Monday, 28 October 2013

It is possible to live in harmony with your environment!

I grew up in the sixties and seventies when we had high ideals about improving the planet through love, peace and harmony with nature and our fellow human beings. Sadly many of those ideals were lost along the way as the eighties and the realities of earning a living set in. Once in a while it's great to hear about people who never lost those ideals and who decided to forge ahead despite the odds. Here is one such story, and it makes me want to go out there and start a small farm myself! I guess I'm just a hippy at heart! :-)

"Growing your own food is a dangerous act because you're in danger of becoming free."
- Jules Dervaes

You can see the "Path to Freedom" website by CLICKING HERE.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Top Ten Crazy Turntable Designs! (yes, but can they play records?)

There are some crazy turntable designs out there to suit every crazy taste under the sun. So if you are not happy with your old traditional boring looking player here are some examples that may tickle your fancy instead.

VPI HR-X turntable

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Wood Glue method for Cleaning Vinyl Records

I have never tried this myself, but from what I have heard it works really well for very dirty records that have deeply embedded dirt that can't come out with regular cleaning. I would test it first on a record you don't mind potentially ruining, but my logic dictates that it should be ok as long as you follow the simple instructions given here.

Monday, 21 October 2013

How to Set-Up Your Pro-Ject Turntable

Vinyl in the News: Back in the groove: Daft Punk and Arctic Monkeys send vinyl LP sales rocketing by 100 per cent

Back in the groove: Daft Punk and Arctic Monkeys send vinyl LP sales rocketing by 100 per cent

Bands help push the popularity of the revived format to renewed heights this year

Daft Punk helped push annual sales of vinyl LPs over the half a million mark for the first time in more than a decade, according to an analysis by industry body BPI.

Releases by the French dance duo as well as Arctic Monkeys and David Bowie have helped push the popularity of the revived format to renewed heights this year.

Almost 550,000 LPs have been bought by music fans so far in 2013, already giving vinyl its most successful year since 2003. 

Read the rest of this news article on  The Independent's website by CLICKING HERE!

Friday, 18 October 2013

Focus on Equipment: the Rega RP1 Turntable

Refoaming a pair of Snell E3 speakers (it's easier than you think)

When buying a second hand pair of speakers that are older than 10 - 20 years it is always a good idea to check them carefully for foam rot. Over time the foam surrounding the speaker cone can get perished and quite literally fall apart. The sound quality will be severely degraded when the foam is a gonner and especially the bass will be affected badly, and if left unattended you will eventually cause permanent damage to your drivers which will potentially be very expensive to replace.

Look at these examples of speaker rot I found online:


It's a very common problem but fortunately it is also very easy to remedy. For those who feel they cannot take on a DIY project like this most hi fi repair shops can do this repair fairly easily and at a reasonable cost. For those of us with some basic DIY skills repairing our own speakers is a piece of cake and much cheaper than having someone else doing the refoaming it for us.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Vinyl Feature: Don McLean - Homeless Brother

Front of cover

Released in October 1978 by folk singer Don Mclean Homeless Brother was the fifth of twenty albums spanning a career of more than forty years. This was not his most commercially successful album only making it to 120th place on the US Billboard 200 at the time, however it is pure Don Mclean at his absolute best with the great folk style and fantastic vocals that he is known for.

The quality of the recording and the vinyl pressing is outstanding as well and sounds so real it's almost as if he is sitting in the room and performing for us personally. Very engaging!

How To Setup A Turntable

The vinyl revival: Sales of LP records double in 12 months

Sales of LP records double in 12 months to reach 550,000 thanks to releases by artists including Arctic Monkeys

Vinyl sales have doubled in the past year, with record industry body BPI is predicting that more than 700,000 will be sold by Christmas.

- Vinyl record sales have doubled thanks to famous names releasing LPs
- Around 550,000 have been bought so far in 2012 and could exceed 700,000

Sales of vinyl LP records have doubled in the last 12 months to their highest level for a decade.
Around 550,000 have been bought so far and the record industry body BPI is predicting that more than 700,000 will be sold by Christmas.
An online poll of 1,700 vinyl buyers found that 86 per cent of them said it was their favourite music format. A third of today’s LP fans are aged under 35.

Full Story:

17 October 2013

Don McLean on TV-am - 1984

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Things to do with old Vinyl Records # 6 - Art!

Possibly the most difficult of the lot in technical and creative terms. Could be fun to try though, so let me know what you have done and send pics of course!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Vinyl Feature: Smokie - Greatest Hits

Released in April 1977 the album "Greatest Hits" by the band Smokie contained all 10 of their singles up to that time spanning their (then) 12 year career. They went on to be one of the longest surviving bands from that era and still exist today, although only one of the original band members is still with Smokie.

Their first ever hit was "If You Think You Know How To Love Me", they had 13 top twenty hits during the 1970's, and went on to sell over 30 million LP's and CDs. To date their mega hit song "Living Next Door To Alice" has sold over 10 million copies worldwide.

