This model was something of an oddity. All of the Walkman models that featured the DD (disc drive) mechanism up to this point and most that followed used a mechanism based on that of the WM-2. The common exceptions, other than the WM-DD1, were the TC-D5 and the WM-DD9. Unlike these two complex and expensive machines, the WM-DD1 was designed to offer the advantages of the DD technique (which is fully described in the section on the TC-D5) in a lower cost, simpler package. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
The WM-DD1 looked a bit like the WM-DD2 and offered the same features, only the second headphone socket was absent. Even the controls were similar, and in similar places. The Dolby B NR system was still there, the casework was still of pressed metal (rather than moulded plastic) and the batteries were still loaded inside the cassette compartment, to avoid an unsightly door that would spoil the appearance. The case was slightly larger however, and this gave a clue as to how much had changed inside. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
The WM-DD1 used a completely different mechanism to the WM-2 based DD models. Unlike these, it was mostly made of moulded plastic. Additionally, the heads were mounted on the deck (rather than being fixed to the cassette door and hinging with it) and the controls were “direct acting”, there was no power assistance with any function. Despite this simplification, the DD system remained intact, complete with servo control, and automatic stop was present in all modes (mechanical on playback, electronic during winding). The controls lacked the smoothness of those fitted to the other models, but the mechanism proved surprisingly sturdy all the same. The traditional DD virtue of very low wow and flutter was present in full measure too. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
Despite seeming to be a good idea, the WM-DD1 remained obscure and was only sold in a few markets. It did not lead to a line of cheaper, more accessible DD machines, which probably represents something of a missed opportunity. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.