Panasonic RQ-L480

Panasonic RQ-L480

RQ-L480 was a Stereo Cassette Recorder in the style of a Walkman, manufactured by the Panasonic Corporation. This unit was very similar looking to the RQ-L470, which was also an alternative model with slightly less functions. The RQ-L480 had built-in stereo loudspeakers, built-in stereo microphones, and Voice Activated system (VAS). It had useful features such as auto-reverse, adjustable tape speed control, and IC recording in semiconductor memory. It was a 3 V system operating on a pair of AA batteries. One of its main features was the long duration of battery life providing up to 18-hours microphone recording, and 25-hours playback through earphones. Panasonic also provided some useful accessories with it such as a carrying bag, and RFEV333P-HT headphones that were good quality, and not the cheap types other manufacturers usually provided.

Stereo Cassette Recorder


Side Connections and Controls

The design of this stereo cassette recorder was an interesting twist, as it would have been at a time when IC recorders were starting to become popular. This unit allows 97-seconds of recording into semiconductor memory, which is a useful feature for those learning a new language as one could record a phrase and play it repeatedly. The tape transport system and mechanism together with the disc motor are very reminiscent to some of the later models in the Sony WM-EX range. With a good pair of headphones, the sound quality is excellent, as is the recording function. The chipset is very much the same as what one would expect in a Walkman, consisting of TA452 2002FNG, BA5208AF, LA3235, 2072, and LB1877 that Sanyo, Toshiba, and ROHM Corporations are experts at manufacturing.

IC Recorder
Battery Compartment
Speed Control



Cassette players are still extremely popular amongst audiophiles and something like this packed with modern functionality could still sell today. Therefore, these units still hold value in the pre-used market. A pre used unit in mint condition together with the original box could sell for well over fifty pounds. A broken one that requires new drive belts may sell for around ten pounds.

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Panasonic RQ-L480
Electronic Engineering
Drive Belt
Stereo Speakers
Headphones and Box