Young HERC took notice that DAK seemed to push "sound quality improvement equipment" and equalizers in particular throughout their history. Company founder, owner and chief copy writer Drew (look for his byline) made it clear that equalizers (or EQs) were his favorite component in any stereo system. In addition to EQs for home stereo systems, a few DAK catalogs (and magazine ads) in 1983 offered portable EQs for personal cassette players:
Your boy HERC had never owned an EQ, never heard the affect one had on music but he lapped up every powerful adjective (nearly every make and model was dubbed "sound detonator") and meaningless but impressive (at the time) number Drew threw out there, knowing that for less than $150 or even the closeout price of less than a $100, his trusty old Soundesign all in one AM/FM/8-Track/Record Player system (which he got in 1976) could sound an amazing 30 to 50% better than it did right then in the early Early Eighties circa 1981-1982.
In 1983, HERC got a job and a steady paycheck. He purchased a new stereo system (below) on layaway, then a new cassette deck, then a new dual dubbing cassette deck - all from the local Base Exchange.
He subscribed to a couple of magazines and soon the DAK Catalogs were coming in two at a time, one addressed to HERC SR and one addressed to HERC himself. HERC's EQ lust continued unabated for a few more years although he had earwitnessed their sonic magic in several stores by then. And he saw Risky Business several times, soaking up all the knowledge he could from Joel Goodson's audiophile father. The equalizer and tape deck pictured in the scene below cost more than twice as much as HERC's first car!
According to several forums and chats he found online, HERC was not alone in his desire for a sweet EQ from DAK. Many guys report receiving them as birthday or Christmas gifts while others were surprised when they moved into their college dorms and their roommates were rockin' the same BSR EQ from DAK - one guy counted six guys on his floor with them. Seemingly month after month, new models appeared, with new features added and prices were dropped. HERC remembers twice writing out a check and addressing an envelope only to rip them up the following day before he had a chance to mail them in to DAK's plush new digs in Canoga Park, California. The woman who would eventually become MRS. HERC went from being his best friend to the love of his life at the end of 1985 and when she asked him what he wanted for his 20th birthday in 1986, he told her he wanted an equalizer and then proceeded to show her the latest models offered by DAK in his magazines and catalogs.
HERC is fairly certain his most desired EQ, the one he talked about the most was the one pictured above - The ULTIMATE SOUND DETONATOR. It was the latest and greatest thing DAK offered and though it lacked those cool sliders for each frequency, it was computer controlled and it had a frickin' remote! Still, when his birthday came around and he did not get an EQ from DAK, HERC was not disappointed - his future wife had found a superior alternative all on her own. It seemed her her own father received catalogs from J&R Electronics and while flipping through one she noticed the Pioneer CA-100 Tape Creating Amplifier (below) which included a built in mixer, automatic fader with three settings, pan pot and seven band equalizer. And it was at a crazy close-out price which meant she could afford to buy a couple boxes of those sweet Limited Edition TDK SA-90 blanks as well. Is it any wonder he married this woman before his 21st birthday?
Part One of the HERC loves DAK series can be found HERE. Part Three of the series will deal with speakers and should be posted soon. Though HERC still has both the Sharp VZ-2000 and the Pioneer CA-100, both are in need of repair.
Thanks to Cabel Sasser and his 2012 post for reminding HERC how much he loved those old DAK catalogs. Downloading the vintage catalogs Mr. Sasser has lovingly scanned and uploaded to the Internet Archive and then browsing through them on his iPad thrills HERC to no end.