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Massive trove of over 300 boomboxes for sale—only $14,000
07.27.2016
09:08 am
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Boomboxes are kind of an of-a-certain-age thing, but if you were sentient in between the mid ‘70s and early ’90s, they were as common as stereo consoles and component systems. “Portable,” technically, inasmuch as they took batteries and weren’t literally furniture, they were huge, cumbersome radio/cassette deck combos with large stereo speakers. The classic stereotypes associated with the things were mulletted suburban rock ‘n’ roll scumbags tailgating with boomboxes in the trunks of their cars playing music at hateful and disruptive volumes, either oblivious to or give-a-fuckless about the public nuisance they were creating, or soul/disco/hip-hop fans with massive afros, strutting down crowded city streets with boomboxes on their shoulders playing music at hateful and disruptive volumes, either oblivious to or give-a-fuckless about the public nuisance they were creating. Their total ubiquity in breakdance culture (owing to their portability, naturally) led to the unfortunate and highly problematic nickname “ghettoblasters.”

By the late ’80s, a boombox could have as many features as a stereo component system—sophisticated EQs, detatchable speakers, dual cassette decks for dubbing (HOME TAPING IS KILLING MUSIC, YOU GUYS), even remotes. By the early ‘90s, when the boxy metal units were phased out in favor of less distinctive (and way less awesome) rounded black plastic ones with CD players, they often even replaced consoles as home stereos of choice for many listeners as cassettes grew in popularity over vinyl. And those feature-loaded boxy metal ones are the models that have, in the internet era of ever-increasing granularity in collecting, developed a cult.

Keep reading after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Ron Kretsch
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07.27.2016
09:08 am
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America’s fastest adopted entertainment technology: The boombox
03.23.2012
05:43 pm
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Boomboxes provided the soundtrack to my life for much of the late 1970s and 80s. The streets of New York City, uptown, downtown, east side and west, were alive with the sound of music and everyone who had a blaster was a walking deejay. Unlike the anti-social Walkman, the boombox was all about sharing your mix. The bigger the blaster, the better.

 
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Alexis Madrigal shares this interesting bit of info on the humble but mighty boom box via The Atlantic Monthly:

When we think about the great consumer electronics technologies of our time, the cellular phone probably springs to mind. If we go farther back, perhaps we’d pick the color television or the digital camera. But none of those products were adopted as fast by the American people as the boom box.

... Tarique Hossain included data from the Consumer Electronics Manufacturing Association on the “observed penetration rate at the end of the 7th year” for all the technologies listed above. Hossain’s data didn’t include the starting years for these seven-year periods, but I’m assuming they mark the introduction of the boom box in the mid-1970s. That would mean that by the early 1980s, more than 60 percent of American households owned some kind of portable cassette player with speakers attached to it.

It’s worth noting that all five of the fastest-adopted technologies were for the consumption of entertainment not communication or production of media.”

Here’s a fun documentary on the history of the boombox. For a more detailed history of ghetto blasters check out The Boombox Museum here. It’s amazingly comprehensive with tons of photos.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell
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03.23.2012
05:43 pm
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