It is 5 AM, Do you Know where Mikey Fremer is?

At a garage sale, so Mikey tells us on his latest DVD. He must be the ultimate vinyl junkie, always looking for more, more, more. Are you part of his competition?

It appears the long ago, Mikey moved from one who just listens, to one who just collects for the 'just must have' but no time to listen school. Sad.

Does that describe you? What part of your music collection has never been listen to, 20%, 50%, more?
I love to listen. Enough so that I had my cleaning woman trained to clean my records. I don't want to waste time doing it myself after coming home from a full day of work. I only buy must haves until I finish listening to what I purchased. MUST HAVES are based on music I love, not a collectable.
I have about 500 LPs or 30% that are waiting to be cleaned. I decided to purchase no more until I get these under control.
Maybe 5%...mostly stuff I got for free, including a nearly complete collection of studio Grateful Dead stuff that I'm just getting into. I was pleasantly surprised when I finally got around to playing their debut LP. When I buy something, I typically clean it and listen to at least one side right away. I think about 500 or 600 LPs is the most manageable size for an LP collection. It should be easily possible to listen to this many, without becoming overly familiar with them.
A friend gave me his collection about 800 albums and after 3 years am about half way through cleaning them, still pick up an occassional album, but with so much to clean it really has to be something I want
It's sad that listening to records becomes a chore. I guess I just don't buy enough to not have time to listen to them all. Usually a new LP won't sit for more than a week before I have a chance to play it.
about half my collection is unopened. lots of multiples.
Well Buco, Having spent my fair share of time with Mikey, I can tell you he listens a great deal. He pays for his own media, for the most part, and happens to live in an area that is ripe for having LPs at garage sales. Folks who retire to "sunny (anywhere)" listened to vinyl in their younger days. When the estate is liquidated, the LPs go in the garage sale stack. Witness all the LP selling members here, with Florida return addresses. When does the guy SLEEP is something I would like to know...
Cleaning vinyl is the bane of our existance. But you gotta do what you gotta do.
I would say that by Michael Fremer's apparent knowledge of music, he listens to it a great deal. Also, being able to go home and possibly pull a record that you just heard someplace else is most likely a valuable asset, especially if you review things for a livelihood. Me? I have a lot of albums I haven't heard, yet.
All of my 3,000+ records have been listened to at least once. Most of my records were bought in the 70's and 80's and have been the predominant source of music in my house ever since.
Ok, this is not a complaint, but I am curious if anyone else thought that the production quality on his second DVD took a dive compared to the first one. I like the visits to pressing plants, but for example all the segments end by freeze frame until the dvd player swithces to the next chapter.

The whole DVD felt cheesy and I couldn't believe it cost that much.

Just my opinion.
I enjoyed it and picked up some great tips. I went out and bought a vegetable brush (to clean my brushes) and static guard for the rug. No more needing to touch my rack before I touch my rig. Also learned some better techniques for cleaning, etc, not to mention a little primer on collecting. I started with vinyl at a very young age (like many of us) and just thought I knew what I was doing. I wasn't far off but the tips were well worth the price of the DVD. Not to mention, nothing else out there DVD wise.
I wish I had LP-laden garage sales to go to. My area has 3-4 used LP shops. One, used to be reasonably priced. However, one came in with the 410, $15, $20 and all the other shops raised their prices accordingly. I still get a small discount for being a "good" customer, but I went from buying 5-10 a week (@ $3-$5 each) to 1-2 every couple of weeks. I have 1500 +/_ and listen to every one eventually. I spent a couple hours almost every night and 5-6 hours both Sat & Sun staring about 8am. There is no "sealed" Lp in my collection. There were some but:
Open, Clean & Play is my motto.
All vinyl lovers should be thanking Mikey. He is part of the reason for the rebound that vinyl has made. And he is very knowledgeable.
Mikey? The internet is responsible for the vinyl resurgence.
Mikey does get a lot of man-crush worship from the vinyl crowd. I'd love to hear his system, and I'm sure he's a great guy, but there are some folks getting carried away with the 33 1/3 RPM Superman stuff.
I have about 2,000 LPs of which I've listened to maybe half of. I am now going through the winter doldrums and received a Perfection steam cleaner for Christmas, so I have been busy rediscovering some gems that I own and have not played because of their condition.
Last weekend I decided to integrate the LPs that I have purchased and not found room for on the shelves. I found enough duplicates and some triplicates (DSOTM/Pink Floyd), to make a donation of 84 LPs to our local Habitat for Humanity store.
Cleaning vinyl is the bane of our existance. But you gotta do what you gotta do.

