound, but I think they have room for improvements: first and foremost they are a bit weak in high frequency, even after a mechanical revision, a proper clean-up and re-alignment they tend to sound soft. I do not think my units are faulty, even in techmoan video its DDII sounds softer than all other walkman’s; I think it’s their signature sound. In terms of details, the gap with my tapedeck is still quite noticeable, I think mostly due to the softer sound. Yet DD’s are still the most sought after walkman’s and here on the forums they surely take the lion share of discussions (surely thanks also to the huge work done by Marian to fix the broken gear). Lately I have acquired some SONY walkman’s from the late 90’s similar to those tested by Techmoan in its video: in terms of practical use they are unbeatable, being smaller, lighter, with full logic transport (adding useful features such as music search and blank-skip), powered by a small gumstick battery that lasts for hours or a single AA which lasts forever. Sound-wise I am pretty amazed too: frequency response is much wider in the high frequency region; the amplifier background hiss is also lower and even with a pure Chrome tape you can clearly hear when the leader ends and the tape starts. Megabass is definitely more effective as it adds a proper boost at the spectrum edges and it practically fills the gap between listening with an around-the-ear headphone and more discreet earbuds. Another advantage is that despite being very small, the tape transport is quite reliable: a new belt is all that is required to bring them back to life and FFW/REW always works reliably (I do not have to cross my finger and hope for a correct gears alignment as in the DD’s). The big draw-back of those walkman’s is obviously the strength of the DD, its lower W&F. Even with brass flywheels, belt driven walkman’s have high W&F which can be clearly heard with the critical instruments (piano, harpsichord, chimes, …). But DD’s too have W&F to some degree: their spec is greater than a tape deck and given the age of the DD’s nowadays they are all mostly close to the max specified W&F; and it can be heard, at least in my units, I can hear a bit of W&F with the same critical instruments as above. In the end I think late 90’s walkman’s are not so well considered because they were born when cassettes were on decline and personal audio was moving to new technologies. But indeed I think they were the pinnacle of technological development: 20 years of design and evolution lead to simpler yet reliable transport, complex logic control, quieter (in terms of noise) amplifier and very low power consumption. Those walkman’s are also relatively cheap to buy, I paid mine 1/4 of what I paid for the DD’s (both boxed and in very good cosmetic conditions); the “bang for buck”, again, is really unbeatable.