Featured

Pink Floyd Pulse Vinyl Box Set 2018

Pink Floyd’s 1995 album Pulse vinyl reissue

I can’t even begin to tell you how long I’ve been waiting for this. Probably you’ve been in the same boat.

One of Pink Floyd’s best LIVE album, Pulse, officially released in 1995 has been a holy grail vinyl for many vinyl collectors and Pink Floyd fans. The 1995 vinyl release has been going up in prices for many years. At the moment of writing this cheapest listing on Discogs is over $300 for a very questionable condition box set and goes up to almost $2,000 USD:

However, the band just announced that this album will be reissued on vinyl on May 18 for the first time since its initial release in 1995. Pink Floyd’s Facebook page states:

…it has long been unavailable, and (like the original cassette) includes One Of These Days, which wasn’t included on the CD version. This re-release of ‘PULSE’ arrives on 18th May 2018, on heavyweight 180-gram vinyl. The 4LP set includes four different inner sleeves, each inside individual outer sleeves, plus a 52-page hardback photo book, all encased in a thick card slipcase. This 2018 release was remastered from the original tapes by James Guthrie, Joel Plante and Bernie Grundman.

 

This deluxe box set can now be pre-ordered for about $100 USD:

 

Pre-order on Amazon US

Pre-ordrer on Amazon Canada

Pre-order on Amazon UK

Pre-order on Amazon.de

 

 

Pink Floyd Pulse Vinyl Box Set 2018

 

Here is the full track-list for Pink Floyd’s Pulse 2018 reissue:

Side A (LP1)

  • Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-5, 7)
  • Astronomy Domine
  • What Do You Want From Me

Side B (LP1)

  • Learning To Fly
  • Keep Talking
  • Coming Back To Life

Side C   (LP2)

  • Hey You
  • A Great Day For Freedom
  • Sorrow

Side D (LP2)

  • High Hopes
  • Another Brick In The Wall (Part Two)
  • One of These Days

Side E (LP3)

The Dark Side Of The Moon                                            

  • Speak To Me
  • Breathe (In The Air)
  • On The Run
  • Time

Side F (LP3)

  • The Great Gig In The Sky
  • Money

Side G (LP4)

  • Us And Them
  • Any Colour You Like
  • Brain Damage
  • Eclipse

Side H (LP4)

Encores

  • Wish You Were Here
  • Comfortably Numb
  • Run Like Hell

 

Please note that some of the links on this website are affiliate link. This means that at no extra cost to you we will receive a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links on this site.

 

How excited are you about this? Will you be getting the box set? Let us know in the comments below!

How To Use A Carbon Fiber Brush on Vinyl Records

Vinyl maintenance: how to use a carbon fiber brush on your vinyl records

The vinyl record has many known enemies besides the user’s fingers; dust and static charges are common unwanted guests when the groove is trying to do its thing. Even a clean record handled by experienced hands is subject to retain a static charge and attract dust particles. Several instruments and cleaning solutions can be used to minimize or eliminate the issues. An affordable and relatively effective option is the use of a carbon fiber brush, however its correct usage is frequently subject to debate. The following guide explores the different techniques employed by vinyl enthusiasts by weighing the pros and cons of each approach to determine which method works best. Watch our video or keep reading for further information.

New to turntables and vinyl? Check out our detailed guide for beginners!

Purpose of using a carbon fiber brush

A carbon fiber brush is used to remove dust particles and static charge from vinyl records. The two rows of fine bristles are made of a carbon composite that has the advantage of being incredibly fine, sturdy, soft and conductive. Keep in mind a carbon fiber brush is not designed to clean your old dusty records or remove static charge forever. It’s a day-to-day maintenance tool that should be used on clean records with the usual dust particles attracted to it.

vinyl record with dust

Causes of Dust & Static on Vinyl Records

Many factors account for dust on vinyl records; location, climate, the way the records are stored and the cleanliness of the listening room are only a few causes. Dust particles are attracted to the vinyl record mainly by the electrical charge it may hold.

Static electricity is a variance between the electric charges on a given surface caused by the friction with another object or surface. A vinyl record can get electrically charged when it enters in contact with the inner sleeve it’s placed in or taken out from. The record holds the charge until it can be moved along by discharge to another surface. If the record is played, the variance in the electrical charge between the record and the stylus results in loud audible “pop” sounds at different times during playback.

How To Use The Brush

1. Place a record on the platter and start the turntable. Don’t play the record while using the carbon fiber brush. Using the 45 (or 78) RPM won’t get faster or better results.

2. Holding the brush straight, by its body and handle, place it perpendicular to the record groove.

3. Lower the brush onto the record exerting minimal pressure to optimize dust removal and minimize potential damage to the groove or the turntable. The platter should always spin freely.

Hold the brush tight; a spinning record has more force than you’d think!

4. After 3 or 4 rotations, the bristles on the right side retain most of the dust particles; gently tilting the brush on the left side captures the excess dust on the second set of bristles.

