The MGR59 was a FM/AM stereo cassette player manufactured by the Sanyo Corporation. This was a budget end player to compete in the Walkman market, and because it used Sanyo’s audio IC, the famous LA4520 for the audio circuit, it performed extremely well. In addition to this, the player also used the Toshiba chipset for the radio function, which consisted of three individual chips; consequently, the radio circuitry is highly developed and well engineered for a budget end player.
This player does not have a rewind button, thereby making the cassette-deck mechanism and push-button assembly much simpler with fewer components. The push-button assembly is plastic, and the motor drive is a simple motor.
It has basic controls for operation, and there are rotary controls for the volume and tuning. It has one tape / radio select slide switch, and one FM / AM band select slide switch.
People generally think of Sanyo as a manufacturer of budget-end consumer electronics, but most people do not realise that they made some of the best monolithic integrated circuits. Many manufacturers used their chips including Sony. I have always liked Sanyo products as they are affordable and often contain their own integrated circuits, which meant that you could enjoy quality sound within budget.
This player is a basic model for the budget-end of the market. It is an all-plastic construction, and the cassette lid is plastic, as well as the battery hatch. The player weighs very little and does not feel significant in the hand. This model was manufactured in Singapore and sold all over the world.
Sanyo / Toshiba Chipset
This player has some unique and endearing features that makes it a must buy for the Walkman collector. It has the LA4520 integrated circuit for the audio circuitry. This means that the sound quality will be excellent and on par with the more expensive models, providing you use a good pair of headphones. The Toshiba chipset for the radio is one of the best and consequently the radio reception is clear.
eBay / Cost
This unit was very nice to have when brand new and out of the box. They were mass-produced and sold all over the world hence they are not that rare. However, it is a nice piece of history that will be hard to find in good condition as many people treated it like a disposable Walkman.
When brand new they look nice because all the surfaces are shiny, however a used scratched one generally looks awful, and most people throw them away, and hence this unit is starting to become rare.
A badly damaged one that is non-functional would be worth around £2.00 or less on eBay; scratched ones are useless, as you cannot photograph them well. A good working one in its original box with original headphones and manual would be worth a tidy sum to a collector.
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Sanyo MGR59 Inside
Sanyo MGR59 PCB & Circuit Components
Sanyo MGR59 Motor Drive
Sanyo MGR59 Tape Transport
Sanyo MGR59 Radio Design
Sanyo LA4520 Audio Chip
Sanyo LA4520 Schematic / Circuit Diagram
Sanyo MGR59 Battery Compartment