I forgot to ask
&) How few albums can you " live with" as you slowly add to " library"
&) How many LP's a year do you typically buy?
Like you I gave away hundreds of LPs twenty years ago. While cleaning out my dad’s TV repair shop a few years ago, I came across a hundred or so LPs that I had left behind when I first married (1982) and decided to take the plunge again.
I am up to roughly 350/ 400 albums now. I buy at least 2 or 3 a week and this includes both new music and reissues. I still have a considerable number of CDs (10,000 plus). Price determines whether I buy a CD or LP of something new.
I would go with something different than the Rega 3. My starting point would be the Pro-ject Classic 25th Anniversary. You will want to fiddle with cartridges and turntables. This one will keep you satisfied for awhile.
I got out of vinyl for a while in the late 1990's when I moved from one house to the next. Sold the TT and stored about 300 albums. Last year I re-entered the analog world when I received a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Esprit SB as a Christmas gift. I started buying a few new albums then, mostly new audiophile approved records, such as MoFi, etc.
Lately I've discovered a couple of new record stores in my city and I've been buying mostly used LPs. One of my record stores puts out their new used stock every Tuesday and Friday mornings and I try to go on those mornings to see what's new at bargain prices. I've been picking up about 5-10 used LPs a week in this manner. It's really fun and I don't mind spending $1.99-$5.99 for good LPs. And I've been very impressed with the quality of records, as well as the diverse selection.
I guess I've got about 400 LP's now. I have some old hand-me-down 7" singles and I've bought some fantastic 12" singles. I don't play any of the old 7" 45s as they are mostly beat up and they are a PITA with the 45 adapter and all.
Enjoy your re-entry into the analog world.......
3000 LPs. Bought (3) so far this year. Probably 100 in rotation at any given time. Yes; a couple thousand that don't or probably won't get played ever again.
Been a vinyl guy since 1971.
A friend and I at that time went to a shop every week that sold records (3) for $10. When CD came out and people were dumping their vinyl; I bought a Linn LP 12 and held firm.
Seattle was loaded with used Japanese, Toshiba Pro Audiophile vinyl as was Juneau, AK. I cleaned them up for cheap.
I jumped on the 45 rpm wagon since they first started coming out. My upgrade to Lingo power supply was already in place.
May not ever play hundreds / thousands ever again, but would not sell. When people come over; Just the look on their face is worth it. When they hear the system; they are priceless. A lot of great memories.
PS, Only own 83 CDs ; (4) are test or burn-in CDs.
I peaked a few years ago with around 14,000. Gave a couple thousand to a friend, had a broker sell some (he dealt with the listings and I got 50%), nothing terribly valuable, and when we sold our house, I culled more- so I didn’t have to move crap I wasn’t going to listen to, or 2nd or 3rd or 4th copies of stuff I had better pressings of--I figure 5,000 were transported to Tx. I had some records stashed here, and of course, more comes in -dribs and drabs-
I go record "shopping" in my own stacks I haven’t been through for years. The last several years I’ve been on a hard rock thing- not "classic" rock, but post-psych, pre-prog, proto metal. I’m now dipping back into my classical records (old EMI ASDs, Deccas, Londons), and I have taken an interest in so-called "spiritual jazz" which is a nice change from the usual warhorses.
I’d rather have quality over quantity, but something to be said for tens of thousands of records to browse through if you have the space. Not sure I’d go out today with that goal in mind, my pile was the accumulation of decades.
I hear ya Mitch! Reaching a certain age is sobering in a number of ways, the time remaining for listening to music being a major one. So, in preparing for the last relocation of my life, I went through my LPs, of which there were somewhere around 4500-5000. I kept only those I either love or have high expectations of loving (the ones yet unopened and listened to), selling the rest to Rik Frystak, the head of buying at Amoeba Music in L.A. I just set-up my new LP racks (the fantastic IKEA EKET's), filling them with my remaining collection. I don't know how many LP's comprise that (and I'm not about to count them!), but they measure about 416 linear feet. Two thirds Pop, one third Classical.
