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Who's (still) using a turntable / record player as their home primary music playback deviece..?


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I am.. Anyone else..?

Running a Denon DP-30L with a couple different tone arm / cartridge / stylus setups through a JVC RX-507V power amp for 33 1/3 & 45 rpm stereo recordings and have a couple different Califone record players for 16/33/45/78 mono's.. If the name sounds familiar, Califone was a staple of  many school districts, finding its way onto A/V carts in order to provide the sound track for film strips and otherwise silent 16mm films..

Swamp
 

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Records are seeing a come back with serious audio folks.  This digital stuff is Tinny and just doesn't do it.

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6 minutes ago, homefire said:

Records are seeing a come back with serious audio folks.  This digital stuff is Tinny and just doesn't do it.

You got it, Homefire.. That's why I have the: (still).. Kinda curious to also find out if anyone has either re-bought a turntable after ditching theirs back when or if any of the younger folks have recently purchased one for the first time due to the renewed interest in vinyl thanks to its superior sound quality and/or the whole mystique about vinyl and its larger sized packaging in general..

Swamp

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On a clean, record you can hear someones fingers going up and down the guitar strings.  Only Top of the line Digital formats not available to people can come close to that..  I have about $4,000 1980 dollars worth of records and nothing to play them on .  Look at the prices on a good new turn table..

Edited by homefire
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5 hours ago, homefire said:

...I have about $4,000 1980 dollars worth of records and nothing to play them on .  Look at the prices on a good new turn table...

Yeah, if you look into audiophile the sticker shock can be heart stopping.. :th:

First though, when you say you have nothing to play them on, do you mean nothing nothing or are you just needing a turntable to hook into the rest of an already existing system..? 

If you only need a turntable I'd check a place like Sam Ash for new and either eBay or locally for used / rebuilt..

If you need everything I'd say forget about rebuilding a system and still check Sam Ash, because they carry a decent enough USB turntable -- a Stanton for around $150..

If you have the rest of your stereo components they stock a couple of Pro DJ units.. For about $300 you can pick up a new belt drive Numark.. I rate it somewhat better-than-adequate.. For higher-end they stock a thousand dollar direct drive Stanton I always see priced there at $599.. Thing is, if you're going new by the time you get to $600 you can begin to comparison shop.. Still, that Stanton is kinda hard to beat at that price point..

The real deals are on eBay, or at least they used to be.. I haven't checked turntables in a couple of years or more, but at one time there were two or three people who did rebuilds and also warrantied their work.. Short warranty, but still.. Beat the heck out of the other used unknowns..

I'd also check locally.. Just might be a guy at the flea market with a storage shed half full of ones he has working well again..

Anyhow, FWIW..

Swamp

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JB Lansing!!!!! Cut my teeth on Led Zep and a pair of JBL studio monitors. How many tracks can Page lay down? As many as he wanted. I heard them all.

(and a strange bubbling sound...hmmm seemed to be on every Zep album)

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4 hours ago, Au Seeker said:

...Bong...

Are you thinkin' what I'm thinkin'? -- that they had a grandfather clock right inside the control room door..? Wouldn't put it past them...:rolleyes:

Swamp

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I have (and use occasionally) a JVC QL-A220 turntable that I bought in the '80s. I hooked it up to my Onkyo home theater receiver and the sound is awesome. I kept a few very old 45's from when I was a kid, as well as a couple of Sons of the Pioneer albums that were my dad's, dating back to 1958. I have a few albums from the '60s, but the majority of my album collection is from the 70's and 80's, including Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, Elton John, The Eagles, The Who & a many others; a stack of vinyl roughly 12" high. I haven't got a clue how much they are worth now but I'm not ready to part with most of them just yet.

Lisa

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Part with them??? Why in heavens name as about half the songs are still being played as the 60s-70s bands still rule the airwaves :yesss: biggest best righteous concert coming at Cochella with the best a the best and over 60 ages for the bands mandatory YAHOO-John

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14 hours ago, Oregal1976 said:

I have (and use occasionally) a JVC QL-A220 turntable that I bought in the '80s. I hooked it up to my Onkyo home theater receiver and the sound is awesome. I kept a few very old 45's from when I was a kid, as well as a couple of Sons of the Pioneer albums that were my dad's, dating back to 1958. I have a few albums from the '60s, but the majority of my album collection is from the 70's and 80's, including Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, Elton John, The Eagles, The Who & a many others; a stack of vinyl roughly 12" high. I haven't got a clue how much they are worth now but I'm not ready to part with most of them just yet.

