We look back at Sanyo as an “also ran” during the Walkman heyday but the make’s models offered decent sound quality and plenty of features, usually below the MSRP of the leaders’ models. “Sanyo” translates to three oceans in English. In the early ’80s, their personal stereo line was a strong one worldwide but success for the company petered out in North America and Europe. Sanyo continued in Japan and returned to worldwide distribution in the ’90s with a super-cheap discount line.
1984. Sanyo is one of those unusual brands that’s known to sell some real gems, and some real crap. The M-6060 is no doubt a gem simply due to its unique tape-loading mechanism. Cassettes are inserted into a slot much like a auto’s in-dash tape deck. Separate left and right channel volume controls, the blue on white graphics and the nice, big chrome eject button are the coolest features. Here’s a pictureof the complete package. A little white carrying case was included. Very nice touch!
1982. Sanyo was one of many radio-watch manufacturers in the 80s. This particular model had some nice features as far as watches go, including alarm, time date and day indicator. The radio, however was not so great. That tiny knob with the red lettering on the right was for tuning, and the listener had to resort to guesswork in determining where in the AM band he happened to be. But for 1982, anyone spotted wearing a headphones connected to a watch was instantly deemed as cool…in a nerdy sorta way.
1983. Another portable with the radio cassette module. This one is unique however, in that it uses a knob for tuning rather than a flat dial. It also tunes the AM and FM band. The box is labelled “Sportster” but somehow, we have a feeling this ain’t waterproof or shockproof! Very nice, unusual unit.
1981. Arguably, the feature-packed portable stereo cassette player of presented during the initial walkman “boom.” The M-5550 featured dual headphone jacks, a “Talk Line” muting feature as well as a “mix” feature that allows the listener to sing along with the music via a small microphone. Additionally, the M-5550 included a hi-lo tone switch and a pitch control knob to control tape speeed. The AMSS stands for Automatic Music Search System. That’s right, this portable even had the ability to automatically advance to the next song by detecting blank space on the tape. The battery door was spring activated, and the jet-black all-metal chassis is is small even by today’s standards. All this in a matching white leather carrying case pouch.