A Cut Above

Some 25 years ago my first son was born to be joined a couple of years later by the second. Who knew that two small people could take up so much space? Despite moving to a larger house to accommodate everyone and everything we quickly ran out of space and realised something had to go. Having considered which of the two boys should be released I was told that wasn’t an option so the axe fell upon my large collection of vinyl!

Looking back now I regret getting rid of pretty much all my collection gathered since picking up a copy of Mud Rock Vol 2 in 1975. However, then it really did make sense. Vinyl was dying, I had most of my records on the much more compact discs and we really did need the space. Oxfam was the winner that day.

Wind forward 20 odd years and vinyl decides to make a come back. By this point I need reading glasses and can no longer read the tiny print on a CD sleeve so the thought of something much larger suddenly appeals! My original Dual CS 505-2 has long given up the ghost so I invest in a cheap new deck and start hitting the charity shops and end up with a load of tatty vinyl.

Another three years pass and the replacement deck also expires so I upgrade once again, this time to an Audio Technica AT-LP5. This presents a different set of problems in that, compared to the last deck, it is huge and heavy and putting on or taking off a record requires a dexterity that I no longer possess. So now we also need to find a new resting place for this deck, a search that is ongoing.

At the same time I was surprised to find that collection now numbers 150 records and has outgrown the space that was allocated to it taking me neatly back to the position I was in 20 years ago!

All this is leading me to re-evaluate my purchasing decisions in order to inject a little quality into the collection and so I am trying to adhere to the following “guidelines”. I will only buy a record if it is:

  • a limited edition in some way (so numbered, signed, coloured vinyl etc)
  • 180g vinyl (amazed at how flimsy 140g feels now)
  • new (not cheap secondhand unless it is…)
  • a classic collectable (which, of course, covers a multitude of sins)
  • accompanied by a download card

I appreciate that this gives me a huge amount of wiggle room (I’m not that stupid) but if I do try to keep fairly closely to that I might be able to build a collection that is worth having and playing.

The good news is that both the boys have left home so now I can turn both their old rooms into record storage!