This past week we laid to rest our turntable. It was a Dual CS-455, purchased over a decade ago at Hi-Fi Sound in Minneapolis. It is survived by the remaining pieces bought at the same time – my ARCAM integrated amp, ARCAM CD player, and Meadowlark Eagle speakers. It will be missed.
In December, at the end of a lengthy session of playing old Christmas albums I could hear that it was dragging, playing a couple steps slower than nominal. I first replaced the belt, put on track three of Houses of the Holy, and that made no difference. Jimmy Page sounded like he was about to go into a heroin-induced coma. Then I got a new AC power adapter and once again, heading into a heroin haze. This table had been in for repair a year and a half ago when it was playing too fast. The revival was a miracle and it can’t be replicated. The motor is obviously on its last legs. So I’m not going to be attempting resurrecting it.
Like most who grew up in the age of vinyl, I do enjoy playing albums. The hobby is time-consuming, the pops and crackles can irritate, and the storage of vinyl records is never a picnic. Nonetheless me and my wife like spinning records. It’s a connection to our youth, to a more carefree stage in our lives. And now that bridge to the past is gone.
At some point in the future when we’re flush, I’ll replace it. I have no delusions about the sound of vinyl. I know that in terms of audio science, the sound of CDs or digital files are cleaner with a wider dynamic range. Still there is some well-produced vinyl out there and I do enjoy listening to it. So some day I’ll spin the black circle again.
RIP my Teutonic friend, you served us well.