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My new old yet very new TPS-L2

Discussion in 'I found this!' started by doublecee, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. doublecee

    doublecee Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    So, the Sony TPS-L2 was the very first Walkman. We all know that! And Ive always wanted one. But sadly, since a film I was personally involved in hit the screen, the prices have rocketed. Guardians Of The Galaxy’s main hero, Star-Lord (you know?) had a TPS-L2, and I remember being on set and seeing his and thinking to myself how cool was that!? What I failed to do was realise that as a result of this Marvel film, the TPS-L2 would go from being a $50 ebay buy (at best) to suddenly be commanding prices up to (and including) $1000!

    Obviously, the TPS-L2 was on my e bay watch list, but they were either too shabby or just too expensive.

    However, last week I received a Sony wm-f101 from a seller. It was as new, and considering it was from 86, thats quite a feat. The seller dropped me a private message and said that he also had a TPS-L2, and wasnt sure what to do with it.

    It was his from new, having purchased it for the 1980 Moscow olympics. Well, it turns out that this seller was none other than Don Morley, the Godfather of Sports photography! This walkman has circumnavigated the globe with him 8 times. I love the providence of this machine. Its not just a random purchase on ebay from an unknown. This walkman has some history. The Moscow Olympics was big news at the time. And I would love to have seen the faces of the locals when confronted with the first walkman...

    [​IMG]

    Now, I know this guy… his books were amazing and still set the bar for the genre. I was also very familiar with his W.H Smiths book on Motor Bikes.

    If this guy looks after his walkmans as well as he looks after his camera’s, this TPS-L2 may be worth a punt.

    Offer made and accepted, the TPS arrived yesterday. It looked factory fresh. But wasnt playing. The belts were old & stretched, but knowing this day would come, I had a stock of TPS-L2 and WM-3 belts ready.

    So this was how I spent this evening… and with the new belts fitted, I was about to hear my first TPS-L2. I’d always assumed the first walkman was a success due to its novelty value back in the day. But actually this walkman really kicks butt! Its rock solid stable and really really punchy. Later walkmans would improve on this, with the DD series as well as the pro models, but what a fantastic debut for the walkman concept.

    I think this is now my new most favourite thing!
     
    Chris, nickeccles and PJ0688 like this.
  2. walkman archive

    walkman archive Administrator Staff Member

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    Great story and great walkman. I was too surprised to hear how good does it oldie sound. Impressive. And the quality is clearly much better than today's vast majority of gadgets.
     
  3. Deliverance

    Deliverance Active Member S2G Supporter

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    Good story the Walkman looks mint .
     
  4. doublecee

    doublecee Active Member

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    Just fitted new belts to an equally pristine wm-3. Motor was seized, but rather than use the new boxed spare I have, I thought I'd give the fitted motor a fighting chance.

    Removed motor, soaked in ISO overnight and then re-oiled.

    Motor silent, stable and refitted. New belts. Really quite an awesome machine as well. Listening to some Clapton / BB King on a pair of modified beyer DT 770 cans and I'm spellbound.

    These nearly 4o year old machines are the exact reason why I find vintage Walkmans so captivating. I had pretty much written of the wm-3 as a display piece only. So glad I dug in and fixed it.
     
  5. Boodokhan

    Boodokhan Active Member S2G Supporter

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    Thanks for sharing your story. I always enjoy reading about other members stories. Your Walkman will serve you for may years. TPS-L2 is a very durable solid Walkman
     
  6. buzbox

    buzbox Active Member

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    Very cool background story to the TPS-L2. I'm very surprised at the sound quality of these.
     
  7. doublecee

    doublecee Active Member

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    I know! Crazy good playback. Took me a while to find the best match out of the headphones I have. B&W P7's seem to give the best balance. Also tried Sen HD-20's, Grado 325e, Porta Pro's, Grado GR8e. The only issue I had to deal with was the flywheel screw needed a very very small adjustment to loosen it. Plus the grease used on the underside was super old so used that opportunity to remove it, clean and apply a fresh dab.

    So pleased with this unit. Its place in history was well deserved, not only for its cultural impact, but also for what they managed to achieve in terms of quality. I never really considered the TPS-L2 as a serious contender. Boy was I wrong!
     
  8. walkman archive

    walkman archive Administrator Staff Member

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    Are used mine this Friday to play a lot of songs in the party (see my post in the lounge) and many people were so surprised to realize that the music was coming out of this old device and, boy, it sounded great!
    It's also very convenient to use for This matter, much better than all modern models from the late 80s and later
     
  9. walkman archive

    walkman archive Administrator Staff Member

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    Here's the proof

    IMG_8249.JPG
     
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  10. PJ0688

    PJ0688 Member

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    Oh, I just replaced in my WM-3, is there a way to get the old motor going again? If so, perhaps I could use it for something.
     
  11. doublecee

    doublecee Active Member

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    Getting an old motor running is somewhat binary... it will either work or it wont. I guess I got lucky, through a mix of determination, patience and a huge dose of stubbornness. I reasoned that as the machine looked so unused, the chances of the motor being screwed were slight. If anything, the lack of use probably was the biggest contributing factor. I ordered a new boxed spare from Israel, just in case I needed it. Its still in the box, it wasnt needed. Saving that for a rainy day

    Ive read elsewhere people having very limited success, but after a full week of use, it's still going, strong and silent
     
    PJ0688 likes this.
  12. funkitall

    funkitall Member

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    Great stories....

    I bought my TPS-L2 from ebay about 2.5 years ago for £125.00 with leather case but needs neww belts so i have found a guy in the UK who can help...
    DoubleCEE...will the TPS get another airing in Volume 11 or is another Walkman just about to sky rocket on ebay?
    Hugo, love the pic..I use to DJ but i have NEVER seen a DJ utilising tape.......seminal!!!!
     
  13. doublecee

    doublecee Active Member

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    GOTG Vol II is still his original TPS-L2. Thats what he had on him when he was taken from earth as a kid when he ran out of the hospital ;-)
     
  14. funkitall

    funkitall Member

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    What will he do when the belts break?

    ps: at work and no calls so making use of "paid downtime"
     
  15. doublecee

    doublecee Active Member

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    I don't think Marvel are too worried about the finer details of Walkman ownership ;-)
     

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