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With the advent of cassettes & CDs circa late ’80s to ‘90s, I started building my classic rock collection in these two formats with only occasional vinyl purchases from Free School Street, Wellington Square, HMV Store at Statesman House and fellow collectors. I’ve resumed collecting records in 2012 when vinyl was making a comeback even in India and I could see all new turntables & records at the now-legendary Music World store at Park Street and Planet M store at Camac Street. I have purchased a new Lenco Turntable in 2012 and made a serious headstart in 2015. Since then, my record collection has grown exponentially. It’s the warmth of analog sound of the records which got me hooked into them. No CD or digital format can beat that. Vinyl is irreplaceable.
Apart from collecting LPs, I’m also involved in custom non-commercial vinyl pressing projects. I have got the live recordings of my IIT band, Eklypz, pressed as double LP set in a gatefold cover with custom artwork for sleeve and labels. I’m involved in a number of vinyl pressing projects of obscure, underground and rare classic rock albums of Indian and foreign bands for my own enjoyment.
Tell us about your turntable setup.I have Audio Technica AT-LP-120-USB turntable which is a nice player. I have recently shifted to a new house. Hence, presently, I have connected it with my Sony hi-fi system, which produces great sound quality. However, I have plans to upgrade my system to audiophile set-up with separate amplifier and column/bookshelf speakers in early next year. This has been pending for some time, mainly due to my own laziness! I have also kept my previous entry-level turntable, Lenco L-3867-USB at my parental home, which I play with an old Sony hi-fi system during our weekend visits.Any advice to people that are about to start their collection?Collecting records definitely demands you to explore bands/artists through their albums, not through a ‘Best Of’ compilation. Since this is an expensive hobby, you should strategize it well before embarking on collecting LPs. Firstly, make a decent set-up of turntable, amp & speakers. The Revolver Club is the best place for this. Then, make a list of albums you wish to collect on vinyl and try to find a good sounding pressing through Discogs entries. Once the bucket list is ready, you can prioritize which LPs you need to collect first and accordingly, place orders to various physical and online retailers to acquire the records. You must acquire a vinyl cleaning liquid & set of brushes from The Revolver Club to keep your LPs and stylus clean. You must also become member of Steve Hoffman’s forum and Bombay record Club WhatsApp group to know about everything vinyl.