I use a Perfection steam claner and listen while I clean. I usually do two to three hours and get a lot of listening in whice I clean. Its fun if you have a Corona or two and teh steam cleaner does not make much noise at all. I use microfiber cloths to remove the water.
I haven't watched my own DVD in quite some time but I don't recall the chapters all ending in freeze frames! It's easy enough to do a fade-out and it certainly doesn't cost any more.

I agree that the footage shot in my listening room wasn't as well lit as it was on the first DVD. I used the same crew and they let me down somewhat but since the first one came out so well, I trusted the director to get it right the second time. When we went to edit, I saw what you're talking about.

However, there was one other issue: I went to the added expense of shooting in high definition. There are various HD formats and fortunately the ones used for both pressing plant shoots looked extremely good while the one used for the home shoot was less so.

As far as the cost of the DVD, please remember it required a trip to Germany, hiring a film crew, a trip to RTI in California and hiring another crew and then a third crew to shoot at home.

Then all of it had to be edited, which took a great deal of time, and then the graphics had to be created, including all of the chapters, along with the opening animated sequence.

Music had to be written and edited to picture and then the DVD had to be authored (similar to CD mastering).

Add a bunch of etceteras to this and believe me, it adds up to a great deal of money...

I hope at least you found it interesting. I found the plant tours really fascinating and the visit to AcousTech really fun.

Also, the unscripted, ad-libbed 47 minute record collecting rant came out pretty good, I thought...

But that's just me! Plus there's a great deal of good info on the DVD-ROM section....

This has been an unpaid advertisement....
I don't understand the OP busting on Fremer, who seems to listen quite a bit indeed and has been a stalwart champion of analog.
Mr. Fremer, have you had a chance to hear the new Audio Research Ref Phono 2? What did you think? I borrowed a Ref 2 for five days and it blew my socks off; awesome performance in every way!!! I am saving up for one now.
I probably have in the neighborhood of 50 records in my "backlog". I've mostly halted my buying until I catch up.
I've got about 1500 LPs, a collection assembled over a nearly 40 year period starting in and after college. I mentally divide my collection into two categories: those LPs I bought new when LPs were available by the bushel in "Record Stores" and those LPs I bought since the late 1980s/early 90s, which tend to be LPs I bought used or at boutique prices from the many companies that still make "new" pressings, usually by mail order. My collection is about 85% jazz; the remainder is roughly 60/40 classical and rock. I like to buy used LPs in Tokyo, when I am there visiting our son, because the condition of the LPs is generally impeccable. I refuse any longer to buy ANY LP that has a scratch or glitch in the surface. I don't and never did collect "to own"; I collect to listen. I don't give a darn about the condition of the jacket, as long as the LP itself is mint. I have recently noticed that I cannot reliably recall whether or not I already own a particular pressing, unless it's by an artist that I know is insufficiently represented in my collection or not represented at all. So once in a great while I buy an LP that I already own. This to me is a sign that I have "enough" LPs. There is such a wealth of wonderful music in my collection that I don't feel compelled to binge at yard sales or second hand stores. Nearly all LPs available at such venues would not fit my strict criteria for purchase.
The collection and preservation of vinyl is a completely harmless activity other than a tax on your wallet and living space (and maybe a stress on your marriage or living/romantic relationship).

