Spinning Blues Breaker

Nearly five years after moving here, I decided that I wouldn’t be setting up a stereo system in my basement. So, I pulled out my mid-90s (i.e., way outdated) stereo equipment to see what exactly I had and could recycle. In the small pile of components, I found my turntable, which I had totally forgotten was in my basement closet. Since I’ve only kept two albums on vinyl—Dark Side of the Moon, which I am just hanging onto because, well, it is Dark Side, and a second record that I don’t think was ever released on CD—I have little reason to hook up the turntable to the main unit.

But, curiosity got the better of me, and I wanted to see if it worked. I brought it upstairs, and, looking for a flat surface where the cables could reach my receiver, I sat it on top of one of my floor speakers. Not smart, as you probably guessed right away. Anyway, I plugged it in, and, not sure of the condition of the needle and not wanting to damage my copy of Dark Side, I threw on my other record. It is Brian May’s Starfleet Project, a 1983 recording of three songs he made with others, including Eddie Van Halen. After listening to it for a couple of minutes, I remembered why I kept it.

Then I made the mistake of raising the volume. I promptly lowered it when I heard some unsteady sounding feedback. I wondered why it would sound fine when the volume was low, but not when cranked up a bit. Recalling there being an issue with some turntables and amplification when connected to a receiver, I decided to gradually raise the volume one more time to see if the weird feedback would reoccur, and sure enough it did. I then realized that playing a record on top of a pulsating speaker was simply quite foolish.

Still, though, it was nice to know the turntable works. I will burn this record onto CD, load the files onto my iPod, and then put my turntable back away. I’m just not ready to part with it yet.

Perhaps I’ll store it with an idiot-proof note for next time, like “place on flat, non-vibrating surface”…


  1. I'm betting that Brian May's 1983 Starfleet Project was a mondo hit in Japan.

    From Shibuya with love,

    sliced tongue

  2. If you find a copy while you're in Japan, pick it up for me!
    Have a great trip.


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