In several recent conversations with fellow audiophiles it has come up that we have a common desire to relive the glory of great past audio experiences. As I thought back to what these experiences had in common it occurred to me that most of them involved listening to an LP record. Mind you, I have been so in love with using my iMac and Bel Canto gear as a music server that my turntable was left unhooked for nine months. But I recently read a comment by a recording engineer that the LP record was the original high-definition format, and I recalled all the reviewer’s comments about the virtues of vinyl. . Last week out of pure embarrassment at my no-turntable situation I put it back into the system and played a few LPs. Now I am back in love with vinyl. Why? I don’t know; it just sounds nicer, and my wife says she likes it much better. Not that there is anything wrong with my music server. My Bel Canto DAC3.5VB with its VBS1 power supply and REFLink USB converter are top drawer components, and I have a few HD downloads for reference. But there something about the sound of vinyl that is pleasingly musical.
But the old downsides of vinyl are still there – noise and inconvenience. I can probably mostly fix the noise with record cleaning, as I have a Record Doctor 2 left over from an order for a customer (I had to make a minimum order of two and I kept the leftover one.) Now I have the inconvenience of cleaning the LPs. Having grown up on LPs, I am not particularly sensitive to ticks and pops, at least not compared to those who grew up with CD and can’t tolerate LP’s noises. Nevertheless I plan to start cleaning my vinyl because those who do say it really helps with sound quality. See this review.
I am a dealer for the Record Doctor 2 he reviewed, which at $199 retail is the lowest priced full suction record cleaner available. If any of My St. Louis customers want one I promise a price lower than the Internet.
Nothing can be done to eliminate the time and effort involved in the ritual of playing an LP, but for now I am willing to endure the inconvenience. I suppose if I buy any 180 gram LPs the strain of lifting and carrying that much weight might be justified as exercise.
If this blog post whets anyone’s appetite I want to remind you that I am a dealer for Music Hall turntables, and cartridges from Ortofon and Grado Labs. I won’t get into prices here, but let me assure you that, like all my prices, my special order prices for my St. Louis customers are lower than any on the Internet. Yes, even with all shipping and taxes are taken into account. I feel especially needful about mentioning this because one of my email correspondents who recently asked me some turntable advice just wrote me and said that he had bought a Music Hall 11.1 table ($4495 retail price) from the Internet having forgotten that I am a dealer. He told me the deal he got and let me assure you that his memory lapse cost both of us significant sums. At times I wonder why I send out newsletters and blog posts. Of course if you got to the end of the post my concern does not apply to you.