February 16, 2017

Going Analog

I spend a good deal of my day staring at glowing screens.

I’m not saying this is good or bad. It’s just simply a part of my life at a Digital Marketer. I’m sure a lot of you understand where I’m coming from (as you are currently reading this from a glowing screen of your own). After a day of dealing with all sorts of marketing technology for clients, I still have my personal social media channels and blogging to manage. Sometimes, it can feel like I’m working two jobs…both of which involve glowing screens.

When I watch a movie at home, I stream it through Netflix or Amazon Prime. If I want to send a friend a message, it’s through text or social media. If I want to listen to a song, I pull up a favorite playlist.

So many glowing screens.

That’s how I ended up with this rather large impulse purchase in a recent thrifting jaunt. I saw it on the sales floor, looking dusty and abandoned. It was as beautiful and nostalgic as it was cumbersome and inconvenient to load onto a friend’s truck and move to my house.

Isn't she lovely?

Isn’t she lovely?

Ain’t she a beaut, though? I had to have it. The idea of owning electronics that also function as furniture flies in the face of innovation and sleek, small and ultimately disposable devices. Apple probably isn’t going to release the iPhone 8 in an artisanal tongue-and-groove mahogany case. Which is part of the allure of such objects for me.

My moving buddies gathered around as I delicately placed an album on the turntable and flicked the switch to On. Sadly, nothing happened. None of us had any idea how to fix it or what could possibly be wrong. After lots of poking, prodding and poring over the original 1968 instruction manual, they eventually gave up and went home to their iTunes.

Quitters.

I took the turntable apart and discovered the belt had come loose. After reattaching it, it spun like a champ.

I put everything back together, placed a Gershwin album on the turntable, and stepped back…fingers crossed.

Here’s a sample of the resonant warm sounds my new Zenith is capable of…

 

I am completely enamored with my old/new stereo. I love shopping for hidden gems and kitschy albums to play for dinner parties, most of which cost about $1 at Goodwill.

I hate to play favorites, but...

I hate to play favorites, but…

The process of selecting an album to listen to in its entirety (rather than the individual tracks we’ve become accustomed to), removing the record from its cardboard sleeve and putting it under the needle is refreshingly inefficient and deliberate.

I <3 Gershwin.

I <3 Gershwin!

A sweet friend even dropped off a starter collection of thrifted records he thought I’d enjoy while I was at work the other day.

Thanks, LP Fairy!

Thanks, LP Fairy!

This occasional slowing-down of the process of how I consume media has helped me in becoming a little more relaxed and mindful in my downtime.

I wonder how many other ways I can find to go a bit more low-tech…

Eh...this might be a stretch.

Eh…this might be a stretch.

What archaic technology would you like to find a way to bring into your life?

33 Comments

  1. I had the same experience when I found our stereo at an estate sale. You’ll have a great time keeping an eye out for albums. We scored about a dozen jazz greats from the 50s & 60s the other day…for fifty cents each!

    Here’s the story of finding my Panasonic: http://queenoffiftycents.blogspot.com/2013/11/splurge.html

  2. I love your turntable and cabinet. My parents had a long one that had an 8 track in it, a place to store albums and doubled as a bar.

    Do you mind me asking what you paid for this beautiful piece of nostalgia?

    • I’m wondering how much she paid for it, too!

    • I think my dad had the same one! What an awesome memory.

    • Not at all. $200. But it was in great condition and had its original manuals. 🙂

      • That is great, a piece of history, and a lovely sound. Imagine any of our modern technology lasting as long as this. Love it!

  3. I have my grandma’s console record player and I love it. I had 3 of these huge things at one point but with a husband who hates all of my “old stuff” I had to compromise on just having 1 🙁

  4. My wireless contract is up in two days and I’m ditching my smart phone in favor of an old timey flip phone.

    Sure, its not ancient technology but it might as well be for all the advancements that have been made. And therein lies the problem. It’s just TOO easy. I’m addicted to my stupid smartphone and I constantly feel compelled to haunt my social media sites. It’s a time suck and frankly, with as cranky and out of joint folks are these days over politics and such, I want to spend less time on Facebook and more time face to face. Plus, omg, the money it will save me!!! That’s how I’m gonna be kickin’ it old school. 😉

  5. That is the bomb!!! The sound is incredible. Nothing like it! I had forgotten about the record storage area inside the console, very nice. What a great find. I may have to be on the hunt now, thank you for inspiring me.

