Unscientific Poll

In the comments to this post, Zach said:

“I’m confused. I thought Basil was the old guy who used to listen to vinyl.”

I’m also an old guy who listened to vinyl.

Not sure about Frank.

So, to help Zach be less confused, please leave a comment if you’re an old guy who used to listen to vinyl.

And in order to exclude whippersnappers who’ve only listened to “scratching“, I’ll define “listened to vinyl” as “placing the needle on a record and letting it play through the entire song, as a habitual form of entertainment”.

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50 Comments

  1. Back in the late 70’s early 80’s my dad was an advertising executive with a local radio station so we had a ton of records and a HI-FI stereo to play them on. I even had a little 45 turn table that also a filmstrip projector (remember those?) built into it to listen to records on. Even had some of those children books that came with records to play so you could read along with them. I remember one year my little sister went nuts because my folks got her the Michael Jackson Thriller album for Christmas. So yeah even though I am only 41 I am proud to say that I am an offically an old guy by the standards of todays kids with thier iPods, electric cars and hoola-hoops.

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  2. We had a slide projector and a super 8 movie camera, cameras that took 126 film and tvs with dials, antennas and only got 4 stations, 6 once we put the rotating antenna on the roof. We didn’t get a color tv until around 1976

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  3. I still listen to vinyl. I have six feet of LPs, some of which are so old they don’t even bother to say whether they are recorded in stereo (because there were no stereo recordings available when they were made).

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  4. Last year I built a system specifically for listening to the reissued Beatles stereo boxset on vinyl.

    Now I am patiently awaiting the mono boxset being delivered in September. These are being cut from the analogue tapes, so there will be nothing digital about them. Woot

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  5. i not only still listen to vinyl, but when the heart of my system (kenwood kr4400 receiver) died i replaced it last year so that i can continue listening to vinyl.

    now all you young uns get off my lawn.

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  6. I still have a couple of vinyl albums from back in the day – the cover art is much more suited to framing and hanging and we also have a bunch of 45s from “the olden days”…although that’s really from before our time…I also used to date this crazy chick back in my wild and misspent youth that had a couple of vinyl outfits that would make sounds if you rubbed them the right way….but I think that’s not the same as “listening to vinyl”.

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  7. I can remember vinyl, shellac and wax (grandma had a hand crank Edison). Transferred everything to R/R and then to 8-track so we could jam non stop….. much smooooooother than those new fangled cassette thingies…..

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  8. If you’re interested in bringing your old phono back to life, you can still get diamond needles and really good preamps to drive your modern stereo receiver. Twelve years ago, I did just that with a older, gifted Harmon Kardon turntable that now is simply the best one I’ve ever owned. The old RCA Victor records play better than ever… Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Dvorak, Handel, Rachmaninoff, Liszt, Chopin… real music.

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  9. I’m under thirty and I used to listen to vinyl.

    My parents’ record collection contains a few children’s albums they bought when my brother and I were babies in the eighties.

    I still listen to vinyl, actually. Mostly I listen to digital music on my computer, but when an album comes out I’m really excited about, I’ll buy the LP.

    I don’t have a huge record collection, but I do have an eclectic blend of oldies purchased from thrift stores, garage sales and used record shops as well as new stuff mostly ordered online. I get excited about a wide variety of music, so my collection contains such highlights as Tommy Dorsey, The Who, Hank Williams, Bright Eyes, Simon & Garfunkel, Chuck Berry, Lou Rawls, Dire Straits and Leo Kottke.

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  10. I learned to play banjo from an excellent text by Earl Scruggs himself. Last page in the book was a tear-out vinyl sheet with a hole in the middle for a 45 rpm spindle. Earl would play a song slow, then moderate, then full fireball express mode. True multimedia learning, 40 years ago.

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  11. What about old gals who used to listen to vinyl? I not only had the little plastic inserts for 45’s, I had a 78-speed turntable and albums to play on it. Those were actually cardboard, covered in plastic that could have been vinyl, I suppose. Damn, I’m old. (The 78’s, at least, were from my childhood. Narrated fairy tales; I was very sad when the dog ate them and revealed that the records were, in fact, mostly cardboard.)

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  12. @28 Steve: I was thinking of those, too.

    The question I always had was, how could you know, if you got a bad sound, whether the record was damaged, or if it was structurally fine but just dusty, or if it was fine and dust-free but the needle was bad, or all of the above were OK but your controller, or wiring, or speakers were to blame? Even without any other peripherals, that’s a lot of variables. No wonder I learned to just make do a casual attempt to troubleshoot.

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  13. @30 Oppo–bad needles skip, a lot, despite cheating by putting a penny atop the needle holder. I killed a Neil Sedaka album like that. Dust is by visual inspection or you can just clean the needle and record on general principle.

    –and here’s to what Steve H. said @2.

    I put an eight track player in my first Mustang, but that was a mistake; I should have gone with cassette (it was the ’80s).

