Category Archives: gear

Mayfair Stereo Demonstration Record…Demonstration




Ever wonder what the hell is on those old “stereo demonstration” records but didn’t want to shell out the extra few bucks to actually take a battered old copy home with you? Wonder no longer.

YouTuber James Will took the trouble to produce the video above-surprising that the company bothered to press this on specialty vinyl. The LP is called “Stereo Spectacular”. Transparent vinyl! Annoying “test clicks”! The guy with the “announcer voice”!

Turntable Lab Unboxes and Sets Up A Technics 1200

Set up a Technics_SL-1200MK2-2

Turntable Lab unboxes and sets up the mighty Technics 1200 in this instructional video. Not everyone has experience assembling a pro-quality turntable out of the box, so if you are thinking about making the investment, this is a handy guide to walk you through. Beware those little parts tucked away in the styrofoam, they’re easy to overlook in the excitement of pulling that ‘table out of the packaging!



Vintage Garage Chicago

vintage garage chicagoI recently got the vintage bug after looking for vinyl at one of Chicago’s other vintage fairs and lo and behold, Vintage Garage Chicago has RECORD RAMP scheduled for June 15 2014.

This is a pretty exciting development for me as I was a bit resigned to having to go on a bug hunt for record sellers at events like this–don’t ask me why, just a stupid assumption on my part–and I find myself pleasantly surprised that I won’t have to use a microscope to find records after all…

This month’s event is all about Mid-Century Modern, which is another obsession of mine, so I will be haunting Vintage Garage Chicago this month and next…and probably for the entire summer. I’ve never been to one of these before so look forward to coverage here when the time comes…hopefully I can find one of those space-age “bubble” turntables at a reasonable price.

(image below courtesy www.vintageandflea.com)

–Joe Wallace

Futuristic turntable 60s midcentury modern

Audio-Technica USB Turntable

As a DJ and vinyl manipulator, I’ve used Audio Technica turntables like the AT-LP1240-USB Direct Drive DJ Turntable in my work, and I’ve always been satisfied with the quality I get from these. Yes, they weigh thirty five pounds which can be a right pain to lug around from gig to gig, but they’ve always been dependable and fairly rugged.

I write about this turntable–and others to come–because I am asked a LOT about the turntables I prefer and the answer is always the same. It depends a LOT on what you’re using the turntables FOR. There are people who think I am CRAZY for using Crosley products, for example, thinking that I play ALL my vinyl on them.

But when it comes to portable turntables, I personally love those little Crosleys and the issue people have with them is always something directly related to “why would you play your expensive vinyl records on one?”

The answer is that I DON’T. I play beat up, well used and loved records on them in the context of having a good time, not as a recording audiophile looking for the perfect fidelity.

Back to Audio-Technica. Yes, $350 is a pretty serious price tag for some, but the motor in this seems top notch, I’ve never had one fail on me yet, and I’m very happy with the three that I own…just an FYI in case you’re curious. I have one to play records on at home and two that I travel with for shows and installation art gigs that require vinyl manipulation or playback…

–Joe Wallace

Audio Technica USB turntable

Wax Rax For Vinyl Storage

Courtesy of DNAinfo/New  York
Courtesy of DNAinfo/New York

If you’r ever in New York (Brooklyn to be precise) and in the mood to display your albums in a way contrary to the famous brand that caused a panic recently, check out Wax Rax. These are gorgeous record carts made by avid collector and metal fabricator.  Pricey, true, but built to last, each is made to order.  And (so far the ones in the slide show ) these guys have wheels. Wheels are a nice thing to have when moving the precious collection about.  Take that,  Swedish cabinet fellows!

Jen Kilzer

The Vinyl Record Guitar

I suppose someone was going to do it eventually…and here it is, a detailed look at the creation of a vinyl record electric guitar, as assembled by Tom Bingham. According to his YouTube post this project wound up taking several attempts before he go it right! Looking at the video you’ll see that it’s not a decorative thing–those are working pickups installed there…and it does get stringed up eventually, too. It looks pretty impressive when it’s all assembled, shined up and pretty. Nice work!

–Joe Wallace

The Vinyl District Record Store Finder App: An Interview with TVD’s Tim Broun

The Vinyl District is an outstanding vinyl blog that has gone above and beyond just writing about LPs, seven-inch singles, and turntable culture; they now also offer a record store locator app letting vinyl junkies world-wide discover and share record stores. Turntabling put a few questions to TVD’s Tim Broun about the app, developed by Shoutem and available for both Android phones and the iPhone.

To begin, how did the idea for this app begin? Was there a particular day or something you can point to that made you say, “This is a really good idea–why isn’t there a record store app already?” Or, perhaps, “Why isn’t there a GOOD record store app already?”

Tim Broun: Around the same time last year, I started writing for The Vinyl District, and met the guys at Shoutem – who actually developed the app. The idea for the app itself was something that had been jelling for a while as I’ve been involved with digital music & online marketing for some time now, and I was looking for a way to combine both the physical & digital worlds. Opportunity knocked, and everything was in synch.

What did it take to develop the app? How crowd-source dependent is the record store database? I was lucky – I have a connection with the developer, Shoutem, and was able to put it together with a lot of help from them. Regarding crowd sourcing info – at the beginning I used a lot of online information to start off. Now that we’re a few months into the life of the app we’re very dependent on crowd sourced info. There is no way we can remain relevant without our users participating – what are stores up to? Moving, closing, opening, etc…

Without being TOO technical, how does the app work? At the moment we have six tabs of information in the app:

1. The Vinyl District blog feed – this works off of an RSS feed.
2. The All Stores – this is the meat of the app & works off of a back end database that I oversee.
3. Social – this is the social aspect of the app which users can leave comments & photos on if they’re signed into the app either with a dedicated account, or via twitter or facebook.
4. Record Fairs calendar – this works off of a feed we’ve set up in partnership with http://www.recordshows.net/ – a website run with a record dealing friend of mine.
5. Profile – the profile specific to each user & phone.
6. Contact/About us – info on The Vinyl District & how to contact us.

What does the vinyl buyer get out of participating in crowd-sourcing the record store details? How can vinyl lovers contribute to the record buying experience by contributing updates and info? At the moment, I can only say they get the same enjoyment out of sharing information that they might get out of blogging, or posting on Facebook. Very soon we might be launching some features which will further benefit users of the app, but I can’t really say at the moment. Vinyl lovers can currently contribute by emailing us at info@thevinyldistrict.com, posting on the wall of the app, or on the app facebook page (http://facebook.com/tvdrecordstorelocator).

The app went global recently, tell us what it took to do that, and which countries can we expect to find record shops in? It was global the moment we launched, but it took a little research to get listings of stores from other countries to include in our database. Most of the stores we have are in the US & UK, but we currently include stores in about 25 countries. The list currently reads:
– Australia
– Belgium
– Canada
– Croatia
– Czech Republic
– Denmark
– Estonia
– Finland
– France
– Germany
– Greece
– Iceland
– Ireland
– Italy
– New Zealand
– Norway
– Portugal
– Russia
– Singapore
– Spain
– Sweden
– Switzerland
– Turkey
– United Kingdom
– United States

 

What other projects are you working on? Anything vinyl-centric? Between the app and my day job, I’m super busy! I DJ from time to time, and hit record stores when I can. Especially in upstate NY near Woodstock & New Paltz. I blog at Stupefaction, and The Vinyl District, and also work with a music photographer named Eugene Merinov. I also run a Facebook page for the app here. And we encourage everyone to let us know about store openings, closings, and places we may not know about either on the facebook page, or email us at info@thevinyldistrict.com.