Saturday, 28 July 2012

When cassette tapes once ruled my household


Over the past days I have been rummaging through my store room, digging out the old cassette tapes. There are quite a lot of them in the two boxes, about 350 pieces. And I'm not even counting the old cassette tapes that a friend passed on to me last year. If I were to add them to my own personal collection, I would dare say that the number would be close to 600.

Among them, I discovered that I still had 14 pieces of new cassette tapes. They are still in their origianl wrappers. Quite a variety: Sony, TDK, Maxell together with some others like Panasonic, LG and SKC. Type I cassette tapes mostly with a few Type II tapes thrown in. "Don't unwrap them," a facebook friend told me. "They are antique pieces. Can fetch quite a price," he said. Ha ha, I'll believe him when someone makes me a jolly good offer for them!

Anyway, I used to own an old second-hand Aiwa double cassette player but it fell into disrepair several years ago. But thanks to a friend in Kulim, I've now a new second-hand Aiwa cassette deck. Actually it was already broken down "but if you can repair it, you can keep it," he told me.

So I took my screw drivers to the cassette deck. Opened it and the first thing I saw were the two broken belts. By a dint of good luck, I was able to locate the replacement belts for this specific model. Cost me about RM60 just to have them delivered from overseas but it was worth it. The deck's now in playable condition although the fast forward and rewind mechanisms still do not work properly.

I was surprised when I pulled out the two boxes of old tapes from the store room. Most of them are still in rather good condition, which means they are still useable. Many of them are originals but about half were compilations of songs that I had asked from the old record shops in George Town. That was the rage then.

A pretty nostalgic journey, I tell you, just by looking at the cassette tape covers. The earliest compilations I ever bought were in 1979 but by 1986, my cassette tapes had been replaced by compact discs. Still, much of the music on the cassettes are now unavailable on any other media. It will make good sense for me to digitise the collection. If I have the time, that is....

2 comments:

Sarah Darewis said...

hi. how much for your old cassette tape? about 50 pieces of it?

Quah, Seng-Sun said...

I'm not considering selling them yet, not until I have digitised them.