Hi guys -
I'm new here and thinking of buying what I hope will be a very nice, albeit entry level set up for playing vinyl.
A little about me.. I'm old (48) and I collected vinyl from about 13 until maybe 18 years ago. Everything from Okeh soul singles to Bebop to New York No Wave stuff, but mostly rock/punk stuff. I used to be fanatical - like, 5 different pressings of every single by The Jam from every country they were released in, both the Metal Box and Second Edition version of PiL's second lp, 1,396,342 different singles because they were produced by Steve Albini.. you get the picture. Anyway, started working at a record store when I was 15, eventually became a buyer, then a rep for indie/import labels/distributors until I hit about 35 when I found I had grown completely disgusted with collecting and the music business. I boxed up all my records and dropped them off 3 hours away in my folk's basement, stopped listening to music pretty much all together and quit to manage a scuba diving shop where I live in Brooklyn, NY (really).
Enter Napster and file sharing, the scourge of audiophiles everywhere and the reason I started listening to music again. My girlfriend at the time was a computer geek, so I was pretty up on the whole file sharing thing when it first started to gain steam around 2000. All of a sudden I could read about a new band in The Village Voice that would be playing in town, search for them on Napster and in a half an hour or less, be listening to them. Sure the sound sucked big time, but in most cases it was enough to let me know if I should bother going to see them live. All of a sudden, I'm once again going to lots of shows and buying cds there of the bands I like. Since I mostly listened on an iPod or computer and stole most of the music I ended up buying on CD before I bought the CD's, I ended up with lots of unopened CD's (if I d/l something and end up liking it, I *always* try to buy it - especially when the bands have merch tables). So since in most cases I already had high bit rate digital versions, I started buying vinyl so that I could both assauge my guilt over having stolen the music AND have it in a different format. So for the past decade or so, I've had an ever increasing pile of vinyl and no way to listen to it.
You know, initially, I found the whole "digital file" thing freeing. After having been a rabid collector that *needed* to have every variation of a picture sleeve or color of vinyl an identical song was released with, it was now just about the music. Hard drives got huge, the cost of memory plunged and I loved having almost every song by every band that ever meant something to me in a tidy little box. No more clutter in my tiny NYC apartment.
But it got *too* easy and now I miss listening to vinyl again. I miss the rich, warm sound. And, truth be told, I miss the ritual of taking an album out of it's sleeve, putting it on a turntable, cleaning it and carefully putting needle to groove. I miss the gravitas it imparts the music with when I do this (yes, it lends gravitas to "Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out" by The Replacements and "Beat on the Brat" by The Ramones <g>).
Ok. So yeah, about my questions! I'm thinking of pulling the trigger on a bunch of Rega stuff - a Rega RP1 turntable w/performace pack, Brio-R integrated amp and RS-1 bookshelf speakers.
This is probably twice as much as I can afford to spend (I'm in school full time after 30 years) but I'm probably gonna do it anyway. Do you guys think it's the most love I can get for my farm boy's wages?
I'm thinking of getting them from HiFi Heaven out of WI. Anybody have any experience with them? Also, they have display models of the amp and the speakers (not the turntable), both at sizable discounts. Do you think it's a safe bet or should I really bite the bullet and buy new? And oh yeah.. does anyone know if the turntable comes with RCA cables and/or a dust cover? I have giant shepherd/collie/sheltie mix. I'd take a bullet for him (and I'm pretty sure he feels the same), but holy crap does he SHED. And he's got, like, three different types of coat so there's always some fluff in the air no matter how much I brush him. Dust cover is IMPERATIVE here.
Hey, to anybody that's read this far, thanks for your patience!