Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Mike Hangen and Kim Elliott who share the following item from The Verge:
Crosley, the company best known for making those junky $100 turntables you can find at Target or Best Buy, is expanding into a different era of musical nostalgia: cassette decks, via TechCrunch.
The company is selling two tape decks. Both have the same basic specs for cheap hardware: there’s a single mono speaker, an AM/FM radio, an integrated mic, and a single-direction deck (so you’ll have to flip the tape yourself, just like the good old days). Odds are that you won’t get the best-sounding speaker, but that’s not really the point.
The $60 CT100 model can also get shortwave radio, and it adds some rather anachronistic support for playing music off SD cards and USB drives. The $70 CT200 skips those features but adds treble and bass dials and a VU meter, which looks cooler and thus commands a higher price.
Again, neither of these players are likely going to give you an audiophile-level experience. But if you’re looking for somewhere to play your retro Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack cassette, they should work just fine.
Amazon has both the Crosley CT100A and the CT200A–both are $52.77 shipped. I also see that Target has them online for $49.00 shipped. I find it interesting that Target doesn’t mention the shortwave bands in the basic item description–they simply list it as an AM/FM radio.
While I imagine these Crosley sets will have only mediocre shortwave reception, I bet they’ll sell a lot of them. Being so widely distributed, they’ll make for a unique gift or impulse buy.
What’s really ironic is that those of us familiar with a little radio history know that Crosley was a giant in the radio business and produced some amazing sets (including this masterpiece).