Looking to start a record collection

Discussion in 'Hobbies and Special Interests' started by Txmason, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. Txmason

    Txmason Registered User

    574
    12
    18
    I have always loved music and have recently discovered jazz. I would like to buy a record player and have it hook up to small speakers that I can put next to my tv or on my dresser. Small yet powerful. I would love to buy one in good working condition or if any of you brothers know of a local resource I could go to or call. I would graciously appreciate it.

    Best,
    Bro. Jerry Johnston
     
  2. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

    485
    62
    28
    Oh dear. I see an audiophile in the making...
    Are you dead set on playing vinyl?
     
  3. Txmason

    Txmason Registered User

    574
    12
    18
    @JohnnyFlotsam


    Yes you do see a audiophile in the making. I would love that. No sir I am not dead set on vinyl. I went to Best Buy and the guy turned me on to buying a receiver that is an air play receiver and will play music in two rooms. Plus I would need to buy speakers.

    I have no idea which way to go or what to do and would graciously appreciate any help you can offer.
     
  4. dmurawsky

    dmurawsky Premium Member

    83
    45
    38
    Welcome to the world of audiophiles, where good enough usually isn't! :D I'm by no means an expert, but like to think I know a thing or two about it. First off, lets get the digital vs analog thing out of the way.
    First, there was analog. Analog stores all the "data" about the sound that the receiving equipment could hear, continuously. Back when everything was analog, this meant that you had as close to the real thing as possible.
    Fast forward a hundred years and you've got digital. Like Analog, digital stores what it can hear. Unlike analog, digital samples the sound within a certain frequency range, and at a certain refresh rate. It does so through a device called a DAC (digital/analog converter). The better quality the DAC, the better your digital recording, and the larger your file size. Digital means you lose quality. However, that doesn't necessarily matter, since humans can only hear so much anyway. Some people swear by Analog, some people say digital is better... I say use what you like and is convenient for you.
    Out of the above basics the important thing to note is that, with digital, the quality of your audio source is important. If you want real high quality, you want audio with the most data available. This generally means FLAC, WAV, or some other lossless audio codec. Most folks use MP3s, which are compressed (more data loss). If you chose to go the MP3 route, get the highest bitrate files you can.
    Now here's the real kicker... the above stuff doesn't really matter. If you like the sound of something and it's good enough for you, well, congrats, you've found your happy medium. I know folks that have spent over $100k on their sound system, and I honestly can't tell the difference between it and my ~$1k setup in terms of audio quality.
    So, I'd recommend analog/vinyl if you want to store records. I do think they sound "warmer" and better, but they take up a lot of space and need regular care. I view these as my "premium" listening service. I have my commodity turn-table (direct drive) with a good quality needle (replaced regularly) hooked up to a good quality pre-amp, and then pumped in to my tube amp (analog also) which is then hooked up to a nice pair of studio reference monitors (self-amped, designed to accurately reproduce sound).
    I'm looking to expand to a Sonos system for my normal listening needs around the house. Sonos is a bit expensive, but the audio quality and features are solid and they provide great flexibility of listening. Since most of my newer stuff is digital, this works well for me.
    Hope the above helps a bit. Below are a few links you might find useful.
    http://lifehacker.com/5883665/how-to-be-an-audiophile-on-the-cheap
    http://www.sonos.com
    http://www.pooraudiophile.com/
    http://www.cheapaudiophile.com/
     
  5. Txmason

    Txmason Registered User

    574
    12
    18
    So where do I start?
     
  6. dmurawsky

    dmurawsky Premium Member

    83
    45
    38
  7. Txmason

    Txmason Registered User

    574
    12
    18
    Any suggestions?
     
  8. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

    3,935
    2,395
    133
    http://www.ionaudio.com/products/details/profile-lp

    Ion makes record players that scan to MP3. No idea if that interests you. I have one of their cassette decks that scans cassette tapes to MP3 because I have a ton of audiobooks that are old enough to be on cassette tape before I switched to disc technology. Cassettes are far from audiophile of the jazz sort but the company addresses both branches.

    Jazz - American ethnic music. The word "ethnic" actually has zero meaning given its usage history. Maybe American native music? The word native is actually supposed to mean "born here" but that word has also been morphed beyond recognition. Jazz - American music.
     
