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English Invader

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About English Invader

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    Thrift Store 7"

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  1. From what I remember of being a student (best part of 20 years ago), the hobby seems completely incompatible with the limited space of a small room in a university hall of residence or a shared flat full of drunk or stoned young adults. When I was a student, I had a £35 CD mini-Hi-Fi and about 30 CDs. Music was an absolute life-saver but it had to be a space-saver as well. Vinyl wasn't even a consideration at that time. For me, it's highly unlikely that I would ever have to move outside my local area so I would do more of a Great Escape/Shawshank Redemption thing and take them over 15 at a time in my record bag rather than trust them to some removal company.
  2. I'm using these powered speakers: https://www.amazon.co.uk/KitSound-Bluetooth-Wireless-Bookshelf-Speakers/dp/B06XGT1QM7/ref=sr_1_6?crid=14AH1OMB9VAC6&keywords=kitsound+reunion+speakers&qid=1575667145&sprefix=kitsoun+re%2Caps%2C143&sr=8-6 Thank you for the link and the suggestion. The Rotel seems to tick most of the boxes but I'll see if I can find something with an optical/digital out port and a remote control first before pulling the trigger.
  3. I visited a Hi-Fi dealer yesterday with a view to upgrading my TT to a Rega Planar 1. I took 15 different records with me to test for various things and even brought my bookshelf speakers with me to see how they would fit with the Rega. I found that the sound improvements from the Rega over my Sony were only minimal with my own speakers and when the guy hooked up the Rega to an amp and speakers he recommended, the sound was amazing. This has led me to conclude that the weak link in my set-up is my speakers and, if money were no object yesterday, I would have bought the amp and speakers and passed on the Rega. I could tell that my speakers weren't comfortable when they were hooked up to the Rega and its pre-amp (an external one) and there was a mild humming sound from my speakers in the background and I even detected a few skips in the sound playback. The Sony is a much safer pair of hands in many respects; reliable pre-amp with switch for phono connection if required; fully-automatic with cue-lever button for manual use and a more vibration-friendly chassis. I could tell that the Rega would not take well to being the piggy in the middle between my powered speakers on top of my chest of drawers. I would have loved to have bought the amp and speakers I was shown yesterday but £1,200 is way beyond my means at present. My budget is more along the lines of £200 for the amplifier and £150 for the speakers although I could probably stretch to £350 for the amp and £200 for the speakers if the right ones came up. I'm looking at wall speakers with an amplifier that's big enough to put underneath the TT on my chest of drawers. I don't want to invest in special Hi-Fi shelving if I can avoid it. If anyone has any suitable recommendations or suggestions, please post them. I'm not saying the Rega is a bad TT, it could be a fantastic TT in the right environment but it's not for me at the present time.
  4. Some don't participate because they mostly deal with used vinyl (like the Revolution Records I mentioned in my opening post) while others don't participate on principle because they don't want to be an annual tourist attraction for people who never visit the store during the rest of the year. My own position is that, while I enjoy some of the goodies that come from RSD, I don't believe that the way to encourage people to go to record stores more often lies in distorting the everyday experience to make it more attractive to people who ordinarily use the internet. People who want to visit record stores don't need a permission slip or a special day to tell them it's ok to buy records; they're there week in, week out.
  5. I believe that would only cover stores that participate in Record Store Day. There are many that don't for various reasons. I found the following book particularly helpful. There have been a few changes since it was published a couple of years ago but it still gives detailed accounts of hundreds of record stores throughout the UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vinyl-Revival-Shops-That-Happen/dp/0992806216/ref=sr_1_1?crid=31DOTG5A3QEUC&keywords=the+vinyl+revival+and+the+shops+that+made+it+happen&qid=1574609799&sprefix=the+vinyl+rev%2Caps%2C140&sr=8-1 I don't know if the US has an equivalent book but given the size of the country it would be one hell of a tome. There is also something to be said for reading about record stores outside your area (even if you'll never have the opportunity to visit them) because some of them have some great stories associated with them and that's something you'll never get from buying records off the internet.
  6. I thought I'd start a thread to talk about indie stores as I didn't see one here. I'm very fortunate to have several in my area and 90% of my vinyl comes from them. I don't trust the internet (especially for used records) and have had my share of rotten apples from places like eBay and Discogs. There are a few times when they've come up trumps for things that would have been virtually impossible for me to find on the High Street but it's a risk I'll take only as a last resort - most of the time, if it's not super rare or uncommon, I'll bide my time and wait for it to show up in one of my local stores. I enjoy the thrill of the chase. These are the main places I go to: David's (Letchworth, Hertfordshire) - this place has a history going back to the 60s with a very knowledgeable and experienced manager who has been there since 1984. Very conservative and a safe pair of hands for RSD items. Has lots of live "in-store" events: https://www.davids-bookshops.co.uk/ Revolution Records (Stevenage, Hertfordshire) - used record specialist with an uncanny knack for picking up the odd batch of new records for bargain prices: https://www.revolution-records.co.uk/ Empire Records (St Albans, Herts) - good all-rounder for new and used vinyl; first shop I came into contact with on my vinyl odyssey: https://www.empirestalbans.com/home Intense Records (Chelmsford, Essex) - specialises in contemporary club music (garage, house, drum and bass type stuff) but they go out of their way to make the squares feel welcome and have plenty of stock for mainstream tastes; I honestly can't think of a place with a better attitude towards customers: https://www.intenserecords.com/home.html Gatefold Music (Hitchin, Herts) - this is an honorary mention as this store closed down on 8th June this year; it had a very ambitious genre-based arrangement with an even more ambitious stock of niche music; I found it a great place to discover new music and the young couple who ran it (Jak and Nicola) were always friendly and helpful; still miss it and every time I go past there a part of me wishes for it to suddenly open again. This FB page is all that exists now: https://en-gb.facebook.com/GatefoldHitchin/ That's the pick of the bunch. There are more but I don't want to bore you guys with a wall of text. It's my hope that folks will see this thread as an invitation to talk about the record stores in their areas and post links. All are welcome.
  7. I'd say that if your TT doesn't excite you, it's time to either make a change or find another hobby rather than throwing good money after bad on upgrades. If you don't love your TT unconditionally, it's the wrong TT for you. Based on your non-use of the USB functionality, I would say that USB should not be a consideration in your choice of TT which is no bad thing as it will reduce vibration and will more or less ensure that you purchase a TT that prioritises sound fidelity over ancillary conveniences. I would urge you to look a bit further than Fluance and explore some of the TTs from Pro-Ject or Rega and other such companies as these are the ones that will offer something different to what you already have. But, before you splash the cash, I would take a bit of time to think about whether this is the right hobby for you. I started a couple of years ago with a cheap TT and fell in love with the process and routine of listening to records - I can quite happily spend 2-6 hours a day listening to music. Do you feel that way or does the whole thing feel like a chore to you? If it's the latter, I would say it's time to look for something else.