In rotation: 12/5/19

El Paso, TX | All the Music moving to Fountains at Farah in January: The new year begins a new era for All That Music & Video, El Paso’s largest and longest-running independently owned music and media retailer. Owner George Reynoso shares via a news release, “We’re moving to a new home — and splitting in two.” Phase One occurs in January 2020 when All That Music & Video, known internationally for its vast inventory of new and used vinyl LPs, opens its new location at The Fountains at Farah. The tentative opening date for the store is Friday, January 3. “It’s a high-profile location with lots of traffic and shoppers,” says Reynoso, who is celebrating his 40th year in the music retail business. The last day of operation at the current 6800 Gateway East location will be Sunday, December 29, 2019. At 1,500-square feet, ATMV’s Fountains store will be smaller, but will stock a more focused selection of hot-selling new and collectible vintage media on vinyl, CD, DVDs, and pop culture gift items.

Glasgow, SCT | Popular record store and coffee shop closes in Dumbarton East: A popular record store and coffee shop has closed in Dumbarton East. Big Sparra Music Cafe shut its doors for the final time last month after hosting a farewell party for customers. However, it won’t be empty for long because a new coffee shop and bakery will be opening in its place. The Glasgow Road shop opened in February last year after Dumbarton music lover Robert McKain revealed plans to bring his love for vinyl to his own home town. Robert and Don Cunningham are opening a new chapter with plans to focus on their coffee roasting business. Robert and Don created Pure Roasters while running the Dumbarton cafe in their bid to learn about making good coffee. Announcing the news they said: “It’s come time for team Sparra to sell up and move on with our other projects.

The best turntables of 2019: Having looked at the best speakers, amplifiers and headphones of 2019, we turn our attention to turntables. Taking the reins is David Murray of NYC hi-fi record shop Turntable Lab. According to The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), vinyl sales hit a 30-year high in 2018. Compared to other physical formats, vinyl made up over a third of all sales. As a result, turntable manufacturers stepped up their efforts to introduce affordable “plug and play” decks to appeal to new demographics and make getting into vinyl more accessible than ever in 2019. The increasing popularity of multi-room home audio systems has also informed an influx of turntables with wireless capabilities. While it’s safe to say that the wireless turntable is here to stay, those sceptical of its relative charms need look only to brands like Pro-Ject, Yamaha, and Cambridge Audio, all of whom released high-quality turntables with streaming integration this year.

Technics reintroduces classic turntable: Great news for audiophiles, vinyl lovers, disc jockeys and those with extensive collections of long-playing records: Technics turntables are back and better than ever before. You can add an iconic SL-1200 to your stable or go for the reimagined SL-1500 which combines Technics’ turntable technology with a dose of digital flair, making your stereo system capable of delivering vinyl through to the modern convenience of streaming music, wireless speakers or your favourite headphones. There’s something about the added ambience delivered through the gentle hiss of the stylus traversing vinyl grooves which takes you straight back to golden days gone by. And it doesn’t get more nostalgic than this; the ‘Wheels of Steel’, as Technics’ iconic SL-1200 turntable is fondly known, has quite a history – first introduced in 1972, little has changed in its design  and sheer magnetic appeal.

Fluance RT85 turntable review: A great-sounding turntable for the vinyl enthusiast on a budget: You’d typically need to spend hundreds more to get the upgrades and performance in Fluance’s budget-priced turntable. Canadian Hi-Fi manufacturer Fluance has launched a new line of turntables, targeting the budget-conscious vinyl enthusiast who has an eye on high performance. Fluance’s $499 RT85, the subject of this review, sits at the top of the company’s turntable lineup and gets our high marks for its price/performance ratio… On paper, the RT85 reads like a turntable that should be priced close to four-figure territory.The turntable’s plinth is made of MDF (medium-density fiberboard), and it comes in your choice of traditional piano black or a real walnut veneer. Up close, the piano-black, high-gloss finish on my review model was beautiful. There are three vibration-dampening, adjustable feet that help balance the turntable.

This BenCab Turntable Collaboration Puts an Artful Spin on the Vinyl Record Experience: Only 100 sets were produced by British brand Rega Research. Analog items, including vinyl records and film cameras, have been experiencing a renaissance in recent years. There’s just something irreplaceable about putting on a vinyl record and the delayed gratification of developed film (no matter how the photos turn out to be). Affirming this renewed demand is a limited turntable, a collaboration between National Artist Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera and British audio equipment manufacturer Rega Research. This rare creation is based on the brand’s popular P3 model and features one of the artist’s paintings, “Sabel.” Each set is priced at P65,000. Only 100 pieces were created in the U.K. for worldwide distribution.

Pro-Ject VC-S2 ALU Vacuum Record Cleaning Machine Review: Sound Matters test Pro-Jects new and improved flagship vacuum-powered record cleaning machine. Keeping your vinyl records clean is essential if you want them to sound great for a lifetime and beyond. For this reason, vinyl record cleaning remains one of the most-read topics on Sound Matters. For those on a tight budget, you can achieve great results cleaning records by hand. However, if your budget will stretch to a record cleaning machine, there are several advantages. Pro-Ject first entered the vacuum record cleaning market back in 2016 when they launched their debut model, the VC-S. Since then they’ve continued to evolve the product, firstly with the launch of VC-S MKII and most recently with the new VC-S2 ALU and its smaller cousin, the VC-E. The VC-S2 ALU features several improvements compared to its predecessors and looks set to be Pro-Ject’s best performing record cleaning machine to-date.

Collecting vinyl records? Here’s how to store them: For easy access to your vinyl collection, find a space in your home to keep your records where they’ll be near your record player. If you’re holding onto a collection you don’t listen to and don’t want to let go of, you might want to store them out of sight. Either way, the proper storage will make the difference of whether your albums are playable or not. If you don’t want to keep your vinyl collection out in the open for all to see, be careful where you do put it. You want an area in your home that has climate control. Attics and garages are out of the question—the heat will melt and warp your records over time. Keeping them in temps that are too cold can cause the vinyl to become brittle. If you have a finished basement, or you at least have air conditioning down there, it’s a good choice. Otherwise, find space in an area of your home that doesn’t get too hot or too cold. Discogs recommends keeping vinyl at temps between 59 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

Review: The Monkees release stunning ‘Christmas Party’ on Red/White Vinyl: As part of this year’s Record Store Day, which coincided with Black Friday, The Monkees released their “Christmas Party” holiday album on vinyl. It features The Monkees’ two 7″ singles on color vinyl (one red and one green), housed in a gatefold: “Unwrap You At Christmas (Radio Mix),” as well as”Unwrap You At Christmas (Andy Partridge Demo)” and “Riu Chiu”/”Christmas Is My Time Of Year (1976 Mix).” For more information, check out the Record Store Day’s official website. The vinyl releases of their holiday collection are a must for all fans of The Monkees since there is a warmth and nostalgia to vinyl that listeners simply cannot find anywhere else. It is the perfect collection to invite friends and family over for listening parties since music ought to be a shared experience, and what better music than The Monkees. It will certainly put fans and listeners in the Christmas spirit.

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