by Mike Wilson
Recently at Bethesda Systems we starting selling the Pro-Ject RM-5.1 SE — what I used to refer to as a “record player”. But it wasn’t until last month when I sat down with Lynn Hopffgarten, our resident Audio Specialist, and he set up what I now correctly called a “turntable”, did I remember how much I used to love listening to records. And quite frankly, how much I missed it.
This was the record player that used I to have. What can I say; I was “a good ol’ boy who never meant no harm.” This was my iPod! I would sit in my room and listen to albums (you know, VINYL!) like Billy Joel, The J Geils Band, and Pink Floyd just to name a few. Some of my fondest memories are of my dad trying to influence me with “his” music — the likes of Earth Wind and Fire, Steve Wonder and Average White Band. Of course nothing was funnier to a pre-teen than playing any of the above at 45rpm.
So Lynn Sat me down in front of this turntable and began playing the re-release of U2’s Actung Baby (1991) and I was speechless. Just to hear the slight pops before the music began had my attention. Before I knew it we were half way through the first side. I was actually listening to music again. Not just driving in a car, killing time on a plane or making exercise tolerable. It was an amazing feeling. As for the sound quality, WOW buy your favorite song on iTunes play it out of your ear buds then buy the Vinyl copy and listen to it on a good sound system. I guarantee you it will be like listening to something completely different. To the “I’m not an audiophile guys or gals”…Yes. You too!
I have since set up my own little system at home and have not only been enjoying this experience alone, I have included my 8 year old son and 10 year old daughter to the party and all I could think about was how my Dad used to do it with me. No better feeling in the world.
Here are 12 great sounding records from multiple genres that I would recommend:
Top Row (L to R): Nevermind, Nirvana; Legend, Bob Marley; Love, The Beatles; Achtung, Baby!, U2; Born This Way, Lady Gaga; Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd.
Bottom Row (L to R): The Stranger, Billy Joel; The Ghose of Tom Joad, Bruce Springsteen; Thriller, Michael Jackson; Let’s Get It On, Marvin Gaye; Surfacing, Sarah McLachlan; Change of Heart, David Sanborn.