A few months ago we introduced the B-1000 EW Walkman from RecordingTheMasters (RTM), a new, modern-made cassette player for those who would like to experience a Walkman-like experience again (and possibly for curious digital natives looking for a vintage adventure).
I managed to get a test unit for review, and here’s what I think of it after a few weeks.
The B-1000 is a simple, solid plastic affair; you get a play, stop, rewind and mono record option (via the built-in microphone and external microphone). Nothing fancy, yet it’s all you really need to play your tapes.
Actually, you probably wouldn’t be able to distinguish the B-1000 from its ’80s ancestors if it wasn’t for the (handy) USB plug on the side! The unit runs on AA batteries as well.
Should You Buy The B-1000 EW Walkman?
As of now, if you are looking for a “Walkman” the choice is between the second-hand market (whether online or offline) and very few modern-made units, such as the B-1000 from RTM.
The second-hand market is always a gamble, and (unless you’re extremely lucky) you might have to be ready to pay a considerable amount of money for quality (yet 40-year-old) units in supposedly “good condition”.
The B-1000 is brand new, affordable (between 40 and 50 EUR/USD/UKP), and offers the basic features most of us need, with a very good quality/price ratio. I haven’t noticed particular issues (hiss, etc.) with my unit, while checking out both old and new tapes.
Speaking of new tapes, RTM and ThinkIndie Distribution have recently been reissuing a series of critically acclaimed albums on cassette for the first time ever. Alanis Morissette’s Such Pretty Forks in the Road and Giovannie and the Hired Guns’ Bad Habits are making their debut on cassette, along with My Morning Jacket’s much beloved Holiday offering, My Morning Jacket Does Xmas Fiasco Style.
Needless to say, these newer tapes sound better than my slightly wobbly old ones, but in general, I enjoyed my experience with the RTM B-1000 EW Walkman. It’s plasticky but well built, and being new it has an obvious advantage over vintage units, as it shouldn’t be needing repairs any time soon.
It would be nice to see a premium version with adjustable tape speed, internal speaker and BT connectivity, and I’m sure RTM is thinking about that as well. We’ll see, but in the meantime, if you’re looking for a portable cassette player and don’t feel like gambling in the second-hand market, I’d recommend checking out the RTM B-1000 EW Walkman. It’s also a pretty cool gift for your loved ones!
FYI: The B-1000 EW Walkman is not exactly easy to find at the moment, but please keep an eye on the official web page and audio gear dealers worldwide.
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