Saturday, April 19, 2014

Record store day among the oldies

Old records that is....  I spent a couple of happy hours this afternoon in celebration of Record Store Day at the wonderful Whetstone Audio in east Austin. Boy, I had not realized how much modernization was going in the area until I drove around looking for parking but forget that, the pickings at Whetstone were excellent. Not quite keeping count, I racked up 15lps before I got a grip and started looking at the gear on show: Rega's new R10 through a pair of Harbeth 5SL (and I think Naim amplification but I was too taken with the Rega to notice) blasting out great tunes, plus some great signs of record cleaning, tubes, dacs and a gorgeous Leben integrated that gives fresh meaning to the expression "to see is to want".

Well ,y LP stash covered a great collection of Glenn Hughes/Trapeze old releases, including an early pressing of Medusa, a Kenny Burrell, Sinatra with Quincy Jones, The Communards, Bucky Pizarrelli, Ralph Towner, and a mint copy (honest, it's not for me) of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack! But that's the fun -- I bought stuff on a whim, stuff I know I want and was happy to find, and some as gifts for people for whom a typical present is hard to determine. And the best part, once it was all racked up, Brian (the owner who seems more like a music fan than anything approaching a salesman) halved the price (hey, apparently it was a 'clearance' day) and I walked out with a stash for a barely believable $40.

If you are near Austin and love gear and music, Whetstone is well worth a visit. If you are not, the website is worth visiting since Brian adds tons of fun videos and insights to his pages routinely. He told me he's making a living and I hope he continues to do so -- this is the kind of space you simply cannot replicate online.

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