Stereo Stereo
The turntable as an accessory.

When I was young, my mother  had a cleaning lady because we were fantastically wealthy and lived in a very large home on a very large estate with lots of objects that sparkled and gleamed.   The cleaning lady wore a black dress with a white lace pinafore over it and carried a feather duster making her way from chandelier to chandelier, all the while eyeing my homeless man turned fabulously successful importer/exporter father.  My father had an evil twin AND suffered from amnesia THREE TIMES for no apparent reason other than sweeps week.

Oh wait,  that was a plot from As the World Turns circa 1982.  Nevermind. Not my life at all.

We did however have a cleaning lady that came in once every couple of weeks.  I would leave for school and come home to a tidy bedroom with vacuum lines on the rug.  Except for that one time when I came home to vacuum lines on the rug and all of my albums piled on top of the heat register. To those of you who don’t know, albums are flat black vinyl circles that magically play music when you put them on a record player.  Unless of course they’re warped like scoliosis, in which case they don’t magically play music at all.

My name’s Karen and my first foray into buying music was … the album.  My record buying days were right on the cusp of the end of albums and the beginning of the CD, so like anyone who has ever bought an album I will always have a soft spot for turntables and playing 33s.   I never got rid of my turntable, and in fact even bought a new one 15 years ago or so.

I’ve kept it hidden below the television on a shelf, out of view for all those years. Which made using it a pain, therefore I rarely did.  Then a few months ago something came over me.  I liked my turntable.  I liked how it looked, I liked how it felt and I liked how it made the room feel.

There’s something about a turntable unabashedly displayed in a room that gives it soul.  For anyone looking to add character to a room the turntable is the ultimate accessory.  You know those rooms with a bit of everything in them?  Antiques and books and a bit of midcentury modern?  The sort of room that looks like it’s been lived in by intellectually superior world travellers for the past 50 years?  A turntable will give it that feeling.

Well, it’ll help give it that feeling.

 

turntable

 

The funny thing about playing albums is they’re SO great and so awful all at the same time.  Why are they great?  I like the process of just flipping through the albums and picking one out.  I love the little bit of scratchy noise from older albums.

I do not love that the album only lasts for half an hour or so before you have to move and flip it over.  Thanks to CDs, DVDs, mp3s and apps like Songza, we’ve all become pretty used to having music play endlessly without ever having to do a thing.  Except maybe turn the volume either up or down.

 

turntable-up-close

 

For Michael is always gets turned up.

 

pulling-an-album

 

The best thing about turntables now is that they’re really easy to get working.  It isn’t like in the olden days when there were bare wires coming out of the back of the turntable.  The newer turntables hook up to just about anything with ease.  My turntable has a left and right audio cable that comes out of the back of the turntable and will plug into any speaker system or receiver that has “audio in” slots, which my surround sound receiver has.  It’s literally plug and play.

Other turntables have a USB plug on the end and can be plugged into USB ports on your receiver or even computer.

And if you have some sort of weirdo/tricky situation there’s an adapter for pretty much everything.  For instance, I just ordered this USB to headphone jack adapter to hook my wireless speaker/lights up to my turntable and receiver.

You can take a look at the different turntables on Amazon right here.  They range in price from $50 to a few hundred.  If I remember correctly mine was about $100.

Now please enjoy the homes of the intellectually superior world travellers.

 

The only thing missing in these rooms is a man smoking a pipe recalling how he once arm wrestled Ernest Hemmingway on a fishing boat.
Which is far better than than telling a story about how your cleaning lady melted all of your Culture Club albums.



86 Comments

  1. Jamie Lynn says:

    I have that exact same turntable!! My parents bought it for me when I graduated junior high, and I still have (and use!) it. It’s 20 years old and it works just as good as the day I got it. I grew up on vinyl – my mother worked in a record store when she was a teenager so she had a HUGE collection, most of which I now have in my own collection. I’ve added quite a bit to it over the years. I love going to old record stores and searching through the dusty, musty-smelling vinyl looking for something to add to my collection. I’d love to buy one of those old cabinet-style stereo systems that maybe even has an 8-track player. For now my little Sony does the trick. 🙂

  2. Theresa says:

    My first album was MJ’s Thriller. It was a “Bootlegger” promo with purchase of jeans! I think it is still at my parents house.

