Records are skinny things, but once you have more than 100 or so they start to take up a lot of space. Some vinyl philes just leave them on the floor, or lean them up against furniture. Yuch! The nice folks at Atocha Design build gorgeous hi-fi furniture. Each piece is made to fit your needs, contact Atocha Design to get a price quote. Finish options run to American Maple, Walnut, Oak, and Bamboo; handles are solid brass. Atocha Designs are hand crafted in the U.S.A.
Compared to iPods LPs are a lot of work. First you have to put the record on a turntable platter, cue the tonearm over the lead-in groove, and then gently lower the "needle" into said groove. When the record's over, you have to raise the arm and return it to the rest. If that sounds like hard labor stick with your iPod. But to audiophiles the turntable/record playing ritual is part of the analog experience, a preamble of good sounds to come.
Thing is--the stylus tracing the microscopic world of groove wiggles encounters more than just wiggles--whatever dirt and assorted crud that's adhered to the vinyl adds its own noise, clicks and pops to the music. Sure, when things are really bad you could gently wash the LPs with baby shampoo, rinse with lots of water and dry. That might help, but the deep down grime at the bottom of the groove will still be there, and still audible. The ground-in crud can dramatically increase what we perceive as "record surface noise." Record brushes can sweep some of the surface dirt off, but at the end of the day the only way to get the deep down stuff is to use special record cleaning fluid and suck it off with a vacuum. that's exactly the way record cleaning machines work--they squeeze more analog juice from used and even new records. … Read more
Now this is the way to go. If you're going to get into this whole game of esoteric turntables, you might as well go all the way--and that's precisely what Montegiro Lusso has done with its latest offering.
The system is made of three cones consisting of aluminum and acrylic layers, giving it the zebra-stripe look. It also has a titanium cartridge, a synchronous motor, and a Da Vinci Nobile carbon-fiber arm, according to Gizmodo. (Speaking of Da Vinci, this may be the most unusual design since we saw the "AAS-Gabriel" museum-worthy turntable last year.)
Now … Read more
As long as we're on the subject of vinyl, it's interesting to note how the designs of modern-day turntables seem to gravitate toward the extremes. At one end there's the impossibly complicated and, at the other, the absolute minimalist. On the latter front, the "Genie 2" from Henley Designs seems to take the spartan approach to an extreme.
It has many qualifications that audiophiles should appreciate, according to Tech Digest, such as a high-torque motor and a peripheral drive to improve stability. But it's hard to imagine where else anything other components are housed … Read more
There are scads of products that convert vinyl records to digital files on the market, but most look either utilitarian or like an old dorm-room stereo. So even though its retro look may not be for everyone, Grace Digital is at least trying to make its design a little more interesting.
The "Victoria Classic" looks like a radio from yesteryear, which may appeal to those who may be entering the Digital Age for practicality but aren't quite ready to part with their past just yet. One of three new models being introduced, the Classic can burn vinyl … Read more
Does anybody buying an iPod in 2008 expect to get more than a few years of use out of the thing? My five year old iPod still plays, but I can't get it to work in newer iPod docks or iPod speakers. My iPod is too old.
A good friend of mine plays his 30-year-old Linn LP-12 turntable almost every day. It was an expensive turntable in 1978 when it sold for around $1,200. But he's gotten 30 years of use out of the thing, and even now listens to a lot more vinyl than CD. So … Read more
It was bound to happen. After years of decline and the steadily rising tide of iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody, et al--CD numbers are now in free fall--and the LP has finally regained its position as the world's most popular physical music format! Boosted by sales of Radiohead's "In Rainbows," and Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black," LP sales edged past the CD a few weeks ago. Elvis Costello's upcoming release, "Momofuku," will only be offered as a hi-fi LP or low-fi download. The CD is on its way out.
The Compact Disc … Read more
The SACD is a "super" CD, it sounds better, offers multichannel, high-resolution sound, and hybrid SACDs are backwards compatible with CD players. Sony initially pushed SACD as a CD replacement and the market yawned. OK, but you would have thought that audiophiles would have, en mass, supported SACD, especially after so many of them bashed CD for its harsh digital sound. SACDs, at least ones sourced from high quality recordings, really do sound better than CD (but a crappy original recording, remastered to SACD, still sounds crappy). No, just a small segment of the audiophile market embraced SACD, … Read more
It's not the "Transrotor Artus," the $150,000 quarter-ton turntable, but that's not a bad thing either. Instead, U.K.-based Roksan's "Radius 5" vinyl spinner still looks like a museum piece without breaking both your back and budget. Well, that last part might be iffy--it does cost nearly $2,000--but at least that hasn't gone up with this latest version.
Audiophiles never gave up on vinyl, but now kids are driving a current LP boom.
Kristina Dell's feature article in Time magazine looks at the trend of people, including teens, turning to vinyl to escape the awful digital grime of downloads and MP3s.
"Bad sound on an iPod has had an impact on a lot of people going back to vinyl," one teen says. Another teenage vinyl devotee tells Time, "Most things sound better on vinyl, even with the crackles and pops and hisses."
And when you figure that LPs usually cost a little more … Read more