JVC RC-550JW VINTAGE GHETTO BLASTER


This is not a true evaluation, plus the product was not intended to produce light, so my standard review format will not be used here.
This web page was opened on 04-01-08, and was last updated on 03-02-09.
No, this is not an April Fool's joke...I really *DO* have this ghetto blaster.



Although this is not an LED product, I've published reviews & informational web pages for other non-LED, non-laser, and non-light products on this website. So adding a section to this website about vintage ghetto blasters was pretty much inevitable.

*** VERY IMPORTANT!!! ***
These web pages are about machines I actually *HAVE* at this very moment (early-April 2008), not machines I once had but no longer do (those which were broken, sold, or lost over the years; like my beloved Sharp GF-4545 - R.I.P. (Rest In Pieces), a large Lasonic, a Marantz Gold Series, a Sony or two, a GE or two, and several other JVC models).

The JVC RC-550JW (not the one on this web page) belonged to an acquaintence back in 1982; I was surprised at just how good it sounded for a monaural machine.


Not only was it ONE of the largest machines available at the time (~19" wide, ~6.5" deep, ~14" high), it was among the most powerful: pumping out 15 watts (mono; one channel) into a 10" woofer, 4" midrange, and 1.0" tweeter.

Update 04-07-08:
The battery door on this unit is not present; it was missing at the time of purchase.
True, this is not a significant issue, but I'd prefer having a whole jam box instead of one missing a part.

The JVC RC-550JW boasted some features rivalling expensive home stereos at the time...let's do a little recap from memory here: This unit has the "JW" suffix; this indicates the unit can be used at 110 volts or 220 volts AC; units without the "JW" suffix can only be used on 110 volts AC power.
And before I forget..."JVC" stands for Japan Victor Corporation; generally regarded as makers of decent audio & video equipment.



I also own the following JVC (and one Aiwa, one Panasonic, and one Sears) ghetto blasters; they may or may not be added to this website in the future: The RC-550 from 1982 is a large monaural machine boasting a 3-way speaker system with a 10" woofer.
The RC-656 from ~1983 is a rather plain, midsized ghetto blaster ("plain", as boomboxes from this time period go)
The RC-838 is a large machine from 1978; it boasts the "biphonic system" which has binaural ("stereo wide") sound.
The RC-M70 was the largest and most powerful machine sold in 1982.
The RC-M80 is a large machine from 1982; it's selling points are a soft-touch cassette transport and a digital tuner.
The Aiwa CS600 has a very nice sound; it has a bass boost circuit like many of the JVC units above.
The Sears SR-2100 is a mid-sized machine with rather nice sound and a bass boost circuit.



How this machine would often be carried.
This photograph was taken on the afternoon of 03-31-08.

The RC-550 has "handles" on the front, but I do not believe they have the
necessary structural integrity to actually be used for carrying this ghetto blaster.
I ***COULD*** be incorrect here, but I do not believe this to be the case.



The top of the machine.
Look at those buttons, rocker switches, knobs and slide pots!!!
The microphone is that large "knob" on the right; it can be swivelled over a ~300 range.



The machine's left side, showing the I/O receptacles.



Here's a closing shot of this ghetto blaster. :-)


UPDATE: 05-14-08
I'll be moving again sometime in June 2008, and the new place will have no storage.
Rather than letting this wonderful pre-loved machine end up in the dustbin (garbage can), I made a post on the Stereo2Go fora, offering it free for pickup along with most other ghetto blasters on this website. Therefore, that dreadful "" icon will now appear next to its listings on this website.


UPDATE: 03-02-09
A message from a visitor to this web page offered some insight into what the handles on the front of the unit were really for.
As follows:

You note on your review page that you're not sure what the "handles" on the front are for - those are guard rails to protect the knobs/switches/features on the face when the unit has to be laid face-down for servicing/connecting. They're still found on current "serious" radios that often require a lot of angling to do cable connections or to operate on the internals, such as this 2009-model Grundig tabletop shortwave: http://universal-radio.com/catalog/portable/0750.html.


An excellent place to go find out & learn about vintage ghetto blasters is the Boombox Museum.









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