Peripatetic jack-of-all-trades Joe Dobson is pleased to present the "Deco Blaster," a series of bespoke iPod docks "where old complements new like never before, combining the style and authenticity of yesterday with the technology and hi-fi of today." Dobson dissects the existing Gear4 iPod docks and retrofits the parts to reconditioned radios, which "can be controlled by the remote, or through the speaker grill cloth with illuminated blue buttons."
Each Deco Blaster is unique as the radios are individually sourced. They are then paired up with the optimum iPod dock and re-engineered by hand. An extremely limited batch will be made in Europe in 2011.
Dobson left his native New Zealand back in 2009, traveling to Berlin with his band and—this is his story, after all—"building an amazing treehouse with a friend of mine over the past few years, currently developing another invention of mine... bla de bla." He's now in the South of France, killing time before he returns to his motherland later this year, where he's spent the past two months reviving old radios as Deco Blasters:
In the beginning, I bought 70 old radios off eBay all at once and have been working flat out to make these things. It takes about a day to make one. I sent one to Gear4 and they loved it so much they bought it straight away and are going to be helping me promote it.
While I can't testify to how they sound, I must say they look pretty good, and even though it may not the most original idea—Graham Browne's Core77 Design Award notable comes to mind—credit to Dobson for dedicating himself to something he loves to do.
The Deco Blasters are an extension of my personality. I've been building things of all shapes and sizes forever and I love to breathe new life into beautiful old things. I am also a recording artist/engineer and I have a solid understanding of the ins and outs of acoustics and sound design... I seal it with new panel on the back of the radios for acoustic reasons and the result is an amazingly warm sound.
I've sold nearly half of the ones I've made to date mostly just through word of mouth. I love making these things and I'm looking forward to improve the design in the future to accommodate the demands of what looks, works and sounds best.
He also acknowledges a debt to Mr. SiMo's Boomcases.
It's not clear whether the iPod dock is inside or behind the radio in some of the conversions, but I, for one, would definitely prefer to conceal it...