Note the first four steps are general consensus among vinyl enthusiasts; the fifth step is where the debate rages on.  The three different approaches are denoted A, B and C.

5. A) Moving the brush toward the outside of the record

This technique consists in slowly moving the brush towards the outside, away from the spinning record.

The downside using this technique, it may leave the carbon fiber brush electrically charged since friction occurs between the bristles and the spinning record.

5. B) Moving the brush toward the label

The second approach involves in slowly moving the brush toward the record label and making contact with the turntable spindle to discharge the brush. The idea behind this technique is to use the turntable spindle as a medium to move the electric charge from the bristles to the grounded turntable.


Two problems may occur when using this method. The first issue; dust particles contained on the bristles are transferred to the record label will end back on the record as soon as the platter spins. Additionally, if fingers come into regular contact with the label, the bristles could get tainted with residues and natural oils our skin produces.

5. C) Lifting the brush upward,

Lifting the brush away from the spinning record is another approach.


Downsides include leaving excess dust on the record and an electrically charged brush.

6. To remove dust caught on the bristles, hold the brush by the handle and move it from side to side. Ideally don’t perform this step close to your turntable for obvious reasons and don’t touch the bristles with dirty or even clean fingers; natural oils on the skin shouldn’t be transferred to the vinyl record.

7. Stop the turntable. Notice if there’s any excess dust on the record.

8. Repeat steps 2 to 7 until satisfied or when the brush bristles are exempt from dust.

Some users remove the remaining dust particles while the turntable platter is not spinning; remember lightly brushing in the same direction as the record groove optimizes dust removal.

 

Extra Tips on using a carbon fiber record brush:

Always keep the brush perpendicular to the record’s groove.

Always hold the brush by the body and handle.

Always exert very minimal pressure on the brush; the bristles collect dust more efficiently when its tips aren’t stressed into the grooves.

Always use the handle with caution to remove dust caught onto the bristles; the handle’s terminals are usually the most fragile piece on a carbon fiber brush.

Always store the brush in a dust-free case with the handle protecting the bristles.

Never touch the bristles to remove dust with your seemingly clean fingers; even after washing your hands there are natural oils (and whatever soap residue’s left) that our skin produces that shouldn’t be transferred to your favorite LPs.

Never use a carbon fiber brush on dirty, gunky, greasy records; they require a lot more than a simple brushing.

Never put any (cleaning) fluids on the brush or your record; the carbon fiber brush is not designed to wet clean your records.

Never hold the brush at an angle; the body may enter in contact with the record and cause scratches.

Final Thoughts And Recommendations

The different techniques used all seem effective to some extent. Keeping in mind a carbon fiber brush doesn’t do miracles; satisfactory results can be achieved by weighing the pros and cons of each approach and testing which method works best for you.

On a personal note, I’ve been using a Stanton CFB-1 carbon fiber brush for many years with pleasing outcomes by combining two methods. A cheaper brush works as well but I noticed the bristles wearing off much faster.

First I use the “lifting” technique, which consists in lifting the brush upward, away from the record.  Using this method, most of the dust is contained on the set of bristles. Next I remove the dust caught on the bristles by holding the brush by the body, moving the handle from side to side. Placing the brush on the record a second time and slowly moving the brush toward the outside of the record removes the excess dust. Finally while the turntable platter at rest, I take a last look and if necessary, collect the remaining dust particles by lightly brushing in the same direction as the record groove.

After testing the methods above, I came to the conclusion that a carbon fiber brush retains a certain electric charge after use, even if the bristles come into contact with the turntable spindle as shown in this guide.

In case dust and static issues persist, other more expensive approaches may be needed to minimize the effects. Properly wet cleaning your records and using an anti-static gun such as the Milty Zerostat are much more effective solutions. Replacing the record’s generic paper inner sleeves with anti-static inner sleeves also helps. For those living in a dry climate, a low humidity levels in the listening room may cause static, investing in a humidifier is something to consider.

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in this post might be affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you I will receive a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through this links.

Any questions or comments? Please use the comment form below!

how to balance a tonearm

How to Balance a Tonearm, Set Stylus Tracking Force And Adjust Anti-Skating

Getting the best sound out of a vinyl record doesn’t necessarily require spending a lot on a cartridge. Achieving the highest fidelity from your gear begins with precisely setting key turntable components namely the tonearm counterweight and anti-skating. Proper calibration has many benefits: obtaining a good balanced sound across all the frequency range, an accurate groove tracking, minimal vinyl and stylus wear. The following guide will show you how to calibrate these parts. Plan yourself time as it involves a minimum of understanding, patience and dexterity. Watch or read until you feel comfortable, it’s a skill every vinyl lover should master.

New to vinyl? Check out our Beginner’s guide to turntables and vinyl.