Lisa

Lisa,

Smart usage of components and very cool for stereo playback.. Mono is a different animal which I'll touch on in a moment..

Couple of things:

Storage: If you actually really do have your albums / 45s in a stack, which that is how many people keep them, please stand 'em on edge.. Laying flat over time the 45s especially will "dish" as it's known and the albums will either dish or warp depending on a number of factors..

Worth: For the most part US pressings (of name artists) from the early-mid 70s through the mid-80s have little if any additional collectable value due to the large quantity of units issued.. Fortunately inflation plays a partial role.. A 1st pressing album you bought new in say 1974 for $4.19 I'd expect to pay between $9 - $15 today if complete and in top condition.. However it doesn't take much to cut that price in half while still ending up with an excellent copy.. And since the new group of vinyl buyers are much more interested in condition than collectability, even 2nd, 3rd and later pressings in NM+ can bring in the $6 - 9 range.. All the above though is offset by folks just "blowing out their vinyl" (may or may not really be theirs as purchased new) who start their auctions at $.99 or even a penny.. One can build a heckuva good album collection cheaply & quickly by watching eBay and finding someone doing exactly this while also offering combined shipping.. Your wild card is actual condition of albums when received..

Again for the most part, it's recording artists of the 70s & 80s who began their careers in the 60s is where the $$ collectable items lay.. And if they're Brit bands it's almost always the UK issues worth the biggest $$s, especially album-wise but also their earliest (promo) 45s as well..

Mono pressings: Mono was an amazing format.. A mono album that's unlistenable to on a stereo can play through without any sticks or skips and only a few audible tics on a mono rig.. Even pristine mono vinyl doesn't sound right played back through a stereo setup.. This is due to mono needles being "fatter" and heavier tone arm weight.. A stereo needle doesn't get good 'reception' off the mono groove wall, and its sharper point can damage the bottom of the cut as well..

I'm getting away from myself here, lol.. Just a few things about vinyl is all..

Swamp

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I have a Kenwood system from the eighties. The amp itself has a built in 4 band parametric eq. Im hanging on to that one. Makes the cassettes sound sharp as CD's. To me anyway. "Kids" dont know what they don't have anymore. Say the word parametric in front of them and enjoy the look on their faces.

  I've not had the pleasure of listening through a pair of JBL's yet. I'll get a pair right after I get my 5000, and the Tacoma and another 74 Les Paul, and some new clothes. Maybe right after my new hearing aid, aww who am I kidding.

 Good memories though. Or is it memorex?

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Pretty awesome info, Swamp! Thanks! For several years after my old analog Onkyo AM/FM receiver crapped out, I couldn't listen to my albums at all. It took me a while to figure out what it would take get good sound from my turntable again using a digital home theater receiver. Google and a little research, along with a trip to Fry's Home Electronics made it all happen!

All of my records are stored vertically - it's something my father taught me long ago - and none of them warped. My dad was in radio for many, many years, starting from sometime back in the mid to late 1940's. When I was still very, very little he brought home a 45 "demo/promo" of Elvis singing "Kentucky Rain." I don't know what happened to that one, but I'm kicking myself now! lol

One cool feature on my turntable is the adjustable stylus/arm weight. It's basically an anti-skate feature, I guess, but it does seem to make a bit of a difference in sound quality on the oldest recordings. Speaking of old... "It's A Beautiful Day" (their first album - haven't looked to see if it's original or 2nd press), Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young "4-Way Street" (Woodstock stuff) as well as later Graham Nash and Neil Young solo albums; The Beatles, "Abbey Road"; Steppenwolf, "Monster"; Emerson, Lake & Palmer, "Trilogy"; Rick Wakeman (the Moog Synth Master & genius - my keyboard idol!) '74 & '75 solo albums he recorded in between his years of playing with Yes. Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, Boston, BTO, ELO, etc., and so on. Heck, I've even got Cat Stevens, Rod Stewart, Fleetwood Mac and Loggins & Messina in there. There's actually more than 12" and some were stolen in the late '70s during a burglary, including my Pink Floyd, "Dark Side of the Moon" and Styx, "Equinox."

