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Christmas Gift Guide

Sachs' 'Presidential Vampire Booth'

Sachs' big speaker

'Toyan's Arsenal'

'Defender'

'Guru's Yardstyle'

'Sarah'

McDonald's boom box

NASA boom box

'Phonkey'

NASA truck

Goes to '11'

The Brooklyn Museum

It took a while, but boom boxes cultural currency finally caught the attention of a major New York arts institution, the Brooklyn Museum, which is currently hosting Tom Sachs "Boombox Retrospective, 1999-2016."

Here's Sachs' "Presidential Vampire Booth" and speakers hunkered down in the main space.

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttrnberg/CNET

One of the gigantic horn speakers flanking the "Presidential Vampire Booth."

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

"Toyan's Arsenal" loomed large -- it's 144 inches wide and 96 inches tall (3.6 by 2.4 meters). Its clean white cabinet with black drivers made for a striking presence.

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

One picture can't do full justice to "Defender," so I included two. This beast's speakers are constructed out of old refrigerators, but Defender wasn't playing when I visited the show, which was too bad. I like the idea of using old refrigerators as speaker cabinets. The jet black speakers and old arcade game system looked like it could easily fill a decent sized club with sound.

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

"Guru's Yardstyle," replete with vintage Bose 901 speakers, turntable and McIntosh electronics, stacked on a hand truck, made me smile. Model One is clearly the most audiophile-oriented piece.

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

"Sarah" sports just a pair of speakers and a sword perched on top, just in case!

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

A boom box to eat Big Macs by.

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

A NASA boom box -- fairly restrained by Sachs' standards!

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

"Phonkey" has a lunar lander spacecrafty look, thanks to its large solar panels flanking a 1980s boom box. Sachs' art definitely has a sense of humor.

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Another NASA-inspired boom box, configured as a truck!

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

This is a detail of the volume control from one of Sachs boom boxes -- like "Spinal Tap" it goes up to 11.

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Bonus pic: the Brooklyn Museum on a beautiful April day.

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET
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