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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Anyone Remember DAK and Drew Kaplan?

When I was a kid I was always interested in electronic gadgets and sound. The highlights of the holiday advertising season were the Sharper Image and the DAK catalogs. I had already had a few months of the Montgomery Wards Christmas Catalog, but for an interesting look at funny and quirky electronics I enjoyed Drew Kaplan's DAK mail order catalog.
I liked his interesting combination of bulk audio tapes and interesting stereo equipment. Just what would you get if you bought 500 blank tapes? How could you write 500 words about a cassette tape that you could buy at BiMart and make someone want to buy them in bulk though the mail?
He disappeared for a while, there was a bankruptcy, pain and suffering in the 1990's, but I see he is back. On the internet plugging LP to CD conversion. Looks like he has a pretty good setup really. Not sure if it is all a good price. But, it is interesting.
Click here for Wikipedia
Click here to go to his website. I just like reading his copy. I never buy anything!
Click here to learn all about cleaning records!

9 comments:

  1. Years ago I could not resist his ad copy & bought a wireless video monitoring system for my house and shop. What sounded so inviting and easy to install and hook up required a more advanced electronics degree than I had. It ended up being sent to Goodwill years later. The quality of the cameras in those days was pretty bad as well.

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  2. I am trying hard to resist the carbon fiber brush.

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  3. This was something I grew up with. He used to have some equalizers that would light up to the music.

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  4. Muddy, the carbon fiber brush is pretty cool. I have one of the old Disc-washer ones with the brush and special fluid stored in the handle. If only the fiber brush came with the microscope to examine the record grooves. Or 100 blank cassette tapes!

    Anonymous, He still has the equalizers that have light up to the music! Perhaps I'll get one for CHristamas!

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  5. Sorry to join the discussion a bit late. I had a DAK shortwave radio. It wasn't bad - it wasn't great, either. I believe it had LCD numbers and it came with a signal booster (sold separately). Why it didn't already have a built-in signal booster was a bit of a mystery to me. I've owned other shortwave radios - some better, some worse. Drew Kaplan was actually a really brilliant marketer. He would write these messages in his catalogue that seemed very personal and very friendly. I liked the guy. I noticed he still has a website, but I can't tell if he still sells stuff. I have a lot of nostalgia for his catalogues and would love to get my hands on one, just to thumb through it. Anyway, good post here!

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    1. It was always more about the writing than the product I think. However, he always had some sort of unique product that somehow did something in a better or more clever way. I bet his external signal booster was billed as an advantage in the catalog. Sometimes I find DAK cassette tapes in thrift stores and I have to smile, someone bought a pile of tapes for the free gift!

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  6. I bought a used computer and in it was a DAK video card, VG-100. I have no idea what it does or how to make it do what it was intended to do. Does anyone recognize it?

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  7. I'm still using a Numark mixer I bought at DAK back in the early 80s.

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    1. I wish I would have purchased one of those and a whole bunch of cassette tapes...

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