Aiwa HS-PX1000 - The Ultimate Aiwa?
Updated: Nov 5, 2019
This legendary HS-PX1000 is arguably the best portable cassette player Aiwa has ever produced. It is often called "the Bodoo Khan killer" or the "WM-DD9 fighter". For those who are not familiar with the Boodoo Khan or the DD9, these two are considered Sony's best Walkman in terms of design, portability, feature and sound quality.
What makes the HS-PX1000 so unique? First of all it is the first ever and only titanium portable cassette player. Titanium has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any natural metal. Pure titanium is stronger than standard steel, while being less than half the weight. It is perfect for protecting the delicate parts inside while keeping the weight down.
The HS-PX1000 has a silver/champagne color with a clear coating finish that looks and feels like a premium product. The aiwa, BBE, Dolby logos and all the printings are engraved! The large LCD in the center really stands out from the rest of the Aiwa models. The PX1000 has four preset EQ, Flat, Rock, Jazz and Pops that you can toggle through by pressing the "Music Select" button right next to the LCD screen. The large LCD screen displays useful information such as Dolby NR (B, C), tape bias (such as Normal / Metal), play direction (Forward / Reverse) and the animated graphic EQ.
If you owned other Aiwa portable cassette players you are probably looking for the DSL selector and you are not going to find a physical switch anywhere in this PX1000. The PX1000 has two levels of DSL as part of the preset EQ however, it cannot be set manually through a switch. The Rock EQ uses DSL level 1 and the Jazz EQ setting uses level 2 while Flat and Pops disables DSL. In case you are not familiar with Aiwa's acronyms DSL stands for Dynamic Sound Loudness, it is essentially a bass boost similar to Sony's Mega Bass.
Besides DSL, the PX1000 also has Dolby C Noise Reduction, two levels of BBE (Barcus Berry Electronics) system, which makes sound clearer without adding treble. BBE can be turned off if you wish.
On the left hand size of the center LCD screen, there are three different LCD lights for battery indicator. Green for FULL, yellow for MID and red indicates that the battery is near EMPTY. This is a very nice feature to have because the battery life isn't that good in today's standard. With two AAA batteries I could get approximately 2 hours of listening out of it. The original lead acid rechargeable battery would probably last a little over an hour depending on the tape of headphone used or whether you do a lot of fast forward or rewind. However, it is possible turn off the EQ LCD animation to save power.
As you can see, all the printings such as BBE, Dolby, PLSS are nicely engraved on the titanium case.
The HS-PX1000 has Amorphous Head.
Auto reverse mode, Blank skip and spect. display can be turned on and off here.
The metal hinge feels very sturdy as the rest of the machine.
I tested the PX1000 with a mix tape (TDK MA-R90 Type IV cassette) recorded using the Nakamichi ZX-9. I use the Bowers & Wilkins P5 headphone, which is quite easy to drive. With BBE set to level 1, EQ Preset to Jazz, the sound is very clear and has a nice separation and image. The Jazz preset has DSL Level II turned on, the bass boost is very punchy, you can really feel the difference when switching the DSL off by selecting the Flat preset. I prefer to have DSL and BBE turned on, it just sounds amazing, it is addictive!
The HS-PX1000 is one of the most highly sought after portable cassette players among top of the line models such as the Sony WM-DD9, WM-DD100. There's a good reason for it, you have to touch it and listen to it to really appreciate the quality design, attention to detail and workmanship that Aiwa engineer had put in. There is no doubt that the HS-PX1000 is the ultimate Aiwa!
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