  3. Grammy says:

    My first LP album was “Ricky Sings Again”. Ricky Nelson. I also got an Elvis album the same year. Both were gifts, and I quite literally wore them out. In those days, I couldn’t afford to buy LPs — they were $3.99 (American), so most of my records were 45 rpm (single song on each side). 45s had the big hole in the center so you either needed an adapter on your record player or needed them to snap into the records individually.

    You kids are so spoiled. I’m glad at least some of you are old enough to have grown up listening to vinyl.

    Now get off my lawn.

  4. kipper says:

    Did your reply to the house cleaner who caused the Culture Club meltdown include the phrase “Do you really want to hurt me? Do you want t see me cry”?

  5. Anne says:

    Okay, who out there belonged to the Columbia Record Club? I can’t be the only one this old! I still have some of the LP’s but no turntable. I’ve been thinking about it lately, especially since my daughter, who is a real estate agent, has just been given a cabinet with radio, turntable and tape player. She still has her KISS albums so look out, neighbourhood!

    • BethH says:

      I do! I do! My mother took me down to the bank to open my own checking account so I could pay for my monthly albums (because I always forgot to send the card back in time to tell them if I didn’t want that month’s selection) and no one at the bank knew how to open a checking account for a 12 year old! I amassed scads of albums. Several of my most favorites ended up at a boyfriend’s house who moved and left no forwarding address. I’m still trying to find him to get my albums back.

    • Debbie says:

      Me, me!!! I remember choosing my “free” albums when I joined!I still have my albums, including so many original Beatles, Elton John and Simon and Garfunkel albums. I also have my red and white “portable” record player. About nine years ago, my mom gave one of my sons some of her old comedy albums and he used my record player to listen to them. One day we were headed out for a drive of a few hours and there he is with the record player on his lap, plugged into the back of the minivan with records next to him. We asked what he was doing. He told us he wanted to listen to the records on the trip. Stifling hysterical laughter, we explained how vinyl could scratch and how any bump could ruin the album. My son was so very disappointed! From the mouths of babes…

  6. Pati Gulat says:

    I was 7 when I got my first record player/turntable and I had ONE record…Annette Funicello “How Will I Know My Love”, ya’ll look it up on YouTube…it’s cute little tune….the turntable/record player is long gone but I still have the record along with tons more…and the H.E. (aka Hubster Extraordinaire) bought me a new turntable for Christmas a few yrs ago… 🙂

  7. Jane says:

    I grew up with 45’s and LP’s too but loaned my 45’s to a friend who never returned them ( in high school) and left all my albums in a house we sold. But truth be told, I like listening to the ipod and Bose system and don’t really miss the needle getting stuck all the time and the awful scratchy sounding music! I don’t even miss those big ole stereo cabinets we used to have back then….but happy you still rock out to that music:)

    • Karen says:

      But … but … BUT the scratchy bits are the best part!! ~ karen

      • Pati Gulat says:

        I agree, Karen ! Nothing like listening to vinyl…sigh

      • Pam'a says:

        There are certain songs that just sound WRONG when I hear them without a little skip in a certain place. 🙂

        • Jay says:

          Yes, Pam! Surfin’ USA skipped on my best friend’s record and when we had a crush on a surfer so played it all the time, it stuck in my head. I never hear that song without mentally adding the repeated ..SA…SA at the end of the last Surfin’ USA.

      • Diana says:

        I often think about the great sounds that are getting less and lost by the years! One of those good and beloved sounds is the crackle while listening to LPs. I even like horses running over cobblestones and car tires driving over gravel paths….

  8. Karen says:

    Hurmph. If everyone would stop telling what their first album is I could do an entire post on it next Friday. Where I would reveal what MY first album was. (there were two that qualify as first actually) But whatever. Do what you want. I’ll be over in the corner listening to a scratchy Style Council album. ~ karen!

