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–?)