I did the same with my CD's, getting rid of about maybe 40 per cent of them, whittling my library down to around 5000-6000 (Pop to Classical around 60/40). I do believe CD's actually take up more room than do LP's! My music room's walls will be completely covered with LP's and CD's when done, the corners reserved for ASC Tube Traps.
These are numbers I was not expecting!
14,000, 416 linear feet.........
How do you guys remember what you have? Catalog? How is that done?
No Alzheimer's in this group!
I wondered how many were " in rotation ".........that you actually listened to, vs collected
100 sounds like a real number. To me
So, What Turntable & cartridge is best...
Is there a concensus, big LP's guys favorite albums?
soon to be vinyl junkie
Over the years, I organized the records in my own way; different people have different ways of doing this. There was, and remains, a sort of "dumping ground" section for copies I rejected at one point, or duplicates of records that aren’t terribly valuable. Though I got rid of a lot of that when I moved, I didn’t completely eliminate my own "bargain bin"--it’s where I plunder sometimes. I did create a fairly detailed schedule of the more valuable records, by box number, as I packed them. It didn’t necessarily list everything within a category, but enough so I knew what was there, and highlighted the stuff I was most concerned with losing.
When I arrived in Austin, I originally started shelving stuff, and sticking post-its on the shelf sections that corresponded to the "inventory." But, since then, I’ve done much more arranging- main stream rock by alphabet, obscure prog now has several shelves, ditto Beatles, Zep, etc.
The classical stuff I haven’t combed through yet. Some "audiophile" stuff in the "audiophile" records section- e.g. old D2D, and most of the EMI ASDs are now on a couple shelves, but still lot’s to do.
As to memory, that's one reason why I re-buy the same exact pressing. I forgot I had it, or looked for it and couldn’t find it, so bought another. (Usually not expensive stuff).
100 LP's? Why bother? With the cost (and inconvenience) of a good turntable/arm/cartridge player, and the cost of new LP's and a (at least) vacuum cleaner, to go to all that trouble for only one hundred LP's seems out of proportion. IMO.
Organizing LP's is simple---alphabetical by performer for Pop/Rock/etc., alpha by first composer, then performer, for Classical.
It doesn't matter whether you listen to 14000 records or 100 if you really enjoy it. If you listen to classical music, it is easy to quickly accumulate many records, if you don't and are quite selective then probably couple of thousands would be more than enough.
I would start with 100 used records and inexpensive but decent turntable and then decide what to do next.
This would be my list of first ten records:
1. Miles Davis - Bitches Brew, original 360 sound US or Canada pressing or original Japanese pressing.
2. Mahavishnu Orchestra - Inner Mounting Flame, original or reissue Japanese. If you can't find them - original British, German or Dutch pressing.
3. John McLaughlin/Paco de Lucia/Al di Meola - Friday Night in San-Francisco, original Japanese.
4. Al di Meola - Cielo e Terra, original Japanese, original non-DMM US, Dutch sound good too.
5. Dead Can Dance - Into the Labyrinth. I am only familiar with original UK.
6, 7, 8. Pink Floyd - Dark Side, Wish You Were Here, The Wall, Toshiba Pro pressings if you can get them, other Japanese and some European pressings.
9. Deep Purple - Machine Head. Only heard original Japanese non-pro - pretty good.
10. Paco de Lucia - Siroco. Any you can find, Japanese is best. Analogue recording, digital mastering. Sounds half analogue/half digital. Paco's best album in his and my opinions.
It may be true that most of us listen to about 100 different LPs in rotation, no matter how many LPs each of us owns, but I posit that in order to develop that 100-LP rotation, you need to own at least 1000 or more. More is better. This makes it possible to go outside the rotation once in a while for a test listen to either a new musical genre that is under-represented in your regular rotation, or a new artist, etc. Once in a while the experience is such a revelation that the LP breaks into your list of the regular 100. As a result, you now have a regular 101, or some other LP gets knocked off the regular rotation.
