The M3330 is a mini stereo cassette player manufactured by the Sanyo Corporation to compete with the Sony Walkman market. At one time Sanyo made wonderful stereo players, which were extremely popular due to their superior Japanese designing. This model was available in red and grey, and usually the red ones sold out straight away.
This lovely unit feels substantial in your hands, and with four AA sized batteries installed, it is as heavy as a brick.
The electronics, based around the Sanyo LA3160 stereo preamplifier IC, and the Sanyo LA4140 power amplifier IC, provide a maximum of 40 mW per channel, which is extremely loud. The supplied headphones are 32 Ω, however, if you do not have the original headphones, you could use a pair of Sony vintage headphones and get extremely loud, clear, and sharp sounds.
This is an ideal stereo player for any audio enthusiast or Walkman collector. Sanyo also made another Walkman after this called the M4440, which is similar looking and has a counter display.
There was sand in the mechanism so the PCB and the mechanism required removal. I was able to use a high quality contact cleaner to clean the insides. All the electrical contacts including the volume controls and headphone sockets received a cleaning. The original factory fitted drive belts had perished so I decided to replace them with thicker upgrades. After I was finished, I had a player that was performing as new from the factory.
This cassette player has wonderful tape function buttons that are large and feel good to use. The selector button mechanism consists of metal components and is very robust, and this player is very heavy because of the die-cast metal chassis, and button selector mechanism.
The sound quality is very good as it uses Sanyo’s own audio amplifier chipset. Sanyo are the leaders in audio chip technology, and all the leading brands such as Sony and others used their chips. As you will see in the following sections, this unit uses a pair of Sanyo LA4140 power amplifier chips, and each chip is capable of delivering 500 mW output into an 8 Ω load.
It also uses a separate stereo preamplifier chip to amplify the signals from the audio head. The Sanyo LA3160, which was originally intended for car stereos, does a wonderful job in this unit. It has a closed loop voltage gain of 35 dB, which is why metal tapes sound very sharp on this player.
The channel separation is excellent due to the excellent head design and amplifier circuits. Subjective comparison with the Sony TPS L1, using the same headphones and tape indicated that this unit produced a sharper and defined sound.
This player has rotary volume and balance controls, and a mute switch. These are nice simple controls manufactured to a good standard. The large tape control buttons at the front feel good to operate and the mechanism has a smooth feel to it during cue and review operations.
As you will see in the following sections of this multi-page article, the manufacturing standard is very high for all the internal components of this stereo cassette player.
Cost / eBay
Of all the Sanyo models, I thought this one had a better outer casing and finishing. If you are able to buy a complete box with the headphones, then you are in for a real treat because the sound quality is very good and takes you back to the 80s period.
The player unit in a reasonable condition without any scratches might fetch five pounds or more on a good day. A complete box set together with the headphones will likely fetch considerably more.
This Article Continues...
Sanyo M3330 Inside
Sanyo M3330 Tape Transport
Sanyo M3330 Mechanism
Sanyo M3330 Audio Chip
Sanyo Walkman PCB
Sanyo M3330 Power