6 Online Record Digging Tips

Digging The Virtual Crates

Discogs Marketplace

Virtual record digging

The phrase alone makes some shudder, with vibes of inauthentic record collectors. I am no such purist, but as I write this at 12:36 AM, I have a few thoughts.

Do I share where I find my online digs, or do I keep the readers unaware?

What if this post loses me a record I’ve had on my want list for months?

Do all dogs go to heaven?

…told you it’s late night. I started writing this just got in from a classic soul concert with the lady, and it was quite the experience. I never thought I would see Blue Magic, Force M.D.’s, SOS Band, and The Floaters perform.  Figuring that train had left the station, along with good music on the popular music stations (a topic for another post).  Seeing all of them at a 4-hour show was pretty surreal.

Check out the video below for a peek inside the show

6 Tips for online record buying

I digress, If you subscribe to this blog, then you probably are already familiar with the resources I use to find albums I can’t find locally.  You see it wasn’t just that thought that has kept me from sharing my clandestine online digging spots; it was the idea of how can I make this post valuable to those who already look for albums online.

So here are 6 Tips for online record buying

Original pressing, Color vinyl, 180 Gram, Re-mastered

Original pressings can be breathtaking. Technically, it represents the closest and most accurate reproduction of what the artist originally intended. Not always, though. Sometimes, pressings are poorly made and will sound horrible. The issues are fixed only on later pressings.

This topic is a slippery slope of discussion.  I have some colored vinyl, but prefer its 180 Gram version if available.  Heavier vinyl lasts longer, and typically sound better.  There are caveats to this, an 180 gram 45 RPM version of a poor sounding album still sounds bad, and you paid more for it.

Lovely Picture Discs

That Anniversary Edition of Thriller looks cool with the cover art pressed into the vinyl. It sounds like crap. The process of making a picture disc puts sound quality on the back burner. If you want a copy of an album for display, help yourself. If you want a good listening copy, keep digging.

Want Lists

My Wantlist on Discogs

I have an extensive want list and would love nothing more than to pick up every album listed. Build one to keep track of the albums you want to pick up.  If you use Discogs, you can download their mobile app and have your list in your pocket.  I don’t obsess over completing it, nor should you. There are several albums that deserve a listen that aren’t your list. Don’t let your tether to your list keep you from some gems, keep an open mind.

It’s All About The Ratings

Here are my buyer ratings, but look at the seller ratings in the 3rd column

I read reviews from buyers before I deal with an online record merchant, and I find consumers to be pretty consistent with their experiences with most sellers.

When I picked up Corinne Bailey Rae – Corinne Bailey Rae (a pretty rare record) I was faced with few choices on sellers. The album arrived slightly warped, and for a price of over $120, I expected the as stated NM condition of the album.

In my communication with the seller, we negotiated a partial refund, and everyone was happy. Good rating + good interaction = good purchase

Establish Price Limits

I never had any hard and fast rules on price, I’ve also overpaid for records that I found a short while later for sometimes half the price I paid. If there’s an album that you simply must have now, look at a few online retailers before pulling the trigger.

Understanding the Goldmine Scale

This is a separate post in and of its self, but here are the fast and dirty rules. If you want to see an article that goes deeper, look here. Keep this in mind, from 1 (poor conditions) to 10 (a perfect and unplayed record); the Goldmine gradings are equivalent to Mint-10, Near Mint-8, Excellent-7, Very Good Plus-6, Very Good-5, Good-2.

Don’t buy anything less than VG (Very Good) for playback. If you’re paying a few dollars for a record for wall art, that’s fine. The exceptions are rare records that are hard to find in any condition.

If you have any questions feel free to comment below or send me an e-mail here.

Speaking of digging the crates I’m hosting our first Vinyl Lovers Happy Hour is on March 3rd, 2017 at Taste & Thirst in the Gaslamp District here in beautiful San Diego.  Can’t wait to see you there.  Get your free tickets here.

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Vinyl Lovers Happy Hour

 

 

 

 

 

I used to wonder why I only saw fellow record collectors at the record store or fairs…

I’m changing that, starting March 3rd.  The Vinyl Lovers Happy Hour #vinylhappyhour, aims to put you in the midst of fellow collectors.  People who understand your vinyl care, storage, and digging woes.

I’ve had a few people comment on my collection when the come by the house, “They still make those?”.  I hate when people ask that but on the same token, I enjoy it.  No better time to share a testimonial of my preference for listening on vinyl than in my own home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did I mention there’s no cover?

