take the old records off the shelf .....

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Blog entry by oldretiredjim posted 05-22-2012 05:41 PM 3474 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

If you were born after 1975 this is probably of no interest. After more than 15 years I finally got my record collection back. Negotiated space with the boss and set about moving back into the late 70’s. I got speakers and an amp from that time frame and I still had a turntable from the late 70’s. In my opinion the pinnacle of audio equipment manufacture.

So I started putting the system together. Speaker stands were easy. A couple pieces of 1 X 4 oak with ¼” hobby wood. The trick is to isolate the speakers from the floor. I used felt for the feet to protect the hardwood floors.

And then neoprene bumpers between the speaker and the stand. Not inclined because they may become tables of some sort. With the felt and neoprene there is virtually no contact between the speaker and the floor. These were called bookshelf speakers at the time but they are really heavy.

The cabinet is 16” deep to accommodate the turntable and amp. Red birch ply with oak trim. Tung oil finish – nothing special. A lot of dividers to keep the records from bending and warping. The records are about 12 3/8” so I put stops in in the rear at 12 ¾” to keep from shoving them too far back. There is a skid under the middle of the unit set back 5 inches from the front. I didn’t think 3/4 ply could support the weight.

For the turntable I used 75# full extension accuride drawer slides with a positive stop so when they are retracted there is no vibration. There is 2” between the top of the amp and the bottom of the turntable shelf. It doesn’t look like 2” because of the pull strip but it is there. The back is open for airflow. These older amps generate a fair amount of heat. With all that vinyl the cabinet weighs a lot. There is no movement.

The corner is not the best location but this is a small house and this setup fills it with sound. As I go thru the old records most are in good shape after 40 or so years of abuse. I replaced the worst ones in the mid 80’s when vinyl was still readily available. I can move the stool to sit on when I load a record.

Just another old guy obsession.

13 comments so far

View Mosquito's profile


11108 posts in 3374 days

#1 posted 05-22-2012 05:48 PM

”If you were born after 1975 this is probably of no interest.”

Heh… born in ‘87, and it is of interest ;-) In fact, I have made plans in SketchUp to do something very similar for my turntable(s) and records. Similarly intend to have drawer slides for the turn table. Though my amp will be in another location. Looks great!

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View carguy460's profile


807 posts in 3417 days

#2 posted 05-22-2012 05:51 PM

Very nice! ‘83 here, and very interested! Is that an old Technics turntable?

-- Jason K

View oldretiredjim's profile


206 posts in 3467 days

#3 posted 05-22-2012 06:13 PM

pioneer speakers, Yamaha amp, and Sony direct drive turntable. I also have a pioneer belt drive tt but I like this one better. The tracking is really solid. All from between ‘76 and ‘79.

View carguy460's profile


807 posts in 3417 days

#4 posted 05-22-2012 06:15 PM

Very sweet setup. I bet that direct drive is nice..I’ve got an old Technics belt drive and I seem to eat belts like popcorn.

-- Jason K

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4416 days

#5 posted 05-22-2012 06:39 PM

Nice! Started me reminiscing. I like the digital equipment, but I do sometimes long after those platters.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3860 posts in 4519 days

#6 posted 05-22-2012 08:15 PM

Those pioneers are considered even today to be very good speakers. I had a pair of hpm 100’s and sold them on craigslist for $300. One wasn’t working and they had cosmetic issues. They are highly coveted. Check ebay to see.

I too am a 2 channel guy. I have some Polk SDA’s from the early 90’s and a Yamaha amp too. I gave up my vinyl long ago though. I understand the nostalgia of it but the sound.. nope. We used to use test records to test the wow and flutter and rumble inherent in vinyl. Running a needle over a bunch of bumps on a disk made it’s own issues that we payed heavily for in equipment to try and clean it up. Then came cassette tape hiss… Dolby cleaned that by clipping all the highs out of the music. CD’s… Yes they are a bit crisp but without the inherent noise.

BTW, I owned one of the first CD’s made. Vivalidi’s Four Seasons. I bought a Sony CD player, first one too. People told me I was crazy as there was only one CD available. Within two years it was hard to find any vinyl. Amazing how things change huh? I’ll bet in a few years even CD’s will be past as we download now.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View chrisstef's profile


18132 posts in 4088 days

#7 posted 05-22-2012 08:29 PM

1980 here and dont get me started on Seger … me, bob, n the silver bullet band go way back ;)

Glad to see you got the vinyl back in the rotation … nothin sounds better.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View bullhead1's profile


228 posts in 3330 days

#8 posted 05-22-2012 09:28 PM

This brings memories back. I worked in a stereo store in the late 70’s while in college. We also sold records and 8-tracks and cassettes tapes. We loved it when the new shipment of records came in it was like x-mas as we got to select a few for demo’s. Today all you need is a sound bar and some electronic hand held device and internet access to play music. The current generation doesn’t know what a true stereo systems is, they probably don’t even know that a turntable has a needle! By the way nice looking setup, mine in the 70’s was two pieces of plywood and some cinder blocks. That was the extent of my woodworking skills back then.

View poopiekat's profile


4930 posts in 4816 days

#9 posted 05-22-2012 10:07 PM

I’ve got a Sony USB turntable that plugs right in to my computer, and I can run the tracks thru the included software that cleans all the snap crackle and pops from worn out vinyl. I’ve given most of my collection (about 600, all ‘60s and ‘70s stuff) to my 30- ish son-in-law, who is more of an expert than I ever was in rock history. But I saved all my Beatle stuff, some of which I’ve owned for, my God! fifty years!!!! Vinyl forever!!! I’m buying more, whenever I find something interesting at yard sales and flea markets. No, I don’t just buy planes!! LOL!! Oldretiredjim: thanks for your post, I wish more people would bring their records out into the light like you did!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View KevinBlair's profile


57 posts in 3407 days

#10 posted 05-23-2012 12:40 AM

Great job.You’ll love having access to it all again. I still have all of my original 1970s equipment (Denon amp, Pioneer Turntable, Genesis speakers). My wife and I play our records all of the time.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 4052 days

#11 posted 05-23-2012 12:47 AM

An amps gotta have tubes.

View 489tad's profile


4000 posts in 4093 days

#12 posted 05-23-2012 11:23 AM

I can still hear my parents yelling to turn it down! Great build.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View EdwardR's profile


66 posts in 3335 days

#13 posted 05-23-2012 02:56 PM

Born In 56 where do I put all the 45’s just kidding nice system. I remember barely ( if you remember the seventies you did not live them ) I got a new Pioneer quad system in 74

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