Understand Your Turntable

Stand in front of the turntable and focus on the tonearm area; the long “s” shaped or straight shaped arm holds the headshell with the cartridge stylus at one end and the counterweight at the other. Looking closely at the tonearm assembly and its surroundings, notice an anti-skating dial. These are user adjustable parts and are essential to calibrate the turntable for optimal vinyl playback.

Tone arm assembly

The tonearm counterweight applies force (pressure) to stylus located at the other extremity. Calibrating the stylus force is the general term when referring to this setting. Also called vertical tracking force, it’s simply the weight, in grams, applied by the stylus to the vinyl groove. The ideal weight setting will depend on the cartridge stylus used. Applying too much tracking force will wear out the vinyl record faster as the stylus will “dig” more heavily in the groove. On the other hand, insufficient weight causes the vinyl to sound thin as the stylus doesn’t have enough tracking force to correctly read the groove. The tonearm could also skip resulting in irreversible damage to the vinyl record and stylus.

Tone arm Overview

Next to the tonearm assembly is the anti-skating dial which basically applies a slight frictional force to the tonearm and keeps the stylus aligned to the groove. The anti-skating setting will essentially have to match the stylus tracking force used, unless you are a disc jockey.

Before calibrating your turntable, make sure it’s perfectly leveled horizontally. Some turntables have feet/legs also called insulators used to adjust the height. Placing a level meter on the platter will reveal any tilt; don’t forget that the turntable has four sides, make sure to place the level from side to side and front to back.

How to Balance The Tonearm

In order to set the stylus tracking force correctly, the tonearm has to be balanced first. The balance point indicates that the tonearm applies zero grams of tracking force to the stylus. To achieve balance, the weight must be equally distributed at both ends of the tonearm. Rotating the counterweight adds or subtracts weight. The balance is obtained when the tonearm floats perfectly horizontal without user intervention.

1) Stand in front of the turntable, remove the dust cover and focus on the tonearm assembly area.

2) Locate the anti-skating and set it to “0”. It will ensure that the tonearm won’t move outward while you find the balance point.

Anti-skating dial on turntable

3) Remove the stylus cover if present and take extra precautions not to damage the stylus during the process either by touching it with your fingers or dropping the tonearm on the platter. Don’t leave the stylus cover on, the extra weight on the cartridge will result in an inaccurate tonearm balance.

Stylus cover on

stylus cover removed

4) Hold the headshell by the finger-lift, using the right hand’s index finger on the bottom and the thumb on top. Unclip the tonearm from the armrest with the left hand. The cue lever should stay lowered.

Hold the headshell

unclip the tone arm

5) Lift the headshell and move the tonearm as if you were to play a record from the beginning. Keep holding the headshell by the finger-lift using the right hand index finger on the bottom and thumb on top. Do not let the stylus touch the platter or any surface.

6) While holding the headshell, use your left hand to rotate the back of the tonearm counterweight using this logic:

tone arm counterweight

Finding the balance point requires the user to let the headshell barely enough room (1/4 inch/6.3 mm) between your fingers to see if the tonearm tilts towards the counterweight (back) or the headshell (front) at a given weight.

A clockwise turn decreases tracking force.

A counterclockwise turn increases tracking force.

Counterweight Tonearm

An unbalanced tonearm tilting towards the headshell is a sign that there is too much weight being applied. Slightly rotate the counterweight clockwise to decrease tracking force.

An unbalanced tonearm tilting towards the counterweight is a sign that not enough weight is being applied. Slightly rotate the counterweight counterclockwise to increase tracking force.

Unbalanced tone-arm

Balancing the tonearm can be frustrating, proceed with patience; always turn the counterweight very slightly in the desired direction. Don’t forget that the stylus, the tonearm and its assembly are fragile. At all times be in control of the tonearm’s motion when increasing or decreasing the tracking force. The tonearm is extremely sensitive, any sudden movement from the user part can make the tonearm tilt and cause damage.

If your turntable was set with some tracking force, chances are the tonearm will tilt towards the headshell if you leave the headshell barely enough room to tilt. It indicaties you to slightly rotate the counterweight clockwise to decrease tracking force. The idea here is to apply a perfect weight distribution along the tonearm resulting in a balanced, perfectly horizontal tonearm floating without the user holding the headshell.

Near the balance point, releasing the headshell results in the tonearm floating by itself. The balance is achieved when the tonearm floats horizontally without the user holding the headshell.

balanced tone arm

Once the tonearm seems balanced, inspect it from the turntable perspective. Stand on the right side of the turntable and have the eye levelled to the tonearm. You may need to make very small adjustments before finding the perfect balance point. Remember, the tonearm is extremely sensitive.

8) Return the tonearm to its rest and clip it. If the value on the outer ring of the tonearm counterweight doesn’t align with “0” it’s normal, don’t panic.