Come down and have some tasty food and beverages, learn about how to take better care of your collection, get your records cleaned, and hang out with some of your San Diegan ilks.  You don’t really need to see Logan on opening day (I was admittedly a little frustrated when I saw the release date of the movie on Super Bowl Sunday).

About the venue

 

Located in the heart of the Gaslamp District on the corner of 4th & G, Taste & Thirst has a great menu with food for everyone.  I go for the deep fried offerings typically, and their truffle tots don’t disappoint.  With 24 beers on tap, premium liquor abounds, had a heated patio area Taste & Thirst is a great place to hang out.

Bring your dirty records

There is something about having clean records that you need to experience, so I will be offering record cleaning services on-site.  If you have more than 10 albums that you would like to get cleaned, I recommend you sign up a record care package, and I will return ship them to you.  Once you hear the difference for yourself, you’ll wonder why you waited so long.

Record abuse

Since you’ve scrolled this far, I want to share something a bit personal with you.  As you may or may not know, I love motorcycles.  I’ve had my Ducati Diavel – Tiffany for about 5 years.  She’s been feeling a bit neglected from our time in Hawaii, so I wanted to do something special for the old girl.  Our anniversary is coming up so I got her some bling…

By the time my plate gets here, it’ll be my birthday.  I would like to thank the California DMV, but the turnaround time won’t let me.  I shouldn’t complain, how can I with a bad ass license plate like that?  I really and truly would like to thank Judy that helped me out, it was the most painless DMV experience I’ve had here in California.  I’m looking forward to seeing you at our first Vinyl Lovers Happy Hour!

 Get your FREE tickets to the event here.

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What have I been up to, and what are you doing March 3rd?

What’s going on vinyl lovers? 

First, I have great news for you.  Our first Vinyl Lovers Happy Hour is on March 3rd, 2017 at Taste & Thirst in the Gaslamp District here in beautiful San Diego.  Can’t wait to see you there.  Get your tickets at the link here.

Here’s a quick video to let you know what to expect at our first Vinyl Lovers Happy Hour

After two months of no records…

I recently moved from Hawaii to San Diego, and my last few blog posts have surrounded that process.  I’m glad to be back in San Diego, but that joy is admonished by the idiocy of the movers from Covan.

 It’s been pretty aggravating dealing with the claims process and on top of that…Toni Tony Tone lied to me.  It does rain in Southern California.  As I write this, the wet stuff is falling disproving their hypothesis.   I really can’t complain about the rain as California has been in a drought that has been ended by the recent rainfall.

The household goods arriving

 

 

 

 

 

 

It would seem I have the worst luck with Hi-Fi. With the listening room in progress, and an inability to listen to my precious vinyl, I’ve found a bright side. I’ve gotten out and about in “America’s Finest City” and now have our Record Cleaning Fluid in two new locations. You can get yours at Taang! Records in Hillcrest and M-Theory in Mission Hills.

 

 Status of the Stereo: Defunct

Inevetiablelly, what is broken must be repaired.  Gladly Stereo Unlimited was ready to support with excellent recommendations and prompt repair service.  I’ve been shopping with them for quite a few years, and those guys know how to treat a customer.

 Here’s a summary of what they told me:

“Hi Tom, this will serve as documentation for your claim for shipping damage to your VPI Scoutmaster turntable and Salamander equipment stand:

The 10” VPI tonearm is bent and must be replaced. Replacement cost for that unit is $1000…The VPI tonearm mounting assembly is bent, and the pivot point is damaged and must be replaced…The VPI motor assembly has a bent shaft…The Ortofon 2M Black phono cartridge and stylus assembly are damaged, and the stylus assembly cannot be replaced to repair the phono cartridge.”

If you’re looking to upgrade your sound, give them a call.  Yes, they have a phone, and they answer it.  You can visit their website here.

No music sucks.

I’ve decided to go with a different stylus, change brands, switch to Moving Coil and I’ve upgraded my tone arm cable.  This is also a new room, all of which equate to a pretty long string of changes.  I have grown fond Nordost cables and went with Frey 2 tonearm cable in place of the Shunyata interconnect that I had. 

My Scoutmaster had a good Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While I wait to for compensation for the stereo and other damaged household items, I’ve been busy getting our first Vinyl Lovers Happy Hour (VLHH) together for you.  It will be on March 3rd from 5-9 at Taste & Thirst in the Gaslamp District here in beautiful San Diego.

