Vinyl LP's & 45's

Lately, I’ve been finding myself trawling through LP’s at JB HiFi, despite not owning a working Turntable since the early 90’s.
For the record (pun intended), I had a modest collection as a teen in the 80’s of 30ish LP’s and 45’s (Singles for those born later).
Obviously, I owned a Walkman as well, so mixed tapes were a ritual.

With the advent of CD’s, I jumped along with everyone else.
Whilst I imagine some music junkies here of the Gen X or older variety would have collections in the hundreds (or bigger), I personally have bought 130-150 CD’s over the years, about 500 tracks on ITunes, and countless more Music DVD’s & Blu Rays.
I even have some titles on DVD Audio (High Fidelity), which sounded awesome.
Pity they never took off, along with SACD.

Point being, I love music in all its forms, however flawed.
Anyhow, I decided to scratch the itch.
Over the last 2 weeks, I’ve done a mountain of research on Vinyl collecting as a hobby, and suitable Turntables.
What started as an innocent “I’ll just buy an entry level model from a reputable brand, and a few Records”, has turned into a much larger financial commitment.
But that’s my nature.

So why go back to an outdated, and many will say inferior, technology ?
I guess a portion of the reason is a sense of nostalgia.
Buying records as a kid was a great experience, particulary when funds were low.
Sure, you could listen on your favourite radio station, wait till your favourite songs came on, then Press the Play & Record buttons simultaneously for free music, but it often sounded sh*t.
Full of static, and that ■■■■ disc jockey that would talk all the way thru the intro.
Bringing home a pristine Vinyl Record in all its High Fidelity, was the pinnacle.

Second reason…
I’ve always enjoyed having physical copies of music.
Unless I absolutely must must listen to a song or album immediately, I will often wait to purchase the CD.
With impressive album art, and large inserts found within often obtaining lyrics, the whole experience becomes just that, an experience with a Vinyl Record.

Now, I’m far from an audiophile.
I only know enough to get me started to listening to Vinyl again, though I do have some decent equipment which I already owned.
I’m not going to be drawn into the argument of what sounds better, CD’s or Vinyl.
What I will say is, it’s different.
I could throw out all number of ■■■■■ terms like…
" the sound is warmer " , " there is more detail " , or " it’s more open ",
but I’d be talking out of my ar*e.
Certainly, there are challenges.
Dust and dirty records being the worse (apart from scratches).
Only in the last 2 weeks did I learn that Wet Cleaning is a thing when it comes to Records.
A mandatory thing when we are talking about purchasing original used Pressings from the 70’s/80’s.

No matter how clean you get your Records, you will always here some cracks and pops, which I’ve had to get used to again, even with new records.
What I will say though, when you get a new record that’s been Remastered, and play it on a decent system with a clean stylus (eg. Grace / Jeff Buckley), it sounds freakin awesome.

Lastly, I’m listening to whole albums again (or at least 1 side).
Whereas recently, I was finding myself jumping from artist to artist on my IPod, and even just listening to parts of songs.
Ultimately, I had the music on in the background.
It had become impersonal.
It had ceased to become an experience.
There is something to be said of listening to an album all the way thru, the way the artist intended.
Yes, I know you could do this with a CD, but its way too easy to toggle thru the tracks.
I’ve definitely discovered some gems lately, by being more involved in the listening experience.

So, are there many Vinyl junkies on Bomberblitz ?
Have you continued to listen to LP’s thru the Digital age.
What is your collection like ?
Post a pic of any unusual Vinyl you may have (coloured/translucent etc).

I’m interested to hear if anyone is like me, and only got back into it recently.
What were your reasons ?

I’m half expecting the Gen Y element to come in here, and tell me how much time they spend cleaning their FLAC collections, so I’ll save you the hassle B)

Fantastic thread/post bltn.

