The acronym SOTC, for a collector, especially a watch collector, is quite intimate, and can also be intimidating. It stands for State Of The Collection.

Well, my watch collection has been growing slowly and steadily over the years. But today I am not going to write about my watches. Instead, here I am compiling my current State Of The Cassettes.

I have always loved audio tapes – it’s love at first sight and listen many years ago. Recently, I picked up my audio hobby again, part of which is the re-discovery of cassette tapes.

All is good, except the price of tapes as well as vintage cassette decks (the good ones) and even Walkman players (only the good ones too) has gone up remarkably in the past 10 years, and that is a big surprise to me. Who would have guessed the cassette tape being an old and “obsolete” recording media would come back, and come back this big (specifically on the price)? This can only mean, among many things, that tapes are good.

So I started buying blank cassette tapes again. I do still have all my pre-recorded cassette tapes, mostly pop/rock and easy listening. I also have quite a few blank tapes unused, and my favorite brands are TDK, Sony, and Maxell – no surprise. The most reliable Type I tapes for me are TDK D across all the production years, and the tapes I have enjoyed the most are Maxell XLII-S of Type II from the last golden period 1990-2002.

The classic TDK D-C60 True Mechanism version in transparent shell
TDK AD and AD-X of 80s
Vintage Sony Low-Noise and CHF in sealed box
What I like and use the most: Maxell XLII-S
A box of XLII-S from early 90s
A box of XLII-S from late 90s

I rarely use Type IV tapes, as they are expensive. They are even more expensive now, but compared to watches, they are relatively affordable, so I went ahead stocking up a few best of the best metal tapes, namely Sony Super Metal Master, Maxell Metal Vertex, and TDK MA-XG.

The best of the best

As for the cassette deck, boombox and Walkman, the most recent acquisitions are a Nakamichi Dragon and another Sony TC-K88B. My absolute favorites are the Sony K88 and Sony DD9. I am happy with having two K88 decks, and just start thinking: Should I get another DD9 in brand new condition and complete original package — there is one currently available on eBay……

The classic Sony Walkman trio: TPS-L2, WM-D6C, WM-DD9
Triple play – radio, CD and cassette: Sony CDF-S300
Not the jumbo Sharp GF-777, but a beautiful GF-700
The Dragon
My favorite: the super cool K88



  1. It turns out quickly that getting a brand new DD9 that comes with complete original package is not trivial. The eBay listing I mentioned at the end of the article had “Buy It Now” price $4499.00 with “Make offer” option. Then within a day, the seller changed it to “Buy It Now” $6999.00 without “Make offer” option.

  2. Well, just within a month, I managed to acquire an almost NOS DD9 with original sticker on the window, in original box, all the way from Norway. This is a later European version of DD9 with MEGA BASS, while the other one I already owned is an earlier version with EX DBB. I will continue to look around for a mint Japanese EX DBB version with original Japanese sticker on it, and hopefully at good price too.

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