LATELY — 21 June 2001

Record Players

Does anyone know how to connect a record player to a regular stereo, through the AUX inputs? I think I need a “preamp.” Where can you get them?

My Dad has a pretty good record collection. When he was studying at MIT he bought about a record a week, and a lot of it is stuff I’d like to try–Beatles, Stones, Mothers of Invention, strange jazz and blues. (Just then I found a “Donovan’s Greatest Hits”–it includes “Season of the Witch”!)

A few days ago I hooked a record player up to my stereo, selected a Stones’s album as the test disc, and pressed play. Nothing much happened until I turned the volume up all the way, almost twice as loud as it’s ever been before, at which point the speakers emitted a sound that might best be described as “lukewarm.” I can tell you, there’s something deeply unsatisfying–nay, deeply unsatisfying and sonically immoral–about hearing “Honky Tonk Women” limp its way out of your speakers, when it’s the first damn record you’ve ever played for yourself. That shit needs to be LOUD.

I borrowed a preamp from a friend in an attempt to fix the problem (it’s a box that goes between the record player an the amp), but I think it was broken, or I didn’t wire it up right, because it didn’t help.

I have vague thoughts of throwing an all-analogue party–where there’s records and tapes, slide shows and film cameras (check your dinky mobile phones, electronic organisers, and digital watches in at the door!) but not enough of my friends are propeller-heads enough to appreciate the idea. And, er, I also need a place to actually hold the party.

Can anyone give me a good definition of “bogan”? (Like a red neck, but less inclined to random acts of violence, and not so bright–?)