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  14. @31 CCO – as it happens, my Zenith Stereo Console has an 8-track player in it. But I don’t know if it works, because I don’t have any 8-tracks, and it’s been years since I’ve seen one for sale, even at 2nd hand stores & garage sales.

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  15. There aren’t many around who know how to cue up a record, or slip cue one. Except for syndicated shows, like Casey’s Top 40, I haven’t had to do an entire radio show with just turntables, and haven’t used a turntable at a station in more than 20 years.

    As a teen, I picked up and inherited a lot of cheesy electronic music records before electronic was cool, and experimental stuff. Who’s heard of “The Nude Paper Sermon,” “The Wozard of Iz,” or Bruce Haack’s “Electric Lucifer”?

    Had some 8-tracks, too — mostly comedy, like Cosby, Redd Foxx. The Fisher console ate a lot of them.

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  16. I’m an old guy who STILL listens to vinyl. I also have a Betamax that I use to verify the time of day that is displayed on my smartphone. I also have an external DAC that plugs into my USB port to read 24/96 hi-def music files. At this point, what difference does it make? (That last one sounds familiar somehow, but it’s probably my CRS disease acting up).

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  17. One of my old favorite weekend pastimes was going to the record store and rummaging through the “cut outs” looking for deals on albums. Got in the habit of looking for names of band members so when I’d find a record with some of the same session guys for a couple bucks I’d pick it up and try it out. Found a lot of great music that way. Used to be a great record store on campus at DePauw with a used record section. Found a bunch of albums in the racks with my name on them. Turned out my roommate was selling my records on the sly. Did not turn out well for him. Not well at all.

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  18. I miss the simple act of cleaning a record. Fingers on the paper, thumb on the edge, a little solvent on the leading edge of the discwasher, a few turns following the contours of the grooves. Making a mix tape was a commitment. Choosing your tracks, playing them out in real time. You had to be there at the end of each song to fade out the volume and hit pause, then put on another record (had to clean it first, of course). Timing the last part of the tape so you could find a song that was short enough to fit but long enough to fill the tape, and it had to fit with the mood of the mix. A 90 minute cassette tape might take you a whole Saturday afternoon, but it was time well spent. I still can’t hear some songs on the radio without thinking about the song that came next on Party Tape #2. I still have the cassettes, but no device to play them on.

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  19. One of my favorite vinyl discoveries was the “concentric spiral”, for lack of a better term, on one side of the Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief album. Had only heard half of the side until one day I accidentally found the second groove and got to hear the rest. Very clever and impossible to do with tape, CD, DVD or MP3. One other interesting thing. On a 1979 trip from Spokane to Seattle in my friend Kevin’s Roadrunner with one 8-track tape, he told me that one day we would listen to music on small square wafers, eerily predicting the Compact Flash card and/or the SD card well before even PCs were very common.

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  20. Old? Check – 47yo
    Vinyl? Check – 33rpm, 45rpm, 78rpm. Not sure if my player still works. It did about 5 years ago. I still have a couple dozen 33s, but no 45s or 78s.
    Bonus? Check – 8-track and reel to reel. Still have a cassette player in my truck (currently loaded w/ Dire Straits “Brothers in Arms”). ;p

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  21. I’m in the same timeframe as what Bob B said: Vinyl? Hell, I used to listen to shellac. Some of the first records I got to listen to were my parents’ 78 rpm’s. Lot of Spike Jones in that set, too. (Those who know me are thinking how that explains so much….)

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  22. I’m old enough to know what “side 1” and “side 2” mean. While I don’t still play my vinyl records (I don’t have a stereo system), I do have one of those turntables you connect to your computer and have converted much of my record collection to mp3. So I still listen to the snap-crackle-pop of my vinyl records, only from my digital devices. I also have hundreds of cassette tapes, many of which were recorded from vinyl. The hi-quality tapes, like Maxell, TDK and Denon, still sound awesome, even though they were recorded 20 or more years ago.

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  23. Ah, vinyl-great memories, great music… In college Music History class, the prof would play a game of ‘drop the needle’ on the records-randomly play short snippets of Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical music for us to identify and analyze. I don’t know what that test is called nowadays-‘drop the finger?’

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  24. I’m not all that old, nor am I a guy, but I used to listen to records on my plastic Crayola (I think) record player. It had a switch to adjust speed, so you could listen to anything with it. I’m not certain what happened to it.

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  25. Playola, maybe?

    Old Vintage 1940s Toy Playola Phonograph Hand Crank Record Player For Sale

    This is a great vintage toy phonograph or gramophone that actually works. It is made mostly of hard plastic and was made in the late 1940’s. It is clearly marked: “PLAYOLA…PATS. PEND.” When you turn the crank, on the side, the turntable spins properly. The turntable is marked: “USE ONLY PLAYOLA RECORDS.”

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