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Finding My Salvation....A Vinyl Love Story

Saket

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#21
Some amazing stories here. All feel like...oh it's same as mine!

And as far as tuning the head of tape recorder goes, I had to change the 'deck plate' of my 1988 Philips Two-in-One Stereo twice, as the plastic screw hole holding the head adjustment gave up. Last time I changed it about 3 years back. I changed the head, pinch roller, drive belt, and the deck plate.Yes, it sings today as well. Here's is the pic of the model. Even the mighty Google Uncle could not find it:D

View attachment 15671
 
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srisaikat

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#22
I agree with Srisaikat, what a wonderful thread. Finally I got some time now, a break at work so I thought I'll write my story. Actually my story goes back quite a bit starting with my father, as I technically did not start off but just continued with what my Dad started.

Dad was born in the late 1930s, and when he was about 3 or 4 years old, his father (my grand dad) brought home a wind-up HMV gramophone. My grandparents started collecting 78s and good old granny used to tell me that Dad would stand by the Gramophone and watch 78 after 78 playing. Later when he was about 10 or 12, a Ferguson valve radio entered our home. Again, as a teenager, Dad would sit and tune stations from all over the place, and catch up with music. My grandparents found this quite a nuisance as they were more interested in listening to the news. When Dad entered his high school, the American Library opened its doors here and they used to lend records and books. Dad became a student member and would borrow records (I think he said 2 per week) and bring them home, keep looking at them for a week and then would simply return them. Of course, these were LPs and he could not play them on the needle wind-up gramophone. When he reached college, he read in a book about a project wherein a guy converted a gramophone to play microgroove records. This was the 1950s. He saved up and bought a mono ceramic cartridge and built a light weight tone arm with a counter balance (later on in life, when he showed it to me, I could not stop laughing but was amazed that such a thing could play a record) and made some adjustments to the governor of the gramophone and thus could play LPs through the radio. This was the first break through with amplified vinyl-based music in our home. He told me that he would have to wind the gramophone after every track on the LP. That could have been quite an experience :)

Later on, he opened up the radio (much to the annoyance of grandpa), took its speaker out and mounted it in a huge box customized to work like a horn speaker (again a design from an American library magazine). Once he got his job with the Department of Telecom, he was able to quickly save up some money and buy his first record player, the first model of the HMV calypso (with the metal tonearm). Now he could play LPs, 45s and 78s without having to wind :)

This was the mid 1960s. Friends started coming over to listen. He started buying 45s (LPs were quite expensive in those days) and built up a decent collection. A friend was almost permanently at home recording these on his portable grundig reel recorder. Then in the early 1970s, a major breakthrough. Dad was sent abroad for some Telecom training and he came back with a Garrard SP25 Mk1 deck (it did not have a plinth). Major major upgrade. I would have been 2 years at the time. It had a goldring magnetic cartridge which was later upgraded to Shure M75-6s. A NAD 1020A preamp arrived in the 1980s to replace his DIY phonostage which was started when he bought the Calypso turntable and evolved through the Garrard days into a integrated amp sized cabinet, loaded with components.

to be contd.....
I can feel the enthusiasm of your father towards hifi as fellow hobbyist, it was quite interesting story of a man whom you can make idol to follow the passion.

My great grand father perhaps enjoyed live Mujra as a Zamindar of Purba Banga (East Bengal), but at the end of his life he lost everything during partition (1947). So my grand father had to start from scratch. There was no relation to any type of audio equipments that time till my father bought a radio which was made in England (forgot the brand). I think my fascination for Music came through blood but of course I believe most human love music from natural instinct.

Looking forward for rest of this interesting story.
 
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frend2001

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#23
The old guy was sympathetic but he woudn't part with his collection, when I pressed on he showed me a paper.......the paper was some sort of official looking thing but very very yellow, by the looks of it, it was well over 60-70 years old.

I was like......what is it ? he told me.....

It was his marksheet of 1st class.......

He told me that he has even saved and preserved this old document, he wouldn't part with any thing he's collected and has he collected ???

let me put down a list....

3-4 valve radios
a very old guitar amplifier
very old NORGE amplifier
A philips TT
2 cosmic amplifiers
An akai GX series tape deck
A Technics tape deck
An Ahuja Deck
A sony tuner
3-4 equilizers
a few boom boxes ( old 2-in-1s)
a HITACHI mini component
a pioneer echo
some kind of mixer with many knobs
and many many speakers

He sits in between all this junk and keeps ranting old stories, but what stories he tell....

