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Tom Briant

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Bits and Pieces as the Year draws to a end notes that the top selling piece of audio hardware this past Christmas was…an old-fashioned turntable with built-in amplifier and two speakers. Congratulations, we’re back in 1962, although the electronics have hopefully improved over my old portable recorder player. 

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In a nod to modernity, this device includes a USB port so that you can use your computer to make MP3s and a line-in port so that you can amplify your portable digital player.  This probably means a complementary CD burned with the Audacity software. That you have to learn to use yourself.  

So if you got one of these, it’s time to mine the trove of records you got from inheritance from dead relatives, living relatives downsizing, checking the local used CD and LP stores and their on-line counterparts, and maybe a purchase or two of some of the new issues on 180 gram vinyl. 

If you wonder what is the next step beyond vinyl, that step is to go to open-reel tape recorders. The kind of tape recorders our parents grew up with in the 1950’s and 60’s.  You can still get them as refurbished units for over a grand. Apparently they’ve become quite chic among audiophiles with the bucks to buy one. 

The last one I owned was a relatively cheap Akai that I bought in 1984 for $250. I had to unscrew part of the capstan in order to change speeds, but the fidelity was OK. I gave it to a relative. 

Onto other topics. An analyst who kept make predictions that Apple’s stock would crash and burn has received his walking papers. 

Obviously he should have gone into bloviating about politics. There you can blog without paying any consequences for wrong decisions.

Oh, by the way, if you wondered what came in second in Amazon’s sales of audio hardware, that would go to a very nice Yamaha receiver that works with AirPlay. Share your iPhone’s audio selections!  It sells for $380 plus tax and shipping.

As for your editor, I have a good turntable from Radio Shack that I need to use. My radio receiver these days is either my Safari or Chrome browser or iTunes Internet Radio.  My speakers at best are a 10 year old set of Creative Labs 2.1 computer speakers. I have thin walls in my condo complex and a good set of Monoprice headphones. I have friends on the HOA board next door and I intend to keep them.


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog






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