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Aiwa HS-PX597 Walkman

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      30.10.2001 04:01
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      NOTE ************ For background on Walkmans in general and why you should still use them today please see my opinion on another Aiwa Walkman with the title “Walkmans in General”. INTRODUCTION ********************** A few years ago I was looking for a new Walkman as my old one, a very outdated Sony model, had broken. So where do you begin when looking for a Walkman? Well, I personally decided to look in the Argos catalogue for a bargain Walkman made by a brand I could trust. I opted for the same manufacturer as my Hi-Fi, Aiwa, and this attractive little Aiwa HS-TX486 caught my eye at a very affordable price. PRICE ************* I forget what the price was back then, but now after some research I can tell you that this little gem can now be bought for just £20.00, which is a real bargain, I promise you. I found this price on Amazon, where the Walkman is unfortunately sold out. FIRST IMPRESSIONS ************************** When the Walkman first arrived I was immediately impressed by the design, and after checking the model to see if there were extra features that hadn’t been included in a rather vague catalogue description, I found that indeed there were many more features, which make this in general a very good Walkman, certainly the best I have come across. So what are these features, I hear you ask. Well, I will tell you right now. FEATURES ***************** In general the Aiwa HS-TX486 has two main features, playing cassettes and playing the radio, but as with most electronic goods there are many more features, many of which prove to be very useful. As I describe the various features I will also describe their position on the unit, so that I don’t end up repeating myself by adding a section about the button layout. *Cassette Play* General: The basic cassette playing is as you would expect, it is very easy to
      insert your cassette, in fact you don’t even have to press a button, there is a small groove in the side of the model for you to grip with your thumb as you lift the top face of the unit. It folds open easily not unlike a book, and you can then insert the tape with ease. Once you shut the lid, you will find the normal function buttons on the side of the unit – Play, Stop, Rewind and Fast-Forward. Auto-Reverse: As well as this, there is a small switch next to the main cassette function buttons. This, if flicked, will reverse the direction the cassette is being played, in other words, it is a convenient way of turning over your tape onto the other side, without actually removing the cassette. What is more useful, however, is that during playback when you reach the end of a side of your tape, if you choose for it to do so, the player will automatically flick that switch and start playing the other side of the tape. In other words, the unit offers Auto-Reverse. *Radio* General: To play radio, press the large BAND button to cycle between AM, FM1, FM2 and Tape plat. That’s right, the unit includes FM and AM stereo, why two FM’s? … I’ll explain later. For anyone who does not know, AM and MW are the same thing, so if you are looking for Radio 5 Live, for example, it can be found on AM radios like this one as well as MW radios, at the frequency 909 or 693 for those who are interested. Apart from Long Wave Radio (LW) stations, which most people only use for one station – Atlantic 252 – This Walkman has just about every Radio station you could want, as most are on FM anyway, and the rest are mainly on AM. Reception: The reception is always good as far as I have been able to tell, whatever the weather, and wherever the place (as long as you are in the area where the radio station is aimed at), reception is good both in busy towns as well as remote areas including parts of Cornwall and Wales
      . The headphone cord acts as an FM aerial, and this will work no matter where the headphone wire may be placed. For AM, there is a built-in aerial inside the unit. Tuning in a Station: This is as simple as pressing plus and minus buttons located on the top face of the unit, next to the small screen. The current radio station is displayed on the screen. For quick tuning, you can hold the +/- buttons down and the unit will search until it finds a clear signal. Presetting: The unit allows an impressive 30 radio stations to be preset, you can save them to the unit and recall them by holding down the number keys located on the top face. You can store 10 stations in FM1, 10 in FM2, and AM. Yes, that’s why there is an FM1 and an FM2 if anyone was wondering. Alternatively, Automatic presetting allows you to let your Walkman automatically select radio stations and save them, which is quicker and easier but not as useful or personal. *Other Features* Super Bass: Abbreviated to S-Bass, this lets you add more emphasis to the frequency for in my opinion a much better listening experience. To do this, use the buttons on the top face below the screen to turn it ON or OFF. Ear Guard: As well as volume control (described below), you can, and I quote the manual, “protect your hearing” by lowering sound level without ruining music quality. Basically, you can set Ear Guard to OFF, 1 or 2, if it is on 2, even with maximum volume, the sound will be a bit quieter yet it really will be of the same quality, so this is a useful feature. I usually set it to 1. This can be changed with a small switch on the back of the unit, next to the belt clip. Volume Control: This is simple, easy to use, and as would be expected. Simply a small rotating thingy on the side of the unit that you can easily move up and down with your thumb to quickly change the volume. Sleep Timer: With this function you can set the unit to