He talks of Mumbai of 70s and 80s (my fav. topic), the technology evolution of music playback.....he swears that there is nothing more detailed then a vinyl, on my demand he showed me vinyl of Nikamma....its a very very rare vinyl, the name of movie was changed and it was released after 8 years gap. He has picture LPs and a lot of english records.....as it happens I inquired that maybe he has some Pink Floyd and bingo there it was.....the wall......phewww.......if only I could lay my hands on that....

I went thru his collection and there were movies and artists whose name I've never heard and I used to think that I had a fairly good idea of international music scene ;)

He acquired all these from many closing shops, first when cassettes moved in, due to it's compactness and ease of handling it hit the vinyl market very hard. It was almost even matched battle but the gamechanger thing was the WALKMAN and portable cassette players.

You could carry them anywhere and play to your heart's contend. Surprisingly nobody gave much attention to inferior quality of those cassettes. I must point out that as a media cassettes were not so inferior but due to severe cost cutting by companies like HMV and Music India, they were really very average at best. Then there was head alignment issue with them, as we have so fondly discussed that earlier.

Companies were cutting the songs short to fit them in as less as possible tape. In vinyl there is a fixed space to put music into. You can't save on cost by putting less music on a vinyl but in case of cassettes companies saved a lot of cassette reel by cutting songs and music sequences. They were robbing the listeners. And cassettes were cheaper then vinyls.

Ooops.......I've drifted away from the old man.....yeah the old man.

Although he's refused point blank about selling his vinyls, he's promised me that he'd help me buy a complete collection of about 800-1000 vinyls in one shot, he says it'll be cheaper then buying separately.

In his view there's no vinyl which is not worth listening to........and I agree

to be continued.......
 
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srisaikat

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#24
I have still not dwelt into the analog Vinyl world but the few Vinyl rips that I have definitely sound rich and organic than FLACs and other loss-less formats
I think you have misconception about the vinyl rip & FLAC or other loss-less formats. Vinyl rip can also be represented as FLAC or other loss-less formats (rips on such loss-less formats are most welcome) as well as mp3. May be you mean to say Vinyl rip definitely sound rich and organic than CD rip.

Regards
 

Saket

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#25
In vinyl there is a fixed space to put music into. You can't save on cost by putting less music on a vinyl but in case of cassettes companies saved a lot of cassette reel by cutting songs and music sequences. They were robbing the listeners. And cassettes were cheaper then vinyls.
Nice story man. Please continue, we are all ears. However, just my personal reservation on the quoted statement. Many EPs used to cut verses, lead music pieces to fit songs on one side. HMV; for Anand movie went to do this on the full LP too! The movie had just 4 songs, but they could not accommodate those 4 songs on a full size LP! Because they chose to pull in dialogues too. That is ridiculous. I mean, ok, dialogues are fine, but cutting songs half length on an LP, for which the customer is buying it is not done! For aandhi EP, HMV recorded the songs at a faster speed, making the male singer resemble a female voice...sorry, but not all turntables & record players have pitch control. My rant on this subject can go on....but will like to hear your full story first. Apologies for taking the liberty of digressing the thread a bit.

Thanks,
Saket
 

Saket

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#28
Saket, I used to have a 2-in-one like this, looked an absolutely similar Philips model with silver rims on the woofers, but was completely black (including the cassette pocket)
Reuben, my friend had a DR579 which looked very similar, except that it had sliders for controls & rectangle shaped silver rims rather than circular in my DR 578. Also, the picture I posted is not my player, just got the pic from net of the same model. In my player, there was no yellow sticker on the cassette pocket as in the picture.:)
 

srisaikat

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#30
Our first Stereo Two-in-One was National Panasonic RX-5100F was bought in 1981 on which later I used to do the head calibration.

We had it for 10 years, unfortunately it was stolen during a house shifting. We tried best to trace it but all our effort went in vain. It was great sorrow moment for me, I gained my tiny Electronics knowledge tweaking around that Two-in-One.

But I was more surprised to find that my mom was in a status of shock who never showed any interest on music actively, she always remained just as a passive listener. Some more house hold items also got lost including her own items, but she did not forget that Two-in-One for many years. Occasionally she used to express her sorrow about that stolen Two-in-One but never showed any concern for other items including her own. Here are two pictures which I found on internet which are exactly same as ours. It had a system called TPS (Tape Program Sensor), using which user could reach at the end or start point of current track, was quite handy to use.