  9. MaineMason

    MaineMason Registered User

    262
    114
    43
    I've been a record collector since the age of 12, and while I still have all my vinyl (mostly classical in nature) my real focus has been in pre-1930 discs and cylinders, especially those manufactured by Edison.

    I'm a huge proponent of digital transfers of cylinders and discs though I do play cylinders and vertical-cut (Edison and Pathe) discs on original equipment. Lateral-cut ("78's) discs really should be transferred to a digital format as they wear worse than the others given that the grooves themselves propel the sound-box (in cylinder and Edison Discs, a floating jeweled stylus is aided by a mechanical feedscrew causing much less wear and tear on the record).

    As for listening to vinyl LPs, I recommend against digitization and the purchase of the highest end turntable and amplifier system you can afford. Especially for classical music, there is a sonic depth and richness of LPs which tends to disappear when digitized. In fact, analogue tape-to disc sounds, IMO, even BETTER than the last digital tape to disc recordings of the LP era.

    That being said, if you're going to digitize your LP collection or play the discs for fun, be sure to use the very best cartridge you can afford. Cheap needles ruin LPs.

    If you look around on the internet, you will find tons of info and message boards/websites dedicated to every facet of record collecting. Hope this helps.
     
  10. Txmason

    Txmason Registered User

    574
    12
    18
    @MaineMason

    Can you help guide me as far as what I need to do? Where I should look and what to buy? I went to busy buy and they recommended a receiver $500 plus speakers then an amplifier.

    I would like to accomplish two goals:

    1. Listen to great music
    2. Be able to hear the television better in the living room . My dad and I are both hard of hearing and the speakers are in the back of the tv. It is a Samsung 55" LED TV.

    Would graciously appreciate your help.

    I also have an older pioneer receiver too. Let me know if you need photos
     
    MaineMason likes this.
  11. MaineMason

    MaineMason Registered User

    262
    114
    43
    Your old Pioneer receiver should work well as an amp. Speakers used to be large and expensive if they were good, but today smaller ones can be had which are cheaper and actually better (I used to have a pair of Bozak speakers from the 60's that were the size of a small refrigerator!) than the older ones. I don't know how much money you are willing to spend, however about the best system you can get for vinyl is Bang and Olufsen though you'll probably have to buy the turntable second-hand. It will cost you BIG bucks though. Two things are important, however: many modern turntables, especially of recent issue, have seriously substandard cartridges ("needles"). There are some makers of good products today and I'd look towards turntables manufactured for use by DJs. Best Buy carries some good models which won't put undue wear on your LPs.

    If you get into collecting 78's (which doesn't sound like your focus though I saw Jazz mentioned so I'll add this info) be sure to have the correct cartridge. Edison vertical discs ("Diamond Discs")--which you can tell by their quarter inch thickness and nearly microgroove nature--can be played/archived on a turntable meant for LPs (vinyl) by reversing the polarity of the cartridge (reversing the two wires coming into the cartridge).

    If you live in Texas, I can send you privately the website of a collector I know in Spring.

    Always happy to try to help those looking towards the Craft and towards the record collecting hobby! Good luck and keep me informed.
     
  12. Txmason

    Txmason Registered User

    574
    12
    18
    I am able 25-30 mins. From Spring, Texas. I live on Lake Conroe in Bentwater. I would appreciate the website and talking/meeting the collector in person and asking questions etc.
     
    MaineMason likes this.
  13. MaineMason

    MaineMason Registered User

    262
    114
    43
    I think it's against the rules to post the website here. I'm going to walk right up to bending the rules and suggest you do a search for 78, a dot, and the abbreviation for "commercial" and see what comes up. ;)
     
  14. MaineMason

    MaineMason Registered User

    262
    114
    43
    By the way, I'm not totally sure, but I suspect the owner of this auction house is also a Brother.
     
  15. Txmason

    Txmason Registered User

    574
    12
    18
    No luck Bro. Maine Mason could you email or DM me the information please? The only thing I got came up in either Chinese or Japanese I am not sure.
     
    MaineMason likes this.
  16. MaineMason

    MaineMason Registered User

    262
    114
    43
    Try putting rpm after "78" and the rest and I'm sure you'll find it.
     
  17. Txmason

    Txmason Registered User

    574
    12
    18
    Got it! I will send an email
     
    MaineMason likes this.

Share My Freemasonry