We will be doing vinyl care demonstrations, cleaning records and spinning albums of your choosing so make sure you bring some with you.  

What else is going on?

 

 

 

Thank you for pushing our Facebook page past 3,000 likes!  It feels good to see the community growing, and being embraced by so many people. We will have a giveaway coming up soon, so stay tuned and subscribe to our mailing list to be notified.  Thank you for helping us get to this milestone.

Shot the room with my mic, time to place the foam and diffusers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two words, Ducati Diavel.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before I developed the audiophile sickness, I mean got into the hobby…I rode my motorcycle a lot.  This past weekend I had the chance to revisit the long rides that Hawaii couldn’t facilitate.  I met up with a group of riders as I was stopping for breakfast and ended riding just over 300 miles.

One of the things I’ve missed about living in Southern California were the breadth of canyon roads to ride.  I went from home to…take a look at the map below:

 

All in all, the time I’ve been back in California has been good.  My Bryston 4BSST2 just came back from service in Vermont at the Bryston US service center.  It would seem that my ungrounded power cable was the issue because the couldn’t recreate the fault.  I came to the conclusion it was the cable after realizing my preferred one was too short for where I wanted to put the amp (between the speakers).

But wait there’s more…

I’m offering a sale from now through February 20th for LP to digital conversion.  You can schedule a consultation by filling out this form.  Secondly, our Record Cleaning Fluid will be available online in our store starting in March.  For now, you can pick up yours at Taang Records and M-Theory Music in San Diego.


I’m looking forward to many great experiences in 2017 with all of you!

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Visiting Record Stores in San Diego

San Diego Coronado Bridge

I think I like M-Theory & TANGG! Records

The beautiful city of San Diego and I are not strangers.  I lived here from 2008-2013, and it left a huge impact on me.  I built my first two channel stereo, learned to ride a motorcycle, forged friendships, worked aboard two submarines, and learned a lot about myself here.

Here’s my Virgin Vinyl Roadtrip to M-Theory Music

I did not, however, do much record digging.  When I left California, I had about 15 albums.  Most of them were records I picked up for the cover art or an artist I liked at a decent price.  I did not look at the albums I was digging so much as the cover art.  The albums that I loved the most were Count Basie – Super Chief, John Coltrane – A Love Supreme, Adele – 19, and Jimi Hendrix – Winterland.  I put some serious groove wear on those.

My Early Record Collection
My Early Record Collection

It didn’t help that my stylus was poorly aligned, nor that I wasn’t cleaning my records (at first).  Interesting how we apply things we learn isn’t it?  I started collecting records after watching Reign Over Me, the first serious Adam Sandler movie I’d ever seen.  

The mention of that film is significant because immediately after I turned it off, I went and bought a record player and two records, Count Basie – Super Chief [Columbia, CG 31224] and Duke Ellington – The Best Of Duke Ellington And His Famous Orchestra [Capitol, SM-1602].

Here’s my Vinyl Roadtrip to Taang! Records

Since then I’ve learned to take excellent care of my albums.  I clean and maintain them with products we carry at Taang Records!, house them in high-quality sleeves, catalog them on Discogs, and select them with a much more discerning eye.  

Taang! Records and M-Theory Music seem to be just what I want from a local shop.  I will miss my local store of over four years, Hungry Ear Records.  Ward, Dennie, Mary, and Jim are forever part of my memories.  I’m looking forward to seeing them at the 2017 Hawaii Record Fair.

Hawaii Record Fair 2015
Hawaii Record Fair 2015
What I found in my preliminary digs

While I was in Taang! Records, I came across a “6 Eye” copy of Miles Davis – Kind of Blue [Columbia, CS 8163] in VG+ condition.  I may be back for that one.  I picked up a copy of The Sure File Soul Ensemble – Out on The Coast [Colemine Records, CLMN 12014] from M-Theory.  The band is out of San Diego, and Out on The Coast is their second album, released in October of this year.  Looking forward to taking a listen once I get unpacked.  

Excited to be back in San Diego, and looking forward to the digging, sharing, and community we are going to build here.  If you have a place you would like me to visit, please send me a message here.  I look forward to hearing from you.

As always, keep spinning.

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How to Listen to LP’s On The Go!

