Sunday, January 1, 2012

Alpine 7288 Cassette Radio/CD Changer Controller - Vintage, Old School!


Alpine 7288 Cassette Radio / CD Changer Controller - Pull Out, same Era as 7909

Take a journey back to 1989 with this Alpine 7288 Cassette Radio / CD Changer Controller with Pull Out functionality for security. This was not Alpine's top of the line unit, but at $500US MSRP, it was still a very pricey tape deck. The 7289 was Alpine's most expensive Cassette Radio at the time, $550 (with internal amplification), while the 7390 was the top end Cassette Tuner (no built-in amp) and would set you back a mere $600US. These high-end Alpine head units could control the 5952 and 5959 CD Changers.

So, why would one pay $500 for a Cassette Radio when the Alpine 7904 CD Tuner could be obtained for the same price? Well, you must recall, at the time (1989/1990), most people had cassette collections, but only a few CD's. Alpine was betting most people would opt for a nice cassette radio up front, then add a CD Changer when the funds became available. The 5952 CD Changer was a mere $650, so adding one was a big purchase for most folks. Now, if you had mad cash, you could just trash your cassettes, buy an Alpine 7909 CD Tuner for $1200, then add a 5952 CD Changer for many hours of listening pleasure!

Ok, sorry, back to reality. We are talking about the 7288 Cassette Radio, so I'll try to stay on topic. Let's see some of the technical specifications of the 7288:


  • MSRP: $500US
  • Pull-Out for security
  • 4 RCA Pre-Amp Outputs for adding external amplifiers
  • 16W + 16W Built-in amplifier
  • GR Full Lock Tape Mechanism
  • Auto Reverse
  • Tape Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Dolby B Noise Reduction
  • CD Changer Controller
  • 12FM and 6AM Radio Presets
  • Dimensions: 7in x 2in x 6in



Click HERE to See FULL Size picture

I recently picked up a MINT Alpine 7288 and thought it was important to write an article and create a demo video showing off the unit. Click HERE to see the full specifications.

Although I was able to test the unit for functionality, I did not do a full test. The tape mechanism sounded rather loud to me, it may have always been this way, but I didn't want to stress it out. It most likely needs a new belt for the tape drive, but I don't know for sure. I was extremely impressed all features appeared to work properly and the FM tuner was working even without an antenna plugged in...now that's a sensitive tuner!! Unfortunately, I didn't have a 5952 or 5959 CD Changer to test out the controller functionality, but hopefully I'll come across one soon.

See more up close and personal pictures below:

Alpine 7288 Left Front Side


Alpine 7288 Front Right Side - Classic "chicklets"

As you can see in the pictures, the display is bright and clear. The buttons show very little wear, even less than my near mint Alpine 7903 CD Tuner. I used a soft brush to remove the dust, you may be able to see I missed some....dang those DSLR's!

One last picture I'll show before the video is the DIN plug and RCA Pre-Amp outputs. See below:


Alpine 7288's DIN Plug for CD Changer and RCA Output Jacks

Alright, so we all know a picture is worth 1000 words, so how much is a video worth? Well, for me, it all depends on the quality. The video below was captured in 1080/24P using my Canon 7D. I was planning on recording audio using an external device, but decided the internal mic would suffice for the tape sounds and output sounds. As I note in the video, I was using a small 4" dual-cone speaker, so don't expect any impressive sounds from the Tuner and Tape playback tests. Enjoy the video!


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See the video on YouTube in 720p HD or embedded below:





2 comments:

mick1982 said...

i got one of these a few years ago from a junk shop for 3 bucks. though mine is a 7288e. i dont know what the e means anyhow i tested it out and put it in my landcruiser today and i was impressed straight away. the tuner is excellent and the tape player works like new,nice clear sound, mechanism is quiet everything works.

Ron Cooper said...

I have a 7288E also, the difference is 25w per channel I think on the E. My trouble is I took it from my old '88 Saab that was going to the wreckers and I couldn't get the cradle out quickly. So, now I have no cradle and another '88 Saab Aero I want to fit the radio to. Any helpful advice appreciated.

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