You’ve just described my childhood and early teens in that fourth paragraph down to a tee. I used to record stuff from radio stations and make mix tapes too. Also get your frustration with the radio announcer crapping on through the intro of the song that you’ve waited ages for to come on and record.

As a kid I used to love going to a record store and just poring over all my favourite albums, pulling out the record to check inside for any extras such as posters, lyric sheets, stickers, application forms for fan clubs and whatnot.

I had a fascination with KISS at that stage too and loved collecting their albums when pocket money permitted. Buying their albums was an experience in itself.

With the advent of CDs I turned to them too and upgraded all their albums onto the new format but it didn’t feel the same, sure the sound quality was better but to really enjoy it it was more fun to physically hold the cover on your hands whilst listening to the album. You almost felt a certain connection with the band.

In my late 20’s/early 30’s I started going to record fairs and second hand record shops and began collecting their albums again. That was a helluva lot of fun to do. Managed to collect almost their entire back catalogue for about the same price that they were when they were beand new decades earlier and all intact and excellent condition wkth the extras too.

I was fortunate enough to live close to an excellent second hand record store where I was able to source most of my albums but wasn’t adverse to trawling the length and breadth of the city to find anything that was hard to come by.

Vinyl for me was more than just a listening experience, it meant so much more to me.

I agree with what you say about the superior experience and having the physical product. That is why I don’t buy or download digital music. I still have heaps of vinyl but the sound quality is not good enough even with a high quality turntable, tonearm etc. As you say - too many pops and crackles.

Anyway it is all there waiting till I retire to have enough time to rip it, because much of it is not available on CD.

I assume that is yours Wim ?

My Grandmother had one similar.
I must have listened to ABBA Arrival on it at least 100 times (don’t judge) !

I assume that is yours Wim ?

My Grandmother had one similar.
I must have listened to ABBA Arrival on it at least 100 times (don’t judge) !

More specifically it’s my parents’s’s, and they’ve given it to me at my request.
And ABBA greatest hits would have been the most played record after the red and the blue album, I reckon.
It doesn’t work at the moment.
When I get time I’ll get an expert in to see how much they can keep of the original and get it up and running.

I’ve got a crappy plastic turntable 3in1 stereo at the moment, and it does the job.
But I can’t wait to get the vinyl running on this again.

I assume that is yours Wim ?

My Grandmother had one similar.
I must have listened to ABBA Arrival on it at least 100 times (don’t judge) !

But I can’t wait to get the vinyl running on this again.

It will become a great talking point when you entertain friends I’d guess.
Not to mention the reaction from little ones when they see this pre-historic music player.

Hopefully, the serviceman can get it running at correct speeds, and you can put a new/half decent cartridge on it.

And as to the rest of the topic…
Of course I use Spotify like everyone else now, with a tiny powerful speaker.
And making playlists is fun.

But it’s a different experience to playing vinyl.
And I’m not an audiophile. It would be nice if my hearing was a) that good anymore and b) that refined.
But I can tell the difference in sound.
It’s the difference between liking a song and not, in some cases.
The only vinyl I’ve bought in the internet era is a Florence and the Machine album, and…I just fell in love with the sound. And F and the M are good, but they’re not that good.

I’m surprised by how affordable used vinyl is.
Provided you purchase Near Mint or Very Good as a grading of the Record itself, and clean the records thoroughly before playing, the sound quality should be very good.

For an indication, I purchased 9 Used LP’s from an EBay Seller for $166 all in Very Good condition.
The exception being The Best of Steely Dan whereby a couple a tracks appear to be affected by a scratch (damn).
A lot of them are doubles such as The Eagles Live and Billy Joel Live in Russia.
The Sting LP on a striking blue vinyl skews that figure a bit as it was $40, but it’s near mint condition.
Steely Dan was $27, so effectively got the remaining 7 titles for $100.
Toni Childs, Robert Cray, Allison Moyet, America, Doobie Brothers etc…

I guess I will have to become more shrewd with my collecting habits.

