My vinyl adventure started in about 1957, I had a wind up gramophone where the volume control was 2 little doors on the front of the unit, it was in my bedroom and I only had a few records, one was buttons and bows by Dinah Shore and Diana by Paul Anka, on 78rpm of course.
Later I used my dad’s Dansette to listen to my parents records, dad was a big Eddie Calvert fan, though I did get tired of hearing Claire de Lune, Ted Heath’s Jazz band and Carmen the LP.
My first 2 records were The Honeybus Can’t let Maggie go and Jimmy James and the Shondelles Mony Mony about 1966/7. for 6/8d each (6 shillings and 8 pence).
I amassed quite a few singles at that time and I took my collection and Dansette to the local social club who kindly let me run a disco in 1968 in a room above the bar.
My first step into the big time was in 1969 when I bought a “music centre” a Fidelity UA5 with a record deck, amp, tuner and cassette with 2, yes 2 speakers, it was £169 and I bought it on the weekly, I thought it was La roue de chien, guitar on one side, piano/drums on the other and the singer in the middle, Fantastic!!! I loved that unit and it was the 1st time I actually bought LP’s.
My appetite was wetted and in 1978 I did a lot of research into HiFi products and I read specifications and the brand that had the best specs was Technics, they looked so well built, beautiful design and sounded fantastic. So I took the plunge and I paid £600 for a Technics turntable, Technics amp and a pair of Wharfdale E30 speakers, OMG, it was mind blowing, or so I thought, at that time a new HiFi shop called Bespoke Audio opened near me and so I went in and I heard a system that just blew me away, I said to the owner ” I wish I could turn mine up to that level”, he said “it wouldn’t sound that good if you did ” I thought hang on I’ve got Technics gear mate.
After listening at that shop for an hour or so, I went home and put my 2 week old system up for sale, went back to Bespoke and bought a Dual 626 T/table a Naim 42/110 amplifier and a pair of Allison 3 loudspeakers, the rest as they say is history, I got a part time job at Bespoke and really got into the world of HiFi, I loved it, the fact I was getting paid was just a bonus, I would have done it for nothing.
The guys there were just interested in getting the best out of the medium, which was Vinyl, I was there several years and I heard the best equipment available in the 70’s and 80’s, including the start of Albarry amplifiers made by electronics genius Neil Burnett, Albarry was named after Albert and Barry, owners of Bespoke.
The reference system at that time was a Trio L07D Direct Drive turntable, Trio L07C pre-amp, a pair of Trio L05 Mono-blocs and Allison 1 speakers, tbf the L05’s were replaced by the Albarry M408’s, we did HiFi shows at Manchester Airport, Britannia Hotel Stockport, Harrogate, London Swiss Cottage and Edinburgh using that very sytem, it was stunning and the demos were always packed.
Today I’m still mainly Vinyl, I have about 2000 Lp’s, 200 singles and maybe 30 CD’s and I now use a Thorens td124 mkii T/table, Audio Technica 1503 mkiii arm, Lyra Delos cartridge, all my amplification is the latest Albarry kit and I still listen through the Allison 3’s I initially bought.
So that’s my trip down Vinyl road, I still love it, I hope you get lots of pleasure from that bit of diamond dragging it’s way around a piece of plastic, that fact it works at all still fascinates me.
A year ago I had a 4m x 5m Log cabin built at the bottom of my garden to reduce noise annoyance for my neighbours, it works fine with of course the obligatory bar.