I've got about 2500.
What technology is best? I vote for air bearing, although a prominent and expert guru (Ralph K) disagrees. Even so, I'll bet he'd like my system.
I use a DIY air bearing TT with a Trans-Fi air bearing arm, playing a Koetsu platinum cartridge. The air bearing TT replaces a Nottingham Analogue unit, which has been updated, and is essentially a Dais. Which I recommend. But not as highly as the Trans-Fi arm, which is $1000 and plays with the best.
I'm very interested in the Trans-Fi arm Terry, as the designer/manufacturer pictures it on his website with a London Reference pick-up mounted on it. How cool is that?! I few of the Decca/London owners on the Lenco users site swear by the arm too. A grand for such an arm is so reasonable these days.
For younger readers, now is a great time to get into buying and listening to music on LP, as there are millions of them in good record stores and thrift shops all over the country. Used LP's are dirt cheap, and great cleaners plentiful. And the choice of players is the best it's ever been, with high quality available at reasonable prices. And as time moves on, and we older guys die off, even better LP finds await ya'll. LP collecting is way more fun than CD buying and digital downloading!
Lewm, you make a good point. For every one of those 100 jewels there are many also-rans.
As for which ones? Other than the usual workhorses, La Spagna (BIS); Scottish Lute Music (BIS); Laudate (Proprius); Cantate Domino (Proprius); Wagner's Ring Cycle (Solti - the best is on Telefunken); Hearing Solar Winds by Hykes (Ocora); Gorecki Symphonie #3, with Stefania Woytowicz (Erato - sound track to the movie Police); Salve Feste Dies (Phillips); Beethoven's Emperor by Gieseking (Varese - stereo - repeat stereo - recording from WW2 Berlin - you can hear the anti-aircraft cannon at one point - and you hear the Emperor as you've not heard it before).
Last night I picked out of my Duke Ellington collection a Pablo LP, "Duke's Big 4", or something like that. Turns out I have two copies of this LP, and one is an original German pressing. Needless to say, that's the one that got spun. Duke + Ray Brown + Joe Pass + Louis Bellson. Wow!!!! Was not in regular rotation. Great fun. Pablo's with the blue/white label are fantastic.
This put me in the mood for more jazz piano, so I got out Oscar Peterson in a quartet, also with Ray Brown on bass. Another wonderful experience from my not regular LPs.
I'm more of a quality over quantity guy. I got back into vinyl about 7 years ago. I'm 55. I had vinyl, 8 track, cassette, cd, said, DVD-A, downloads in multiple configurations and now back to vinyl. I don't know how many albums I have now but it's over 700. If I can get a 45rpm version of the album I will always get that one. I stay away from the bargain bins. I like to get a new copy off the master tapes if that's available. I don't have a problem buying a used album from a collector either on Discogs or my local record store. One of them buys collections and separates the really good stuff. I live in New Orleans and there are 4 record stores walking distance from my house and another 2 within 3-4 miles. So I'm fortunate. I haven't figured a good way to catalogue them without actually going through them. I listen to everything I have, obviously some more than others. But I have no problem pulling something out blindly. I used to have a large wine collection. There were wines I wouldn't drink unless it was a special occasion. Then I got into a motorcycle accident. Everyday became a special occasion. If somebody was over I would blindly pull from the cellar and pull the cork. It's the same with my vinyl collection now. If I bought it, I must've of liked it so why not listen to it. If I want to listen to something I'll go for it but sometimes I just randomly pull. That's why I have more than a few albums.
About that TransFi arm - let us know when you get it. May I suggest a few mods?
1. If your table is not suspended, it may benefit from an aluminum tower. I use 2" aluminum rod.
2. The arm has flat surfaces, which allows you to add damping gel all over the place.
3. The wand has holes of about 0.25". That's ideal for adding brass weights to increase the mass. Helps with cartridge matching.