Stylus Tracking Force Calibration

Next we will set the stylus tracking force applied to the vinyl during playback. Before going further, refer to your specific cartridge stylus’ instructions for the recommended weight and as you will need the value to accurately set the stylus tracking pressure. Every cartridge stylus model is different, hence the weight needed will be different. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the accurate weight range suitable for your cartridge stylus.

1) Focus on the tonearm counterweight. Notice the values on the stylus tracking force control and the marker line on the tonearm next to it. Make sure the tonearm is clipped to its rest.

2) Use the left hand to hold the back of the counterweight steady. For this step the counterweight should not move from its balanced position.

Keeping the back of the counterweight steady is important to maintain the tonearm balanced.

3) While holding the back of the counterweight steady with the left hand, rotate the front ring and set the stylus tracking force control to “0” with the right hand. Remember, only the front part of the counterweight should rotate. Now the tonearm is balanced and shows a “zero” tracking force.

By rotating the front ring only, we are keeping the tonearm balance and are simply adjusting the setting of the stylus tracking force control to zero. No weight is added, neither subtracted in this step.

counterweight dial

4) To apply tracking force, hold the counterweight from the back and turn it counterclockwise to the desired value. The stylus tracking force control will indicate the weight applied to the vinyl groove.

stylus tracking force

Remember, setting the tracking force too high will wear out your vinyl faster. If the cartridge stylus manufacturer recommends a tracking force range from 2 grams to 5 grams, try setting it around 2.5 or 3 grams and do a listening test. Ideally use a record you know very well.

A thinner overall sound may indicate there is not enough weight, increasing the stylus tracking force will improve the sound.

Louder lower frequencies and distorted sound may indicate there is too much weight, decreasing the stylus tracking force will improve the sound.

5) The tonearm is now perfectly balanced and the stylus tracking force has been correctly set.

How to Set Anti-skating

When playing vinyl, the tonearm moves from the outside of the disc to the inside. Due to the laws of physics, the rotation of a vinyl record and friction with the stylus’ tip draws it slightly towards the inside of the groove. To counter this offset, anti-skating applies a small frictional force to the tonearm and keeps the stylus aligned to the center of groove.

Set Anti-Skating

A general rule of thumb is to adjust the anti-skating to the same value as the stylus tracking force for regular vinyl playback.

Disc jockeys that spin and scratch vinyl might want to alter their anti-skating settings because the stylus might skip during cueing and scratching.

Set anti-skating

Potential issues…and how to fix them!

If the tonearm does not seem to properly balance, the main issue encountered is often related to the weight distribution: the tonearm counterweight is pushed to its limits either too far back or too close to the tonearm assembly. The culprit is the cartridge stylus’ weight… it’s too light. To make things clear, we are not talking about the stylus tracking force weight, we are talking about the weight of the cartridge stylus itself. To correct this issue, headshell manufacturers include a shell weight; a small piece of metal that either sits between the headshell and the cartridge or is attachable on top of the headshell.

If the issue persists, the last option is to attach an auxiliary weight to the rear of the headshell: a small cylindrical shaped metal piece.

shell auxiliary weight

auxiliary weight

If you bought your turntable brand new and a headshell with a cartridge stylus is supplied with the product, then you shouldn’t have any issues as all the necessary parts come packed in the box. However if you purchased a used turntable or are planning to do so, make sure you have all the pieces, or be prepared to hunt them down!

Experiment a little and final thoughts

Now that your tonearm is perfectly balanced, the stylus tracking force and anti-skating are accurately set you can enjoy an optimal and balanced vinyl playback. Remember if you purchase a new headshell, a new cartridge or both you will need to readjust everything.

I strongly suggest trying the guide at least two or three times to be perfectly comfortable with the process and potentially teach others how to properly balance the tonearm, set the stylus tracking force and the anti-skating.

Pushing the experience further, you could do the steps in reverse.

1) Hold the tonearm counterweight from the back and turn it clockwise back to “0”.

2) Set the anti-skating to “0”, hold the headshell and unclip the tonearm.

3) Move the tonearm is if you were to play a record from the beginning.

4) The tonearm should be back to its balance point, floating horizontally.

4) Clip the tonearm back to its rest.

5) Turn the tonearm counterweight counterclockwise to the desired value and match the anti-skating accordingly.

Although not a mandatory tool, a stylus tracking force scale can be used to verify if the stylus tracking pressure has been accurately set. Inexpensive ones can be purchased for about 15$, they do a good job revealing any imperfection.

Stylus force scale

I hope you enjoyed this guide and now can brag about being able to balance your tonearm, set the stylus tracking force and anti-skating.

If you have any questions or would like to add something, please use the comment box below.

Hear Records Singapore

Interview with Nick Tan, owner of Hear Records Vinyl Shop in Singapore

About a year ago my girlfriend and I embarked on a 4 months trip across South East Asia. When we got to Singapore I quickly figured out there were several record stores there and I just had to visit a few of them.