Vinyl has never left my life. I bought my first LP when I was 11 (Diesel And Dust), bought a few more, then CDs took over for a bit. However, being into punk and alternative music from the start of the 90s meant my older brother and I kept getting vinyl 12"s and 7"s, because some bands didn’t put out CD singles or even get big enough to have albums.

All through the 90s my collection grew steadily. I even proudly had my own band release a 7". But at the start of the 2000s I made my full shift to vinyl. A friend and I got heavily into early 80s post-punk, electro, and no wave, and a lot of this stuff had never been re-released in any other format. We hit up Melbourne’s record stores, junk shops, fairs, and flea markets every week. Our collections fluctuated as we found gems cheap and flipped em on to hip stores for cash.

In 2003 I moved to Japan, aka the best country in the world to find vinyl. I left boxes at my mum’s and began a new collection. I eventually replaced pretty much all of the stuff I owned on CD in Australia. I continue to buy (and sometimes sell) to this day. My collection has at times been up in the thousands, currently I have about 700 pieces of vinyl and only about 40 cds.

I don’t understand why people by digital music. Playing music is a very physical thing for me - running my finger along the spines, sliding the record out of its sleeve, gentle placing the needle, flipping to side B - you pay way more attention to the full product, you listen to the whole thing, and you play it in the order the artist intended. I just feel like a digital collection is throwaway; you don’t actually own the product, it’s limiting to where you can play it, it could vanish in some disastrous crash.

I have digital music on my computer, but it is everything I own in my actual collection. I haven’t paid for any of this - it’s ripped from cds or vinyl I own or have owned, or downloaded through shared vinyl blog sites. I’ve never denied an artist money unless we are nitpicking about secondhand. I do play digital music way more, but that’s cos I’m out and about and use my iPod. But if I like a new artist I buy it on vinyl. (Usually you get a free download coupon in your vinyl purchase these days.)

Anyway, last year I bought a new turntable, a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon, a Denon amp, and some Dali Zensor bookshelf speakers. I spent a couple of grand. It sounds superb - deep, warm, clear. Vinyl is the way to go. Bltn, you’ve listed all the good points. Having a good stereo setup and clean, good condition vinyl is unbeatable. Even my 4-year-old loves pulling out random jackets and eagerly awaiting the sound to come through.

@ mrjez.

Thanks for your contribution buddy.
Looks like you will be the man to seek advise around here on all things Vinyl.
700 pieces…wow, quite the collection.

Funny you should mention the Pro-ject Debut Carbon.
This is what I purchased on Monday.

The Esprit…

Thanks for the incentive to while away my time on a warm night and revisit my vinyl collection.
I’ve 700+ long players and a hundred or so singles and eps, many since converted to MP3s, I’m looking at them now.
My son has said he wants them when I cark it and some of his mates reckon they’re cool, which is a bit of a worry when I think about it. I’m deaf so all of this crap about the superiority and warmth of the LP vs the “it’s just a bit of fuzz on an inferior format” is honestly beyond me. Nearly everything I have is now up on Youtube, even the obscure stuff and the ■■■■■■ bootlegs. The LP art is basically the only thing making them unique but honestly I didn’t buy them for the visuals.
The best of them? Here’s my top 10. (I’ve arbitrarily eliminated all greatest hits stuff and the obvious stuff that everyone has - of which I have my fair share.) Not in any order, except for Number 1.