Front of Cover

Chris De Burge Canadian TV Interview 1987

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Vinyl Feature: The Beatles - The Red and Blue Albums

The Red Album front cover

Today I am featuring two double albums together simply because they belong together having being released on the same day as complementary collections of The Beatles "A-side" singles hits spanning their career together. Despite having singles hits with cover versions this series only included songs composed by the Beatles themselves.

The first album is titled "The Beatles 1962-1966" but came to be commonly known as "The Red Album", and the second album "The Beatles 1967-1970" which came to be known as "The Blue Album". They were released together on the 2nd of April 1973 and I think it is still one of the best compilations of Beatles songs ever created.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

In conversation with Shawn Phillips

Recreate the Disco Era! - How-to make a Disco Ball

Got all that old disco music and want to throw a great disco theme party? Well you will need to get the mood right and this easy DIY disco ball would be just the right thing to help you get your boogie down:

Don't have any disco music to have a disco party? No problem, Amazon have a brilliant 5 cd collection of classic disco music that will keep you jiving for hours! Click on the link below and have it delivered to you in super quick time:

Audio Note Factory Tour in the heart of the factory

A brief and informal look inside the Audio Note factory.

Things to do with old Vinyl Records # 5 - Lamps!

These look like they require a higher level of skill than some of the other examples, but I think with a bit of determination they should be doable.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Vinyl Feature: Simon and Garfunkel - The Concert in Central Park

Back in 1982 I was in my final year of high school in my home town of Pretoria South Africa and had a drivers licence, a very laid back attitude towards life in general and towards studying for my final exams in particular. The year before Simon and Garfunkel had performed a free benefit concert in Central Park New York and I was eagerly awaiting the live album that had been promised by the media. When I finally purchased it sometime in 1982 it instantly became a firm favourite and would be played on many long hazy evenings together with friends in mostly very smoke laden environments with the smell of stale beer providing a special ambiance. It remained at the top of the playlist for several years until it was stolen along with my entire record collection one fateful night. (You can read about that by clicking here.)

Front Cover

Monday, 7 October 2013

One Love - Song Around LA - Playing For Change

I think Bob Marley would approve!

Turnaround - A Vinyl Records Documentary

Vinyl Feature: Barbra Streisand - The Barbra Streisand Album

Released in 1963 this was Barbra Streisand's debut album when she was a mere twenty years old and was just the first album in a long and very successful recording career that spanned almost 50 years! She is quite a raw young talent here with some rough edges but all the potential for being one of the great female voices of her generation. She matured over the years and, in my opinion at least, became one of the all time greats.

Despite being quite new to the game Barbra Streisand had great success on her first recording venture and The Barbra Streisand Album went on to peak at number 8 on the US Billboard pop albums chart, and was certified a gold album by the RIAA.

The Barbra Streisand Album - front cover

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Guest Post: "Acrylic Flexy Rack" by Arnold Cruz from his blog "The road to nirvana"

I recently looked into upgrading my shelving for my hifi setup and in my searches I came across what looked like a very good looking and practical shelving system called the Flexy Shelf (or Table) and had it in the back of my mind to build one and post my results here on Vinyl Philosophy. As it turned out I went with the wall mounted shelves instead, mainly because I already had almost everything I needed lying around at home.

Despite this I still wanted to do one and continued to look at other peoples attempts to plan my way forward. In my searchings I came across a particularly nice looking example on the website of Arnold Cruz at The road to nirvana and then proceeded to ask him if I could repost his Flexy Shelf post right here on Vinyl Philosophy so that more people could benefit from what I think is one of the prettiest Flexy Shelves out there. So with his permission here it is:


Acrylic Flexy Rack

An article on the online site TNT Audio inspired me to try working on a version that suits my personal preferences. The original article calls for MDF shelves, but I decided to go a notch higher by using Acrylic (or sometimes called Plexiglass).

My first version was based on the layout and measurements of the original article and looked like this:

the doors interviews 1968 (HQ)

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

How to Build a Speaker

Vinyl Feature: Diana Ross & the Supremes - Greatest Hits

Front of Gatefold Cover

When it was released under the Motown label in 1967 this signature album of Diana Ross and the Supremes topped the charts worldwide reaching number one in the USA on the U.S. Billboard 200 as well as the U.S. Billboard R&B Albums Chart and peaked at number one spot on the UK Albums Chart. Ten of the songs on this album were number one hit singles and the album sold a total of about six million copies making it one of the most successful albums by an all female group in history!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

NBC’s Kate Snow reports: Big artists embracing vinyl!

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LOVE - Black Beauty - Vinyl Album for sale

Arthur Lee’s legendary band LOVE's first-ever official release of their album Black Beauty is available on vinyl from Amazon. Not cheap, but certainly a worthwhile buy for fans of LOVE or just 70's rock in general.

The link below will take you straight to Amazon's page where you will be able to purchase it for yourself:

I am not sure how long they will have stock of this gem so if you want it you better order it right away. Don't say I didn't warn you...

Neil Young - rare 1985 NZ interview

Interviewer: What do you personally think that people like about your music?
Neil Young: I haven't got the faintest idea… 

Music is what feelings sound like - Wallpaper