Inspired by last week's sad BBC report
about the death of audio cassettes, it's been cassette week on Music Thing. And this is what I learned:
You can pay $300 for two old blank tapes: Cassette collecting is surprisingly popular, particularly in Germany. A single Teac Cobalt (that tape with the little reel-to-reel spools inside) recently sold for €75, but the holy grail for cassette collectors is the Sony Super Metal Master from 1990, with a ceramic shell and a magnesium case. They go for $300 a pair.
You can turn an old cassette deck into a tape delay system: Rather than spending $350 on a Roland Space Echo, that's what MZE Electroarts did, with a cool-looking system involving the guts of two hifi tape decks Frankensteined together with an old graphic equalizer. MT readers immediately started wondering what you could build with an old four-track…
You can DJ with cassette decks: It's not just DJ Aptem and his widely-blogged homemade cassette DJ setup, there's also the Cassette Jockey World Championships, and, for the more experimentally minded, 8 Cylinder and his home-made hand-cranked tape deck.
In the 1980s, you could buy boom boxes with built-in synths: Really, you could: Look!