  9. Pati Gulat says:

    I never SAID what my first ALBUM was….just my first record…. 😉

  10. Pam'a says:

    One of the very best presents I ever got was a groovy Magnavox portable stereo for Christmas in eighth grade. The speakers folded open (and could be removed), the turntable folded down, and it had the tall spindle that allowed you to play multiple albums. It went off to college with me, onward to multiple apartments, and then into my first marriage, where it finally was abandoned during a move.

    I also used to ride a stegosaurus to school.

  11. Katie says:

    What a great idea! I need a turntable! I have access to my parents’ James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, and Beatles. All of those hold a place near and dear to my heart, but I sure do envy the punk selection that I bet you have!

  12. SeaDee says:

    Nice Sex Pixtols LP. Good one Karen! I still have gobs of vinyl and CDs (my iTunes library is 230 GB) from my radio and record biz days! And I have a turntable I bought in the early 90’s as well as one that can burn a CD from the album.

    But I gained cool points with my nephew while he was visiting this summer when he found/played my “Hounds of Love” LP from Kate Bush (1985). And I too wore the grooves out of my MJ “Off The Wall” LP.

  13. Jacquie says:

    Does anyone else remember having to tape pennies on top of the arm or it would jump? The older the machine got, the more pennies you added. And was the guy who invented the CD, the magical music player which would NEVER skip or scratch, ever sued by Trading Standards for being the biggest liar ever? Never skip, my ass.

  14. IRS says:

    Nope. Nope. And Nope. If you had said that a bookshelf full of books, actual dead-tree books, is better than an iPad full of e books (at least for decor purposes, and the nurture of the soul, if not for taking on a beach vacation), I would have been right there with you. But vinyl, warping, scratchy, static-y vinyl, nope. Some things are rightfully relegated to the technological dustbin of history, and vinyl is one of them. In any form. That includes vinyl raincoats, vinyl furniture, and music on vinyl. And I know I will encounter howls of protest for this innocent question, but does any “intellectually superior” person really have a book written by Oprah?

    • TucsonPatty says:

      The book isn’t written BY Oprah, it is written ABOUT Oprah…; )

      • Karen says:

        And you know what TucsonPatty? I actually learned one of the sounded pieces of business advice EVER from that book. Oprah didn’t do it all on her own. She teamed up with a lawyer and he was the “business side” of Oprah. There was only so much she could do herself so her empire was actually built between the two of them. I forget what the cut he got was but it was a LOT. So, what I learned was you have to share the wealth to make the wealth basically. That’s a little summed up, but you get the point. ~ karen

    • Karen says:

      I’m pretty sure they do. As is evidenced in one of my photos. And by the way it wasn’t written by Oprah, it is a sound, biographical account of her life as written in a way to convey the most salaciousness possible. (it’s a hardcover tabloid) ~ karen

    • nancy says:

      Do you work for the IRS? I am guessing you do, I can tell by your lovely, warm, endearing, and soulful comment.

  15. TucsonPatty says:

    One of the stereos pictured had “One Eyed, One Horned, Flying Purple People Eater” waiting on the side. We just played that at our family reunion this summer – via an iPod or some newfangled electronic thingy-dingy something or other. We had a OEOHFPPE as a pinata and used the music as soundtrack for the bashing and smashing. Much fun.
    I still have my first stereo with a radio and 8-Track player combo that was my first purchase after getting my first job. I still play both albums and the 8-Tracks and, yes, InAGaddaDaVida just doesn’t sound right if it doesn’t have that ker-chunk in the middle of the song…oh, the days. Boyfriend’s Mustang with that 8-Track playing while we sat and…..talked.
    Love this trip down memory lane, Karen!

  16. Yay, turntables are making a comeback, my 18 y/0 bought one recently, and I discovered old albums in the shed, among them an original of “Do they know it’s Christmas”…can’t wait for December and it will be blasting out of the house!
    Want the piece of furniture in the mid-century room.
    Never heard of Songza!

