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.

Pioneer's Last Cassette Deck?


The Pioneer CT-W606DR is a double auto-reverse cassette deck. It would be right at home in the early 1990s, except that it sports a set of decidedly modern 20-bit analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters.

Still, its other capabilities are right out of my 1989 Christmas wish list: Dolby B/C noise reduction, Dolby HX-Pro, high speed dubbing (with digital noise reduction), CD-synchro recording and high-speed song search (which plays the first couple of seconds of each track before zipping on to the next).

The big question, of course, is why anyone would part with $229 for a cassette deck in the 21st century. Off the top of my head, I can come up with three potential markets:

1.Folks who love to record radio programs and are allergic to computers. 

2. Former teenagers with a massive collection of mix tapes hidden in their parents' basements. They secretly long to listen to their old bootlegs of The Smiths and The Cure just a few more times before the irreplaceable hand-decorated tapes disintegrate.

3. Loony half-deaf audiophiles who claim that cassettes are "much more musical and open, with a precise soundstage that allows each instrument to breathe with effervescent succulence."


Poor Pioneer. With a potential market like this, they'll be lucky to sell a thousand units next year. Still, I doubt it costs much to keep a heap of CT-W606DRs in the corner of a dusty old warehouse. After all, perhaps the day will come when cassettes are hip again.

Pioneer CT-W606DR Double Auto Reverse Cassette Deck


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