Another "toy hunt" led me to what has become one of my personal favorites: A 1984 Fisher-Price model 3805 Karaoke machine. This little eBay wonder cost me $9.99 plus shipping. This 6'' x 8'' x 2'' box runs on four C batteries or an optional 6V DC adapter. It has a small, futuristic-looking microphone attached via a 3 ft spiral cable. It has an AM/FM radio with big honking tuning and volume knobs on the side. A switch on the top lets you select Mic, Mix (mic & radio-so you can sing along to your favorite hits), or Radio. There is also a mini-plug on the back for headphone use. My suggestion: crank the volume knob all the way up and sing into it in mic mode. Great thick lo-fi distortion sounds. Favorite use so far? Setting up a stereo pair of mics and having a singer sing into the box while waving it in front of the stereo pair. Fun for the whole family.

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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