In an era of production line music players, Campbell Burns is offering listeners something unique.

Making portable speakers from old suitcases he has now brought Basscase NZ to Maxwell.

Mr Burns and his mate Tom Lloyd developed the product in Taiwan where they were both living and working in the music industry.

"It was a big old ugly looking thing the first one but everywhere we took it people seemed to freak out about it. People seemed to love it," Mr Burns said.


After a decade living in Asia he moved back to New Zealand a few months ago, settling in Maxwell where his family is from.

Burns scours shops and the internet for the perfect cases while people are also able to bring in their own to be turned into the portable boombox style speakers.

"There's plenty of finds," he said.

"It's fun. The golden era is those sort of the post-Second World War American suitcases. From basically 1940 to 1970."

He sold about 60 in Taiwan over two years and there has already been interest in New Zealand. "I've committed myself to another 10 that should hopefully be finished in the next few weeks," he said.

"It's still pretty new over here. There's a lot of portable speakers but a lot of them are small and dinky. It's the one of a kind thing that people like. They see one and they just don't want anyone else to have it."

Building the cases can take anywhere from a couple of days to weeks and he can spend hours testing with various tracks to make sure the sound is good and doesn't rattle the case.

"Usually the bigger the case, the bigger the bass," he said.


They plug into portable music players such as iPods but the newer Basscases will also be compatible with bluetooth.

The lithium battery lasts for 12 to 14 hours. Basscase can currently be purchased through Facebook or from Hunters & Collectors in Wellington.