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 04-07-08, and last updated 11-23-09.

Photograph directly above courtesy of atomicswank.

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. However I did perform a spectrographic analysis of one of the LEDs from its tuning/VU meter, so this is at least slightly germane to the general theme of this website.


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) (I remember leaving it in Juneau AK. USA when I moved to the "lower 48" in the mid-1980s), a large Lasonic, a Marantz Gold Series, a Sony or two, a GE or two, and several other JVC models).

The Panasonic RX-5090 is not a diminutive ghetto blaster, but it is not a monsterous one like the others on this website either. It boasted some features rivalling expensive home stereos at the time...let's do a little recap from memory here:

The RX-5090 is a studly little vacume...oops wrong website...studly little machine - it "ain't" no piece of junk. This ghetto blaster was meant to be used, not placed on a shelf and dusted every week.
When I picked it up a few mornings ago, I honestly thought it still had batteries in it (because of its substantial weight); but I opened the battery door to find the compartment devoid of the six D cells it requires.

I also own the following JVC (and one Aiwa 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.

I purchased this machine from the Boombox Museum in late-summer 2002.

This photograph shows the controls on the top of this machine.
Photograph courtesy of atomicswank.

In order to use the Line In function on this machine, you have to record to cassette - at least you have to make the machine *THINK* it is doing that.

Set the switch directly above the PLAY and REWIND buttons on the tape transport to the "INPUT LINE" setting, place a blank recordable cassette in, press the PLAY and RECORD buttons simultaneously, and whatever source you have connected to the Line In jacks should now be audible from the machine's speakers. You may press the PAUSE button at this point so that you do not have to actually record anything - and you may then listen to the device connected to the Line In jacks for as long as you wish. Pressing PAUSE will also eliminate wear on the capstan, pinch roller, supply & take-up reels, and other parts in the cassette transport itself - the motor will still run, but the motors in these things seem to last for quite a long time.

How this machine would often be carried.
This photograph was taken on the morning of 04-03-08.

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

Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of one of the red LEDs in its VU meter.
Plot is so low because the rectangular LEDs are already diffused and
the LEDs themselves are inset ~0.8" behind the tuning dial window.

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

UPDATE: 04-18-08
I used this ghetto blaster between 04-14-08 and 04-15-08 after our electric power service was disconnected because my sister forgot about the bill.
I listened to radio station KGBY 92.5 FM in Sacramento CA. USA to pass the time.

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.

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

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