3/25/15

HERC Loves DAK, Part Four

Early on, it seemed that Drew and his company DAK pushed their brand of blank cassette tapes literally ad nauseam. Those who took the bait of discounted merchandise subsidized by purchasing ten DAK blank cassettes still speak ill of the tapes sound quality and construction.  HERC bought several products through the years from DAK but he never ever considered buying their blank tapes.  But just because he wasn't interested in their tapes doesn't mean HERC wasn't interested in the many tape decks they offered.
HERC doesn't remember ever seeing this deck in DAK ads or catalogs but the irony is, it was his first stand alone cassette player recorder after that Panasonic portable he got in 1978.  This one was a gift from the great Christmas of 1981 and HERC recalls the box still had some Gemco tape on it.  Yes, that is real simulated wood grain vinyl glued to the metal case.  HERC still had his all in one Soundesign stereo system at this point but all in one in 1976 did not include a cassette player - instead, it came with an eight track deck.  So HERC would record his albums and 45s from his Soundesign turntable to his Hitachi deck on TDK D 60 tapes so he could listen to them on his Walkman on the hour long bus commute to and from school.  This system worked fine until the buttons on the Hitachi started to stick and HERC broke either the FF or REW button clean off with his ham-fistedness.  Still he lived with the crippled deck until 1983 or so.
Then he saw the deck above at the Base Exchange and put it on layaway, devoting all of his allowance and birthday money towards it as he was still months away from being a FICA contributor.  HERC thinks he paid $149.99 for it and it was worth every penny: super quick auto reverse, Dolby C and soft touch controls.  It made the art and work of making tapes fun, plain and simple.  Even after HERC acquired a dual-well dubbing deck, the Sharp RT-350 was still his go to recording deck.  Then the dub deck died and HERC picked up the Aiwa WX-220 dubbing deck from the BX and soon had no use for the Sharp.  The Aiwa ran strong and long for ten years maybe more and when it started glitching HERC picked up the Sony deck he mentioned here.
Stomper?   Bomber?  Thunderstruck?  Drew piled it on.  So while HERC never did get a deck from DAK, he did own two decks that were sold by DAK and that was good enough. 
DAK offered cassette and CD boom boxes (above) from time to time and even all in one stacks of components (below) to meet all of the DAKonians (Drew's name for his loyal catalog readers and customers*)  audio listening needs but HERC never bought another DAK item... until 2014. That story and more next time in the fifth and final installment of HERC Loves DAK.

click any image to embiggen


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 the iPad thrills HERC to no end.

The DAK images and pages above are from Sasser's scans and Google Books, specifically back issues of Popular Science, Run and Skiing.  All copyrights respected.

*HERC lobbied for DAKnecians or DAKlodytes - MRS HERC suggested DAK-offs or still living with their pareDAKtals

1 comment:

  1. I think I owned the crooning titan box. It's been so long I can't recall what it looked like. I fitted it w/ lead acid's and would play basketball and guy's would be break dancing to brian Duncan 'Whistling in the dark' album songs..haha... in Eugene, OR mid 80's. Some dimwit stole it and I'm sure never figured out how my recharging scheme worked. I wound up with a Sharp box after that and I just restored it after a guy I let borrow it who was sleeping on my couch for a long time busted various things on it. The Xbass unit. I just bought the smaller version of that one also and re-belted it with a super-belt. I love the stacked dual cassette design for copies on those things better but otherwise wish I had my only DAK buy back. THey stole my Olympus VX404 VHS camcorder too with a tape full of comedy clips including one shot at fairchild afb. Dang it.

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