I recently bought a new Shelter phono cartridge for my Linn Sondek turntable. It’s a nice one: low-output moving coil with the concomitant step-up transformer. I also outfitted my set-up with a new record cleaning machine—all standard accoutrements for any audiophile. I’ve since been pulling out my vinyl and enjoying it all anew.
As some of you may have seen in the photos we’ve previously posted, I’ve accumulated quite a lot of vinyl over the years. It’s such a treat to pull stuff from my own personal music library, hear it play on my hi-fi system, and then be able to distinguish the difference in quality of sound that swapping out components makes. In testing out different records on my system, I regularly find myself rediscovering things that I love but haven’t listened to in a long time.
It’s also interesting and amusing to see the precautionary info that is often listed on many of the inner sleeves. The British are the best at this. Vinyl from the UK comes replete with an entire page of suggestions on how best to protect your treasured vinyl. I can’t say that I have ever seen this level of preventative care included in the jewel case or liner notes for a CD. Vinyl, on the other hand, requires precious care, and the very act of listening to it entails an almost ritualistic process.
Here are some examples of precautions listed on vinyl inner sleeves: Decca Records (on the right) is, clearly, the most detailed. It implores users to take the utmost care in the protection of their vinyl! Then below, we have Argo Records on the left and EMI Records on the right.