[/URL][/IMG]

 
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hildebrand

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#31
Loving all the stories here. Its like reading my own stories ha ha.

I would love to meet this Uncle of yours, frend2001! Looks like there will be lots to discuss!
 

frend2001

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#32
I maybe visited 15-20 shops around city. The problem is almost same, most of them were at some point of time having a large collection of vinyls but no longer had them.

A emerging trend and common answer was that a guy from either Delhi or Mumbai came and bought every vinyls they had. And the most disturbing thing is......as one of the trader who still trades in large lots of vinyls told me......all vinyls are going out of India in HUGE quantities.

Either there is such a large demand there or guys abroad are investing in vinyls and one day will start selling to us on exorbitant prices.

So my pledge to you all......buy as much as your pocket and itch allows.

Its almost been 3 decades since records have been out of production in India.

Coming back to our journey.

I recall that it was late 90s, maybe 1996 or 1997. One of my friends, who was from very well to do family bought SONY headphones, it was over the ears type, very huge and had volume control and stereo / mono selector over headphone itself.

He was a money thrower kinda guy, never bothered much about what he's buying and what for....

So on a whim he bought those headphone thinking that everything from SONY is top notch. Incidently in India of 1990s, Sony was king of home entertainment already.

So this guy took me with him to the market and I found myself in heaven.

There was an array of equipment of home audio, walkmans, mini hi-fi's, decks.

I was standing there with no much in my pocket to even buy an audio cassette and my friend was rolling in his hands a headphone which was worth a whopping 600 bucks then in 1996. I was getting light headed......

He bought it, and I, on the other hand couldn't muster enough courage to inquire about a strange round kind of thing which had SONY logo and "Discman" embossed over it.

I was highly interested in it, I mean what on earth it was ?? but alas me, the poor bugger had to satisfy myself by just looking at it and ogle at it.

But the itch had caught me.....and caught me BIG time....

I was back to that shop the very next day.

to be continued..........
 

reubensm

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#33
I agree with Srisaikat, what a wonderful thread. Finally I got some time now, a break at work so I thought I'll write my story. Actually my story goes back quite a bit starting with my father, as I technically did not start off but just continued with what my Dad started.

Dad was born in the late 1930s, and when he was about 3 or 4 years old, his father (my grand dad) brought home a wind-up HMV gramophone. My grandparents started collecting 78s and good old granny used to tell me that Dad would stand by the Gramophone and watch 78 after 78 playing. Later when he was about 10 or 12, a Ferguson valve radio entered our home. Again, as a teenager, Dad would sit and tune stations from all over the place, and catch up with music. My grandparents found this quite a nuisance as they were more interested in listening to the news. When Dad entered his high school, the American Library opened its doors here and they used to lend records and books. Dad became a student member and would borrow records (I think he said 2 per week) and bring them home, keep looking at them for a week and then would simply return them. Of course, these were LPs and he could not play them on the needle wind-up gramophone. When he reached college, he read in a book about a project wherein a guy converted a gramophone to play microgroove records. This was the 1950s. He saved up and bought a mono ceramic cartridge and built a light weight tone arm with a counter balance (later on in life, when he showed it to me, I could not stop laughing but was amazed that such a thing could play a record) and made some adjustments to the governor of the gramophone and thus could play LPs through the radio. This was the first break through with amplified vinyl-based music in our home. He told me that he would have to wind the gramophone after every track on the LP. That could have been quite an experience :)

Later on, he opened up the radio (much to the annoyance of grandpa), took its speaker out and mounted it in a huge box customized to work like a horn speaker (again a design from an American library magazine). Once he got his job with the Department of Telecom, he was able to quickly save up some money and buy his first record player, the first model of the HMV calypso (with the metal tonearm). Now he could play LPs, 45s and 78s without having to wind :)

This was the mid 1960s. Friends started coming over to listen. He started buying 45s (LPs were quite expensive in those days) and built up a decent collection. A friend was almost permanently at home recording these on his portable grundig reel recorder. Then in the early 1970s, a major breakthrough. Dad was sent abroad for some Telecom training and he came back with a Garrard SP25 Mk1 deck (it did not have a plinth). Major major upgrade. I would have been 2 years at the time. It had a goldring magnetic cartridge which was later upgraded to Shure M75-6s. A NAD 1020A preamp arrived in the 1980s to replace his DIY phonostage which was started when he bought the Calypso turntable and evolved through the Garrard days into a integrated amp sized cabinet, loaded with components.

to be contd.....
Contd...