  1. Jarrett’s 10 album SunBear Concerts- but I put my son off Jarrett by playing him too much so it will probably end up on Ebay where it will fetch a reasonable price and hopefully a owner with taste.
  2. Loudon Wainwright 111, his first album and he might be a “motherfooking ahole” according to his daughter but Black Uncle Remus is one of the great pop folk tracks.
  3. Steely Dan Countdown to Ecstasy - probably the best of a great bunch and Show Business Kids might yet be the new US National Anthem.
  4. Skids Scared to Dance. Follows the Keith Richards LP formula of a single and 10 tracks of ■■■■ but when the single is as good as “Into the Valley” who cares (even if it became a sort of fascist anthem)
  5. Springsteen’s The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle- the kid before he become an insufferable Captain America - Sandy is his best ballad and New York City Serenade still moves me. The LP even has the references I think to Columbia excised because they arrived in Oz before they were supposed to, which makes it even more special in my eyes.
  6. Sinatra at the Sands with the Count Basie Orchestra. I left the LP in the back of the car and the vinyl is warped a bit but it’s still the best version of “I’ve got you under my skin” going round.
  7. No Regrets Doug Parkinson - Includes Doug’s meritorious version of Dear Prudence and the infectious and truly laughable “Love Gun” - the lyrics were too embarrassing to be a hit but a great hook.
  8. Joni Mitchell Blue - Well this one is a staple but it’s just so good. If any songsmith deserved the Nobel, it’s Joni.
  9. Al Di Meola Land of the Midnight Sun- with Chick Corea on the title track. One of those LPs that made me realise I was missing something.
  10. Kate and Anna McGarrigle- self titled - Kate was married to Loudon for a while and this pop country album is just soooo pretty it aches.
  11. Little Feat - Where do you start? With Sailin’ Shoes I reckon and the wonderful Neon Parks’ best cover illustration, IMO.
  12. Obsecration, the great Lobby Loyde’s concept album. Red cover with a great inner sleeve and, unlike a lot of my stuff, in near mint condition. Sans balls of any hue.
  13. La Dusseldorf’s Viva - Krautrock at its finest with another great inner sleeve.
  14. Gary Glitter - self titled. Yep I have it and I still occasionally play it and yeah I know…but I like Caravaggio too.
  15. Elvis Costello and the Attractions Get Happy - Before he got boring and mellow, like the rest of us?
  16. Brian Cadd self titled- so talented and it’s a shame he spent so much time sucking up to the Yanks, who never took to him anyway but this is one of the great unheralded Oz pop albums.
  17. Gato Barbieri In Search of the Mystery- A great fiery saxophonist who you have heard if you’ve seen “Last Tango” but this was before that and before he played disco fillers, this was as pure an approach to free music as I’ve ever heard.
  18. David Ackles American Gothic. Was going to be the next Dylan and never was but I bought his albums and this was his best. The song Montana is his epic and his classic. Actually produced by Elton John’s musical partner, Bernie Taupin, but that’s where the comparison ends.
  19. Parliament Motor Bootie Affair - with Sir Nose devoid of funk on the picture disc - my son wants this so bad!
  20. The Pointer Sisters Live At The Opera House- When there were 4 of them and they were quite simply the best live pop or rock act in the world. Believe it or not.
  21. Betty Harris In the Saddle- OK I broke by best of rule but this is a great RnB collection and includes the unmissable “Ride Your Pony”
  22. Tom Waits Nighthawks at the Diner - before he became everyone’s favourite post bop beatnik

So that’s my top 10, never said I could count, and here they are all gathered together for a celebratory pic. And I’d probably change it tomorrow.

PS I have a turntable but I’m down to the last needle.
How’s that for self indulgence!

Ah, that’s beautiful. Mine is green, as it seemed to be the only one I could buy in Japan. But I like it now. That one has the speed switch, right? I have to lift the platter and change the belt manually. All part of the hands on experience!

Wow…this is certainly dragging up a few memories from the past.

I have always loved music…it’s with me wherever I am…I get up in the morning and turn on the music and it stays on until I go to bed (unless I want to watch something on TV).

I started buying 45s while I was still in primary school and also bought things like 24 Happening Hits. We had a really old radiogram to play them on until my older sister got a small turntable as a present.

She introduced me to the likes of Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and David Bowie (this was before her taste in music turned to crap).

