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The Nostalgic Attic: Goodsell Type TL Record PLayer

21 March 2014

Goodsell Type TL Record PLayer

Sadly, we don't get as much time to listen to music as we used to in this house. These days, checking out new albums is done on MP3 players whilst out walking or travelling on the bus; all on headphones. When we have people over for parties or social gatherings, all our music comes through a player into our surround sound, making our CD player pretty much obsolete. Which is a terrible thing, really, as I love music and have hundreds, if not thousands of CD's.

Debbie is the same, as she rarely gets time to sit down and listen to music. You know, the joy of actually doing nothing but listening to that album you got? We were both nostalgic for that experience last year, so I decided to surprise Debbie with a record player for Christmas. I picked up the Goodsell Type TL Record Player second hand, and we had it refurbished; fully stripped down, cleaned, the 'automatic' switch fixed, etc. And it plays, looks and sounds fantastic.

Despite only having a mono amp inside it, the player really packs a punch when it comes to volume and clarity( apparently they were used in lecture halls in the 60's/70's). I picked up Frank Sinatra's, 'In the Wee Small Hours' to go with the present, and having never been much of a Sinatra fan, I was amazed with the depth and warmth to the sound of it. The great thing is, Debbie has now gone ape shit over albums again. Since Christmas, she has picked up about 20 records, all of various genres. Jazz, soundtracks, soul, rock and pop. Which is good for me, as it gives me something to break away from the metal/sludge/grind/noise that I usually go for.

So last night we checked out the new Tower Records store on Dawson St, and Debbie bought me my first vinyl ever. With so many choices, it was hard to pick what to get as my first record. I think I made the right choice...

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At 21 March 2014 at 10:47 , Blogger Wes M said...

John that is a thing of beauty, (and those pics are great too), so much more better than the systems around today which really lack personality. I really should get a turntable and not let my vinyl finish out their days gathering dust and housing bugs in the wardrobe. But I still listen to my CDs, very rarely would I not get thru an album during the course of the evening, last night’s selection was Slint’s 1991 album Spiderland (which ironically the CD comes with the warning: “This recording is meant to be listened to on vinyl”). In the great schism between CD and vinyl, I’m not enough of an audiophile to say which sounds better, I’d probably lean towards CD just because most of my records were pressed before the era of the 180g vinyl (I’m thinking of my copy of Kraftwerk’s Computer World, a particularly cheap pressing, the vinyl about as thick as a 1 cent coin). Aside from the great debate, I love the physicality of vinyl, the removal of the disc from the sleeve, the careful positioning of it on the turntable, the dropping of the needle on the wax. There’s a sort of ritual to it that has been minimized with CD and pushed aside completely with digital music… Old vinyl habits die hard and I still think of albums as having sides – like Bowie’s Low, with all the songs on Side 1 and the long instrumentals on Side 2, or Napalm Death's Scum whose two sides feature a different line-up and a different sound – the idea of the album structure is kinda lost when the album plays straight thru on CD.

The Curtis Mayfield record was a great choice by the way, and I can safely say the soundtrack far exceeds the film. I'm really digging Black Urban music of the 70's at the moment, from Pharoah Sanders, to Funkadelic to James Brown, Fela Kuti...

At 21 March 2014 at 11:07 , Blogger JP Mulvanetti said...

Wes, I've been discussing the same thing with a few friends lately regarding the 'ritual' of listening to vinyl; it's not something you can do whilst cooking, etc, as you have to change sides, and really does command your attention more. As I said, I tend to listen to most of my music now via mp3 (all those CD's have been ripped to my computer, and only last weekend I've synched the computer to stream my music to my surround sound via smart tv, so the CD's don't get much use) when out walking, driving, etc. I still use CD's in the car and the kitchen stereo, but never do I sit down and just listen to the music. It's always whilst cooking, etc.

Agreed on the two sides, as I grew up with tapes it was mostly the same, when I listen to certain albums, part of my brain still knows where the side change comes (Angel Dust being a particular one), and I like looking at older albums and guessing where side two starts.

You know, it's been a looooong time since I watched Superfly, so I don't remember much beyond the soundtrack. The same could probably be said for Truck Turner, with Hayes doing the score. Didn't James Brown do the soundtrack to Black Caesar? I gotta admit, I've never heard of Pharoah Sanders or Fela Kuti... will need to look them up.

At 21 March 2014 at 12:00 , Blogger Wes M said...

John, you've got the appliance of science there with your music, I've nothing so sophisticated here, not even in the car which has a broken down tape deck that recently mangled a Smiths compilation. That's great though, I wish I was so technically minded. I love the idea of listening to music whilst cooking and walking - usually when making dinner I'm listening to RTE1. There's a great passage in Eleanor Coppola's Notes (on the Making of Apocalypse Now) where Francis is cooking a traditional Italian meal at their home in the Philippines for the principal cast and crew whilst listening to opera turned up to 11 - I love that... Pharaoh Sanders was a sideman of Coltrane, but his own stuff, especially in the early 70's is fantastic, and well worth investigating. As for Fela, I'll let the music do the talking...

At 22 March 2014 at 06:34 , Blogger JP Mulvanetti said...

It has taken me a long time to embrace audio technology, but am loving it, despite my retro-leanings. All our devices are now bluetooth enabled, meaning I can flick on music from my phone to most rooms in the house. Quite handy, really.

Thanks for the heads up on those artists, that's my afternoons' listening sorted!

At 30 April 2014 at 17:44 , Blogger Alvin Brickrock said...

I love that turntable - it looks beautiful. I recently got my Thorens TD-145 up & running and have really been enjoying it.


At 1 May 2014 at 02:08 , Blogger JP Mulvanetti said...

The Thorens one looks like a lovely player, Dick. I really need to start figuring out how to fix these things myself, as no doubt I will be having problems with it at some point.

At 12 June 2014 at 19:22 , Blogger Craig Edwards said...

That's terrific - and I have been bemused and somewhat delighted by the comeback vinyl has made - usually when we trash a format it's gone forever, except for the diehards - but there are turntables for sale in our Best Buy chain, along with real 33 1/3 record albums. I own some albums, biut like Wes - they are moldering in the back of a closet somewhere, probably warping with temperature changes. Digital is so much easier - if completely lacking that wonderful ritual process. Tell you what, let's bring back 8 track tapes next!

At 13 June 2014 at 09:03 , Blogger JP Mulvanetti said...

I've talked about the vinyl re-birth with friends who work in/run record stores, and we seem to have come to the same conclusion; the masses who download music (either illegally or via the likes of itunes) will never own a record player, as the downloading aspect is similar to them listening to the radio just to hear whatever is popular. But yes, the ritual, artwork and feeling of holding the sleeve, etc, is much more enjoyable than having a CD. These days, I'll tend to buy music online or else CD, but I think for the special stuff, that I know I really want, I'll get it on vinyl. I don't think it will ever truly become a completely viable format again, but in this day and age of all media feeling so 'disposable', I'm happy to purchase a record, and store it correctly, and keep it for future generations to listen to. MP3's just feel like exactly what they are; a rented bit of music that I don't quite own. Hope all that makes sense!


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