      switch itself off after a certain amount of time, up to 6 hours, which is quite impressive. This is useful if you are sleepy but want to listen to music quietly. It is recommended in the manual, however, that if you use this function and it turns itself off whilst a tape is still playing, that you should pres stop to avoid damage, but I rarely bother. Why? Because I’m asleep, that’s what the function is for! Hold Switch: This is great, if your Walkman is in your pocket or likely to be knocked about a bit, the hold switch will disable all of the buttons, so that if you accidentally knock a button (easy to do), it won’t affect what the player does. The switch is on the top face, easy to spot. Reset: You can use the reset button if an error occurs on the screen or anywhere else, as it says, to reset. Stereo/Mono: You can use a switch on the side of the unit to switch between stereo quality (good sound) and Mono quality (Less distortion). Headphone Socket: Obviously, this is to plug in headphones; it is on the side of the unit. Belt Clip: That’s right, this plastic clip lets you attach the Aiwa HS-TX486 to your waist, which I useful if you are out and about. I clip it to my waist, hidden under a longish coat or T-Shirt, and have the headphones going up through my coat so that I don’t look like a fool with wires all over the place. POWER SOURCES ************************ You have two options – electrical mains connection or, the usual choice, batteries. This Walkman takes two size AA batteries, which can be inserted, in a crucially easy-to-open, sliding door compartment on the bottom of the unit. There is a display on the screen to show remaining cell life, like on many mobile phones, which is very useful. The batteries seem to last a long time. In about 3 years that I’ve had the Walkman I haven’t had to replace batteries many times, but then again I
      don’t exactly use the thing every day. According to the manual, battery life is approximately 9 hours with Manganese batteries or 22 hours with alkaline batteries. I’m sure my batteries have lasted for at least that amount of 22 hours. If you use AC house current, you need a lead/adaptor to plug into the Walkman (they suggest the Aiwa Ac-300 or AC-302) that will plug into a Wall socket. The plug is situated on the otherwise empty left side of the unit. I have had no technical problems with either of the above two power sources; they haven’t been damaged and have given good performance. AESTHETICS ******************** The Aiwa HS-TX486 is silver, almost like a metallic chrome shade actually, that looks very attractive with neat grey buttons and a lovely gold Aiwa logo on the top face. It also has a black belt clip, which I have explained about earlier. All in all, an attractive little piece of equipment and it will easily fit into your pocket if you don’t like the belt clip idea. It isn’t very heavy either, which is a good thing. It weighs approximately 172 grams or 6.02 ounces. The dimensions are 112.6 X 86.8 X 34.9 mm. DURABILITY ******************* I have had this product for what must be about three years now and have had no problems whatsoever, as with most of my possessions it has been dropped, knocked, and generally banged about a bit but there is not one mark or scratch on the unit, which is very encouraging. The Walkman proves that Aiwa can produce high-quality goods that do not get damaged easily. On a more technical side, I have had no errors or faults with the Aiwa HS-TX486, and it has basically worked like clockwork throughout the three years I have owned it. It is brilliant overall, very durable. INSTRUCTION MANUAL ****************************** This is very useful, it includes translations in English, Spanish and French, and det
      ails everything about the features and about maintenance and safety, and all other things that matter. It is easy to read, without a load of jargon, and it full of helpful diagrams. It is well presented with a nice layout and also includes the specifications of the product, which I have mainly covered in several parts of this opinion. PROOF OF QUALITY *************************** Proof of the quality of the Walkman is firstly, obviously, Aiwa’s reputation which I believe is very good as both I and a friend are very pleased with Aiwa Hi-Fi’s that we own, and the Walkman is very durable and of good quality that I expect from Aiwa. Also, after my satisfaction with the product, both my brother and a friend of mine have bought the same model after looking at and evaluating mine, so there’s three happy customers for you. IN CONCLUSION *********************** Overall I am very pleased with the Walkman, it has a massive range of features that are very useful, I have had no problems as it is very durable and the batteries last a long while, and some of the features are real saviours, such as the Auto-reverse function. Fairly light, attractive and small, and with all of these great features, I fully recommend the Aiwa HS-TX486 to anyone who wants a decent, reliable and also affordable Walkman. And if you don’t think you want a Walkman, maybe my opinion on Walkmans in General, titled “Walmania” will convince you otherwise. So, the bottom line is this Walkman is great value for money and I can’t even think of one disadvantage of it, such is the quality. Thanks for reading, you can contact me by emailing danwilkie777@hotmail.com Comments welcome and appreciated -Dan-

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