Then I got a cassette radio player and so I started buying cassettes until finally my parents bought a three in one for the lounge room.

That was when I really got hooked…the first vinyl album I bought was I Robot by The Alan Parsons Project and over the next 10 or so years I probably bought around 500 LPs.

I was in music heaven when JB Hi Fi opened the first shop in East Keilor as several nights a week, I would make my way up there to trawl through the new releases or just look for older stuff that I didn’t own.

For my 21st I asked my parents to just give me cash as I wanted to buy a proper turntable, amp, speakers etc.

Then came the advent of CDs and I sold my soul…the record player was packed away and I started replacing all my vinyl with CDs. My LPs were placed in milk crates and stored in spare rooms until I decided that I was moving to Perth when I sold a lot of them. The rest came with me and were stored in the spare room wherever I was living.

A few years ago, my nephew from Melbourne came to visit me in Perth…he’s a lot like me in that he loves music and we would sit for hours discussing the various artists that we liked…he told me that he had recently bought a turntable and that he was now buying vinyl only…he wanted to know if I still had any of my old records and when i told him I did, he asked if I could get them out.

I did so and told him that he could have any that he wanted…he took nearly 30 and marked another 40-50 that he will take another time when he visits.

I decided to get my old turntable out…unfortunately, it hadn’t stood the test of time and was oozing a strange green liquid so I wasn’t able to play any of my albums.

But such is life…I still plays CDs, I download music and usually have my iPod playing in the background…I’m not fussed about the mechanics of playing my music…as long as I can play it.

Ah, that's beautiful. Mine is green, as it seemed to be the only one I could buy in Japan. But I like it now. That one has the speed switch, right? I have to lift the platter and change the belt manually. All part of the hands on experience!

Changing the belt is so easy, but with an equal number of LP’s and 45’s, and having a 13yo who will be using it, I thought it might be a handy feature.
I knew that eventually I would want to upgrade to the Acrylic Platter and the 2M Red cartridge, so thought what the hell, spend the extra money now.

I’d guess on your machine, you have the Ortofon OM10, though you may have the Red Cartridge, as I noticed a number of Overseas sellers had upgraded the Cartridge.
When you require a Cartridge change or Stylus change, it might be an idea to upgrade your table to the Ortofon 2M Blue.
Not a ridiculous amount of money that would yield definite improvement in sound.

Great posts GRR & Swoodley.

I’m really enjoying reading about people’s different musical journeys through the decades, and the impressive collections obtained.

Given the various incarnations of music threads over the past few years, I’m surprised no one had started a Vinyl thread before !

CDs started gaining popularity around the same time as I started getting into music, so I missed out on a lot of the vinyl experience as a young un.

I bought a record player a couple of years back as as lot of artists and albums that I wanted (80s punk/indie) were only released on vinyl and werent popular enough for re-release.

I think it’s fantastic that my fave band (Pearl Jam) are dedicated vinyl lovers and release a lot of their stuff on vinyl these days.

I’m not an audiophile by any stretch but I do like the crackle and pop when listening to vinyl. Sounds better thru headphones too I think.

I have about 20-25 albums in my collection. Mostly re-issues but a few that I’ve kept from when I was a kid.

When I was a small kid (child of the 70s) my sister and I had a room at the back of the house to play in. One of the things we had in there was an old record player and a bunch of 7" records with kids stuff on them. I always liked mechanical stuff and this old record player was floor standing, I think it could only play 7" records and it had a mechanism that would swap them so it could play a bunch one after the other. As a small kid that fascinated me, and trying to make the whole thing work all automatic was a huge part of the appeal.

Later when I got into my tweens I started buying music. I bought a lot of the early AC/DC records and I had a couple missing to complete the set of the Aussie issue Bon-Scott records. I bought one of those at a second hand shop many years ago and having looked at this thread I thought I might try and complete the set using ebay (buying vinyl on ebay had never occured to me). I was shocked to see how expensive these records are, especially the old issue ones with the purple and yellow Alberts label in the middle, which is what I have. I guess that they have become collectable because they were only issued down here but now people want them all over the world.

