Here I take you through the journey of my first 45. Louie Louie by the Kingsmen on Wand. Had it since I was a tyke. It's been with me most of my life and I can say with certainty that it was played on every turntable/record player I've ever owned.
A Typical Kids' Player
I started with something like this. Most people of my vintage did. It was a General Electric, but I couldn't possibly say which model it was. Memory says it was white. The 45 spindle rose up from the middle.
The Grundig Majestic
Parent's stereo in the living room. They didn't have very many records. The Readers Digest Big Band Era box set comes to mind. I have that one in my collection now.
Kids weren't allowed to play their records here when parents were home. This thing was LOUD. It had a tube amp and deep rich bass sound. The turntable lived in the cabinet on the front of the console.
Many years later this ended up in my room. Poor me.
My dad built out the basement as kind of a rec room. We had an Admiral portable stereo down there. I believe this is the exact model. I remember putting my Matchbox cars on it and turning it on 16.
After we moved into a house with no basement, this ended up being ferried between my room and my sister's room.
The first truly mine stereo. It's from Builders Emporium - a local hardware chain that had a record department. Cheap little job that came with component receiver and speakers. Ceramic cartridge. Heavy tone arm that could be enhanced with a coin if it wasn't tracking well.
The Pioneer PL-12D
My first quality turntable. When I got my first job, this is what I bought. I sensed that I was wrecking my records with that heavy tonearm on the Panasonic. I still ran it though that cheap Panasonic receiver and it needed a preamp. It was decommissioned because it wouldn't hold the pitch between 45 and 33. If one was adjusted correctly the other would be fast or slow.
It was a single play with no automated features. I could play the run out grooves on Sgt Pepper, The Who Sell Out and King Crimson USA.
I still have it in a storage locker. I'm too sentimentally attached to let it go. It got me all through high school and college.
Got a dual hoping it would be a better table. It held its pitch better than the aging Pioneer. Still, I never really liked it. It had an annoying motor rumble that could be heard during the quiet parts of loud records. I was listening to a lot of prog then.
The Technics SL-D2
|Taking Louie Louie For a Spin|
This is the table that my wife had before we were married. It's a direct drive Technics. Love these. This replaced the Dual as the main table. Subsequently, I got another on Ebay. They're both in service. Over the years, I've been getting beat up ones for parts. They're quiet and easy to work on. Used to be able to get them for around $40 on eBay. Now they're closer to $250.
They've got a strobe and an adjustable pitch control. Perfect for the pitch conscious listener.
For those who have these - toss the rubber cover over the platter. They disintegrate into an oily goo. I use a felt pad instead.
I'm using the Shure M97 cartridge on both of them.
They're great little workhorses. Hope to keep them running for a long time.