If for nothing else, it keeps LPs from the past from being destroyed by those whom do not know or understand.

Think about it... Once upon a time, when consumer audio hardware went to solid state instead of tubes, people put exquisite tube equipment (and their exquisite tubes... think of little kids smashing BugleBoys and Teles for fun... yikes!) out to junk on the curb or in the trash... stuff many of us pay big money to own and use today.

The same is true for vinyl. People toss vinyl into yard and storage sales every weekend. Where it goes... no one knows... hopefully not to some DJ scratcher (no dissing intended)...

Even if you don't listen to it, so what? Even if you have duplicates, so what? You are the keeper, a librarian or custodian of this media, of a legacy that might easily transcend your collection and you. In all likelihood (at least I like to think so) someone else will be grateful for your care and diligence. jmo.

Hey, and Mikey is my hero, so leave-him-alone... knock-it-off!


:) listening,

probably less than 1%.

those few are records I bought in lots, to get others, but for the most part I've given my 500+ records their deserved time on the platter.

Plus like many full time students part-time workers in college, I spent a disproportionate time listening to music than studying or working. Now that I'm based in the reality of 40-50 hr weeks at work, my consumption had dropped some. Maybe, I'll see this % rise, but I dont think so, I try to avoid having filler in my collection.
Good question. It turns out that Mikey's "in heavy rotation" concept describes what I've done for years. I thought I had about 2k records. Because of this thread I went to my collection and roughly counted 4K. Yet, there's about only 20 or so that are "in heavy rotation" at any one time. Those 20 do change and I do have my all time favorites (about 300). But 20 out of 4k at any one time? I probably wont live long enough to play all 4K. Still, I know I will find and still buy more. Strange hobby, but music is sooo gooood.
I truly believe that anyone who exhibits the traits in searching and caring for records are people who truly care for music. Michael Fremer is simply the most vocal of those that do that, myself included. I have about 4700 with about 1000 needing to be cleaned and listened to. Figure about 250 heavy rotation LP's in the most played stack. I like that when friends and family visit they rummage through the record rack as if in a music store, make a selection and I get to play music for them. From West Side Story, to Mozart, Ratt, AC-DC, Miles Davis, Some Gregorian chant stuff I acquired along the way, no matter what, it seems I always something that people want to hear. Afterwards, the visitors are left wondering how to get a record player in these modern electronic times or they offer remnants of their record collection for sale or donate.

Keep them records spinning, vinyl lives, 33 1/3 forever, and all off of that stuff, yeah, yeah.

Like Audioquest4life people donate albums to me, just last week another 200 or so albums including 20 by Joan Baez, came my way. A new acquaintance who wanted them to go to a good home and out of his garage. What more can one ask.
Yes, some dear friends of mine recently gave me their small LP collection. It has some great titles, early West Coast jazz that is lacking in my collection for example. I cleaned several of them and have been playing them. So far, two home runs - a Mulligan and a Benny Goodman, but the rest that I have so far played were unlistenable. I buried them at sea with full honors and a no-guns salute. Perhaps there are more gems in the small pile I culled from the group.
To continue on with the donated part; a co-worker of my wife said she had 3 boxes of records and would offer them to me, a mixed bag of rock, country and jazz she said. I can't wait to see them. I guess when you are associated with music and especially records, casual conversation takes place where you become the subject of conversation and the next thing you know someone is offering records to you.

I once was offered records by elderly gent, someone who said he was only giving these records to someone who would appreciate them and take care of them, almost made me swell up in tears as I realized that could be me in the distant future. So the circle of record life goes on.