    • Karen says:

      I did a post on Songza a while ago Mimi. It’s in my post on apps you should have. It’s great. If you have a smart phone look up about Songza. ~ karen!

  17. Gwennie says:

    One of my favorite childhood memories is the stack of Christmas albums; Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney and Andy Williams. Decorating the tree, eating Mr. Salty pretzels with German mustard, and listening all the while. Then flipping the stack over and listening to the other sides. It was calming after Dad burned holes all over the brand new carpeting while testing the Christmas tree lights. Those suckers got really hot!

  18. Tigersmom says:

    Does anyone else remember listening to a song on tape that had to be flipped over midway to hear the end?

    And I’m thinking it would be difficult to enjoy music from a turntable in a house with a pier and beam foundation, a big tall husband, a running little boy and my heavy ass.

    I do remember the repeat play feature you could set to hear the same side of an album play over and over automatically. I also remember, back in the day the morning after one of our parties. People would end up sleeping on couches and in our stupor we had left Houses of the Holy (Led Zeppelin) playing all night and one particular guest got up, removed it from the turntable, went to the front door and hurled it frisbee-style into the street.

  19. Dagmar says:

    Wow all you privileged people out there. When I was growing up in communist Poland, we had this thing that played two huge rolls of tape. The tapes sat horizontally on the player. It looked somewhat like two movie reels, but it played music. It had a holographic photo of the Fuji mountains on the front, because my dad brought it back from Japan. And we were the rich ones. I don’t think we ever owned a record player, although, for some strange reason, I now have some KISS and Alice Cooper albums in my possession. Maybe I got them as a gift when I was a teen already living in Canada, because those are still my two favourites to listen to now.

    • MelanHelen says:

      Dagmar:

      Here in the U.S. in the 60s and into the 70s, “reel-to-reel” was considered upscale and owned mostly by audiophiles, so even in the U.S. your family would have been the cool one on the street.

  20. Kim Merry says:

    My first record player was a cool orange color! Very groovy!!
    and we would stack 4-5 albums on it and listen at night while we slept.
    we were cool that way!!
    Kim

  21. Jane P says:

    I’ll keep my first vinyl or two for your Friday Post!! The scratchy is what makes it for me…we have an old Victrola at our little cabin and there is nothing like dancing around like a crazy listening to oldies.

  22. Su says:

    I also had a 45 record player cause like others affording a whole ALBUM was serious stuff and you had to save for a long time your babysitting money of .$50 an hour to get one….. I’ll wait for the Friday post of what that 1st album was…. but I still have my first 45…. The Beatles… Let it be… green apple sticker on it and all…. the flip side had a picture of the apple cut in half….

  23. IRS says:

    Nostalgia is a nice, comforting thing, and taking a trip down memory lane, while flipping through the ancient albums still housed in that perfectly fitting plastic milk crate that you pinched from the delivery door of the grocery store (back in the days before IKEA, and other stores that now sell a zillion different plastic storage bins) is a great thing to do on a rainy day. But if you want truly good sound, lose the vinyl, and go with digital, either as a music file, or at least a CD. If you really want to be reminded of your music from days gone by, then get a bunch of 12X12 inch frames, and make a framed wall display of a grouping of your favorite albums. You can either put up 3 rows of 3 (or 4 of 4, or whatever you like), or do a diagonal line of them going up a staircase. At least that doesn’t take up any space. In this day of 400 square foot condos (the developers of which should be tied up and forced to listen to a very scratched up vinyl record, on endless loop, for at least a full day), who has space for a clunky turntable that is not (or shouldn’t be) played? I still say “nope”.

    • Karen says:

      O.K. this is your second comment in the same post declaring your distaste for albums, lol. I’m going to take a wild stab at this and say you don’t like albums. So you can frame your albums if you like, but I prefer the sound of Carmen McRae’s voice that comes from vinyl. ~ karen

  24. Mel says:

    See, I will have to show this post to those that thought I was crazy for getting a record player a few years ago. I love how many artists are coming out with music on albums still. Florence and the Machine, the Catching Fire soundtrack, Lady Gaga, and the new Bush album is being sent to me next month when it comes out. I love the crackles, hate the flipping over too.

