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Subject: ghetto blasters

Written By: Shacks Train on 07/01/08 at 10:44 pm

How many of you got into the fad of the Big ole Ghetto Blasters???
Some of these units were quite big & required enough batteries to power the space shuttle!
Back in the day these units required some strength to lift them shoulder height!

Too bad subwoofer technology never existed back then.......

But be very glad you don't have to lug these things around anymore.....


Subject: Re: ghetto blasters

Written By: NbC on 07/03/08 at 8:03 am

Reminds me of a funny sight I saw a couple of months ago at a Mall here.

I saw a few teenage boys walking around blasting their music.  Looking closely I noticed they were carrying around an Ipod dock instead of the large tape and/or CD Players back in the 80's.  Just seeing that brought back memories of Boomboxes. 

They still remain, simply just evolved.  Lighter and more compact, you can carry your entire music collection,  and the best thing is "re-charageable" batteries. 

Subject: Re: ghetto blasters

Written By: Midas on 07/03/08 at 9:03 am

I never had any that were too big, but I had a couple around '83 - '85.  I MacGuyvered my second one as an output source when I taught myself to DJ and couldn't afford better equipment.

Subject: Re: ghetto blasters

Written By: AL-B Mk. III on 07/20/08 at 8:15 pm

Ghetto blasters were a big fad when I was in the 6th grade, which was around 1982.

I used the money I'd saved from my paper route to buy one. It was made by Soundesign, and it was a piece of junk.  ;D

The cassette player crapped out after a year or so, but the radio worked fine and it's still sitting on a shelf in the patio at my parents' house.

Subject: Re: ghetto blasters

Written By: apollonia1986 on 07/21/08 at 12:51 pm

My dad still has one. It's in the hall closet now.  ;D

I always wanted one of those HUGE multicolored ones like they had in Breakin'.  I'd like to play my Thriller album on it...if I still had it on cassette.  :(

Subject: Re: ghetto blasters

Written By: AmericanGirl on 07/21/08 at 10:32 pm

Who remembers -

In the Talking Heads 1984 concert movie Stop Making Sense, the concert opened with David Byrne performing Psycho Killer accompanied by - you guessed it - a boombox!   :o

I had a boombox in the early 80's.  I rather liked it too.  Since I had a junky old car and the radio didn't work, I put batteries in my boombox and drove it around with me   ;D

Subject: Re: ghetto blasters

Written By: Gis on 07/22/08 at 3:03 am

I had a couple but I would never have carried one around with me way too uncool and naff!

Subject: Re: ghetto blasters

Written By: ChEcKeReD DeMoN on 07/22/08 at 7:58 am

Remember all the videos that featured them, too ?

Thee was a whole sub-genre too, if I remember correctly...
You had the normal, Toshiba, Sansui, Pioneer type units available at
Sears, K-MArt or wherever, but I remember in the cities like Philly,
NY or Baltimore there were 'lifestyle'(??) type stores usually run by Chinese
or Indian people that sold these HUGE-MONSTER sized units that had
a crazy assortment of baffles, lights and other over -the - top
weird gadgetry.

Subject: Re: ghetto blasters

Written By: jaymanchu on 07/23/08 at 8:55 am

I had one that actually had a record player!  You pushed a button and the record player poped out, you couldn't play a record and carry it at the same time naturally but it was still pretty cool.  It was very bulky but I would try to manage to carry it on my shoulders. I thought it was high tech, it was the only "ghetto blaster" that I saw that had a cassette player AND record player.  Man I wish I still had that thing, I'd have to break out my Fat Boys tape or my Twisted Sister "Come Out and Play" album!

Subject: Re: ghetto blasters

Written By: greenjello74 on 07/23/08 at 10:24 pm

I had a panasonic with detachable speakers, but never carried it around with me. I remember my first stereo. remember cakebox  stereos? they had so much hiss. I thought it was so cool. It was a Sound design.

Subject: Re: ghetto blasters

Written By: Davester on 07/23/08 at 10:42 pm


  I've read two references to Soundesign...was a Radio Shack brand, right?  I had a Soundesign am/fm/8-track/turntable.  Well, it was my sister's but it felt like it was mine...

  My "ghettoblaster" (it was a tiny Panasonic I got for X-Mas '81) can be seen in the first Ghostbusters movie.  While Dana is in the kitchen putting away the groceries and listening to her radio...it's sitting on the kitchen counter.  Same exact brand, model and even color.  That Panasonic was cool because it had lots of input/output/accessory jacks on it, so I connected it to my old, hand-me-down Hitachi receiver and that was my primary sound system from '82 untill I left home...