Just added another 3,500 - 5,000+ classical & jazz albums to my collection from a record store closing down. Deal was too good to count them all, but the boxes have filled an 18ft garage floor. It includes some 10" Columbia classical EP's, 10" Jazz EP's & 78's, new & s/hand.
Going to need to live until I'm a 110 to listen to them all, so wife says! Oh, and a new mono cartridge.
That is way too much of a burden for anyone to endure, just mail me one of the boxes and I will gladly listen to them and share with you the music experience via the forum.
May you not only live to listen to them all but have your hearing to enjoy them as well
Great find and deal
Since it takes about an hour to listen to an LP (including the preparation and flip ceremonies) and you have to get up every 20 minutes to perform the ceremonies, I can understand that an audio reviewer might be able to keep 250 albums in heavy rotation but how does a less fortuitously employed person do it?
My listening pattern is probably not like many others; I travel a lot on business and may not be home for 4-6 weeks at a stretch. But when I'm home I can spend 16 hours a day spinning records and probably more since I got Wi-Fi and can sit on my favourite couch while listening and working on my lap top. If, 10 years ago, it was said that this would be how I was clearing my desk, I would have laughed!
I tend to listen in themes, too. Like all Ella nights, Coleman Hawkins, Sonny Rollins,etc., which means listening to that particular artist and all the other partners they played or sang with.
I know only too well what you mean about deteriorating hearing, my wife and I used to listen and attend a lot of Opera but she now no longer enjoys it as her hearing has started to go.
I have about 2000+/- and probably have listened to 70% of them over the years. There are some albums I listen to at least 1/month and others only once. i average about 20/week so in a year, i will flip over 1000. Some weekends, i will go through 15 0r 20 if given the chance. There are not many nights that go by that i do not spin and I can not remember a solid week (unless I am on vacation for the entire week away from home) that i have not spinned records. Unfortunately, we have a great record outlet in Shreveport that has approx 20,000 lps and more 45's so i continually add
I have only heard the Ref 2 at CES this past week. I found the bottom end a bit fat and out of control, which is what I found on the PH7 too. I know because we brought the admittedly far more expensive Ypsilon VPS100 into the room (it was the Continuum room) to audition for the CEO of Atlantic Records and the difference was enormous--and the Ypsilon is also tubes. I liked much of what the ARC Ref 2 did, but if you have a full range system and a turntable that has deep, solid bass, i believe the Ref 2 will not provide you with all that your system and/or turntable can offer you. Just my opinion...
I agree with you on PH7 in a full range system Mike and sold mine for that reason, with not many hours. Just bought a Ref 2 and its away getting modified right now - will post how that turns out.
I heard what Ypsilon pre & power amps can do driving the big SoundLabs in Singapore with a Thales t/t set-up, made me think about my own system and how inadequate it sounded in some areas. Bit a out of my budget.
I don't know ,But I'm from EUROPE, and as far as I'm concerned such man as Fremer and Alan Pearson would deserve a monument from U.S.A. people . Have you any Idea of how much records U.S.A. dealers has sold in Europe thanks to them . I think that I've got at least 70% of Tas List records . Have you any Idea How much I've spent on those Tas and Fremer record 's list. Thousands dollars. Thousands dollars that ended in U.S.A. wallets. Do you Think I'm rare bird in Europe . I'm not, thousand collectors bought the records under Fremer and Pearson advise. How much is Thousands x Thousands .I've always appreciated their advise. I don't regret the money I've spent and nobody obliged me in doing so.Thanks Mr Fremer and Mr Pearson
Alan => Harry.

Ouch! A Ypsilon phono at $26k is more than twice the Ref Phono 2, it better sound better! I wish that I had heard that comparison.

Interesting comments on the bass of the Ref Phono 2; bass on my Khorns with the Ref really sang for me. It was taunt, with real punch and articulation; sound filled my room as I had never heard it through the Hovland. But it is true that the Khorns don't go far below 40HZ and that may be why I missed the 'fat.' (but above 40 they are darn good)! Oh well, I haven't bought one yet (but I am still saving)... I'm open to other good candidates, but $10k - $12k is all my wallet can handle.