My three great loves after wine are vintage cars, old bicycles and obsolete hifi. Bicycles aside, they’re silly things to be interested in when you don’t have any money. Nevertheless I wrote this thing recently for the Financial Times on collecting turntables. It was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever written due to the paper’s insistence on facts, quotes and evidence – basically proper journalism rather than a series of stolen jokes.
In July 2012, an online auction was held by Peaker Pattinson of the contents of Bush House, home of the BBC World Service for 71 years. Among the microphones, photos of famous broadcasters and a Steinway grand piano was a giant German turntable, the EMT 950. Weighing in at nearly 80kg, it sold to a private collector for £3,800 (rather a bargain considering that, in the same year, John Shaw of Shaw Sounds, the British decks expert, sold one for £6,382). Such BBC spring cleans are a boon for audiophiles left cold by the digital era. Turntables, says Toby Rogers, a City lawyer from London, are “an escape from digital slavery. When you settle down with your vinyl, you actually listen to the music.”
Read more here.