The general feeling I got about records in that country: overpriced. One of the shops was selling re-issues of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” for $100+… However I also got a chance to visit Hear Records. The people seemed friendly, the prices were very fair and the selection was interesting and pretty decent. I was very curious about the whole vinyl scene in Asia. I knew I had to interview the owner.

 

Singapore Vinyl Shop

Since it was my very first interview the sound turned out pretty horrible. There was a loud AC unit running in the background but I didn’t pay attention to it. The good thing is, you can use the closed-captions.

 

Interview with Nick Tan

The vinyl revival in Asia is smaller than the one in the US. Shipping is expensive. Records are more rare. If you look at countries like Cambodia where millions of records were destroyed in the 1970’s you start getting a better picture. However, all across Asia you can find old record shops that have been there for 50+ years. You can also find new shops popping up all over the place.

In this video Nick shares the story of Hear Records, his own vinyl records store. He discusses the reasons why the shop opened. Nick talks about how he decided which records he should be selling. He talks about the future of vinyl in Asia and the world. We talk about a lot of different interesting things.

 

Hear Records – official website

Hear Records on Facebook

p.s. It took me almost a year to finally release this video. I just noticed that within this year Hear Music has managed to open up a second location in Singapore’s Chinatown! Here is the Facebook Page for that location.

#01-39 Burlington Square 175 Bencoolen Street
Singapore 189651
+65 9646 0648

 

I hope you enjoyed this article! If you want to get our newest content simply like our Facebook Page and subscribe on Youtube.

Sasha

 

buying records in bulk

Huge Vinyl Haul (1,000 Records) – What To Avoid

This past summer I made my very first bulk vinyl haul. This was a big deal for me and I think it is important to share this experience with you.
If you aren’t into reading, simply check out this video:

 

Finding Used Records

It all began when I stumbled upon an ad online where someone was advertising 1,000 vinyl records for $250CAD. That’s about $190 USD for my American readers. There were only a few pictures in the ad but I was able to spot some Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin records which intrigued me. A “good condition” of “The Wall” often goes for $15-$25 in Montreal. It’s not uncommon to find people asking $50 for it (although I am not sure if they ever end up selling it).

I call the guy up, he says he doesn’t have a list of the whole collection. However the pictures in the ad give me a good idea. He was located about 30 minutes away from me so I decided to go and check it all out.

When I got to his garage the seller mentions that he has an appointment and needs to leave in 15 minutes. He also made it clear that he wants to sell the whole lot and wasn’t going to sell the records individually. I explained that I understand but I still need at least those 15 minutes to look through his boxes. I wasn’t going to make a blind purchase. Unfortunately I didn’t spot any Pink Floyd or other records that were pictured in his ad so I asked him about it. He replied that someone passed by and picked some records. He thought it was a waste of his time so now he wants to sell the whole lot.

 

Making An Offer

His answer upset me and I told him that he should have mentioned it when I called. I thought to myself: “there goes my vinyl haul”. I figured that “someone” picked the most known stuff and I was left with the rest. However, I did spot at least a dozen records that I actually wanted: Kraftwerk, Queen, Van Morrison, Kiss, Bob Dylan, The Who, Tomita, quite a bit of disco and so on. I’ve decided that I’ll bite, however I offered $100 ($75 USD). The guy made a face like he wasn’t happy with my offer but he agreed. So I started loading the records in my car.

 

Bying records in bulk
Station wagons are natural vinyl haulers 😉

 

I got all the records in the car (of course the guy said to leave him his boxes) and drove home. When i started unloading the records I realized I had a problem – where the heck will I store them? In the end they went on the floor against the wall.

used vinyl records haul

Sorting Through The Records

In the image above you see a part of that collection. I started looking through each record and picking the obvious ones to me. I did this several times and ended up with an interesting pile of “keepers”. The next step was checking each record through Discogs which took a while. However I am happy I did it because I managed to find a few gems. Here are a few examples:

Richard Cocciante ‎– Atlanti – 1973 Psychadelic Rock from France

La Banda Del Paraíso ‎– La Banda Del Paraíso – 1973 Hard Rock from Argentina

Dashiell Hedayat ‎– Obsolete – 1971 Psychedelic Rock from France (I love this discovery!)

The Grass Roots – Where Were You When I Needed You – 1966 American Folk Rock (Canadian pressing)

There were some valuable records however most of them aren’t worth more than $10.

All in all there were about 800 vinyl records, most in great condition. I ended up keeping 100-120 records. I will probably sell some of them eventually. Pookie came by and picked some records that he wanted to keep. Free of charge of course. I listed the leftovers on Kijiji for $120 and sold the whole thing. Besides adding 100+ records to my collection I also ended up making a $20 profit 😉

 

Lessons Learned

Always take your time when buying records in bulk. It’s great to end up with an awesome vinyl haul but you have to know what you’re buying. Look through the artists. Take out the records and check out their condition. If possible take a look on Discogs/Ebay if you are clueless about a specific record.
Try to bargain if you think the value is unfair. I could have tried to sell the remaining 600-650 records for $1 each. However I decided to sell them for $120 because it was just easier.

