Tag Archives: turntable

Awareness Geek

How to calibrate a record player

Gizmodo, the venerable tech blog, ran its “Listening Test” series last week.  This was a series of posts designed to focus on everything audio, from tech stuff, to nerdy posts on the first records they ever bought.

This piece, however, may be of some use to the semi-audiophiles among you.

Basically, they gave you step-by-step instructions on how to calibrate your turntable with only a few simple tools:

  • A 2mm Allen/Hex wrench for the cartridge screws
  • A ruler
  • Magnifying glass and flashlight
  • Needle-nose pliers or tweezers
  • A printout of a standard cartridge alignment ruler (available at vinylengine.com for free)

It’s detailed and focused, and really appeals to the OCD in me.  Go check it out if you feel like you’re not quite getting the most of your system.

Quick

World’s Most Expensive Turntable

A $50,000 turntable.  It’s the Montegiro Lusso Turntable.

To be fair, it’s pretty cool looking, but I’m sure it’s absolutely impractical.

It’s supposed to have an ultra-precise motor and the cartridge is made out of titanium.  Still, I really don’t know if it’s worth it.  I may stick with my low-end tables.

In my googling, I did find some pretty interesting thing.  Kanye West’s blog did a post on this same topic, and appears to have the exact same wording as the original post I saw on AudioJunkies.

Not that it’s that big a deal or anything, but I figure you can at least change the words around a little!  Bad on Kanye.

Looking directly at the Montegiro site, I actually think I’m more a fan of the Vivo turntable.  Here’s what it looks like:

I bet it’s cheaper too.

Art Music

Turntable Art – Simon Elvins

Simon Elvins is an astonishing artist who was featured over at the blog Pretty Goes with Pretty.

The creation you see pictured on the left is a fully working record player made entirely out of paper. That’s right, it actually plays vinyl. And it’s made out of paper.

Now, it’s more for the artistic effects of it then any musical aspects, since the LP has to be turned manually to make any sound come out.

Elvin has done a lot of work involving different depictions of music and audio. It goes all across the spectrum from books and publications to unique “maps” that involve plotting his own personal movement across a city based on pictures he took, or Silent London, which uses noise levels to plot out the city’s quietest places.

His focus on auditory phenomena makes him a perfect fit for 4080Records, and I think you should check him out.

Art

4080Records Presents: Christian Marclay

Christian Marclay is a particular strange and, I think, incredible artist. He obviously uses a pretty wide variety of materials but in the documentary below, his focus is mainly on turntables and vinyl.

What could be more in keeping for 4080? Nothing! Check out the video below to get a sense of his work.

Marclay is quite the character. He started off in playing music in the punk rock era. Wikipedia suggests his inspiration came from using a skipping turntable to fill in for a missing drummer (the skips being used as percussion).

I think my favourite thing that he’s done (as you’ve seen in the video), is the way he cuts and rejoins thrift-store records. It creates a whole new sound out of old vinyl, and may mean some interesting combinations. Obviously harming any records (as you also saw in the video, with his little vinyl snapping ensemble) is not a thing we’re endorsing, but you have to admit some of the sounds he’s come up with are pretty intriguing.

Overall I’d say it’s his use of a traditional music form in brave new ways that draws me in the most. He’s really exploring new uses for vinyl and for a turntable, in a way that is supposed to encourage thought. I’m not saying he’s entirely succeeding, but he’s also not doing terribly either.