11/22/12

Ads #57: Audio Equipment


I remember when I fully embraced the cassette tape.  I transferred all my records and reel-to-reel albums to cassettes (carefully labeling each one in microscopic print).  Then began the novel concept of being able to actually record stuff off the radio, which I performed obsessively.  I recall being pissed when the DJs talked over the tracks, contaminating my recordings. I think the first time I dropped the F bomb was when Rick Dees blabbed over the first 30 seconds of Tommy Shaw's "Girls with Guns", a song I'd waited to record for an excruciatingly long time.

Now I can get any song I want with the click of a button.  It almost takes the fun out of it. It's an embarrassment of riches.

Anyway, it's always fun to reminisce and look back on the prehistoric days of audio equipment.  Many of you who have known only the iPod will not recall having to buy phonograph cartridges and cassette tape head cleaners.  Those who do remember, will perhaps enjoy this quick walk down memory lane.














16 comments:

  1. That's one thing I hate about shopping nowadays, none of the stores having stereo equipment. It's all ipod docks & accessories. Even back in the early 90s, Sears & Montgomery Ward had a selection of receivers, tape decks, CD players, etc... Don't get me started on what Best Buy has become.

    BTW, I went back to recording on cassettes, though not as often as I did years ago. A few years back, I was burning a CDR & forgot to record a song. Well, too bad, disc burned. No re-recording. I've also had computers reject blank CD-Rs for being "not readable", which is an age degradation issue that can happen with them, even if never used. I never had those problems with cassettes. The decks I have make good recordings & I've kept them in good condition thru the years, so it made sense to start using them again.

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    1. Today I listened to The Free Spirits, an early jazz-rock band with Larry Coryell. I have this gem on a cassette (and on vinyl, for that matter). But I've never found it on CD. That's another reason to use old equipment from time to time.

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  2. The guy, third in the queue at the cinema, looks as I'd he's about to go on a murderous rampage once the house lights go down. Those optimistic Fuji enthusiasts are gonna get it first

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    1. Agreed. He has a certain David Berkowitz vibe. Son of Sam is telling him to kill all Fuji enthusiasts.

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  3. Man I love old stereo equipment. I love the sound you get from a real stereo, so much different than what an mp3 can put out. And it's true that a stylus can make a huge difference.

    I've still got a cassette player in my daily driver '92 Ford Ranger, and I got some old cassettes of my Dad's. One of them I'm planning on digitizing to share it. It's stuff off the radio about 1973 or so. Songs that you never hear now, including two that I'm going to have to research 'cause I don't know that I'd heard them before. And they're really good, shame on modern day "classic rock" stations.

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    1. Let me know when you digitize it. I'd love to hear it!

      And, yes, shame shame on classic rock stations. I've complained before about their absurdly limited playlists. "More Than a Feeling" can only be listened to 10,000 times I'm convinced without insanity setting in.

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  4. I was in 7th grade when I bought a reel-to-reel tape recorder. I was way ahead of my time because few had home recorders. I was asked to record things for people. My favorite thing was to record songs off the radio. It was a laborious process to sit ready to hit the record switch when something I liked came on. Later, when 8-track players were the rage, I went to cassette, which was not popular yet. I liked them because I could record. I even had an add-on cassette player/recorder for my car, which was also ahead of its time. The kids today can buy or copy anything; not as much fun.

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    1. So true. It's so easy to get any song imaginable with a couple mouse clicks. I guess it's better this way... but the thrill is gone.

      As they say...
      “Not the quarry, but the chase, Not the trophy, but the race”

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  5. I wanna be the guy in the Akai ad with the 4-way.

    Good grief, Bell & Howell has *never* been a sexy brand. Then that upskirt ad appeared. Hell, she's even hiking it up higher with the Sound Machine.

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  6. There's definitely some crossover blog pictures here. 2 mini-skirt Monday shots and the Akai ad is so full of pancakes, I can smell the syrup from here.

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  7. I never used Fuji cassettes, but their videotapes sure were terrible. :p

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  8. Maxell cassettes were my preferred method of storing my tunes back in those days of pre-digital dinosaurs !

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  9. I have over 500 LP records, two LP turntables from the 70's, two cassette decks, a duping cassette deck, I had an 8 track but it died, and tossed my reel to reel for the same reason. Everything has been digitzed to wav and mp3 but I still play the LPs. "Old stuff" is not obsolete. People who think that are missing the boat.

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  10. I have 2 comments, unrelated to each other:

    1. Is Farley J. Dollar, the good ol' country boy in the Marantz stereo ad, a real person? I've never heard of him. A quick search proved inconclusive.

    2. Years ago I played in a band and we ended up spending some time in a studio. It was supposedly state-of-the-art: all new digital equipment. The end result was mediocre at best and didn't capture our sound at all, which was sort of a cross between the Butthole Surfers and any grunge band (this was in the early 90's after all). From inception to final product we probably spent $1000-1500. Then, after it was all said and done, a buddy of mine set up his step-dad's reel-to-reel in the warehouse we used as a practice..... it was perfect, exactly the sound we were looking for.

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  11. Oh yes, I had mix-tapes of songs "borrowed" off the radio, all with the first ten seconds missing while I hit the right sequence of buttons on my 1986 boom box.

    Remember the ads for Franklin Mint phonographs and Maxell cassettes, both claiming to be so reliable people would be listening to them in the year 2036?

    And who here just pulled up "Girls with Guns" on YouTube? CLASSIC.

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  12. Pioneer SX-434, BIC turntable, TEAC A-170s tape deck and a set of Advent bookshelf speakers. I could rebuild the whole system today, courtesy of e-Bay.

    Come to think of it, I even owned one of those Superscopes in high school!

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