Dansette portable record player (1965)
Every time I look at the condition of records released in the mid sixties I am reminded of what we used to play them on. A marvel of technology in its day and my pride and joy, perfect to take to parties or impromptu record playing sessions, the Dansette – with its robotic-action labour-saving autochanger. That smart red lid, and the yellowish plastic grille, and carrying handle on the side. Volume control and bass/treble control as I recall on the front grille, so you could crank it up really loud, this was unquestionably important life-changing accessory to any Sixties teenager, as much as any ipod or ipad today.
As a teenage lead guitarist in a band, my Dansette was the key to “learning by copying” my heros at the time – BB King, Otis Rush, and Brit’s own Clapton, Green, Beck, Blackmore. Never rated Jimmy Page. That Dansette produced the scratches I can still hear today on my remaining vinyl from that time.
Climbing the HiFi hill
The Dansette was replaced by a Ferguson stereo portable record player in 1967, and somewhere in the early 70’s a Garrard turntable with autochanger with the all important dust-bug and an Armstrong amplifier, hifi purchased from long-disappeared Laskys – hifi for the masses.
Somewhere in the 80’s a Linn LP12 with basik arm and K9 cartridge pressaged real hifi.Paired with Alpha Arcam CD player, amplifier tuner, Denon casette player, and Bowyers and Wilkins DM110 speakers. The evil silver disk vies with the turntable. No notion or understanding of interconnects, power cables, balanced mains, an age of innocence, crippling mortgage, growing family, and stripped pine living.
Eventually in the 90’s Linn Majik amplifier and Linn Kayleih speakers and a now redundant Linn CD player appeared on the scene, all funded each year by the “performance bonus”
2008 :Retirement! Out went everything in the giant leap to the system of today, out went the money-pit LP12, in came the three-legged Avid Volvere Sequel
Then, a piece at a time over six years, adding the all-important infrastructure that allows the hardware to breathe, and deliverwhat is truly in those grooves. And the introduction of an all-analog path with a valve phono stage.
The final coup de grace in 2015, the flagship Avid Acutus Reference SP with its monster power supply.
The Whole record-playing system infrastructure:
Oh, and I nearly forgot, a newly created record collection. And a whole lot of new knowledge and musical taste between the ears. Then of course, the blog…
But it all started with that Dansette.