Saturday, February 6, 2010
As you can see from the photo, my new record player isn't anything special, but it was a hell of a lot of trouble to get set up and it's still not working properly....
A couple of months ago my old record player finally died and I had to make do with my emergency portable one for a while. Anyway, Mrs J stipulated that if the turntable was going to stay in the living room (which it was) then it had to fit in with the interior decor (retro-Scandinavian as revealed in a previous EOTWQ) and be small enough to fit on the shelf, ruling out both a nice, new sleek machine and those big, old clunky 70's wooden things. So, when I spotted this simple, retro beauty with a 7" turntable (for any audio nerds out there, it's a PE or Perpetuum Ebner, which, from what I could find out, were made in West Germany but discontinued at the end of the 60's) in a Swedish charity shop for under a fiver, I snapped it up, put it in a box and shipped it back to Tokyo, and decided to worry about whether it worked or not later.
It had a strange cable into the amp which i'd never seen before, so I put it in a bag and took it to Akihabara (Tokyo's famous Electric Town). After being snubbed and laughed at and frowned at by about 20 different shopkeepers, I finally found a bloke in an ancient booth in a decaying shopping arcade who took pity on me and helped to split the cable into the required red/white thingy (as you can tell, i'm not too technical). I took it home and plugged it into the telly (i don't have an amp or even any speakers, or even another CD player type hi-fi thing, I just plug the record deck directly into the digital TV) and............ nothing came out, so I realised that I needed a pre-amp or an equaliser or something like that. So after buying a new cartridge/needle from somewhere in America over the internet and a cheap secondhand equaliser in a furiously fought online auction, my fiver had turned into about 50 quid and everything was in place.........I carefully selected the nearest LP to hand, dropped the needle and........it worked like a dream, result!
But the euphoria was short lived. With some LP's it works fine (it seems to like jazz), but with others it skips and slides over the grooves (it virtually glided over my cheapy cheapo repress of "Nevermind", which is so flimsy it's virtually a flexidisc!).
If anyone has some audio expertise and might know what's causing it; is the arm too heavy? Is the turntable too rigid? Do old record players have difficulty playing new LP's? Do I need to buy yet another new needle? Any tips or advice would be greatly received.
Oh..and if anyone else wants to share their audio set-ups, that would be nice too...although i'm fairly confident that my set up is the crappiest and most rudimentary!