Feelings such as loneliness, longing or love are sometimes hard to put into words; maybe that’s why we all love music, because it resonates with something we can’t share.
-Agnes Obel

 

Create products for record lovers

It’s been a week since I got to California, and it’s been even longer since I got to listen to a record on my stereo.  In a recent video on Instagram, I talked about how my amp died right before I shipped all my household goods.

If you’re going to judge it might as well be for something worthwhile
 
It takes about 30 days for a shipment to get from Hawaii to California including packing, loading, shipping, and unloading.  While I’m not so patiently awaiting the arrival of my housewares, at least I have my portable listening setup.

 

The Sound

Onkyo HF Player
Onkyo HF Player

Telling you that I put in my ear buds and I am transported to my listening room when Stan Getz & João Gilberto – Getz/Gilberto (192 khz/24 bit) [Verve, B0020749-02] plays would be a lie.  I will tell you that my portable setup took me out of the environment I was sitting in (Waikiki at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center).  Tourists all around, the noise of the city buzzing, and I put my music in, and all of it disappeared.

royal-hawaiian-vilage

I’m not a high volume listener, finding myself isolated from the environment had a profound effect on me. I wasn’t in my listening room, but I wasn’t in Waikiki anymore.  It was like being in a listening booth looking out at the passers-by.

“What about active noise cancellation headphones that are in the same price range?”  

I’m not a fan of active noise cancellation unless I’m on a plane.  To create that sense of silence the sound quality has to suffer.  I’m always going to lean toward quality over isolation, but these IEM’s fit the bill for both criteria.

As I write this I’m listening to Corinne Bailey Rae – The Heart Speaks In Whispers, my girlfriend is hosting a webinar, and I can’t hear a word she’s saying.  That’s with the volume at just under 3 of 5 on the low gain setting.

That volume knob feels good.
That volume knob feels good.

 

“Bullshit, Tom!”

You may be thinking.  I assure you there’s no bullshit to what I heard.  The sounds I was hearing didn’t happen by mistake.  There is no mystical snake oil; I didn’t put my earbuds in a red solo cup overnight, dance around my iPod counterclockwise during the harvest moon to find pleasure in this setup.  I researched, impedance matched, and set up my portable rig to sound great.  Get my MP3 to Hi-Fi guide by signing up here.

 

The Gear

  • Apple iPod Touch 64GB – The ever ubiquitous iPod has been around in several iterations since 2003.  Selecting the iPod touch was a no-brainer for many reasons, with capacity being the foremost.  Out of the box, the iPod will only play files, up to 48 kHz @ 24 bits through Apple Music.
  • RHA T20i – These IEM’s (in ear monitors) are amazing if you like a flat response, with just enough bass.  The key to in-ear headphones is fit.  The most expensive in-ears are custom molded to your ear to address fit.  The RHA’s come with a wide assortment of ear tips that will fit nearly any ear. These earbuds sound great and don’t break the bank.  
  • Oppo HA-2 SE – This DAC (digital to analog converter) makes High-resolution music playback possible on your iPod.  The HA-2 SE supports file formats up to384kHz/32 Bit or DSD Quad Rate (11.28 MHz), but I listen to a more plebeian 96-192 kHz @ 24 Bits.  You can use the HA-2’s internal battery to charge your playback device or phone on the go, and it works with everything, Apple/PC/Android.

 

High-Resolution Music

I didn’t bother putting any of the music from my cloud-based iTunes library on the iPod.  If you want to listen to your MP3’s, help yourself.  I want the source to match the gear, so I’m only putting high-quality tunes on my iPod.

I have been a Tidal Hi-Fi customer for just over a year and I’m well pleased with their catalog.  The sound quality is top notch, but find myself just a little insatiable.  The downloaded music is in whatever quality you select in the options of the app, make sure you choose before downloading.

tidal-screenshot

 

Why do I need a dedicated music player, can’t I just use my phone?

 

You can use your phone in a similar setup, but you would be missing out on something.  Think of your portable music solution, like your stereo.  Separate components may not be something that appeals to those who like lifestyle audio systems like the McIntosh RS 100.  I’m reminded of a recent Sonos commercial, shared below.

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/_Yy9snM9FeU?list=PL16nFy_yUyOUdB-VUJLgOMcs6-HsY87Tl” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

I want music, not Facebook updates.

Our phones do much more than they did when the first portable music players were released.  My iPhone 6S Plus has more memory, storage capacity, and capability than my first 3 computers combined.

