By Kasper Delaney-Petersen
Collecting records can seem like a daunting task to some. What should I spend my money on? What player is the most value for money, and what in the name of our lord is a stereo amplifier, let alone whatever a pre-amp is. As a follow-up to my previous article, let me take you on a journey into the land of grossly overpriced music, to the heart of spending all your money on something that will be worth next to nothing when the resurgence inevitably goes back underground.
My first and most important tip is to not go cheap straight out of the door. Save your money for an extra few months, and you’ll be able to afford a decent turntable. For the love of Christ do not buy one of those all-in-one, less than €99 record-player-in-a-suitcase piles of absolute rubbish. Not only will it ruin the sound quality of your records when you do end up with a good turntable, it won’t sound that great in the first place.
Saying that, I wouldn’t tell anyone to splash a load of cash on something that will remain a casual hobby (as it has for me). There’s truly no need to buy the full package with a pre-amp, an amplifier, and a high class set of speakers. My setup came out as extremely affordable: with a House of Marley Stir It Up turntable for €200 and a set of Edifier active speakers for €70. To round out your audio setup, a decent CD player and a separate if possible cassette player (a decent Walkman will do) can make any audiophile’s dreams come true (unless you’re wealthy enough to splash over a grand no problem).
I would recommend saving up for a replacement stylus too, my choice would be a high quality Audio Technica or Ortofon stylus (and cartridge if you want). If you can find a good deal on a turntable, and you already have a solid pair of speakers, you can acquire a decent setup for around €300 square. Your dad’s old records will never have sounded better. If you don’t want to shell out that much, an Audio Tehnica LP-60 isn’t the worst ever.
Where to buy:
For those looking for a good bit of savings, DoneDeal and adverts.ie are your best friend, as long as you either live close to the seller, or have the means of transport to get there. Amazon can be good if you want to buy brand-new, and with Christmas sales on the horizon now is the perfect time to plan your buys. Ebay is okay, but like the aforementioned second hand sites, it can be a bit dodgy, seeing as you can’t view the item in person (the upside of DoneDeal and adverts.ie here being that you can just refuse to buy). I personally would avoid purchasing your setup from a retail store, the only reason being they tend to be immensely, and offensively, overpriced and underwhelming in choice.
Buy a Crosley and listen exclusively to Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift. Do it I dare ya.