  6. My Mama & Daddy bought this EXACT same stereo when my sister was a year old- in 1968. It now sits in HER home as an inherited piece. Love your style, sugah!!! Nothing sounds like vinyl!!!!

  7. Love your find. I grew up with a huge stereo that my parents had in their house. Those stereos cost a lot of money for the time and took up a lot of space, but it is fun to watch the stack of records drop one by one. They just sound different too. I have an old Victrola in my house now. One big record only holds one song per side, but my kids and now my grandkids would walk down the stairs in ball gowns to the sound of classical music playing and start dancing when they got down to the “ballroom”. That just doesn’t happen with my cell phone.

  8. I didn’t know you had this other blog you’ve been hiding! AND all about thrifting.
    I have to look the other way when it comes to furniture, all of them call to me to take them home.
    Hmmm, I may just entertain the idea of bringing home an old fashioned record player of my own.

  9. Sweet! My grandma had a furniture sized piece she called ” The Vic”. When I saw your post the very first thing that came to mind was the smell ( perfume? ) that wafted from one of these when it was thoroughly warmed up!

  10. I had one about ten years ago. Had to let it go because I needed the room. Sigh

  11. Jilly, baby, you have to tell us how much you paid. Don’t be embarrassed. We HAVE to know.

    Love the throwback. I stare at screens all day, too. I have never gotten into the digital music scene so I still play CDs. I want to hear all the songs, not just the ones someone else things are the best. I keep it on random so I never know what will play next. That way I can indulge in every genre, classical, blues, country, class rock, and not have to make a decision.

  12. Love it!

  13. I have one of those old stereos too, and got mine for free at an estate sale because NO one wanted it! I love mine! and I have about 200 LPs that can now be played again.

  14. We must be kindred spirits, you and I. I enjoy using my record player as well, usually while I am sewing a new/upcycled dress or accessory. Included in my library are favorites such as soundtracks from musicals (My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins!, Nutcracker), classicals (Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff), Oldies (Beach Boys, Mamas and Papas, Silverbullet Band), Patriotics (Battle of 1812, John Phillip Sousa), and Big Band/Swing (Benny Goodman). I guess I have more favorites than I thought! Have fun! Enjoy your good music finds!

  15. Love the new find. We have gone to fast into technology. Nice to unplug and enjoy a simple concept. Enjoy your Hi Fi.

    • Hi Fi is such a great word! What some may not know is that it stands for High Fidelity and was NOT stereo. Early in my tween years you could buy a record collection in either one, but Stereo cost a dollar or two more. With Hi Fi, the same sound came out of both speakers, but with Stereo, different sound parts came out of each speaker.

  16. Brings back fond memories of my childhood – how I wish I still had our stereo and all the great records my parents had collected!

  17. I would swear it looks just like the one we had when I was a kid, and that was decades ago! What sweet music. At first I didn’t hear a thing until I realized I had the sound turned off!

  18. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!! I have a Vivtrola that was my Husbands grandparent’s. I am in love with it. I am super excited for you. Enjoy!!!

  19. I really admire your bravery in tackling the repair of that gorgeous stereo. It sounds just wonderful. I used to have a similar unit that my sister gave me many years ago.

  20. Kudos to you. My 16 year old’s inheritance was my mom’s stereo of which I was to never lay hands on…until she was rolling out of the driveway and I blasted that SOB. We paid to fix it and we hit flea market and record stores in many states to feed his addiction. Try some old ’80s albums and let her feel her full potential.

  21. When you put that needle down, and hear that scratchy sound, it’s magic…

  22. Turntable is back actually. The international forum of big appliance industry all over the world had exhibit in Lost Angeles last january. and a new era of turn table was displayed.

  23. My grandmother had a beautiful console turn table/radio when I was a kid. When she got to the point she had to move out of her house, all of her kids (and she has like 9 living) got first dibs on her belongings… I wanted that console so. bad. Alas, someone else got it. I did get her 1970s collection of Encyclopedia Britannica classic stories though!

  24. We had that stereo growing up! My parents had all of Herb Albert’s albums and I spun all my Monkees albums on that stereo😆

    Love that bellydance album!

  25. I’m So jealous! I want one of these! I think it’s one of the few furniture pieces my hubby would let me bring into the house 😉 Sweet find!

  26. My parents had a twin set. One was a turntable and storage the other cabinet was a radio. Grew up listening to the old country crooners. Now my hubby has quite the collection of 60’s and 70’s rock on vinyl he listens to regularly.

  27. Enjoyed this thread. Always enjoy your email and love to read the posts here. I have a similar stereo and feel lucky about it.

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