MANILA, Philippines – We all love music in varying extent but for audiophiles, there is a world, which some people may not be acquainted with that has people obsessed with the quality of recorded music and the gear that captures it. Audiophiles are those who really give a damn how their music sounds but contrary to the notion that this hobby is only for the rich, this article is to prove that there is ample room for audiophilia and there are ways to be an audiophile without losing an arm and leg.
There is a revived interest in Vinyl Records which had been going on for several years now. It is probably because of the “warm” and rich sound reproduction which both the cassette tapes & Compact Discs (CDs) can never duplicate. Music on Vinyl Records are made through ANALOG technology which went through several processes to separate the sounds. Sound quality-wise, the digital technology on CD is still no match to the sound reproduction of the Vinyl Records, which can be described as “warm & alive“, it feels like you are actually in front of the singer as you listen to the song.
For the benefit of the younger generation, a Vinyl Record is similar to a Music CD that plays your favorite songs, only much bigger in size and is made of vinyl. Just like the Music CD, you will need a player to listen to music on vinyl records and it is called a turntable.
The turntable is the evolved & developed form of Edison’s gramophone, only one does not need to crank up the turntable to listen to your record. Eventually, as technology advanced, the previously mono sound recorded on vinyl records were then made in stereo and high fidelity or hi-fi.
Both the turntables & vinyl records became globally and immensely popular during the late 40s through the early 80s. With the advent of the stereo technology, turntables came in different sizes and forms.
Growing up in the 70s, I had the privilege of collecting & listening to a lot of awesome LP albums (long playing), the term used then for vinyl records which plays 33 RPM (revolution per minute). vinyl records came in 3 sizes playable at 3 speeds: 45s, 33s and 78s. Both the 45s & 78s can only hold 1 song for each side. The term: “Sounding like a Broken Record” or in the vernacular: “Parang Sirang Plaka” was derived from a vinyl record whose groove had been scratched and damaged, thus, it would keep repeating the damaged part.
My interest and love for Vinyl Records was rekindled when I posted a picture of a Turntable Stereo Console, similar to what we had before on Facebook then a friend saw my post and offered to give me his Vinyl Record collection for free! I then excitedly scheduled to pick up the Records. As I rummaged through the Vinyl Record, I was very happy to discover that it included several “The Best of” albums. Among them, Barbara Streisand, Matt Monro, Bill Haley and 2 albums of my all-time favorite Rock band: “The Who” and other awesome albums.
Since I no longer have a Turntable as my mom gave it away, it posed a problem. Brand new Turntables like a Technics SL 12 model(this is actually an old model but probably the most durable and well-loved model of a Technics Turntable) will cost you an arm plus you’ll need a Preamp, Amplifier and of course, Speakers. Even surplus and refurbished Turntables cost a fortune. I estimated that I’d have cough up at least 15k PhP or 330 USD (1 USD = 45 PhP ) just to have a second-hand Turntable set up, and I don’t have the funds.