The iPhone as a music playback system, finds itself overwhelmed when asked to be a phone, high-resolution music storage repository, activity tracker, payment method, flashlight, HD video camera, GPS, and paper weight.  A dedicated device will serve you better in terms of listening.

A dedicated device will serve you better in terms of listening, and there are all-inclusive solutions available.  The Astell & Kern players are excellent.  Their price point is further upmarket that the solution I described above.  Many of you have iPods already, as did I.  Before you condemn your iPod to the closet or even if you have, use my [iPod to Hi-Fi Guide] to get on the path to portable Hi-Fi.

Where can I get these Hi-Fi tunes?

Now that you have decided that you want a portable Hi-Fi, where do you get the tunes to match the capabilities of your setup?

There are many choices you for you to get your high-resolution files but as I am a record collector, I want to listen to “my music.”

  • You can download music from an online retailer, like HD Tracks, Primephonic, or Linn Records (for you KISS fans).  Albums start around $18 and go up depending on your preferred bitrate.
  • Streaming in Hi-Fi is also an option with premium services offered by Tidal which allows for downloads with quality up to FLAC 44.1/16 (Hi-Fi membership $24.99/monthly) or Spotify with streaming and downloads up to 320Kbps (Premium membership $9.99/monthly).
Or

If you’re like me, you love the sound of your records.  The ritual of listening: liner notes, cover art, stylus dropping, and sitting in your favorite chair are an event.  Not something you can recreate on the go, right?  

Since all albums aren’t available in prepackaged digital formats (as I discover more and more), having a recording studio with a wealth of recording knowledge helps in fulfilling that desire.  

Vinyl for The People offers vinyl conversion service, which converts your LP’s to high-resolution digital files for playback on your home or portable systems. Click here to schedule a discovery session.

    How large are these Hi-Fi albums?

61vl9ivdmwl-_sl1400_

Norah Jones – Come Away With Me

This album is a stalwart of the audiophile music collection.  Unlike some other albums, it sounds good and has good music (that almost everyone can agree upon).

Below are the file sizes for the album in various formats:

  • MP3 – Lowest resolution and smallest file sizes.  MP3’s are the most common digital format of music.  They are small and don’t sound bad if you don’t know better or only listen through your bundled earbuds.

Album Size – 103MB

  • FLAC – A cousin to MP3, is a lossless compression format that is half the file size of WAV files (depending on bitrate).  I prefer FLAC for my digital files as it gives me the best size to sound performance ratio.

Album Size –  192/24 1.8GB, 96/24 996MB

  • DSD – The newest digital music craze.  With the promise of bit-perfect playback and a more “analog” sound, it is aimed squarely at audiophiles.  DSD comes in a few flavors Single Rate, Double Rate, and Quad Rate.         

Album Size –  DSD (2.8MHz) 1.78GB, Quad Rate DSD (11.2MHz) 7.12GB

 

High Resolution audio file formats

 

Listen to your favorite LP’s anywhere

“Listen to your favorite LP’s anywhere” is what drove me to offer this service.  The thought of not being able to hear to my records for at least a month is a tough pill to swallow.  I have some of my favorites here, and not just in low fidelity, and that is comforting.  Nothing will ever replace my records, even if it’s something more convenient.

Vinyl to digital conversion service

Here is an article to help you learn more about DSD.  I’m an info addict, and this article is a hard read for me.  The article is excellent, but between the numbers and amount of information…it’s been placed on my read later list a few times.

If you’re ready to learn more about vinyl record conversion, click here to schedule a discovery session.

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How to enjoy your records everywhere

vinyl-lps-to-cd-mp3

I want to tell you about the latest offering from Vinyl for The People. Starting in January, we will convert your precious LP’s to digital formats up to DSD 2x.  

Pre-orders are open now, and I’m offering introductory pricing for orders submitted before 31 December!

Choose a conversion package:

Basic $25.00 $19.95 (introductory pricing)

  • Convert your LP to digital format of your choice (FLAC/WAV) 44.1kHz @16 bit
  • Apply metadata and album art to files
  • Send converted files to provided e-mail address
  • Standard return shipping with tracking

Premium $45 $38.25 (introductory pricing)

  • 5 stage album Cleaning
  • convert to a digital format of your choice WAV/FLAC/ALAC in bitrate of choice 44.1 – 192kHz or DSD Standard or 2X
  • Mail cleaned and converted albums files on Thumb Drive with albums in folders arranged by title.
  • Files uploaded to our cloud and made available as completed

Multiple Album packages

A multi-album package is the best value for the conversion service; you can pick your favorite LP’s and have them converted at one time.  Up to 28% savings compared to converting your library one album at a time.

