A couple of months ago our long time friends Kris and Pam visited us and they gave me a dozen Vinyl LP’s from their collection. They knew how much I love my music and electronics and that I was seriously looking at Vinyl. The sight of the Vinyl Jaceket and the feel of the record took me back 35 years to when I had a collection of Vinyl 45’s and 33.3’s. At that time we had a HMV portable player with a single speaker that also served as a cover for the unit.
I started my research on contemporary turntables and compared their performance statistics. For turntables, you look for Wow and Flutter as well as signal to noise ratio (S/N). Ideally you need a S/N greater than 60 for a decent turntable. Wow and flutter should be not more than .1%. In my mind, these specs make for a decent turntable that would not break the bank. I decided on the Denon DP 300F because it was fully automatic (I don’t have to get up to shut the unit once it finishes playing a record) and also because it met my technical specs. I located a local supplier who gave me a huge discount because the unit took more than a month to arrive.
Mean while, Kris had already rounded up his collection of LP’s and called me last week to pick them up. To my surprise, it was more than 100 LP’s and most of the titles were the ones I had heard growing up. When I reached his place, I saw that he had already stacked 50 of them into a large plastic tub. These vinyl disks are quite heavy! I bought the disks home and found a good place to stack them vertically so that they don’t get damaged. These records have been with Kris probably for more than 30 years and I was apprehensive about the quality.
I picked up the turntable yesterday and it was easy to assemble. I took out the first record which happened to be ABBA. First I had to clean the record carefully with water and dry it with a soft cloth. Then I placed it on the platter and pressed start. Magically, the disk started spinning and the stylus arm lifted by itself and positioned itself on the last track. I referred to the manual and found that I had to press a button to indicate to the player that it was an LP. Once I did that, the arm went to the first track and the songs took me back decades and bought back great memories. The sound of the Vinyl truly is much better in some way that I cant describe. However in my case, I am thinking of changing of the stylus and getting a good pre-amplifier in order to get the best input for my amplifier. May be it is pure nostalgia that makes me feel that the sound on vinyl is much better but I am thinking that analogue recording on the disk has continuous expression of sound while digital expressions are probably discrete. Another reason could be that even digital recordings have to be converted to analogue for the amplifiers to play them so an Analogue output from the turntable is kind of native language for the amplifier and speakers.
Thanks Kris and Pam, every evening now is taken up going through your vast collection of records!!