When we go to London in the summer we will bring home my Dad’s record collection- he collected mostly London & Broadway cast recordings, and Simon has kindly packed them up for me in the 3 record boxes I ordered from Amazon and had delivered to Grove Rd. My research tells me that this is the safest way to bring them over, and our premium economy tickets allow us two bags each- and I’m hoping they don’t weigh enough to go into excess baggage!

But in preparation I had to get myself something to play them on- so I just got a new turntable to hook into our music system…

It’s nothing super audiophile or high-end, it’s an Audio Technica AT-LP3 belt-drive automatic with a built-in pre-amp (what Audio Technica calls a “step-up model”).

I know the purists will say automatics are awful and you need an outboard pre-amp, but I just wanted something that would sound OK and not ruin the records, and I have to say it actually sounds pretty good 🙂 We pulled our few remaining albums out of storage and have been enjoying a little retro listening.

I have a pair of (now vintage) Radio Shack Optimus Pro-LX5 speakers as the main set in our surround sound system (I know- Radio Shack, but look them up– they’re awesome with their Linaeum tweeters!), and with the powered subwoofer I have they sound lovely with vinyl.

Of course I wouldn’t be me if I hadn’t ordered a better cartridge with an elliptical stylus along with the turntable, but I’m going to live with the conical one it came with for a week or so before I switch it out so I can see if there is a real difference.

I am not going to turn into a vinyl purist, but there is a certain something about listening with the odd crackle and pop- and I have to say- they actually do sound warmer. Can’t wait to get Dad’s records and start listening to them.

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