Thursday, October 29, 2015

Vinyl Adventures in a Quieter Mode

I put together a second stereo for the OnceWereBachelor Pad.  This latest one is not as "totally awesome" as my first.  But in at least one way, it's particularly special to me, as it is partly comprised of my father's old sound system from his dark, solemn den in Manila.  While I found the Sansui 1000X receiver, manufactured in 1969, and the Kenwood KD-5077 turntable from the Seventies both on Craigslist (a place becoming for me more and more like an online heroin shooting gallery), the Standard Radio Corp. speakers in walnut and black and matte steel (very Bauhaus) were smuggled over from Tokyo by my dad in 1968 in a spare pilot's bag.  They are compact, well made, and absolutely beautiful.  They followed us over from the Philippines, along with my dad's own Sansui 5000x receiver and SD 7000 reel to reel.  The latter two pieces gave up the ghost in the Eighties, but my dear mom lovingly stored the surviving speakers away, for me to find decades later.

The whole system is not the powerhouse I have downstairs.  But I leave that for the punk rock.  This upstairs unit, just steps from my and my son's rooms, doesn't threaten the same wattage, but for things like Sinatra at the Sands with Count Basie & his Orchestra, conducted by Quincy Jones, a record pressed in mono in 1966, it's perfect.  I like to think of my upstairs system as a spiritual successor to Don Draper's stereophonic console.


M.Lane said...

This is really giving me something to think about for [yet] another hobby. In any event, Sinatra at the Sands is just tremendous. And I'm sure you have Sinatra and Jobim...


Ben said...

Be warned. It is definitely a rabbit hole. I try to be honest with myself and not consider it a "hobby" per se, but rather an "acquisitional pastime."

And the Sinatra/Jobim comment? You're like the head waiter who says "and of course you'll be having the calvados, too?"

katerirower said...

Dear Once,
This is not on topic here but I need some consultation. My kid, aged 15, all to his own devices, has begun listening to Descendants. What's the game plan?
p.s. I live in once snowy now barren upstate ny

Ben said...

Dear Kate

I'm sorry, I've only now read your comment. Rejoice. Your son has discovered one of the great punk rock bands of all time. Perhaps he came to them via the current wave of post-millenial punk bands, all of whom cite the Descendents as major influences. I for one am an unabashed devotee who still finds their 30 year old CDs on steady rotation in my truck stereo.

What's the game plan? To quote the Beatles, Let it be.


Ben said...

Ah, I see, now it comes into focus, Katerirower. I replied earnestly to your comment on my most recent blogpost at Oncewerebachelors about a scion enjoying the Descendents. Then I went to your blog, bain-marie. But there I find that my inquisitor is a varmint, who will never quit. A varmint-cong.

Well I pray that you are well, Varmint-Cong, you and your family.


M.Lane said...

Hi Ben! I hope all is well for you and that many of your excellent posts are brewing....

Take care,