Dad now had 2 turntables, he decided to give away the HMV Calypso to his friend. I was very sad about it as honestly, I had been admiring it play ever since I can remember. I tried by best to convince my dad not to part with it and even constant crying for nearly 2 days could stop the Calypso from disappearing from our family. I still feel an element of sadness when I think of that. I may have been about 5 or 6 at the time. (Recently when my wife and I decided to put our Garrard RC210 vintage changer up for sale, my elder son cried for a day, asking me not to sell it. History has come full circle). Now, as time past, we had our usual Saturday and Sunday evening listening sessions which was fun. I was the guy who got to hold the record covers and I even tried to read what was on it. Thats probably my first attempt to read. Dad would give me all the covers, excelt Gil Ventura covers :eek:hyeah: Those familiar with Gil Ventura LPs will know the reason why :eek:hyeah:

In the early 1980s, another incident happened in the family which only increased my love for vinyl. A friend of our family brought a small portable Sanyo record player with a built in radio in a broken state, for dad to fix. After he fixed it, they enquired if we could help them sell it off. They were asking for Rs.100/- for it. Dad obviously did not want to buy it but I was at the back of him to buy it for me. The same family friend has given me a few 45s to play with (my first records, still have them) and I thought I could actually listen to them if I got this record player. Again, 2 days of crying did not help and one of Dad's friends bought the player.

I would have to wait till I reached standard 4 to start off on my own. One day (I think it was Onam time, we were to go out and see the lights across the city), mom took us to Dad's office. He was to join us from there to go out, in the evening. I noticed people sitting by wierd looking machines, taking notes listening to some tuk-tuk sounds. I asked Dad what it was and he told me the whole story behind Morse Code (these were the days of telegrams of course). He told me how in olden times Morse code was used to communicate between ships on the high seas, using beam lights flashing. This facinated me. There was an old bicycle lying in the outhouse and it had a dynamo. My brother and I used to sit on that cycle for hours and pretend we were driving a car. They cycle had a dynamo and a head lamp which we used to turn on and have fun with it. I realized that I could actually build a morse machine if I could have a switch put for the headlamp. Dad gave me some tips on how to build a morse key and in a matter of days, we had one, and then a second. Dad gave us a few spare radio dial lamps and I was able to make a Morse code communicator with 2 stations, complete with key. This contraption was powered by that bicycle dynamo. So one station was fixed on the bicycle and the other station, some distance away, with long wires running from the bicycle to power both stations. My brother would be on the bicycle, peddling away and powering the stations. We learnt to communicate by Morse code. Seeing this, Dad told me to try and build a beeper instead of using lights. This was something new to me as I did not know anything about electronics at the time.

Dad then, over the period of our summer vacation, thought me electronics basics, how to read circuits, how to solder, how to use bread boards, etc. Even thought I was only in Standard 4, I found this very interesting. Then one evening, he took me to a local electronics store and bought some components for the beeper. I still remember it had 2 transistors. He assembled it for me, while I watched. It worked straight away. He then dismantled it and asked me to rebuild it again. I did so with some very shabby soldering. When we turned it on, it did not work. Dad asked me what I thought the problem was. I did not know. He then explained that I had over heated the transistors while soldering and had damaged them. My first experience with soldering was obviously a disaster. In addition to this, I dropped some molten solder on my leg too.

Seeing my enthusiasm, Dad gave me a three band Philips transistor and encouraged me to listen to the radio. He told us about aerials and my brother and I (with brother climbing all the trees) put up an outdoor, long-wire aerial for the radio and we were up and running with Radio Ceylon (SLBC).

Here's a stock picture of that radio:


More pictures can be found here: philips_l3x25t00

The sound from the radio was hopeless and I always dreamt of having something of a music system for myself. After some convincing, Dad allowed me to start exploring some amplifier circuits. We shortlisted a 1 watt amplifier based on a AC127/AC128 output pair. Dad said that it would be better to use AC187/AC188 instead and finally he actually showed up one evening with a bag of components. A week later I had a working 1 watt amplifier (still have it with me). He gave me the old radio speaker which he had in the horn cabinet and now I could play music loud. It was a great experience, my first little rig. I was nearing the end of Standard 4. I did a demo of my amp at the school exhibition. I was the star there as nobody from standard 1 to 5 had any working models. Just paper and cardboard stuff. I had also built a little circuit for a Traffic light as well. So I had 2 gadgets at the exhibition. The principal of the school told my parents that I should become a scientist at VSSC :eek:hyeah: (later in life, I realized electronics was only a hobby and not a career option for me)

Bringing the clock forward, I listened to this little rig till I reached Standard 8. That's when Dad gave me an old cassette recorder that was lying in the loft. It was not in working condition.