Basic Packages (at limited time introductory pricing)

  • 10 albums – $180
  • 15 albums – $270
  • 20 albums – $360

 

Premium Packages (at limited time introductory pricing)

  • 5 albums – $200
  • 10 albums – $400
  • 15 albums – $625

Ala Carte Services

Album burned to CD – $5

Album burned to Audio DVD -$12

Rush service – +20% of service cost + Shipping

Rush shipping – Starting at $35 

Gift Delivery (perfect for the holidays) – $15 personalized handwritten note, gift wrapping, and thumb drive with album(s) loaded onto it

 I am a huge proponent of enjoying music on vinyl.  That doesn’t mean it’s convenient.  I’m okay with that.  The experience of putting on an album and listening to it on your stereo doesn’t compare to scrolling through your digital library and clicking play.

A few weeks ago my amplifier died from loneliness while I was in DC.  Okay, I’m not sure why my amp died, and gladly I discovered that right before I started packing.  However, my flight coming back from San Jose a couple of nights ago would not have been as nice without a few choice albums loaded onto my iPod.

[Onkyo HF app screenshot]

You can listen to your favorite albums in the highest quality, wherever you are!  Click here to schedule a discovery session to see how we can reach your listening goals.

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Moving to California, 3 years in photos (Farewell Oahu)

My time in the aloha state has come to an end.  It has been a good 3 years, and I’ve built some great memories with some phenomenal people.  

I’ve had the opportunity to:

Hear some great music from some of my favorite artists
Hear some great music from some of my favorite artists

 

See countless gorgeous sunsets
See countless gorgeous sunsets

 

Create products for record lovers
Create products for record lovers

 

Fall in love
Fall in love

 

Eaten several delectable meals
Eaten several delectable meals
Build and rebuild my record collection
Build and rebuild my record collection

And

I’ve gotten to see Vinyl for The People grow from an idea to reality.  So many people have provided feedback, encouragement, and graciously given their time to provide content for the website, and many of you have purchased my goods.  I appreciate every exchange.

I’m excited to be heading to San Diego and look forward to growing Vinyl for The People into a larger community of collectors and enthusiasts.  See you soon Hawaii.

–Tom

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15 Pet Peeves of Record Collectors

img_6696

15. Buying a reissue and discovering it is mastered from a CD and sounds like shit – If you wanted CD music, you would purchase a CD.  You can check the source of your albums online before you buy or look for editions made from master tapes like MFSL.

warped-records-665x400

14. Getting that album you preordered and, and waited, and waited for; only to open it and find it’s warped – This happened to me on Record Store Day,  The Doors 3 LP live album.  I was recording a Virgin Vinyl Sunday video, and I got to the 3rd album,  and lo and behold…warped. My favorite record store took it back and gave me credit.

13. When people that play records without cleaning them – This is self-explanatory, but you can help resolve this issue.  Friends don’t let friends play dirty records.

warped-record

12. Seeing others suffer through number 14 – You feel sorry, and hope your next dig doesn’t suffer the same fate.  Warped records aren’t something you would wish on your enemy unless they are the kind of people that let #13 happen.

peanuts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. When people don’t understand that you want to stay in and listen to your records – Listening to music on vinyl is an experience, a ritual if you will.  Sometimes, listening to music is more desirable than the company of others.

DJ Hapa Boy - Honolulu, Hi
DJ Hapa Boy – Honolulu, Hi

10. When people ask if you are a DJ – If see me scratching like DJ Hapa Boy, then I can understand that question.  When you come across people with groceries, ask if they are chefs, and see their response.

obselete

9. People tell you records are obsolete – Betamax, cassettes, microfiche, and VHS are obsolete, not records.  The technology is dated, and has disadvantages, but not obsolete.  There’s a laser turntable; I haven’t seen any updates the aforementioned

Hooked on Phonics worked for me!

8. When people pluralize records as “vinyls” – many people are challenged by the English language, and for good reasons.  It’s convoluted, uses spellings that are different just because, and is wrought with rules that don’t always make sense.  The plural of deer is deer, as it is with vinyl.