In the 90’s I went back to school and spent the bulk of the decade as a student, later doing postgraduate studies. In the late 90’s I was living in StKilda and often went by really good second hand record shops in my day to day getting about. I started buying vinyl again because I didn’t have a lot of money and could pick up good second hand records very cheaply. My flat mates were younger than me, but when I set up a record player they got into it too. At some point my Grandparents became incapable of looking after themselves and I took my Grandpa’s old record player home. It was a circa 1970 model, with a pizo-electric cartridge and it had a stacking feature. This worked by pulling the pin out of the centre of the turntable and replacing it with a pin about 5" long, which had a mechanism to hold the records up above and drop one down at a time. You could set up half a dozen records or so and it would play a single side on each one after the other. We were drinking in the flat one Saturday arvo and I set it all up with a bunch of records we’d bought around town. That really blew my flatmates away. One time a stack of records fell down and broke the needle, and I never bothered getting it going again (I had other turntables). I moved overseas and left the old record player in the flat (it was a system with separate floor standing speakers). Years later I stopped by, as one of my old flat mates was still living there. He’d replaced the needle and had it set up in his room all working, it was great to see someone I liked still getting enjoyment out of it.

Back in those days one of my mates gave me an old 80’s Marantz Hi-Fi turntable. I bought a kit from Jaycar and soldered up a pre-amp for it. Some weeks ago I got it out and started playing some of my old vinyl for the first time in many years. I’m not sure exactly what I like about it, some of it is nostalgia and sentiment, some of it is that I have certain music on vinyl that I don’t have otherwise, and some of it is because they were things I bought and valued when I was very young, and that I still value and get enjoyment out of now. I have records which were basically the first things I decided to buy with my own free taste, and somehow that means something to me; I still have pretty much every record I ever bought and I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of them. I don’t have much interest in buying more vinyl, and my collection is only around 50 records, but it’s full of stuff that I still really like listening to. I agree with what has been said here that playing records is a different experience, and I can’t really put my finger on all of why, but there’s something about it that makes me happy.

I don’t own any vinyl, but my number one memory of listening to it is at my auntie’s house when I was somewhere between 2 and 5 (we moved away interstate when I was 5) listening to Sesame Street’s Manamana song.

It was in Manly, in a circa 1910 three storey house called Bower Hall and it was in the fully renovated ballroom, complete with french polished wall panelling and a giant chandelier. It was Christmas time, I was sitting in her bay window, Christmas tree set up to my right, all of the presents underneath ready to go. I still remember the acoustics in that room to this day.

Next most vivid memory is when I was probably somewhere around 8-10 years old, listening to my grandmother’s vinyl in her Anglican Church - run flat in Elizabeth, SA. I would listen to records of 50s crooners and divas for hours on end sitting on the same couch she’d probably had for years, dark green velvety material, high backed eating madeira cake and drinking tea.

If you want a simple reason why vinyl sounds different to digital is because vinyl has more room for ‘errors’. Needle wear, record wear, deepness of grooves, quality of stamp and record itself, where it was stamped even the humidity all affect what ends up being put out of your speakers. Digital like cd does have error codes built in but the natural distortion of vinyl doesn’t match a mathematical formula. The natural distortion makes the sound full so to speak. Less gaps. Warmth is used cause its a thicker sound. Digital is like a lab. You get exact same repeatable results.

Real instruments sound better on vinyl to me provided you’re using a good amp and speakers.

Best thing about vinyl to me was the fact that the artist really thought about cover art. Hard to do so now with an image on your phone or screen. The hours I read album leaflets and inserts cover to cover… Flipping through vinyl is also fun as you never knew when you could find a bargain. Cds never quite had the same experience.

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