Here's a stock picture of that vintage 1960s recorder which he gave me:


After some fiddling for nearly a year (had to stop for studies in between), I managed to get the tape section to work. With a few old tapes from Dad, I was up an running. I could now listen to music I liked, rather than what was played over the radio. By this time, an Akai GX39D deck arrived in the household so Dad would record a few cassettes for me. Somehow I could never get the radio section to work (but I did not need it as I had a radio anyways and there was no FM station around). I incorporated a small selector switch for me to switch between the radio and tape player without having to plug and un plug. Once I reached standard 10, I built my first stereo amplifier using a TBA 810s platform. I also saved some pocket money and bought more speakers and cross overs, and now I had 2 way speakers for both channels working out of baffles built from apple cartons. I had a Chawla mechanism with a stereo head, driving this amp. Later a friend gave me a Japanese mechanism salvaged from a tape recorder. This was a great step forward. Another friend gave me a Grundig tape recorder for repairs. He left it with us after repairs and now we could record.

Here is a stock pic of that Grundig cassette recorder:


This set up gave me many hours of listening pleasure. Had built up a collection of tapes as well using pocket money. They were mostly from Magnasound and CBS, mainly from the Glam Metal and Thrash Metal Genre. The next step came after I got my first job.

to be continued....
 

srisaikat

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#34
'reubensm' I simply envy your childhood. Feeling amazing like rest of the pupil of Standard 4 on that school exhibition.
 
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reubensm

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#36
'reubensm' I simply envy your childhood. Feeling amazing like rest of the pupil of Standard 4 on that school exhibition.
You know what guys, I still have that old 1 watt amp which I built in standard 4, here are the pics. Its looks pretty clumsy but keep in mind that its the handy work of 10 year old. I still recall, dad helped drill those holes and bend that galvanized piece of metal for me (the face plate).





Got back today and just for the sake of this thread, thought I'll attempt to wire up this old baby and see it it sings. And guess what, I still plays like it did back in 1981-82 (the input socket had a bit of a contact problem). Imagine, this amp was in service at the time when India won the cricket world cup in 1983.

Here's a short video. Please excuse the picture and sound quality. The track featured is "Walk Away" a ballad by Glam Metal band, Dokken.

http://vid1283.photobucket.com/albums/a546/reubensm/09092014001_zpse82f1fa1.mp4
 
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Naturelover

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#37
Great stories here! Could it be that the Brazilian guy is buying all the vinyl from India as well?
 

frend2001

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#38
There's a big community of Guys, who've gone thru the same phase of Life like me.

Hailing from Middle class families, the music listening was just not a hobby you could afford.
Buying cassettes one after one was just not possible, I mean pocket never permitted to.

My father was really patient with my hobby and on many occasions bought cassettes to gift me.

The high day was when he was in Bombay (it was called Bombay then ), and he came back something He bought it for me.

Consider a teenage boy of 14.

Just having sabotaging a two-in-one from parent's room and arranging those few cassettes in a chronological order, putting serial no. on then (yes...I did). I was already happy like a kid in candy store. All cassettes I had back then were either ones my mom had or I've stolen from my uncle

(I used to tell him that I'm taking them but he insisted that telling him doesn't mean a thing, I was taking them without his will so I was a thief all the same, anyways he's a great guy, love him )

So my dad was back from Mumbai.....I mean Bombay and he had this mischievous smile on his face, I could guess he brought me something but....he wouldn't tell me. It was morning and I had to go the school.....

He insisted that I go to school and when I'd come back, he'd show me.

Those 5-6 odd hours were such a torture.....I mean I've had my share of waitings but none was such a non-ending one.

I was back to home like a bat out of hell, BUT.........
 
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#40
@reubensm: ur standard4 made 1watt ampli thrills me.... What a make for a 10 yrs old boy... You did a grt job, i must say...... On my time during class4 i used to play with defective compnents that are thrown away by my elder bro, he is also a genious DIYst, he made a lot of things in his childhood, many of them are still used by me. I used to see him during his works. I learned DIYing from. His inspiration helped me a lot to make electronics my primary hobby. My first venture was in my class8 when i returned life to my dad's HMV STEREO 666 record player. I can remember his smile after seeing that alive on that saturday afternoon when he just returned from his office..... After that there was lots of happt DIYing which is still being continued....
 
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