End of an Ear Records in Austin has a new location at 4304 Clawson Road, just off Ben White between Radio and Casino South Side. Same stellar selection of records, tapes, CDs, DVDs, drums, gear, accessories, etc. – with expanded dedicated stereo room and great parking. The Holidays are now! Stop in today! ~L
From the late 80’s to the early 90’s, Mark Davis worked at Kmart. Part of his job was playing pre-recorded cassettes sent from the corporate office. He saved them and has uploaded them to the Internet. Within the archive are 56 tapes with over 60 hours of music, Muzak and in-store announcements – a fantastic time capsule of the height of American consumerism. –Steve Rousseau via Digg
Mark Davis: OK, I have to admit this this is a strange collection. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, I worked for Kmart behind the service desk and the store played specific pre-recorded cassettes issued by corporate. This was background music, or perhaps you could call it elevator music. Anyways, I saved these tapes from the trash during this period and this video shows you my extensive, odd collection.
Until around 1992, the cassettes were rotated monthly. Then, they were replaced weekly. Finally sometime around 1993, satellite programming was intoduced which eliminated the need for these tapes altogether.
The monthly tapes are very, very, worn and rippled. That’s becuase they ran for 14 hours a day, 7 days a week on auto-reverse. If you do the math assuming that each tape is 30 minutes per side, that’s over 800 passes over a tape head each month.
Finally, one tape in the collection was from the Kmart 30th anniversary celebration on 3/1/92. This was a special day at the store where employees spent all night setting up for special promotions and extra excitement. It was a real fun day, the store was packed wall to wall, and I recall that the stores were asked to play the music at a much higher volume. The tape contains oldies and all sorts of fun facts from 1962. This may have been one of the last days where Kmart was in their heyday – really!
One last thing for you techies, the stores built in the early 1970’s (such as Naperville, IL Ogden Mall Kmart #3066, Harwood Heights, IL #3503 and Bridgeview, IL #4381) orignally had Altec-Lansing amplifiers with high quality speakers throughout the store. When you applied a higher quality sounding source, the audio was extremely good. Later stores had cheaper speakers and eventually the amps were switched out with different ones usually lacking bass and treble controls.
I have a sort of step-uncle in Florida who is an engineer for a big TV news station. The newsroom is constantly upgrading to the latest technologies and whenever the old gear gets cycled out or otherwise discarded, my uncle likes to bring it home for tinkering. Some of the stuff that gets thrown away is amazing. In his garage, he has a bunch of salvaged broadcast-grade videotape machines and a library of cartridges of shows like The Three Stooges that were tossed when everything went digital. There are rack-mounted preamps and processors, reel-to-reel decks, mixers, monitors – all sorts of weird, obsolete, pro-format analog gear he has just pulled out of the dumpster over the years. And the stories are as awesome as the toys.
Here are the JBL studio monitors that went in the trash because the surrounds were bad. There’s also some strange tape decks and a couple of Uncle G’s personal turntables – a garage sale Beogram and the Kenwood he bought new in the mid-70’s that doesn’t have a scratch on it. Of course, there’s an awesome 60’s and 70’s LP collection to go with it. Always a blast to visit!
The RS-714US, National-Panasonic (Technics) 3-motor deck introduced in the early 70’s. Auto reverse, HPF ferrite heads, super fast winding speeds.
Track System: 4-tr; 2-ch (REC/PB)
Tape Speed cm/s.: 9.5; 19 cm/s.
Tape Speed ips: 3-3/4; 7-1/2 ips
Wow and Flutter 7-1/2 ips: 19 cm/s : 53 dB (A weighted)
Been getting into the audiophile CD players lately. Heavy-built ones with digital outs for external DAC’s. Like this one. Picked up the Parasound C/DC-1500 Compact Disc Changer-Transport yesterday. Rack-mountable, heavy-duty power switch – a solid piece of gear and sounds incredible. Dig. (Photos: US Audio Mart)
Pleased to to have a beautiful pair of Design Acoustics D-6’s join the Revolution. A contemporary of the D-12 “dodecahedron” loudspeaker, the D-6 was introduced in 1973 with a unique design featuring a forward facing midrange driver, 5 multidirectional tweets (4 Peerless, 1 phenolic ring) and a rear-facing 10″ woofer. The sonic results are astounding. Technical specifications include: Frequency response: 45 Hz – 15000 Hz +/- 2 dB; Efficiency: 90 dB/1 meter/watt; Drivers: 1 x 10″ Woofer, 1 x 5″ Mid, 5 x 2.5″ Tweeters; Weight: 38 lbs; Crossover frequencies: 800 Hz, 2000 Hz.
A 1973 review from High Fidelity magazine:
Excellent condition and now available. Please contact RevolutionSounds@outlook.com for pricing and arrangements.
Thank you. ~L