Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Portable Cratedigger Record Player - From Sesame Street?


When you go to a record fair or a thrift store, it would be really great to be able to test out records before you buy. Listening rooms are sadly a thing of the past, so you'll need to roll your own. We've done articles on several affordable portables, but here's one that we overlooked.

There were a lot of Sesame Street children's records, so it makes sense that Fisher Price would offer a kid-friendly record player in 1983. It's simple to operate - fully manual with only a speed selector and volume knob. It's durable since it's designed to be knocked around by children. Beakytonearm_4The inexpensive stylus is still available today, and slots into the birdie tonearm (don't you wish that they'd taken a design cue from the Flintstones and put the stylus right into the bird's beak?). 

It doesn't sound half bad, and gets pretty loud - it would be nice if it had a headphone jack, but I'm just splitting gigantic yellow feathers here. Most importantly for our purposes, the record player is small and runs on batteries - an excellent way to preview your platters before purchase. Heck, it might even get a dealer to shave a few dollars off of his prices after seeing your pitiful sound system. Or I guess it could backlash - there are those dealers out there who are too snobby to let you play their precious vinyl on a turntable with Big Bird on it.

I don't care how it looks. Dealers should be happy that I've brought this silly thing along to record sales - I've bought more records because I had a way to hear them first. Another bonus is that no one is going to knock me over to steal this turntable from under my arm. Besides, this cements my reputation as a guy with a lot of nerve.  A guy with a lot of nerve who knows his ABC's, I hasten to add...

Sound Burger - the granddaddy of retro porta-turntable-dom
Our affordable turntable roundup
Battery powered Vestax turntable at Amazon
Numark has one too...
Fisher Price Record Players on Ebay


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