The scene of the crime…
It’s on days like these—Record Store Day ’17—where the utility factor of my hilariously garish basement really smiles up my soul. Spinning the RSD version of Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage (complete with alternate mixes of “Gypsy”, “Hold On” and “Oh Diane”) is a truly decadent indulgence when it emanates from some extraordinary vintage Pioneer Hi-Fi gear.
Now for the standard disclaimers (the list grows each time I post a photo)…
- Yes, I know my EQ settings are like the stupidest ever on earth in the history of humanity and dinosaurs and aliens. It’s been duly noted. Many times. I promise. Really. Obviously no human should EVER set their EQ as I have. Let this be a lesson to everyone: do the opposite of what I have done.
- Yes, I know the speakers are too close to the components. It is an L-shaped room in the basement, and I am lacking the requisite space to properly triangulate the speaker stacks and the component monolith. I promise I’m shopping for larger basements to remedy this issue. In fact I think basements are on sale this weekend at Lowe’s, and I have a 10% off coupon somewhere.
- Yes, I know only a noob would stack HPM-100s in such a amateurish manner (see: doing my best with the small L-shaped space, shopping for larger basement, etc.). I’m too weary to debate this one again.
- Yes, I realize the SA-9800 (my amp) is only rated at 100 WPC, so each speaker is only getting like maybe 1.73578 watts of sound once you factor in all of the wattage loss inherent in my configuration (I’ve done the measurements and calculations on a scientific calculator, not a crappy regular calculator). What a waste of speaker(s), right? I don’t even deserve these speakers—I know, I know. I’d be better off with a pair of Realistic Solo 4s, yep, roger, got it.
Despite all this, it sounds fantastic…even with the shitty EQ settings 😉
Yes, those are VHS tapes on the left. Yes, VHS was the worst format for movies ever! I was born in ’72, I was deeply affected by VHS in my formative years. Going to Video Update (later: Movie Gallery) or Blockbuster was a treat for us geezers. It’s nostalgia more than anything else. I’ve heard of Blu-ray, I swear.
Yes, that is a wall of ~700 compact cassette tapes to the left of the Pioneer gear (I have LPs and CDs also). I realize other than dime-store music boxes, compact cassettes had the worst sound ever! (see: child of the ’80s, nostalgia)
Copyright © 2017 – ∞ B. Charles Donley
Fast Company: “Music’s Weird Cassette Tape Revival Is Paying Off”
Over the recent holiday shopping season, U.S. artists and labels saw a 140% increase in tape sales over the previous year, according to a new music industry report from BuzzAngle. Over the course of 2016, Bandcamp saw its own 46% increase in cassette sales, according to a spokesperson for the music service. Also last year, the National Audio Company—the largest cassette tape manufacturer in the U.S.—saw a 20% increase in its commercial tape duplication business (this doesn’t include blank tapes or audiobooks), according to a company spokesperson. This continues an upward-sloping trend for the Missouri-based company, which did more business in 2014 than at any other previous point since its factory opened in 1969.
As mentioned in the article, it’s the nostalgia factor as well. As the curator of a collection of 800+ cassettes, I can attest to the dense sentimental haze that fills the room when I roll a cassette on my Pioneer CT-F1250. It’s a time trip.