  25. Heather says:

    What a great topic, Karen! Remember the little things you had to put in the centre of 45’s so they would sit on the turntable?

    We got to the point that we would buy a new album, tape it, and then put the actual vinyl album away so it wouldn’t get scratched. Once the tape was done, you would re-record it. Then I got a combo radio/cassette recorder & I would tape songs off the radio. When you would listen to them later you always seems to catch a piece of the DJ’s voice or the song suddenly ended where you turned it off.

    Our old turntable now sits in the garage at our cottage where my son regularly plays all our old LPs. The worst part is always having to turn the darn thing over.

  26. Karol says:

    You went from vinyl to CD’s? I had to suffer through 8 tracks and then cassettes before cd’s. I still have all of my vinyls, although I don’t know why, they’re worth about a quarter each.
    I still laugh at the “ca-chunk” sound the 8 tracks made, sometimes mid-song, when switching tracks.

    • Karen says:

      8 tracks were before my time, but you’re right there were cassettes and I have many of those! Terribly quality, lol. Just awful. But way easier to play in the car. ~ karen

  27. Alice says:

    Ha! You want to hear pops and crackles? Find get some really old 78s. I’m sure there are few old ones around. Now, trying to find a player may be a bit harder…..but so much fun.

  28. Jen says:

    Never mind the turntable (or the Bollocks), you have Artie Lange’s bio on top of “Atonement!” LOVE THAT. Are you a closeted Stern fan???

    • Karen says:

      LOL! No, that’s the fellas. I haven’t read it and Howard Stern makes me crazy. In the early days I used to love him actually but now he just makes me crazy. Guess I should give that book back. ~ karen

      • Patti says:

        Aww I saw that too and hoped you were a fan. Love Artie! My first turntable was the kind that had the speakers attached to the sides and it closed up like a little suitcase, complete with a handle on top. My first LP was Jim Nabors LOL! In my defense, I was 7 years old and Gomer Pyle was my favorite show at the time.

  29. ralph says:

    A nice trip down memory lane with all you youngsters. Possibly I read the replies too quickly but I don’t recall seeing reference to Frank Sinatra. Hello?
    My first record was a 78 of Deanna Durban singing ‘Cherry Ripe’ No,I’m not kidding.My second was a 78 of Anton Karas playing the theme to the Third Man…wore that one out.
    So call me old.

    Cheers.

  30. Lynne says:

    Our turn table gets used regularly and when our kids come to visit they really enjoy going through our large collection. Yes we also use IPods, CD’s and the music apps on our phones but there is nothing quite like the sound of that needle on vinyl.

  31. LazySusan says:

    When out turntable died several years ago, we bought a USB turntable and have been transferring all of our vinyl to MP3 files. We have several USB sticks of favorite genres of music that we rotate in the car, or play on our computers, or on an MP3 player. The recordings retain the sound of vinyl being played on a turntable. At Christmas, we play the oldies that we both love, from Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Doris Day, Rosemary Clooney. It just isn’t Christmas without their voices. Having converted the albums to digital, we are no longer limited by the length of an album side, so I can listen to every song ever recorded by Roy Orbison, all in a row, if I want. And I usually want to do just that. On a 1700 mild round trip drive to visit elderly relatives a few years ago, we listened to all of the songs we grew up hearing. It made the driving a pleasure. So if you don’t want to go the route of getting the stereo turntable and speakers, consider the USB turntable to continue to enjoy your albums.

  32. I love my digital music….nothing beats it! Sorry to be a party pooper! No vinyl for me although hubby still has all of his old albums and a state of the art sound system complete with two turntables!

  33. Kevin says:

    Celebrating the LP, from the days when the only CD you heard of was at a bank.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6g1ZPXoaIag

  34. ~JackieVB says:

    I actually find that Howard Stern is much mellower and funnier these days than in his earlier days. It probably helps that his daughters are now in their 20’s so he’s toned a few things down.
    But that aside, I was thinking that albums don’t just give us that lovely scratchiness, you also got some pretty cool album art and some of the music was designed to tell a story of sorts if you listen all the way through(Pink Floyd anyone?). You don’t get that aspect with a single that you download.

