|[ Vinyl world ]|
Since the introduction in the audio market of the compact disc, the vinyl record has almost disappeared as the main method of storage and reproduction of recordered music. The CD is a more convenient method of storing music and has some advantages over the record: it's smaller, has an almost infinite life and the sound quality is very good. Due to these, a lot of people has seen the record as something not good enough to be in their music collections. With a sound as good as the one we get from CD's, how can we use these awful records?
I remember clearly the first time I heard a CD. It was at a large store in my city at the beginnig of the 80's. The music was from Dire Strait's Alchemy record. I had this record but I didn't notice that the sound I was listening to was from something I listened almost every day. I didn't recognize it. The sound was so clear! No clicks or pops with the music. Then I realized that someday I will have a machine like that. Now I have one.
If the sound of the CD surprised me, I was more surprised when I listened a turntable again at the beginning of the 90s. It was an Audiomeca turntable and the sound was incredible. It was an unbelievable experience. How was it possible? An incredible good sound from LP? What has changed?
First of all I have changed. I have a trained ear able to listen carefully to music. But also turntables had changed. We had low or very low TT, but now these machines were incredible build. Perhaps due to the existence of the new media, the CD, turntable's manufacturers decided to produce the best quality machines.
So, I decided to get more information about turntables. The first thing I noticed was that good TTs were always presenst. But many of us didn't enjoy them. We had basic TT like BSR or perhaps better units like Garrards or Thorens.The second thing was that now TTs were built better than ever. Specially designed motors, high level tonearms, first quality components, ultra good finishes, exceptional cartridges, cables, etc, etc. With all these things we could have a TT with as good souns as the CD. As you can imageine I prefer a turntable and a good vinyl record but I still own many CD players becasuse I thing that both are complementary technologies. The selection of one of them depends only on the preferences of the user.
My research arrived to a point where I needed to buy a TT. Now I knew that to achieve the maximun fidelity when playing LP's with a TT I had to use a good machine, a good TT. So I decided to take a look to the TT audio market. In fact I'm liying because I always had a TT. From the BSR to the NAD 5120. But they were low-mid quality TT's, that didn't sound as good as the media LP could sound. So after some months of research I bougth in a special offer (very special) a Thorens TD 166 Mk VI (see image and sepecifications). Then I realized how good was the LP. The sound was exceptional.
As you know I'm a vintage audio fan, so the most logical thing to do was to try to find a vintage turntable to restore and listen to it. After a long period of research I found a spanish TT, the Vieta G-100. My main goal was to obtain something better and after searching in my city I finaly found the Thorens TD124.
If you want to see my classic TT's, click on the links below.
Maybe, after reading those lines you are thinkinkg that you need a new turntable. And the obvious question is, which turntable should I buy? Here you have a small list of entry level turntables. Remember to surf the net to get more info about them.
If you need more information, visit my links section, Jerry Raskin's Needledoctor or Phono Phono web sites.
Now you have a new TT and I supose you want to play some records on it. The question you have is, where I could buy new records? It is not very difficult. You should know that records have been always present in records shops. For instance, DJ's have been using records for a long time. But usually these records are very low quality ones. Recording and pressing processes are not good enough. One reason maybe that they are only used for scratching and to do remixes. So quality isn't important. But if you want good music from records you should buy good quality pressings. There're two ways to get these good pressings. First is to obtain original recordings pressed in the gold vinyl era, that means before the introduction of the CD and specially those recorded in the 50's and 60's. The price of these records may vary from almost nothing to high prices. It depends on the condition of the record, the demand for a given title, etc. The best to get your hand on these LP's is to visit records shops, garage sales, etc.
But there's another way to get good vinyl records for your TT. Many record companys, knowing the increasing demand for high quality vinyl records, are again manufacturing them. They use the best recording systems available and, if they are reediting an old recording, they try to use the original master tapes. These records are made very carefully and the quality of the sound is impressive. The vinyl used is top quality, 180 gr, and everything in the reediton is identical to the original...the cover, the photographs, etc. This is a very good way to obtain the highest quality material available for your TT. Here's a list of some of this record labels producing these vinyl jewels.
The best way to buy these records is using the internet. In the net you could find excelent dealers with all these marvellous recordings available for you. One of the best dealers is Audiophile International. They have all this stuff. Every month they send a flyer with all the new records available. The packing is professionaly done. Efficiency is their rule.
Now the decision is yours. Go ahead!