Being partially sighted, I adhere to the cliché that I'm well into music 100%! I have literally hundreds of CDs, LPs and cassettes, and even have a couple of prerecorded MDs just for the heck of it. I also have 90 or so 8 tack cartridges (mostly cheesy tat!) and 3 DCC tapes, and I NOW have a Philips DCC730 to play them on - cheers Ebay! What a pants format though - but the analog portion of this deck is the only one I've found with autoreverse where the azimuth alignment seems right in both directions so a bonus!  

I will listen to just about anything, but draw the line at choral work, full-strength classical, pretentious jazz and that godawful crap known as 'audiophile' recordings - boring sh-te recorded to make your system sound good, not get your foot tapping!

Some of my faves are: ABC, Tori Amos, the Beatles, Beastie Boys, Bodycount, Kate Bush, Chic, Cinderella, the Doors, dIRE sTRAITS, Garbage, the Go-Go's, Hole, Howard Jones, Metallica, O.M.D., Pantera, R.E.M., Roxette, the Rutles, etc. OK - a bit of a random mix, but variety and all that...

I mustn't forget my Eighties fetish, so anything like cheesy Acid House, Gimmick rave, and cheesy Spandau Ballet/Human League type stuff... I have a large collection of NOW albums - enough said! Or should that be Sad Enough!

Since nobody came forward with the video to Jack and Chill's 'The Jack That House Built', or Bomb The Bass's 'Into The Dragon' on CD, I had a long slog and got both - aha!

I also like film soundtracks, and Reservoir Dogs, Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction are three of my faves, although now I have scored a copy of Bruce Lee's Enter The Dragon soundtrack, this is pushing its way up the faves chart. Jackie Brown is also very good, though not the sort of thing I would normally listen to - it's too 'cool' for me!

What do I play this load on?

I have a complex separates system, as midi and mini systems sound like absolute crap, plain and simple. Yeah, separates cost more, but you couldn't add a 28 year old 8 track deck or a new format to a midi without a lot of hassle, and besides, things like SACD and DVD-A would be wasted on one of those placky heaps! It's a love/hate relationship for me though - sometimes I'm half tempted to dump the lot here:

Most of my hi-fi is cobbled together from Harry's castoffs, Richer Sounds, Loot or Free-ads, although occasionally I'll buy brand new and/or at full price! The beauty of good quality second hand or ex-demonstration gear is that it's fully run in, and so sounds exactly as you heard it in the shop or at the vendor's house. I hate waiting for speakers to run in. Of course, turntable carts should NEVER be bought second hand, and tape decks can be a bit iffy too - yes Technics RX-B85, I'm talking about you!.

My main kit looks something like this:

Rega Planar 3/P3 hybrid turntable with Ortofon 540 cartridge; Technics STGT1000 DAB tuner; switchboxes; Pioneer CT447 tape deck; Technics RX-B85 tape deck; Akai CR81D cartridge recorder
Rega Planet CD player; Naim NAIT3 amp; Sony JB940 Minidisc

OK - so the photo's out of date - so sue me!
This lot looks like Blackpool Illuminations when used in semi darkness.... (these don't match as this has the spectrum analyser and timer)

It's prettier from the front than the back - it's a literal spaghetti junction behind these racks - something like 25 mains leads, 30 interconnects of various types, and aerial leads... Maybe a midi system isn't such a bad bet after all....

Spaghetti Junction!

I currently run a Rega Mira and Elas using Naim NACA5 speaker cable for the business end, and feed various stuff into this via either a cheapo switchbox or my Yamaha Dolby Digital E800 cinema decoder for the A/V sources.

There's 2 cassette decks (Technics and Pioneer (thanks again Harry for the latter!), a cheap Technics tuner, a Sony JB940 MD, and my 8 track deck. This leaves the two most important sources...

Vinyl rules

I currently own a Rega Planar 3 which sounds pretty good considering I got it second hand and it's about 15 years old. The deck in the below photo isn't mine though:

This deck, however, is - one New Fast Automatic Daffodils LP is doing a very good interpretation of the famous Dead or Alive track in this image:

How you know you're a vinyl junkie...

