I recently had the pleasure of being the middle man to help my brother-in-law get his first reel-to-reel tape deck — a well cared for Pioneer RT-707. Since I had a few days before delivering the deck, I thought I’d do my normal checkup routine to assess it’s condition. Once that was done, I went about exploring some tapes my Dad gave me a few years back, along with his Sony reel-to-reel deck. That deck isn’t working, so I was really curious to hear the quality level of these tapes.
During my listening session, I ran across an unmarked reel of Scotch 111 tape. Nothing was written on it. It was like opening a wrapped gift. As I began to listen, I heard this child’s voice. He must have been around 9-11 years old. He was telling Santa what he wanted for Christmas. When he asked for extra Gumby and Pokey bendable figures for his little brother (by name), I realized that boy was me! I don’t know if you’ve ever heard a recording of yourself at that age, but I was really surprised. What a kick in the pants. My wife had come into the room and we were almost crying at one point. The detail and delivery of my request was hilarious. We continued listening and got to one special request. The most important gift on my list was a record player. Not just any record player, but one that could “play big and small records … at two speeds”. This was evidence that my love for music and “hifi” gear started back then. It makes perfect sense that I have grown into a “vintage hifi nut”.
As far back as I can remember, I have loved two things. Music and art. I used to spend time in my room drawing and making models. By the time I got into high school. I spent more time drawing album covers and illustrating cassette cover inserts for my mixed tapes. At this point in my life, my Dad thought I would become a recording engineer. I didn’t. My adult life has been spent in creative roles, as an art director and designer, with ad agencies and design studios. As my passion and involvement in the world of audio has grown, I have found it difficult to find lifestyle apparel that I want to wear … which has led to the creation of Vintage HiFi Nut™.
Vintage HiFi Nut is my way of sharing what I love about music, vintage hifi, and how to take care of both. Rather than reinvent the wheel, the first stage of this business will be to design lifestyle products worthy of your consideration, and give you fun ways to share your passion for vintage hifi wherever you are. Check out our HiFi Links section where we celebrate our favorite people and places, offer tips to care for your system and media, and share articles highlighting what is happening in the world of vintage audio, especially in regards to analog music like vinyl records. This section will grow in the coming months so I hope you will look around and come back often to be a part of our growth. Feel free to share your thoughts using our contact form, or following us on Instagram or Pinterest, where we pin images of some of the amazing vintage hifi from around the world.
And in case you are wondering, the AR XA turntable from the mid-60’s featured in this post was part of my Dad’s first hifi system. The same system with the Sony reel-to-reel deck used to record my letter to Santa. With the help from people in audio forums, and craftsmen like Johnnie at Audio Origami, Dave at Vinyl Nirvana, and Steve Frosten … I have enjoyed this turntable for years. It is my main turntable, and allows me to enjoy the music I love so much. I have come full circle.