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7. People call you a hipster – There’s something about the word hipster that makes my skin crawl.  I think of ridiculous mustaches, craft beer, fixie bikes, and skinny jeans.  I don’t identify with any of those things, but I do love records.  You don’t lump vegans in with the anti-establishment crowd, or do you?

Record Store Day at Hungry Ear Records in Honolulu, Hi

 

6. Having to work on April 18th (Record Store Day) – Record Store Day has come under scrutiny, but for most, it’s a time to share your love with fellow collectors and enthusiasts, get some limited edition pressings, swag, and much more.  I’ve spent my last three at Hungry Ear Records in Honolulu, Hi. 

The last Eric Roberson show I went to, I inquired about pressing his albums on vinyl.
The last Eric Roberson show I went to, I inquired about pressing his albums on vinyl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. That album you wanted was never pressed on vinyl – I am a huge Eric Roberson Fan.  I’ve seen him perform live three times, and have his entire discography in digital format.

 

Photo by Pedro Fernandes
Image by Pedro Fernandes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. “Vinyl is back” – Yes, Record sales have had a dramatic rise over the past seven years.  Vinyl sales account for just under 10% of total album sales. The thing is, to record collectors the records never left.  Your local record store has never stopped carrying them.  Stop saying it’s back, you hipster.

stackzofwax

 

 

 

 

 

3. Someone says, “I had a bunch of records that I just threw out, I wish we met earlier” – why would you tell me this?  I mean are you some sick masochists that find pleasure in bringing pain the hearts of others?  You wouldn’t tell someone that likes dogs, “Oh, I just put down my Golden Retriever.  I wish I knew you were a dog lover; he just needed a good home”, would you?

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2. The limited edition or random 180-gram pressings of an album you want – Albums pressed at Pallas in Germany (left record) typically sound great, are less prone to being delivered like #15 and are going to cost a premium.  Are audiophile pressings worth the extra coin?  You’re going to have to get both to find out.

crosley-cruiser-stack

 

1.The Crosley Cruiser – Start here, don’t stay here.  While suitable for dipping your toes into the pool of vinyl, these little cuties can be found everywhere from Urban Outfitters to Wal-Mart.  They don’t sound very good and can ruin your perception of the pleasure of listening to music on vinyl.

There are a lot more things that irk the record collector, subscribe here to find more and don’t forget to follow us on social media, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Ice cream on the North Shore for Breakfast

This past Saturday started like most. I woke up just after sunrise, catching a glimpse of a gorgeous sky. Looking at the time 6:07, I start to prioritize my day. The first thing I normally do is nuzzle up to my sleeping girlfriend who is currently in Plam Springs.  That was the first difference of the day.  Then I look at my phone for messages and notifications. I didn’t plug it in last night, so it’s dead. Which means I have to read something on paper for my morning pit stop.

Enter Record Collector News  a publication I picked up at Amoeba a few months back.  That’s not what sparked this post, I digress. Completing my morning ritual, I get ready to head to the barbershop. After checking the weather, I opt to ride instead of driving.
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Heading out, I notice a small fray in my favorite jeans that 7 for All Mankind may have discontinued . A muted “nooo” from beneath my helmet and I move on. Not much I can do about that one, I conveyed to myself[once I got home I ordered a couple of pairs, my jeans are still relevant]. Traffic is dense for 8 am on a Saturday, but I weave my way through and open up when I get past Waikiki. Atlantic Top 60 – Jazz, Jive, and Strut playing from Tidal in my helmet. There is nothing between the road and I except for slow moving traffic. The Aloha state has plenty of that.
Arriving at the barber shop, I remember that I didn’t make an appointment. So I’m faced with two choices…unfamiliar hands cutting my hair or come back tomorrow.

I don’t like waiting.

So, I go outside to decide which I would rather do. Typically, I vape while deciding what to do next. But today was different, I went outside, hopped on my bike, and rode off. No destination in mind, nor thoughts about the uncompleted grooming, just the playlist, bike and the road.  Now I’m eating ice cream for breakfast.

A pineapple bowl

The events of this particular Saturday morning are similar to how I feel listening to music. The decisions to be made are the artists, changes in plan are the tracks, and each of the 86,200 seconds we have in a day are the individual notes.  I could delve deeper into the metaphor, but I just finished eating ice cream for breakfast…I think I’m going to keep riding.

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Keep spinning,

Tom