Good morning SA!
It's cold outside but that's no reason not to enjoy the weekend to its fullest!
I turned my Rega RP1 this morning to hear it 'cogging' which sounds like a sort of screech. Anyone know what that is? I did some research and its supposedly a common occurrence when the O-ring belt slips very slightly on the sub platter just as the motor goes from zero torque to maximum almost instantly. Any way, if yours makes a similar noise then don't stress! Its perfectly normal and happens more so when it's cold.
Anyway, the reason for our blog post today is to introduce those Vinyl enthusiasts who are looking for more channels to source Vinyl in SA.
I'm going to start with my top three traditional brick n' mortar type stores and then move to my favourite, the online platform!
So we probably all know that Musica & Look & Listen have a few bins with some vinyl's but if you have been through these you would have probably realised that although there are some fantastic finds, there isn't really a huge selection and these stores all stock exactly the same prints. The reason for this is that they are all pretty much from Sony, who is one of the companies that has again embraced the return of the record (because yes they are awesome but also because they cannot be pirated).
Now if you were wanting a larger collection to chose from, you would need to look for a place that sells 2nd hand records. Someone else's golden treasure of a record can now be yours at an absolute steal of a price! Below are my favourite spots in Jozi to find some record's.
1) Record Mad
Record Mad can be found at Shop 11 Linden Place, 59 Fourth Avenue, Linden. They have a large selection of both 2nd hand records as well as a great selection of new as well. You are pretty much always certain to pick up something of quality. The guys working there are also very cool and quick to make recommendations to you or source particular imports for you. If you visit them regularly you will also begin to see some familiar faces.
Funnily enough they are the only retailer of records who actually play record's in store on their turntable. It has a good feel to it and you can spend a good 2 hours or so flicking through the various artist's. They have also be categorised by genre and also alphabetised as much as is possible which makes it a lot easier to be able to browse.
The collectors treasury is in the Maboneng district in town. There exact address is: 244 Commissioner Street. I have to recommend that any Vinyl enthusiast makes at least one stop there sometime in their lifetime! It is the definition of chaos! As you walk into the massive 8 storey building you will be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things in there. From antiques to paintings to just about anything old that you can think of is cram packed into this building. As you walk between the mountains of stuff you can get a little disorientated. If someone makes their way towards you, you both have to scramble in odd directions in order to allow each of you to pass by.
Of the 8 floors, each floor is stocked with different items. If you are there for vinyl's then if I remember correctly, it is the 6th floor you will want to go to. But in order to get there you can't just take the stairs, you need to wait by a sort of cargo lift and wait to be collected. When the lift comes past the operator will swing open the metal gate and you can get into the lift. Despite how big the lift is you will only be able to fit about 3 people in the lift at a time because it too is cluttered with all sorts of things.
On the 6th floor there are records galore, literally stacked to the roof. You honestly don't even know where to begin browsing & it would be impossible to ever get through all of the records. You would literally turn into a fossil while browsing.
There is a trick to browsing here though. It seems as though people's old record collections have been added to the collection but never categorised so everything is everywhere. The trick is, if you find an album you like - continue looking in the same area because who ever donated that pile of records would have had a similar music interest to that one you have just found - so if you find a Led Zeppelin for example, continue looking and you might find a Pink Floyd near by.
Here's a pic from The Collectors Treasury compliments of JHB Live:
Micorgram is an awesome music store in Northcliff Corner shopping centre. They stock CD's, Casette's, LP's and pretty much everything else. At the back of the shop is where you would find the record's. They have majority 2nd hand stuff but also a couple new ones to look through.
If you make it to Micorgram on a good day just as a new batch has arrived you will pick up some quality records! The best day is probably nice and early on a Saturday. You can also stay in touch with the owners in order to find out when they get a new batch in.
The owners constantly have more batches arriving and first come first serve for the best ones! If you looking for some technical information on how best to set up your equipment these guys are also the ones to talk to. They have a wealth of knowledge not just about the hardware but also about the history of vinyl and what makes a particular vinyl a quality one. They have a Beatles Master Tape in the back signed by John Lennon himself!
4) Mr. Vinyl (online store)
My personal favourite store is an online store dedicated entirely to vinyl, called Mr Vinyl! I first heard about Mr Vinyl on Mix Fm (93.8) and they were doing a tie up with them. If you subscribe to their newsletter you will be kept up to date with new stock and they can help you source a particular record that you might be looking for.
This past Friday I managed to get hold of a SA print of Bad Company which was pretty much in mint condition. I have also picked up a Rodriguez record from them before. They also have a Howlin' Wolf which I think i'll be picking up in the next few days. I always find Blues the hardest genre to find when browsing at different shops, but these guys have a fairly good selection to choose from.
Mr Vinyl are constantly acquiring new stock & adding different genre's to choose from. Either you can choose to have your record delivered or you can collect it from their at-home offices in Athol, Sandton.
Keep an eye on these guys! E-Commerce is the future of shopping and these guys have adapted selling a 'retro' product via new technology!
Well thats it from me! There is going to be a Vinyl Fair at Katy's Palace in Kramerville every first Sunday of each month. See you there! You don't wanna miss out on that.
Till next time,