My deck has the RB300 arm with tungsten weight, and an Ortofon 540 MM cartridge. I have also upgraded the PSU/motor to the newer P3 status as the pulley kept slipping when asked to deliver torque; it now doesn't, and also sounds twice as expensive. Astute planning...

I managed to blag the Gold limited edition uprated version of the Dynavector 10x4, but it topped itself recently, which is gutting, since- I believe it's limited to 50 in the world, so I was pretty flukey! However, the thing is a REAL PAIN to get a photo of, so I had to just take the packaging - complete with my old Ortofon 530 cartridge, which now resides in my Reading bedroom system!

The first thing I intend to do when I win the lottery is upgrade this rig to a Michell GyroDec - Harry has the Michell Orbe and it kicks, and I want to get a little nearer that.

I fully intend to stick a load of scans of more interesting/embarrassing items in my music collection, but for now, here's two records all punk fans should own...

Slaughter and the dogs' first ep - not bad musically (though not as good as the album "Done dog style", the cover is one of the best I've ever seen in my life. Nipper gets nailed hardcore!
Alberto Y Los Trios Paranoias' "Snuff rock EP" - some of the best clichéd punk around - well, it IS a comedy record! With songs like "Kill" and "Gobbing on life", how can you miss!? A must-own...

Inferior band limited digital formats, etc...

I use a Rega Planet for CD replay, and it rocks. There's a minor 'bug' with the lid whereby you sometimes have to reinsert disks to get the thing to spin them up properly, but I live with it - as no other CDP touched it in realistic price territory:

Of course the Planar 3 eats it alive, but as far as CDs go, it's a very lovely player thank you very much! Plus it's a toploader and the metal case looks like plastic - truly original! I heard it also featured in some style magazines so it has some cred about it looks-wise as well as sound-wise - makes a change for hi-fi gear.

I consider cassette (well, any tape-based format) to be retrotechnology now too; it's just too limited compared to disc - my current fave format is DVD (though for films only). I'm also infatuated with MD and recordable CD as well. But my 2 tape decks do get used occasionally, as I still have a sizable collection of tapes. When you have as many as I do, just junking them is not an option...

The only problem with CDs is that they do NOT last forever. As mentioned on the Quotes page, some discs suffer from 'Laser Rot' just like Laserdiscs. Here is the evidence - a funny, tarnished appearance caused by oxidation of the reflective data layer - on a Paul Weller CD in this case:

As far as I know though, this problem only affects PDO (Philips/DuPont Optical) discs, and the company will replace any disc suffering from this nasty affliction.

I now also have a bedroom system, currently resident in Reading, as since I've moved to Exeter my main rig is there! I currently have:

NAD 533 (Rega P2 OEM), Ortofon 530 cartridge
Pioneer PDR609 CD recorder
Philips DCC 730 Digital Compact Cassette
NAD 4225 tuner
Sony 530 Minidisc
Rega Mira 2000 amp
Rega Kytes
Mana (ha ha got ya going) Argos rack
Acoustic Solutions speaker stands

...and a pretty pee-poor collection of cables, but heck, it's only for the bedroom. Actually, I now have some Chord stuff in there so it's not all bad - plus some white NACA5 speaker cable - believe the hype - the white stuff is easier to bend than the black stuff!

Stop press - the white NACA moved into the mian rig along with the NAIT - sweet!

When the music's over, turn over the side....

I'm sorry, but I had to have something decent to put my headphones on - Ebay has some uses... I did try to get a glass head a'la the Sennheiser ads, but then I saw this mannequin head and thought "ah sod it, let's get a wig and make those phones stand out" so here's my "Sennhead" :)


One totally obsolete tape format - good ole DCC - well, I have 3 tapes, and the reason I got the deck was to play back analog tape so it's not a total waste of dosh!!

And some more of the black stuff, just 'cos I love it :) ...a bit of U2 this time.

I couldn't resist, ahem, changing a London street sign for my site... Hope the Beatles don't mind though.

©2003 dB
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