I recently attended CES in Vegas, and one of the highlights of my trip was seeing how popular turntables have become. I knew that they had been showing up here and there for a couple of years now, but I think vinyl records just might be here to stay. And even today with digital downloads coming in hi-res, a record is still the most uncompressed way to listen to your favorite artist. With great speakers, a big amplifier, and a quality turntable, you’re getting as close to the real thing as is humanly possible. So this month’s blog is about my journey back to vinyl, after a 30-something year hiatus.
I bought a cheap turntable in my basement a few months ago and borrowed my Mother-In-Law’s collection from the 80’s. This was exciting, but the stereo gear was a bit substandard. Then in January, I saw a beautiful red wall-mount turntable by Pro-Ject that I had to have. It took 3 months for me to get, but was worth the wait. We installed it at our store, wired it back to our A/V cabinet, and piped the audio to the 12 music zones. This included our Theater room that has a High-End set of Palladium speakers with a USA-built AudioControl amp to power them.
Truly, I have not been this in love with music in years. My first purchase was Sturgill Simpson’s “A Sailor’s Guide to the Earth.” First of all, the actual act of opening a record was amazing. So was the artwork liner notes. And then, hearing it on vinyl was like hearing it for the first time again. The saxophones and backup vocals lit up like an aura around the lead vocals so much that all 3 of us in the room dropped our jaws. I followed this with Willie Nelson’s “Always on My Mind” and once again, the room came alive with realism. James Taylor rounded out my taste test, and by the time it was over, I was already on Amazon buying more records, and I can’t wait for them to get here.