  It was most likely purchased at Wally because I saw it there before X-Mas.  It was like: "Want dat..."  "Christmas..."  "Okeedoke..."

  When not connected to the Hitachi I carried it to school everyday, playing it at recess and on the bus...

  Out...

Subject: Re: ghetto blasters

Written By: Marty McFly on 07/24/08 at 10:50 pm


Ghetto blasters were a big fad when I was in the 6th grade, which was around 1982.

I used the money I'd saved from my paper route to buy one. It was made by Soundesign, and it was a piece of junk.  ;D

The cassette player crapped out after a year or so, but the radio worked fine and it's still sitting on a shelf in the patio at my parents' house.


Oh that's a bummer it crapped out so soon. Yeah, I've heard Soundesign wasn't very good lol. Wasn't that a Radioshack brand?

I was too young in the literal '80s to have my own, but I loved this one family boombox we had. My dad used to make mixtapes on it with personalized announcements through the built in microphone. I wish tape decks still had old school features like that. I had my first one around 1992 which lasted about five years.

I still have a few today (one hooked up to the computer for my speakers, another for the TV, one for my alarm and a couple extras). I actually collect old-school electronics at Goodwill and thrift stores and I think it's cool as heck to find ones that work. Especially because '80s technology isn't gonna be working forever.

Subject: Re: ghetto blasters

Written By: coqueta83 on 07/24/08 at 10:56 pm

I got my first boom box at Christmas in 1989 with a dual tape deck and detachable speakers. I used it for many years before it started eating up my cassettes.  >:(

I currently still own (and still use) a Sony boom box with a tape deck and CD player I got at Christmas 1998. It still works beautifully!  :)

Subject: Re: ghetto blasters

Written By: Gina on 07/26/08 at 9:26 pm


Who remembers -

I had a boombox in the early 80's.  I rather liked it too.  Since I had a junky old car and the radio didn't work, I put batteries in my boombox and drove it around with me   ;D



Me too!  In order to get decent radio reception, I had to roll down the driver's window and extend the antenna outside the car...

Subject: Re: ghetto blasters

Written By: AL-B Mk. III on 07/27/08 at 12:43 pm


Oh that's a bummer it crapped out so soon. Yeah, I've heard Soundesign wasn't very good lol. Wasn't that a Radioshack brand?


Actually I got it at K-Mart.  ;D

If I remember right, I think that Realistic was the Radio Shack brand.


I was too young in the literal '80s to have my own, but I loved this one family boombox we had. My dad used to make mixtapes on it with personalized announcements through the built in microphone. I wish tape decks still had old school features like that. I had my first one around 1992 which lasted about five years.

I still have a few today (one hooked up to the computer for my speakers, another for the TV, one for my alarm and a couple extras). I actually collect old-school electronics at Goodwill and thrift stores and I think it's cool as heck to find ones that work. Especially because '80s technology isn't gonna be working forever.


That's cool, it would be neat to find an old 80's boombox, just to have one.

Really if I could do it all over again (and if I wanted to buy an 80's vintage jukebox today), I'd get a Panasonic. They sounded good, they were well-built and durable, yet they were reasonably priced.



Actually I just had a thought. Anyone ever try hooking up an mp3 player (via the auxiliary input jacks) to an old 80's boombox? I wonder how well that would work...

Subject: Re: ghetto blasters

Written By: Foo Bar on 07/28/08 at 8:10 pm


Actually I just had a thought. Anyone ever try hooking up an mp3 player (via the auxiliary input jacks) to an old 80's boombox? I wonder how well that would work...


Pretty well.

If you start with an MP3 player that uses real buttons, as opposed to touchscreen controls or anything fancy, you could even delicately solder wires to the solder contacts on the original player's switches.  You'd probably have to replace the original FF/RW buttons with "momentary" switches (buttons that don't stay down after being pressed), but that's not an insurmountable option. 

For bonus points, hide the MP3 player inside the case of the boombox, and discreetly carve out for a USB connection.  From the outside, it would look like an old tape unit, until you plugged it into the computer to load it up with a few gigs of MP3s.

For overkill bonus points, find a boombox with an LCD screen that's about the same size as the MP3 player's screen.  (The small USB stick-sized players would be best for this).  Remove the original LCD, and glue the MP3 player behind the window, so that you've got a working artist/title display.

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