Thursday, October 19, 2017

Tables Turning

Recently A has become interested in old school forms of music, i.e., vinyl records, if you can believe that. I know it's been a bit fringe trendy for a long time, and I didn't really give it much thought until now. I figured it would just be a blip on the screen and then fade away, but somehow vinyl is still popular in certain circles. Since A is a music officionado, she's mentioned now and then the interest in getting a turntable, though it's not a priority at this point. Nonetheless, the mere mention has put the idea on dad's radar, and over the past few months I've kept my eye out for one at the Listen Center or through the town listserve.

A few have showed up at the Listen, some of them pretty nice, though not as cheap as I'd like. Ideally I wanted to get one for free, because let's face it, I was not about to drop a lot of money on a record player. Plus, there was the added threat of facing mom's scorn at procuring yet another piece of equipment to take up space. If it collects dust and isn't used, we're talking a double whammy of angst. Plus, who buys vinyl anymore? We don't even own any, though I used to have plenty when I was younger.

As I mentioned a few showed up at the Listen but I was reluctant because they were on the pricier side. I felt bad, but A said it wasn't a big deal, and she was sympathetic to my domestic concerns, especially since she's been in my shoes. Well, as luck would have it, our friend and neighbor, CF, was trying to get rid of his old turntable and I said I was interested. In fact, he was looking for an old bike for a friend, which I happened to have, so we worked out a swap.

The turntable was kind of cool, though I know nothing about them in this day and age. Clearly this was an older model, and it had a custom made case that CF made himself. It was heavy, however. I got it home and wasn't sure how mom would react, though A and N thought it was pretty cool. I even bought some vinyl at Listen for $2. They have stacks of old records, some of them so cheesy that you wouldn't believe it.

Either way, this is where the story gets good. As it turns out, the turntable didn't work (oh great). I plugged it in and the thing didn't turn. What good is that? I was sort of bummed but figured I could just tell CF it was broken, then deal with it. However, N said he'd like to take a look at it. He got out his tools, the same ones he uses build drones, and went to work. He literally worked for a few hours on that thing, cutting, snipping, and soldering, and by the end he got the darn thing to work. I was so impressed, not to mention stoked because now the machine had legitimacy in mom's eyes since it had become N's project. Don't you just love when that happens?

What was also cool was that he fixed it and tested it with an amp and speaker that he created from scratch. He builds these things, so maybe that's why he wasn't too intimidated about fixing it. We hooked it up to our stereo, which we rarely use, and lo and behold, the thing works. We cleared out some space in the stereo cabinet to make it as incognito as possible, though mom found it immediately. I think the kids explained the situation and she was very agreeable about the whole thing, probably because her “budding engineer” of a son brought it back to life.

Of course, this means we'll have to start keeping our eyes out for vinyl, but it's not a rush. That turntable is not going anywhere soon.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Jonas Smith for the pic.

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