Have you ever bought records in bulk? Please share your story in the comments.

I hope you enjoyed this article! If you want to get our newest content simply like our Facebook Page and subscribe on Youtube.

 

Sasha

 

Mag Lev turntable

The First Levitating Turntable Raises $300,000

MAG-LEV Audio is the world’s first levitating turntable.

first levitating turntable
This project was launched on Kickstarter on October 12th 2016. Although the first day was quite slow for the campaign, Mashable, DJ Mag, The Verge, Vinyl Factory and many others publications picked up the news. The next day this campaign became viral.

 

Levitating Turntable funding

Within just one week MAG-LEV Audio reached its funding goal of $300,000. Over 400 backers pledged $780 or more in order to see this project come to life. At the moment of writing this almost $350k have been given to this project. I guess people really want to own this turn table.

Mag Lev Turtnable

 

“Bringing the feeling of zero gravity into your living room.”

The main concern potential backers have is the stability of the platter. Since the platter floats in mid-air, how can we be sure that there is no vertical movement that would definitely ruin the sound quality? How can we be sure that the platter will spin at the very accurate speed? The folks from Mag-Lev assure us there is nothing to worry about:

“By using our innovative and patented technology, we were able to achieve not only magnetic levitation, but we’ve also been able to maintain the incredibly precise turning of the platter with sensor regulating software. Air is the smoothest medium with least amount of friction, which further elevates this project into a truly unique listening experience.”

 

MAG-LEV Official Promo Video

 

Levitating Record Player Features

Let’s admit it, the Mag-LEV looks awesome. The floating platters looks very futuristic and unreal, the whole machine looks very clean and sophisticated. However it isn’t just about the looks. The Mag-Lev is semi-automatic meaning the tonearm lifts automatically when the record is done playing (I kind of wish my SL1200 did that). The table comes with a cueing mechanism so you don’t have to “drop the needle” like you would with a cheap Crosley player. Of course you got your 33/45rmp switch as well. The base comes with little supports that hold the platter in the “off” position.

For a full description, features and benefits check out their Kickstarter page.

Mag Lev Turntable

Mag Lev Record Player

 

MAG-LEV Levitating Turntable Availability

Although this new futuristic product managed to create a lot of buzz over the week, it’s still just a project. Assuming that everything goes well they will make the final prototype in December of this year. The pre-production run will start in March of 2017 and the final product will start shipping out to backers in August of 2017.

The designers of MAG-LEV have worked on another successful Kickstarter project called Goat Story Goat Mug. It was successfully funded and created.

 

What do you think of this project? Let us know in the comments below!
– Sasha

 

Vinylize.it – What Exactly Is It And How It Works?

You’ve probably heard of Vinylize.it by now and you’re probably asking yourself many questions. In this post I will be attempting to address all of your concerns and I will try to explain this new “vinyl records on demand” service.

What is Vinylize.it?

what is vinylize it

Vinalyze.it is a new startup by QRATES which allows music fans to create real vinyl records from their favorite SoundCloud tracks. The ideas is rather simple (yet genius). This startup bypasses the label and lets you, the fan. choose what really goes on that wax. You login to Vinalyze.it using your SoundCloud account. You go through your favorite tracks from your favorite artists and you add those tracks to your vinyl project. The service then presses the vinyl for you. However, this explanation over simplifies the process just a little.

 

How Does Vinylize it Work?

Although it sounds like you simply select a few tracks and get a vinyl record shipped to you, this isn’t exactly right. First of all, when you create the vinyl you want – you can’t order it. You start by creating a campaign for the vinyl and then you have to tell other people about it. Other fans must click the “Want” button and once the number of fans reaches 20 people, Vinylize It will try to reach out to the artist (or the artists) that you selected for that project and they will try to explain what’s going on.

In my opinion this is where the start-up hits their first roadblock – they’ll need to persuade the artists that they need it. They will also have to work out some kind of a royalties deal that the artist would agree to. If the artist agrees to go ahead with it, your project now needs to reach 100* pre-orders. As far as I understand this platform is similar to Kickstarter (and many other crowd funding projects). If the project doesn’t reach its minimum threshold of 100 pre-orders the money will be refunded to you. However if the campaign is successful, the record will be pressed and shipped out!

qrates example

*I’ve seen some projects set at 100 minimum, others at 200 and others at 500. To my understand the higher number of pressings means cheaper pricing, however don’t quote me on that.

 

What About The Quality?

Many vinyl collectors are very doubtful about the quality of these records since SoundCloud compresses all tracks to MP3-128kbps format. Obviously that wouldn’t be too great of a quality, would it? Surprisingly several online tech magazines also supported this concern without doing any research.

