It was a good day at the thrift shop


I was out running errands with my 20-yr-old stepson, whose quiet persistence got me back into vinyl after a 25-year hiatus. He spotted a large thrift shop. We turned around and stopped in. He didn't find anything he wanted--there was no Alice Cooper, and I'd already bought him a sealed reissue of In-a-gadda-davida. I with the eclectic tastes, however, came away with 10 gems. All were in like-new condition at 49 cents each, including:

-- An RCA shaded dog (mono) Van Cliburn Tchaikowsky piano concerto (reissued as 3-channel SACD, which I also have)
-- Manhattan Transfer's self-title debut album which includes Tuxedo Junction and Java Jive. Superbly performed and recorded on Atlantic in 1975
-- Musical Heritage Society of two Bach violin double concertos
-- Everest (not 35 mm) very nice London Symphony recording of Handel Water Music and Royal Fireworks music
-- Mercury Living Presence recording of Rossini overtures
-- Phoebe Snow's 3rd album "Looks Like Snow"
-- Michael Ponti recordings of Scriabin, one side a concerto with full orchestra, the other side solo sonatas
-- Bernstein & New York Phil on Columbia Masterworks of two Haydn symphonies, The Bear and The Hen
-- A real icon of the '70s: Richard Harris reading Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet" with musical accompaniment on Atlantic at the height of their recording and mastering art (my wife is a HUGE Harris fan)
-- Steve Winwood, "Back in the High Life," his last recording (1986) for Island, his original label. Would make a great demo disk of how LP sounds better (even in transients and dynamics) than CD

What treasures have found you lately?
johnnyb53
nothing but junk
I just missed a Hafler amp. Some old guy got it instead. But I did get one of those Chase line preamps that adds remote control to older pieces for $5. It works fine. Dan
Sounds like the "old guy" was quicker on the trigger, LOL!
A box of "records from my grandfathers house" from Craigslist. Usually these are JUNK but when I met and took a look. WOW...about 30 RCA shaded dog's in near mint condition plus about 10 old box sets of classical, jazz. The grandfather really took care of his records. Its wonderful to play LP's pressed in the 50's and they are DEAD QUITE...all in all about 100 LPs for $50.00.....I couldn't pull the money out fast enough. :-)
I just got back from Ohio and visiting family. I scored an original Stanley Brothers on the King label ($5), Sarah Vaughan "Crazy mixed up" w/Joe Pass ($5), Pontiac Bros. ($3), Sade "Lush life" ($3), Wes Montgomery "Best of" on Riverside ($5), Ben Webster/Sweets Edison ($1.50), Sanatra at the Sands ($5), a white vinyl Hartless Bastards ($$13.99 new)...... All of em mint and original..... plus many others.

Very cool!

Chris

08-03-07: Dlr
I just missed a Hafler amp. Some old guy got it instead. But I did get one of those Chase line preamps that adds remote control to older pieces for $5. It works fine.
Hey, did you know that those Chase preamps took on a second life as a giant-killer line-level preamp?

I remember back in the mid'90s, the local boutique store that carries lots of British gear (Naim, Rega, VPI, Creek, Cambridge, Tannoy...), when it came to a low-cost line level preamp, they felt that the quietest and most transparent for less than $800 was the Chase, which they sold for around $129.

You might want to try your Chase as a standalone pre, maybe in conjunction with a phono stage, to see what it can do.
I got 2 pair of Shahinian Obelisks ($2800 new) at 2 different shops in the same week in Manhattan. 1st pair was 40, second pair was 75. Got a parasound CD Player for 10.00. Pair of Allison One's for 25.00 Pair of KEF 104.2 for 150.00.

Yesterday got 8 mint LP's for 2.00, most still have the wrap on. Supertramp, Cat Stevens, Jefferson, Billy Joel, YES, Squeeze, J. Giles. People don't have the room and everyone under 40 yrs has an Ipod. The thrift stores here have tons of classical stuff, musicals, etc and the dealers are constantly making the rounds.
Wealthy people living in 10 million dollar apartments redecorate and donate brand new very expensive furniture, electronics, etc so the boutique thrift shops (affiliated with a disease or hospital) have lines outside before they open and there is a race to get to the new inventory.

08-03-07: Somec59
I got 2 pair of Shahinian Obelisks ($2800 new) at 2 different shops in the same week in Manhattan. 1st pair was 40, second pair was 75. Got a parasound CD Player for 10.00. Pair of Allison One's for 25.00 Pair of KEF 104.2 for 150.00.
That's incredible. Did you get the Shahinians at boutique thrift shops? I know of a couple of hospital-affiliated thrift shops in my area. I guess it might really be worth the drive over.

Closest I came to something like that was a pair of early Nestorovic's (list about $1600) in a pawn shop for $250. I had just bought a pair of speakers for the living room so I passed. I kick myself every time I think of that one.

I can't think of anything that applies to the saying "One man's trash is another man's treasure" the way it applies to LPs. People can't WAIT to unload them, they require maintenance, they lack the portability of cassettes, CDs, and MP3s, and they only play 20 minutes at a time.

And yet, to me the only musical treasure that eclipses a well-recorded, well-mastered LP in excellent condition is a live performance by a world class artist. Not a CD, not an SACD, not a surround-sound DTS-encoded concert DVD.

To me, LPs border on magic, containing--as they do--an actual physical model of some (mixed and mastered) version of the performance as it happened in the studio or auditorium. Pretty much everything that happened is in that groove in the form of a blip or a zig-zag or an undulation. One side of a record is about 1400 ft. long. The temperature at the stylus can reach 500 deg. F from the friction, which momentarily melts or displaces the vinyl until the stylus passes by. A good turntable/tonearm/cartridge setup can resolve things as small as .1 micron.

CDs are the P-mount tonearms of recorded music. They're format-limited to how much detail, ambience, and speed can be retrieved. If it can't be resolved within a 16-bit/44.1KHz digitization, it's gone.
I bought a nice pair of Klipsch Cornwalls for $130 at a local pawnhop and the salesman paid the tax.
Housing Works Thrift Stores in NYC is affiliated with Gay Men's Health Crisis and has about 10 stores in Manhattan. The quantity and quality of donations is amazing and their stores are well designed with a boutique look. Alot of donations are from stores that donate inventory from last season. In addition to great audio equipment, I've picked up new (never fitted-hemmed) Armani, Hugo Boss, Vestimenta suits for 65-70.00. You never know what they will have, but it is not junk. They have auctions and you can shop/bid on-line

http://www.housingworksauctions.com/program/stores.cfm
Steve Miller---Fly like an eagle perfect shape 99 cents
Huey Lewis-sports 50 cents-perfect
Cars-greatest hits 1$-perfect
Heart-Heart 1$-perfect
Jackie Lomax 1$-sealed
Rolling Stones-Hot Rocks-1$-NM

That was a good day!
Johhny- Sorry I haven't answered for a while. I haven't been able to try it as a pre amp yet as I have no amps. Mostly integrateds and receivers. The decent used store I used to shop at got robbed and the guy now just works out of his house. But soon I hope. Dan