Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ride The Grooves

Sorry about the severe lack of updates but the sunshine calls and I dare not miss out on some sorely needed Vitamin D. Anyways, I am now the proud owner of a new turntable which should keep me basement-dwelling for the rest of the summer. After much deliberation, I decided that a new turntable was in order. I had a shitty deck from the 70s that I picked up for about $60 several years ago, but the needle had had it and it has sat collecting dust for the last few months. The records have been coming in but the means to hear them was naught. Well, kids, let me tell you that it is more than worth your hard earned cash to invest in a decent turntable. I picked up a Rega Planar 1, which is a British made, entry level deck that you can get for about $400 if you shop around. I nabbed mine at Signature Audio on Cambie and 15th.

The difference between my old deck and this new one is night and day. I'm currently playing the Metallica Ride the Lightning re-issue (half speed mastered, 180gr, 2x45rpm 12"s--also limited to 100 copies. Get it fast!) and I can never again listen to this on CD or on my old, shitty turntable. I compared the CD version with the LP and there is quite a difference. The CD is all high end, a much sharper sound. Crisp I believe is the term. Fuck crisp, this LP is super warm. The bass kicks in the gut rather than hanging around in the background. The guitars sound as if they are being played right in front of me rather than recorded a million miles away. Don't even get me started on the drums, which is about as close to Lars as I would ever want to get.

Another great, entry level turntable that I had my eyes on, and you can get on the cheap, is the Pro-ject Debut III. This is $350 and you can pick it up at Commercial Electronics on Burrard. They also have a version with a USB hook up installed inside of it so's that you can digify all yr vinyl, if you're into that kinda thing, which I soon will be. In the next month or so, I will be picking up the Fono Mini amp for the Rega that will allow me to rip some of the OOP vinyl that I have, all so I can share it with ya'll.

Special thanks to Joe for all the help with seeking out a new deck. I wouldn't have even known where to start.

Later in the week there will be music updates. Also, got that Stars of the Lid show in it's entirety and it will be uploaded soon. Peep it!


Saelan said...

man, you really dropped some dimes. i've owned 3 turntables in my time: two were free, and the other was $30. you make it sound worth it, though.

Mark E. Rich said...

It really is worth it, especially if you are listening to 180gr+ wax. I still have yet to play a beat up record on this deck, which actually kinda scares me. I don't think I want dirty, dusty, scratchy records contaminating my fresh needle. Need to pick up some stylus cleaner and some cleaner for my records. And a brush...it never ends. Must protect the grooves!

Bjorn said...

Dude you could've just changed your needle.

Piratina said...

I agree, of the turntables I have owned they have been free, one hand me down from the rents and a side of the road grab, though if I had of invested sometime and money into aquiring a TT then they probably would have lasted and not broke down on my ass. And now its simply unrealistic to drop 400 bones on a new one. Alas the pressures of a mortgage.
I envy you, to an extent.

P.S. Last night I played Ride The Lightening on the drums on rock band and it reminded me of the days when I would sit listening to Metallica in my bedroom as an angsty teen.

Mark E. Rich said...


It takes more than a just a needle to pull out the potential of a decent turntable. My previous table was pretty shitty. It did the job but, after hearing what a great table could do, I had no choice but to fork over the money for a great tt. I wouldn't expect the king of 25 cent records to understand.

amir said...

Let me know how ripping the vinyl to mp3 goes. I've been meaning to do this myself, but I keep putting it off for whatever reason(s)

I have a pretty decent turntable right now, but that Project Debut USB looks pretty sweet.

Bjorn said...

I'm just trying to save you money so you can buy more records.

P.S.: You don't need to buy any "special cleaner" to clean your records either, jeez.

Mark E. Rich said...

Definitely will update you on the MP3 ripping, Amir. I have to pick up that USB amp hook up soon. Also need a program to separate all the tracks on the LP's.


I'm not entirely convinced on stylus/LP cleaner, but I also don't see how it could harm a record/needle. All the decent record shops in town (AudioPile and Neptoon for sure)clean all their records before putting them out. Stylus cleaners just dissolve all the dust and crud that gets picked up after hundreds of plays. Seems like a good thing to have.