  35. Debbie O'Rourke says:

    Disco sacrifice…..
    Forgotten Rebels record…. insanely warped..but we still played it.. hahahahaha

    • Karen says:

      OMG!!! The DISCO SACRIFICE!!! The Saturday Night Live album!!! omg. We did some ridiculous things! Wish I still had that album now, lol. See everyone? Debbie can vouch that my albums all got warped! Now of course, I’m smart enough to know all I had to do was stick them on a large baking sheet and put them in the oven at a low temperature so they’d go flat again. Stupid young Karen. ~ karen!

  36. karen says:

    I agree with the previous poster – lose the Kitty Kelley Oprah tome. In fact, lose ANY Kitty Kelley book. :-p Book titles are like any other piece of visual art. Curate.

  37. Susan says:

    I was (and still am) the youngest of 4. My older sister was “protesting the war”, listening to Bob Dylan, Joan Biaz, Arlo Guthrie, all those guys, then my brother…Neil Young, CSNY, FleetWood Mac, Yes, all those guys…then my other sister…Carol King, Joanie Mitchell, all those guys…..
    But my own albums?????
    Never happened…
    Susan

  38. Susan says:

    Karen,
    Suggesting you do a post on the best concerts we ever went to.
    Should get some doozys….
    Mine was Shawn Phillips at Mankato State University…Mankato, Mn.
    Susan

    • sheila says:

      Susan,

      Love Shawn Phillips AND my brother went to Mankato State. We’re originally from Prior Lake.

      Sheila

      • Susan says:

        Sheila,
        I was from Fairmont. Went to the concert without tickets, made our own, they were hot pink paper, from a flier on a bulletin board, rolled them up alittle bit, Then held them up and got in…sat on the floor right in front. Most magical thing I had ever seen or heard. 🙂
        I live in Excelsior, now, You?
        Isn’t Karen’s blog a hoot?
        Susan

        • sheila says:

          Susan,

          That’s funny about your homemade tickets. You guys were gutsy. Those were the days, eh??

          We moved in 2011 from St. Louis Park to Emily, MN – about 35 or so miles Northwest of Brainerd. We love it up here.

          I used to live in Excelsior in the big house on the hill right across the street from the lake. I lived in the top floor, my best friend in the ground floor, behind the landlord. 224 Lake Street is the address. Large house. I had the top floor plus the porch attachment on the side. It was fun living there. Who knows, maybe it’s not even there any more. That was QUITE a while ago… There are so many cute shops in Excelsior. I do miss “the cities” every so often – if nothing else than for shopping.

          Yes Karen is a hoot with a capital “H”. I find so much info on her blog and actually came across it while doing a search for a table made from a stump/chunk of wood. Her photos are so beautiful. I could only HOPE to take pics as well as her.

          Sheila

  39. karen says:

    Your post talks about creating a certain look or feel; that was what I was commenting on. Sheesh.

  40. Liz says:

    “intellectually superior world travellers” ohhhh myyyy werrrrrd. You just put to words the exact style and taste of the people I bought my house from, and I’m just trying to be cool like them now. Also it’s frightening how suggestible I am in regards to your blog. I am now scouring the internets for a record player, so I guess I’m just trying to be cool like you too.

  41. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    JackieVB above said about the album art which was a big part of the album experience..Some of it was quite awesome and would look great framed and on the wall..I also loved when they included the lyrics so you could pretend you were smart and understood what they were singing..I had quite a collection of 45’s and albums as I not only babysat but also made lots of crafts and sewed and sold stuff..yeah..I used to be multi-talented like you girl..My first album..I’ll have to think about that one..