It's all about nostalgia. Each and every album has it's place and associated memories with different parts and times over the course of my early life. I've always been weird that way about music. I can listen to certain pieces and recall related events from my past so clearly that I actually taste, smell and feel everything connected to the memory and see it in my mind as though I was there again. It's nice to still have that connection to my past and to be able to visit at will. No, I don't live in the past like that all of the time, nor would I want to! Music has always been a HUGE part of my life.

Lisa

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14 hours ago, AZMark said:

I have a Kenwood system from the eighties...

Kenwood did a redesign of their mid and higher end amps in the early 80s.. They also introduced some new technologies (only one I can remember is Pulse Count something) that put them nearly on par with Pioneer, Sansui and the like.. If your amp is a three-digit not ending in zero zero or any four digit, you have a really great amplifier.. The mid-line zero zero's of the latter 80s still sounded good but were victims of cost cutting.. Their metal cases got replaced with plastic.. Asthetics alone made them 'sound' cheaper than they actually were..

Pretty much the only 80s Kenwood stuff that wasn't so hot from the beginning were their low-end two-digit items, KA-50 for example.. Cheesy looking plastic cases and too-small power supplies most likely did more to hurt the brand's higher-end image than any profit they might have made by wanting to compete in a flooded down-market setting.. Yet even though underpowered in order to compete at that level, those amps still sounded decent..

Swamp

PS -- Now that I think about it Mark, a cassette should sound better than a CD.. No digital chopping out of song pieces-parts..

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15 hours ago, Oregal1976 said:

...One cool feature on my turntable is the adjustable stylus/arm weight...

Lisa

Random sentence.. Had left eye done this AM so still woozy & blurry.. Will get into this in a day or two, hopefully..

In the meantime just letting you know 1st pressings of It's A Beautiful Day's: "It's A Beautiful Day" and "Marrying Maiden" albums are Columbia Red Label.. Second pressings are orange label..

Swamp

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8 hours ago, Swampstomper Al said:

Kenwood did a redesign of their mid and higher end amps in the early 80s.. They also introduced some new technologies (only one I can remember is Pulse Count something) that put them nearly on par with Pioneer, Sansui and the like.. If your amp is a three-digit not ending in zero zero or any four digit, you have a really great amplifier.. The mid-line zero zero's of the latter 80s still sounded good but were victims of cost cutting.. Their metal cases got replaced with plastic.. Asthetics alone made them 'sound' cheaper than they actually were..

Pretty much the only 80s Kenwood stuff that wasn't so hot from the beginning were their low-end two-digit items, KA-50 for example.. Cheesy looking plastic cases and too-small power supplies most likely did more to hurt the brand's higher-end image than any profit they might have made by wanting to compete in a flooded down-market setting.. Yet even though underpowered in order to compete at that level, those amps still sounded decent..

Swamp

PS -- Now that I think about it Mark, a cassette should sound better than a CD.. No digital chopping out of song pieces-parts..

Not sure what I'm looking for exactly. Its a KA-52B. Definitely a metal case and heavy....   I believe you're right about the digital chopping. I listened to my Max Webster CD's in the car for a long time, then I played the albums again one weekend. Sweet, 3D cylindrical notes came rolling out. Neil Young is right about digital=anonymous wall of sound.

 

Edited by AZMark
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10 hours ago, Swampstomper Al said:

In the meantime just letting you know 1st pressings of It's A Beautiful Day's: "It's A Beautiful Day" and "Marrying Maiden" albums are Columbia Red Label..

Get well soon, Swamp!

FYI - mine is, in fact, a first pressing with the red Colombia label. There was an earlier (original) release of that album also. In 1968 "It's A Beautiful Day" was released on the San Fransisco Sounds label and those are worth a lot more.

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17 hours ago, AZMark said:

Not sure what I'm looking for exactly. Its a KA-52B. Definitely a metal case and heavy.... 

Oof..! Don't allow me to type when I'm blind and under anesthesia ever again, 'k..

Incomplete information on my part.. I'd need to do some heavy research, and even then I'm not sure I would be able to find the correct numbering system Kenwood used.. First it's good you have one of the heavy metal-case amps.. Now, here's what I was trying to talk about, as coming from what's left of my memory:

In the very late 70s / early 80s (some of) the mfg's or their lower-end imprints finally came up with a way to move more people away from buying integrated units (combo AM/FM / turntable / cassette / double-cassette / (and in some cases still 8-track too)) and switch them to purchasing individual components (more total units sold, higher profit margins etc..) They did this by 'bundling', offering for examples an integrated amp/tuner / cassette deck and turntable in one package, or an amp / tuner / turntable or cassette deck, or all four (three if integrated amp/tuner..) Speakers and custom rack boxed separately; could be included in the bundle or not that way..

