We got started in the audio business because, like you, we have a passion for music. We are always looking for cool and interesting ways of reproducing it through devices that not only sound incredible, but can be individually selected to accommodate modest budgets.
Although we originally started our business with one foot deeply entrenched in the ‘home theater’ field (including full installations of dedicated rooms and multimedia applications), we had the other firmly planted on trade-ins and ‘vintage audio’ equipment. Over the first few years we came to realize that the home theater market was too volatile and in 2007 made the decision to simply concentrate on used two-channel audio equipment, including our real passion – vintage gear.
The following article by Ed Kobesky is re-printed by permission of Audio Discourse (with a big thank you to Mr. Dave Clark).
Analog is a smarter bet than ever for audiophiles on a budget. Excellent turntables are available from Pro-Ject and Music Hall for around $300, although that may still represent a big investment for those who want to experiment with analog before making a high-dollar commitment. Another low-cost possibility is to refurbish the classic turntable that is lying dormant in your attic or waiting for you in a neighbor’s yard sale or on eBay. Dust it off and start playing records! Turntables from the 1970s and 80s can equal or exceed the sound quality offered by today’s entry-level models. If properly set up, some may even approach the quality of $1000 CD players!
Alright, before you begin you should know that this is NOT your simple 4 paragraph ‘buyers guide’ so often seen everywhere else. This article contains reams of information and is very, very looong. If you wish, you can simply skip to certain areas but I strongly recommend reading this article in it’s entirety at least once.
So where do you start? Easy. If you are simply starting out in the audio hobby there is a massive market to explore with garage sales, flea markets, swap meets, thrift stores etc. Sometimes simply asking your friends or relatives if there is some stuff in their attic or garage they wouldn’t mind letting go of can yield surprising results! There are no rules at this level about what to buy as long as it works, and there is no smoke coming from it when it is playing, and it should not smell like the bathroom Grandpa just left. If you can buy an entire ‘system’ for around 50 bucks including speakers, welcome to the hobby.
Believe it or not, even stored records will still accumulate dust, and when that happens, you’ll have to clean your records before playing them.
To clean vinyl (LP’s): Use a solution up to 20% isopropyl alcohol (one part isopropyl alcohol to four parts water), and gently wipe the record in a spiral motion, using a soft cloth, from the center out to the edge. Pat it dry with a clean, anti-static cloth. A fine camel hair paint brush can remove visible dust particles.
Innovative Audio/Visual Solutions (IAVS) has been in business providing exceptional service to clients since 2000. But to get a better understanding on the development, we need to go back quite a few years ago…
Around 1989-1990, Gordon Sauck (that’s me) started experimenting with stereo set-ups that were slightly different to what people up to that point were used to. Not radical things mind you, but simply showing people ways of getting various sound sources through their systems. This included VCR’s, (beta and VHS), musical keyboards and a host of other fun things. In today’s world this sounds like child’s play but this was some cutting edge stuff back then. I specifically chose this as the official starting point because this was the time I started to put into works the dream I had as a kid.
I.1 – All warranty and guarantee clauses become void upon payment of invoice
I.2 – Dimensions will always be expressed in the least usable terms. Velocity, for example, will be expresses in furlongs per fortnight
I.3 – Identical units tested under identical conditions will not be identical in the field
Please note – the following is a rather dark view and should be read as an opinion only.
EBay, for the most part, can be a great place to find those marvelous treasures of yesterday and today. Literally thousands of items are at your fingertips, just waiting to be ‘won’.