Vinyalize.it explains that they will only press high quality files on vinyl This means that once the artists approves of having their tracked pressed they will have to provide a high quality recording to QRATES. I can’t speculate on what kind of format they are asking for but I’m sure it wouldn’t be 128kbps.

 

Vinalyze.it Interface Issues

In order to understand the platform better I’ve set up my very first vinyl campaign. You can find it here. The very first issue that comes to mind is sharing this very campaign. It can only be shared on Facebook and Twitter. Why doesn’t Vinylize.it provide a simple link?

Second issue. If you click on that campaign link, you will realize that you see how many tracks are there but you do not actually see which tracks they are. This only on Firefox, the feature works well on Chrome. That’s probably a bug and hopefully will be fixed soon.

vinylize it example

Third issue. While creating the project Vinylize.it gives you 3 options: search for tracks, add from “LIKED” or add from Playlist. Although I had all the wanted tracks as “liked” on SoundCloud, they wouldn’t show on the Vinylize.it page. I think this is caused by a slow updating API because at the moment of writing this I can finally see my liked tracks.

 

Let’s Vinylize It!

The idea of this service seems great. I would certainly love to get some of my favorite tracks pressed on vinyl however this certainly isn’t easy. If you want your product to succeed you’d have to find 19 other people who want to see exactly the same project come to life. At that point you’d have to pray that the artists agrees to it and agrees to promote the project (in order to get 100-200-500 pre-orders). Let’s see how it goes.

P.S. The project I created in in support of one of my favorite Canadian bands. Their unique blend of balkan/gypsy/punk is full of energy and drive and I’d love to have their music on a vinyl record. Please do feel free to “WANT” my project, let’s make it happen 😉

lemon bucket orkestra record

Sasha

Pricing Error That Resulted in Amazing Record Deals

Yesterday I published a post called “Incredible Amazon Vinyl Haul” where I showed you 15 records I got from Amazon for a ridiculously low price.

In this post I will explain what exactly happened and how I got such amazing vinyl deal.

 

The Amazon Super Sale

On August 11th I was chatting with Pooks about The Beatles in Mono box set. I kept saying that the cost of box set is hovering between $300 and $400 (Canadian $) while Pooks was sure it was at $400 or more. He sent me the link to the Amazon listing and I couldn’t believe my eyes, $92 CAD!!! So naturally I placed an order.

While I’m ordering the Beatles Pooks sends me links to a few other records which were being sold at a huge discount. So I start placing more and more orders, ending up with 30 ordered items for less than $300! Many of these were “limited edition” box sets of some sort (Queen, Flying Lotus, Led Zeppelin, etc). Some of these items are in stock, others aren’t but I still order. Hey, who doesn’t want Tom Waits’ Alice LP for $5?

vinyl sale on amazon
Example of prices paid for some of these items.

Amazing record deals indeed.

Since I do not have a Prime account I go for the “free shipping” which should take from 4 to 8 days. Of course Amazon estimates 8.

 

Wait, where are my orders?

Several days later I log into my Amazon account to see the status of my orders and I am noticing something abnormal. Several items aren’t showing within my orders. Some orders are completely cancelled (that includes the main the Beatles in Mono). I start freaking out a little, telling myself it’s just a glitch. As time passes, the records aren’t showing…

The next logical step is getting in touch with Amazon’s customer support: “Hello, where are my amazing record deals?”. It takes quite a while for the support rep to figure out what’s up and she says she never saw anything like it. It turns out there was no sale at all. Amazon did not offer any amazing deals on vinyl records. The price I ordered the LPs for was an “error”. This means that Amazon reserves all rights to NOT honor the order. This is why they cancelled my items. They caught the error early enough.

 

Amazing Vinyl Deals

Fifteen (15) of the 30 items I ordered weren’t going to be shipped out to me. If Amazon realized the “pricing error” sooner, they would have cancelled everything. However because it took them a little while, 15 items were already on their way to me through Canada Post, Purolator and UPS.

More details in this video:

 

I could have gotten The Beatles as well.

When I saw these amazing deals I had to jump to a few Facebook groups and to Reddit as well in order to share the joy with others. Some folks ordered the box set and a few other records and some of them actually received The Beatles in Mono for about $75USD! How did that happen?

People who decided to not wait 4-8 days and paid for the fastest shipping got lucky and received the box set in 2 days. I imagine Amazon fulfills the order to the addresses closest to their warehouse. Of course paid shipping also gets a priority. By the time they got to my order they already figured out the issue and cancelled the order.

Lesson learned, Sasha. Don’t be cheap and pay for the fastest shipping in a situation like this one. Amazon will write this error off as “business loss” while making lots of vinyl collectors incredibly happy with their score.

I hope you enjoyed this article and if you want us to notify you in case there is an incredible deal like this, simply like our Facebook Page and follow us on Instagram, that’s where we will share the news.