Components are going to be more expensive than integrated systems regardless, so the mfg's needed to lower sticker shock price points.. They accomplished this via substitution and elimination in all items to be bundled i.e. more simple inner workings, smaller power supplies and plastic for metal / cheaper metals wherever possible.. Slap on new model #s, package everything itogether, and voila -- in the stores in time for Christmas..

Which amp model number / numbers went with the packages vs store stock amp inventory from the two-digit series I do not recall.. Find out that info though and you find the amps that were tweaked for down-side bundling..

Swamp

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On 8/8/2016 at 11:52 PM, Oregal1976 said:

...San Fransisco Sounds label...

San Francisco Sound.. Now there's a name I haven't thought about in a really long time.. However, the real story is about the person who set up the label more than the label itself.. This guy, last name Katz, can't remember his first name off the top of my head, somehow in the mid-60s in the Bay Area ended up as manager of early Jefferson Airplane, early Moby Grape and It's A Beautiful Day, along with a couple other bands..

Didn't take long for him to become ex-manager of JA and Moby Grape.. There's a lot of mystery and many holes in the history as far as recordings and manager / bands interaction go.. As hard luck a story as Moby Grape had, one of the crazier things that happened was the band allowed Katz to retain ownership of the name Moby Grape -- ultimately resulting in well over two decades worth of court battles..

As far as (studio) recordings go, I have no idea where any of his stuff of those bands was recorded, or mastered, or pressed etc.. For all I know he could have made boots from Columbia and RCA of JA & Moby.. From what I understand though, "It's A Beautiful Day" is a different master than Columbia's -- with Columbia's havng the superior takes & sonics..

There was never much information out there about Katz, and probably still isn't.. I saw him as a profiteer and not-so-good manager who still wanted a piece of the action after he'd been canned.. Doesn't mean that's what he was, but probably.. I'm actually surprised I remember at least his last name after all these years..

Swamp

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Quote - Oregal1976 ;

".. It's all about nostalgia. Each and every album has it's place and associated memories with different parts and times over the course of my early life. I've always been weird that way about music. I can listen to certain pieces and recall related events from my past so clearly that I actually taste, smell and feel everything connected to the memory and see it in my mind as though I was there again. It's nice to still have that connection to my past and to be able to visit at will. No, I don't live in the past like that all of the time, nor would I want to! Music has always been a HUGE part of my life. " ,  Unquote.

I know exactly what you mean, it does the same to me.  In the late 60's/early 70's, there was an electronics store chain in So. California, went by the name of "Dow Electronics", as I remember.  They had an incredible selection of individual components that would comprise whole systems by different manufacturers.  I was working part time at a student type job, still in school, making $1.50 an hour.  I realized that they had a "Marantz" individual component system that kept calling my name, LOL!   Well, at that part time pay, there was no way I was going to be able to afford that system, which at that time was... in the neighborhood of $800.00 to $900.00, I seem to remember.

Fast forward to 1995, i was in Imperial Beach, CA., with a friend that had to go into a mom and pop type store, think small dry goods, sundries, small selection of clothing, etc., so I decided to go into the store with said friend.  As I was perusing the items, lo and behold, there was the Marantz system that I had sought so many years earlier.  It had been too long to say for sure that it was the exact system or not, but this one had it's own glass fronted(door) wooden cabinet 4 foot tall or so, and all the separate components, and was in mint condition.   It was in the store on a consignment type of sale.  I inquired of the store owner if anyone had shown interest in purchasing it, and he replied that a few people had looked at it, but that was all.  I asked him how long it had been for sale there in his store and he said about two months.   At that time they were asking $450.00 for it.  I kept checking on it for about a month and a half, about every three weeks or so.

I finally asked the store owner to check with the owner of the stereo and see if after almost 4 months, if he would be willing to take $250.00 for the whole thing, operation untested.  I went back a week later to see, and it was a done deal!  Might have been 25 or so years old, but worth the gamble.  To my happy, happy surprise, it was in literally brand new condition.  Every component worked perfectly, and still does.  My 38 year old son wants it now, but I keep telling him, maybe, someday, LOL!

