An introduction to boomboxes for those who want to listen to K-pop on cassette tapes

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boombox

An introduction to boomboxes for those who want to listen to K-pop on cassette tapes

More and more artists like BTS and BLACKPINK are releasing their songs on cassette tape versions.
Here’s an introduction to boomboxes for those who want to listen to music on cassette tapes.

How to listen to a cassette tape?

To listen to music on cassette tapes, you will need a cassette player.
The cassette player is sold on Amazon and so on for a good price.

It introduces the boombox and the cassette player of the 80’s and the 90’s for the person who wants to look for and obtain a Newtro boombox on the auction site etc. because of this opportunity.

What is a boombox?

A boombox is a device that combines a radio with a cassette tape recorder.
The big boomboxes that often come to mind in the image of hip-hop are the ones from the late 1970s to 1980s.
The big boomboxes of the late 1970s and 1980s, the modern boomboxes of the mid-80s, and the high performance, high quality boomboxes of the 1990s are listed here in chronological order.

SONY ZIP BA’P

SONY ZIP BA’P series, the first of which was introduced in 1977, took the world by storm as a portable audio system that could be carried outside the room.

SONY ZIP BA'P MX
SONY ZIP BA’P MX

People began to play music at high volume from boomboxes and dance on the streets because they had handles and could be carried easily outdoors.
Even in Japan, a group of street dancers called the Takenoko tribe was born in Harajuku.
Large radio cassette recorders with large speakers became popular among these people.
These large boomboxes came to be seen as part of the fashion items.

SHARP GF-9696
SHARP GF-9696

VICTOR RC-M90

Victor’s RC-M90, which was introduced in 1980, is one of the boomboxes that became popular in New York, the birthplace of Hip-Hop, and is a masterpiece of boomboxes and Hip-Hop that cannot be ignored.

Victor’s BOMB BEAT RC-M90 was used for the album cover of LL Cool J’s debut album Radio, which debuted in 1985.
The price was 99,800 yen and it was a high class product, but it was the B-boy’s dream radio cassette player at that time.

VICTOR RC-M90
VICTOR RC-M90
LL Cool J Radio
LL Cool J Radio

The cover of beastie boys’ solid gold hits, released in 2005, shows three guys in 80s hip-hop fashion. The RC-M90 is still sitting in the middle.

Beastie Boys with RC-M90
Beastie Boys with RC-M90

This is how a hip-hop-loving b-boy and a big boombox were a very good fashion match for a hip-hop lover.

Sony Energy 99

Sony Energy 99
Sony Energy 99

The Energy 99 was introduced with the bold catchphrase, “It’s a mountain!
The Energy 99 was released in 1981, but its design still looks cool today.

Other large boomboxes include the National RX-5350BIG-STATION, Victor RC-M90, National RX-7200 & 7000, Toshiba RT-S90 aka Bomb Beat Address, Pioneer SK-900, Sharp GF-1000 THESEARCHER Japanese manufacturers such as -W, GF-9XX series, Aiwa CS-J88TURBOSONIC, Sanyo MR-X20BigBen, etc. released their products one after another and won the hearts of American B-boys.

SHARP VZ-V2
SHARP VZ-V2

Sanyo U4

While larger boomboxes became popular, smaller boomboxes were introduced for women.
Oshare na Teleco U4, introduced in 1980, was a compact and stylish boombox that became very popular.
In the commercial, a woman is seen holding the U4 like a handbag.
Teleco is an abbreviation for tape recorder.

U4/WU4
U4/WU4

Toshiba SUGER

Toshiba SUGER was introduced and the boom in boomboxes with small red double cassettes was triggered by the release of the Toshiba SUGER.

TOSHIBA SUGER
TOSHIBA SUGER

This type of boombox is often used in FUTUR FUNK and Newtro designs as well.

BOSE ACOUSTIC WAVE MUSIC SYSTEM AW-1

In 1985, Bose AW-1, a historical classic and one of the best boomboxes ever made, was released.
At the time, the unit was priced at 198,000 yen.The AW-1 was priced at 198,000 yen for the main unit and about 270,000 yen for the accessories, and the Bose sound system made it possible for the AW-1 to produce tremendous bass, making it the most popular boombox with the best sound quality.

BOSE AW-1
BOSE AW-1

B&O Beosystem 10

In 1985, the B&O Portable Radio Cassette Player Beosystem 10 TYPE 1521 was released, setting the tone for the modern design of the boomboxes.

B&O Beosystem 10
B&O Beosystem 10

Sony DoDeCa HORN CFS-W60

The first DoDeCaHORN CFS-W60, released in 1986, was a boombox that featured an auto-reverse double cassette.
It had a cool “DoDeCaHORN” logo on the handle.
The feature of this DoDeCaHORN is the heavy bass.
From here, the 90’s began the era of high functionality, high sound quality and high performance boomboxes.

Sony DoDeCa Horn CFS-W60
Sony DoDeCa HORN CFS-W60

SANYO PRIMAIRE PH-PR900

In the 90’s, radio boomboxes with futuristic, streamlined designs and high performance features like deep bass and CDs were released one after another.
I’ll start with the radio cassette player that I actually had at the time.

The SANYO PRIMAIRE PH-PR900, released in 1991, captivated young people with its rounded, futuristic design.
The list price at the time was 57,000 yen.
The design was much different from the stylish Teleco U4 from Sanyo in the 80’s.
Panasonic and Sony had also released boomboxes with a circular design.
It was different from the boomboxes of the 80’s because of the CD, and the design was changed to a deeper one.

SANYO PRIMAIRE PH-PR900
SANYO PRIMAIRE PH-PR900

JVC RV-X70

In 1997, JVC released the so-called “drum can”, a radio cassette player.
While the number of stylishly designed boomboxes was increasing, the rugged, masculine design of this boombox captivated B-boys again.
Of course, I bought one right away.
This boombox had a shoulder belt and you could carry it around with you and listen to the music with a heavy bass blast.

JVC RV-X70
JVC RV-X70

I was carrying the drum can like this.
It was pretty heavy, so I only carried it around like this when I was on the road.

JVC RV-X70
JVC RV-X70

It could also be used with the car’s power supply, so I put it in the car, put Mixtape in it, and listened to music in and out of the car with this boombox.
The skeleton type was a good design, but I thought it was cool to put a sticker on the black one and carry it around with me in my car.

Panasonic Shock Wave

Panasonic tape recorder / Shock Wave, released in 1996.
The Drumcan was hard to carry around, so I used the Shock Wave when I would listen to cassette tapes alone outside.
I liked the Shock Wave because it was waterproof and dustproof, sturdy like a G-Shock that wouldn’t break if dropped, and could play amazing bass that made my headphones shake.

Panasonic Shock Wave
Panasonic Shock Wave

Panasonic RIDDIM VOX

The Panasonic RIDDIM VOX was a radio cassette player that could be used as a guitar amp.
I still have the RIDDIM VOX, but at the time I used to enjoy DJing alone in my apartment with a Vestax CDX-12 CDJ with an integrated mixer connected to the RIDDIM VOX.

Panasonic RIDDIM VOX
Panasonic RIDDIM VOX

Did you find your favorite boombox?
There are many other boomboxes from the 80’s and 90’s, so try to find your favorite one on an auction site.

banno

banno

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