4. I use a premium aquarium pump from HiBlow. That air goes into a surge tank built like a glass pack muffler, thence to a precision regulator (Fairchild), then a gauge (mm of mercury), then another surge tank. I use pressures ranging from 10 mm Hg to 35, depending on cartridge, record, and mood.
5. TransFi wand can be matched to the cartridge with immense precision. I use a very smooth calliper to adjust the cartridge into perfect (0.0004") alignment with the wand, then a torque screw driver to adjust torque.
6. Other adjustments are indicated in the manual. Some are easy, some fiddly, but all are intuitive and stable.
Let us know how it works for you!
I have around 3000 and still buy regularly. I could probably give away a third of them, which I might never listen to again, but I'll keep them.
My son, who is 12, is looking forward to inheriting these after my demise. He doesn't know it but he has an analog future in store before my ultimate demise. I'll set him up nicely with a system.
So, getting restarted in vinyl is a good thing, whether you have 10 or 10,000 albums. It is never too late or too early. Enjoy!
I recall visiting New Orleans years back,prior to Katrina.There was a record shop on Decauter .It was a 2 story building They were closed the morning arrived but peeking in through the window I saw stacks and stacks of Lp's.Are they still there ?
To the OP:
You never have enough.
My collection has dwindled over the years.
Starting with 45's in the 1950's and probably reaching about 2,500 at it's peak by 1990
I'm down to about 800 and still enjoy them all.Even the disco single plays.
djf1, Your small-ish LP collection is merely a correlate of your age. At 55, I surmise that you came into the hobby at a time when LPs were considered de classe'. Keep on buying, is my advice.
As for the TransFi, without a doubt that would be my choice if I ever decide to put up with a compressor and the noise and maintenance thereof.
I have about 1200 lps in my collection, been buying since I was 16 in the latter 60s. have purchased close to probably 6,000 but culled as they were determined not to be keepers by my standards. have slowed down to probably 40 to 50 a year as I settled into retirement a few years ago and have about the same number of red book cds and over half of them are copys of LPs that I wanted for car or convenience. I have 80 in rotation and the rest I go thru and pick some out as I am looking for something in particular in my collection and I store in no predetermined order for that reason. I have to say that everything I have will be listened to again unless I just run out of time or it runs out on me. I am acclimating my grandson, now 5, to the artist I believe he should be aware of, James Brown, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, the Quess Who, Randy Newman and such and he will get my collection when the time comes.
frozentundra, I really do not seek out 45 rpm albums I am quite fine with 140-180 gram vinyl as they sound awesome with my set up, also since I have cut back on my LP purchases I am screening them better and have had to cull very few. Looked at your system and looks well thought out, I also have a Pass Labs XA30.5 that I rotate in replacing my VTLs about 30%of the time.
Great forum subject.
I've got about 50 in rotation, which changes as I aquire new LPs.
Listening to LPs - can be very erratic. Sometimes I'm digital for days. Ultimately, even though I enjoy all the ripped CDs, I return to the natural sound of albums in rotation, and then, add/delete from the favored selection. And then I'll go on an album binge for days...
I've found that 45RPM are significantly superior to 33RPM. The extra, steep cost is usually forgotten once it's on the table.
As far as tables, I'd be curious to know if anyone can summarize several manufacturer's house sound. This might help frozentundra to match his preferences.
The usual suspects...
We are the same age, and I do the exact same thing. I listen every night and when I don't have something in mind I pull one out blind. I'm almost never disappointed.
I gave away and sold almost all of my so called 'high end' gear a few years back and went back to some audio classics that started with. I have never enjoyed listening as much as I do now as its about the music and not about my latest audio tweak.
I have maybe 1500-2000 LP's,. I could probably get that down to 400 must haves.
But I love all the formats.. CD, audio server (with 6400 albums), cassette and reel to reel.
Jeff, I always wanted a BIC turntable when I was young. I thought they were awesome. Thanks for the flashback. I had forgotten about them.