Greg

 

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5 hours ago, AuTSaurus said:

...I know exactly what you mean, it does the same to me.  In the late 60's/early 70's, there was an electronics store chain in So. California...

Greg

I love hearing stories like this..! I guess good things really do come to those who wait..

Similar but different experience: Early aughts.. Spot an ad for a couple boxes of 60s - 70s rock & pop: $75.. Only a few miles away, so I call to go check 'em out.. They're trashed for the most part, maybe 15 - 20 out of 160 + - I'd even consider putting on a turntable.. I tell the guy I'm sorry but no thanks.. I guess he really wants them out of his house, cos he says he knew they weren't in the greatest of shape and starts dropping the price.. I'm like no, no, no -- finally telling him there's only maybe 15 albums out of both boxes combined that're even worth keeping, the rest need to go to the curb..

He says Tell you what.. I'll give you all of 'em for ten bucks, but you have to take that rolling component rack too.. Same as you describe, just under 4' high with glass doors.. Really didn't want it cos I already have one I wasn't using, but I see there's still a couple components in it.. Take a look and there's a Technics SA-323 amp/receiver and a Garrard Model 50 turntable within.. Nothing special but nothing to snub either.. Good solid work horses, well worth $10.. Done deal..! Loaded it into the van along with the records, rolled it into my house -- and it's been sitting in the same corner ever since, not so lol.. I really should test them one of these days.. Not much good having backups if ya don't know if they work..

Also have a Pioneer SX-440 early 70s amp I have no idea where it came from, untested, low wattage early series solid state so should sound 'tube-y' in order to still compete back then, and a Pioneer PL-50 turntable one of my older poker game buds simply gave me about 8 years ago because he'd gone totally CD years before that and didn't even have any vinyl left at his place.. That sucker's a mint boat anchor, really nice shape, but like all the other non daily drivers untested since alighting here.. Have a couple more Califone's in storage too.. Last I checked, which has now been quite a while ago, Califone was still in business -- at least as far as replacement parts go..

Swamp

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Hey Swamp, your eye must be a whole lot better now! Glad to "see" ya back on here like usual again! :thumbsupanim

Ok so... When it comes to the 60s stuff, you guys remember a lot more than I do because I was still just a little kid - not even a teenager then - and I spent the year I turned 13 living in Guatemala City, (apparently) driving my parents to drink! That was when Steppenwolf "Monster" was out, as well as "Joy to the World", by Three Dog Night. I spent most of that year cruising all around our part of the city on roller skates with my tiny miniature parrot riding on my shoulder, having a total blast!

It was my first husband who introduced me to the amazing sound capability of a custom component system, in the late '70s. We were both in the USAF. When we met, he had recently transferred to Washington State, after spending several years stationed in England. That's where he started buying stereo component equipment. I think his amp/receiver was a Pioneer and I'm pretty sure he had a Technics turntable, which was the reason I bought one later on, too. He had an equalizer - a big sucker with a ton of sliders on it (no clue if it was parametric or not.) He also had this amazing Teac reel-to-reel  and a HUGE collection of music on tape.  Needless to say, I was totally impressed! He had spared no expense on his equipment and the sound quality was breathtaking. I never owned a setup like that of my own until after we parted ways, when I bought a few components. Flash forward 30 years or so... We'd both remarried and stuff and he died from cancer 3 years ago this month. I'm betting his wife sold everything because it meant nothing to her like it did to me and because she hates me. :idunno:

AuTSaurus, isn't it amazing the stuff you can find in So Cal at swap meets, pawn shops, 2nd hand stores & auctions? I only lived over there for 4-1/2 years, but I couldn't believe the cool, older, used components and racks I saw. For newer used equipment, pawn shops are usually a good place to hunt. My son's g/f is a pawnbroker and he never goes for want of anything cool. I'm not kidding... it's become a royal pain to figure out gifts for him because she can get him pretty much anything he wants, dirt cheap.

Lisa

 

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Swamp,  sounds like you landed some deals too!   :yesss:        I don't think I could store vintage stuff without knowing what working shape it was in, LOL, it would make me crazy wondering!   You are correct with your anchor assesment, in fact that is exactly how I was going to describe the weight of my components, but my post was getting so long.  No plastic to speak of in those things!

Oregal1976, it is amazing!  i think part of the reason, probably the main, driving reason, for the amount of stuff a person can find is because of the population out here.  Which is why I am looking for greener pastures, HaHa!   :barnie:    :hiker:

Greg

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