  42. Sandy says:

    Ahhhhhhhh, yes, I have the OFF THE WALL album as well and NEVER bought anything Michael Jackson after that. My guys are 20 and 26 and both have had turntables for years and their album collections are quite extensive stored in milk crates they “borrowed” from the grocery store. They did ransack my 70’s collection of Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, (early) Genesis, even took my Carole King “Tapestry” album but left behind most of my 80’s foray into Simple Minds, Psychedelic Furs and Kate Bush . . . obviously they have no taste.
    Still, the best album cover EVER has to be Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirty Cowboy with the little turntable guy taking a poop.

  43. Sandy says:

    Ohhhh, almost forgot, I see Atonement on your shelf. It’s been sitting on my bedside table for 5 years now, I just can’t get past the first 50 pages.
    And love the pics of the hi-fi cabinets. My parent’s cabinet had an opening at the bottom for wires and stuff and our cat used to squeeze up in there and snooze. I remember when she was getting on in years, my mom was afraid she would crawl up there to die . . . she didn’t.

  44. Jane S says:

    I swear some of those mid century modern rooms are really from 60 years ago with a flat screen TV photoshopped in. Not yours thought, yours just looks intellectually superior.

  45. Ellen says:

    I haven’t had a turntable or albums for years, but I do like the sound of vinyl. So nice and round instead of the sharp and pointy CD’s that followed them.

  46. Shauna says:

    How exciting, I’m an intellectually superior world traveler.

  47. IRS says:

    Yes, Karen, I have made my feelings known about the inferior sound quality of vinyl, so I won’t belabour the point, and to each his own anyway. But I’m just curious – surely all of you vinyl aficionados are confusing nostalgia and quality, aren’t you? I mean, can anyone really say that vinyl sounds better than digital? Vinyl is a medium that literally evaporates over time, so even a never played, and therefore scratchless LP cannot be as crisp and sharp as a digital track. I find human memory and perception to be fascinating things, and I think we all at times mix up our fond memories with subjective evaluation. This is not necessarily a bad thing, just an observation. It’s sort of like preferring a hand stitched garment, even though the stitches cannot possibly be as straight and even as if they were made on a sewing machine. But no matter, the bottom line is “follow your bliss”. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Well for me it’s not about perception or memory alone. Although those two things are important. It’s truly about the sound. In fact if you ask music aficionados most of them will tell you they prefer the sound from an album. There’s a depth an warmth to an album that CDs actually can’t reproduce. That’s because music, based on wavelengths and sciency stuff are analog. The record reproduces sound in analog. However CDS and DVDs reproduce in digital, oftentimes at a very quick rate. In fact so quick that very fast musical movements are lost. An analog album creates an exact copy of what the artist is producing. A digital copy produces a version of it. It may sound crisper to you, but it but part or the reason for that is a lot of lost notes believe it or not. And yes. I also prefer hand stitched garments. I’m almost always looking for character and soul over perfection. 🙂 ~ karen

  48. Rae says:

    Hi Karen ~
    I really appreciate your blog on the turntable. I’m toying with the idea of getting one for my husband for Christmas. He’s making improvements to the house we’ll be moving into soon. We are both very nostalgic and sentimental. I’ll be decorating with a rustic country flair. I think maybe we were both born too late. :/
    Our living area is bigger than any I’ve ever had! We are dividing it up into a seating area for entertaining, and the other side will be a book nook. I think a system that includes a turn table is a GREAT idea. I’ve noticed that vinyl is making a comeback. When I was listening to Culture Club, I was wearing out cassettes. ( also Lionel Ritchie, Madonna, Cindy Lauper, & Van Halen…I’ll stio there, lol) Do you know if the ones out today use a diamond stylus? My research has been somewhat unsuccessful lately. Maybe the Feel Squad knows. Looking forward to the next time.

  49. IRS says:

    Hmm. Interesting observations, Karen. I was taught a lot of what I know about recorded music by an ex. He was a music collector and a techie, and he would argue with you to his last breath, but I’m not an expert on the subject, so I won’t. I guess I’m the split personality here; although I am a left-handed, right-brained creative type who loves quirky things, I am also on a never ending quest for perfection. Must be the raging case of OCD. 😀

  50. Barbie says:

    I’m so sorry about your Culture Club albums and the cleaning lady! What a bummer man!

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