Getting Back Into the Groove

So a while back I went to my local record shop for Record Store Day and bought some hideously expensive vinyl on which I had nothing to play it. Wind forward a month or so and I got fed up of looking at the boxed set and wondering what it would be like to hear the needle hit the groove so I went onto eBay and bought a second hand deck.

Gone are the days where I have heaps of room for lots of audio equipment so the two requirements were that the deck was to have a small footprint and that it needed to have a built-in pre-amp so that it could plug directly into my powered speakers. I quickly found on eBay a Aiwa PX-855 which ticked both boxes and was only £30 so reasonably priced too.

It arrived and I was keen to get it set-up and running but I was immediately blocked when I discovered that the deck had hard wired phono plugs for output and the speaker was expecting a 3.5mm jack. So the next purchase was a lead to correct that. And finally we were up and running…

I would love to say that I was immediately blown away by the sound, the richness of the timbre and the warmth of the bass but it wasn’t to be. It was more of an experience though and I am really into experiences.

There is something ritualistic about vinyl and, of course, I’m not getting any younger and it is a strong reminder of my youth. Compared to CDs an album is massive and at least it exists as something you can hold, unlike MP3’s or Spotify. You can really appreciate the artwork and I can read the lyrics!

There is also something extremely satisfying to listen to something impure with all those bumps, crackles and scratches.

So I find myself scouring all the local charity shops in the hope that I might find some gems amongst the Cliff and the Shadows and The Bachelors. So far I have managed to find quite a few Genesis records and I am writing this to my favourite: Selling England by the Pound. Perfect!

I doubt that I will ever get back to the level of records that I once had but I hope to have a small collection of favourites and spend a happy evening carefully pulling out the black disk from it’s sleeve, feeling the resistance as the static holds it in place and then delicately placing it on the turntable and hearing the needle drop into the groove with a satisfying click.