Garage wall a blast of sound

Craig Kenton with his collection of ghetto blasters. Photo by Jane Dawber.
Craig Kenton with his collection of ghetto blasters. Photo by Jane Dawber.
Craig Kenton could be the neighbour from hell. If he wanted to be.

Stacked against the wall of his Wakari, Dunedin, garage there are enough ghetto blasters to, well, blast a ghetto.

"I started collecting them about six years ago and I'd have well over 100 by now. I was just one of those kids who were always pulling things to bits," he said this week.

"I had one as a kid in the '80s. Now I can buy the ones that were too expensive back then," Mr Kenton (39) said.

"Most of them I've had to fix up a bit."

"I got a lot of them from Salvation Army and Habitat stores and Trade Me. Friends have found quite a few for me."

Mr Kenton said his job, as a travelling salesman for Food Equipment Specialists, had also given him a sound advantage.

"I've given all the second-hand and op shops photos of the ones I'm after. They're getting harder to find now, though, because they're getting into that retro category and becoming more popular.

"My favourite is probably the Sanyo [which he is holding in the photo]. It was known as the `Big Ben' because it had a big, eight-inch [20cm] sub. It's quite rare, that one.

"It was made in 1987 and weighs about 13kg - and that's without the batteries. It holds 10 D batteries, so it's probably closer to 15kg, all up.

"I've picked them up for as little as $20, but freight's the killer. You can spend much more on the freight than on the actual ghetto blaster. But I've probably only spent a couple of grand on the whole collection."

And to the inevitable question: has he has ever played them all at once?

"Everybody asks me that," he chuckled. "But, no. I don't have enough electrical leads for them all."


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