 

19 Famous Quotes About Vinyl Records and Turntables

It’s hard to find many quotes about vinyl culture around the web because the culture has died long time ago… until the recent resurrection that is. However, there are several famous quotes about records and the culture surrounding this subject. here is the list of some of the greatest sayings from some of the people you might have heard of.

quotes about turntables

“Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs are better than vinyl because they don’t have any surface noise.  I said, “Listen, mate, life has surface noise.”  

John Peel ( the longest serving of the original BBC Radio1 DJs)


“I believe that vinyl will outlast CDs.”

Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes, the Best Songwriter of 2008 by Rolling Stone magazine)


“I’m a big collector of vinyl – I have a record room in my house – and I’ve always had a huge soundtrack album collection. So what I do, as I’m writing a movie, is go through all those songs, trying to find good songs for fights, or good pieces of music to layer into the film.”

Quentin Tarantino (world’s best filmmaker)


“I remember opening up my first vinyl and seeing the incredible artwork it had. There’s nothing like it. You also get that true gritty sound on vinyl that really makes a rock record sound great, which CDs can never achieve.”

Nikki Sixx (co-founder, bassist, and primary songwriter of the band Mötley Crüe)


“It was so exciting to go to the record shop and buy a piece of vinyl and hold it, read the liner notes, look at the pictures. Even the smell of the vinyl.”

Martin Gore (founding member of Depeche Mode and has written the majority of their songs)


“Vinyl has gotten to the point where it’s exclusively for the collector, I guess.”

Josh Homme ( the founder and only continuous member of the rock band Queens of the Stone Age)


“Vinyl is the real deal. I’ve always felt like, until you buy the vinyl record, you don’t really own the album. And it’s not just me or a little pet thing or some kind of retro romantic thing from the past. It is still alive.”

Jack White (the lead singer and guitarist of The White Stripes)


“Ever since I was 12 years old, when my fascination and obsession with music started, I would get on my skateboard and ride down to the local record store. I’d find the most tattooed guy there and have him recommend me a new album once a week. Then I’d learn it and play it on my drums. With internet and technology, there are some great platforms of discovering music, but I would HATE for kids to be deprived of the incredible experience of discovering music through their local record stores. Lets keep record stores alive and well, please.”

Josh Dun (the drummer for the band Twenty One Pilots)


“Do yourself a tremendous favour and go to a record store today. The relatively mild exertion of getting off your fat, computer-shackled ass and venturing out to find the object of your desire, the thrill of moving through actual space and time, through row upon row of records, and the tactile ecstasy of fondling the quested treasure—all this will augment and enrich the mental associations the music invokes in you for the rest of your life.”

Grinderman (Australian-British alternative rock band)


“If it wasn’t for independent record stores, I would be a San Fernando valley real estate agent.”

Fat Mike (NOFX)


“My record collection probably tells the story of my life better than I could in words.”

Colleen Murphy ( Canadian screenwriter, film director and playwright)


“If I was a billionaire, and had my time all over, I would invest all of my money in setting up a factory to produce vinyl records again.”

Roger Daltrey (the founder and lead singer of the English rock band The Who)


“I don’t think it’s real unless you put it on an LP. CDs aren’t real. Anybody can do that”

Bob Pollard (former lead guy for Guided By Voices)


“I prefer vinyl. We talk about this backstage; as musicians it comes up a lot. It’s a shame the new generation is missing out on albums.”

Jack White (the lead singer and guitarist of The White Stripes)


“I’ve looked at pictures that my mom has of me, from when I was four years old at the turntable. I’m there, reaching up to play the records. I feel like I was bred to do what I do. I’ve been into music, and listening to music and critiquing it, my whole life.”

Dr. Dre (rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur)


“My father was my first inspiration. He had an incredible stereo and a turntable, and I was told not to touch it. But I’d go back and touch it anyway. I gained a respect for the turntables when I was a kid. When I was a teenager, I came up with a ‘cueing system’ to work the turntables because they didn’t have it at that time.”

Grandmaster Flash (considered to be one of the pioneers of hip-hop DJing, cutting, and mixing)


“For me it all started with two turntables and a mixer.”

Paul Oakenfold (was voted the No. 1 DJ in the World twice in 1998 and 1999 by DJ Magazine)


“I’m a big vinyl listener, I’m a big audiophile. I have a really nice stereo set up at home with a hi-fi and really nice turntable and it’s a big deal to me to listen to music in it’s purest form like that.”
Butch Walker (recording artist, songwriter, and record producer, lead guitarist for the metal band SouthGang)


“Sitting in a room, alone, listening to a CD is to be lonely. Sitting in a room alone with an LP crackling away, or sitting next to the turntable listening to a song at a time via 7-inch single is enjoying the sublime state of solitude.”
Henry Rollins (musician, writer, journalist, publisher, actor, television and radio host, comedian, and activist)


We would love to update this list with more awesome quotes so please do add your favorite quotes in the comment box below!

Keep spinning,

Sasha

Scroll to Top