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The man with the Turntables

By February 15, 2022 June 10th, 2024 No Comments

I was a fan of music in my school days in the 60s. I used to listen to popular radio stations like BBC, VOA, Radio Ceylon and knew most of the top singers and groups. This continued in my college days. Though I loved to own good music systems, I could not really afford anything more than a Boombox and lot of cassettes. This was upgraded to a Sansui amplifier and speakers made by a friend.

In 2002, my wife passed away and my children were in boarding and just at that time, a friend of mine who is an audiophile remarked that the sound from a record sound far better than either a cassette or CD! I did not believe him but he took me to his house and played “Fly Robin Fly” by Silver Convention. I was bowled. It was “love at first hear”. I was so impressed. I immediately decided to look for a turntable. It was not an easy task as there were no places, I could get one off the shelf.

I was fortunate that a family friend offered one but with a damaged stylus. Getting a replacement stylus even more difficult.  Finally, I managed one and some friends offered some records to start with. As I was interested in improving the quality of playback, I was looking for better turntables, amplifiers and speakers. I kept buying turntables and records in a quest to improve the sound quality.

Meanwhile, on a visit to Chennai, I happened to meet a guy who dropped a bombshell of a statement that was the real beginning of my quest for achieving studio quality playback in my own home. He told me that all the details of a recording are already in the groove of a vinyl record and if you use high quality turntable and other matching systems in an ideally suited room, you can achieve it. Wow, I did not want to think any further. My journey started.

It took me around ten years to achieve what I really wanted to hear to match my expectation. In my journey to achieve this, I have travelled all over the country and I have used most of the highly regarded and sought after vintage turntables. Now I have some handpicked turntables and matching tonearms, cartridges. I am just enjoying some awesome music which include Jazz, Pop, country, rock and many other genres which I have in my collection as many friends come to listen. I don’t want to disappoint them.

A turntable needs lots of tweaks to sound ideal. I have over the years learnt most aspects of how to align a turntable with tonearm and cartridge. My most favourite combination of my system is a highly modified Lenco L 75 with a 12” Thomas Schick tonearm, Denon DL 103 cartridge on a Prima Luna Prologue One valve amplifier with vintage KLH model 5 speakers. I have a dedicated listening room where when I sit in a particular position, the speakers just disappear and can hear a three-dimensional effect in playback.

Some of the turntables I have owned over these years include Garrard 301, Linn Sondeck, Micro Seikie, Thorens TD 124, 125, 121.  Modified Lenco L 75, Systemdeck, EMT 938, Technics 1200 to name a few. I also have more than 2000 records of all genres. My journey has ended. I am not trying to improve on anything anymore. It was a fascinating journey.

Meet our special guest, Mr. Kuruvilla Jacob.

He is a music connoisseur, collector of vintage turntables, vinyl and audio equipment, enjoys teaching Bible and a wonderful human being.

Talking to him and listening to his journey felt like Alice in Wonderland! Music stories about Cat Stevens, Frank Sinatra, speaker design and placement, his vintage collection and the people who helped him in this journey. He has enough music artefacts to set up a full-fledged museum, a dream that he once nurtured, but gently let go like a closing note.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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