Anyone who knows me knows that I love me some Sonos. We’ve got pretty much every product they’ve come up with in the house, and just can’t imagine living without it.

I recently decided that I wanted to add the ability to play vinyl into our arsenal (the kids are old enough so that they don’t seem too inclined to try to ride/draw on the turntable).

I’d been plotting my vinyl strategy out over the course of many years of insomnia-nights, and so when I finally decided to pull the trigger, it went very smoothly.

I’ve had in my possession an old Victrola that belonged to my parents for twenty years or so. It’s never functioned, but I’ve always loved the way it looks, and I have some good memories associated with it.

 

victrola logo

 

 

I’ve schlepped the thing from house to house. It’s big, heavy, and beautiful.

 

victrola closed

 

After much deliberation. I went with the Audio-Technica AT-LP120. It cost $250 on Amazon. What sealed the deal for me was that it has a built in phono pre-amp. Most amplifiers (including the Sonos Connect:Amp) don’t have phono pre-amps, and so you have to insert one between your turntable and your amp to get sound.

I knew that the space where the old, original turntable that had long vanished used to sit was roughly the size of current turntables, but it wasn’t until I laid my new turntable into it did I breath a sigh of relief (yes, of course, I measured, but…you know). The thing fits perfectly.

 

turntable

 

The AT-LP120 is certainly not a audiophile turntable (no turntable that includes its own pre-amp will fall into that category), but, as I was unsure how all of this was going to work, I really wanted to minimize the cash outlay and layers of complexity, and this turntable fits the bill. (I’m sure I’ll upgrade sooner rather than later, and it’ll likely be to one of the Pro-Ject turntables.)

The beautiful part is that because the phono pre-amp is built in, all you need to do to incorporate it into your Sonos system is plug it into the line in jacks on the Sonos Connect: Amp (the blue and red RCA cables below are coming in from the turntable).

 

sonos amp

 

Once plugged in, you just use the Sonos remote to label the new source. I chose to go old school:

 

sonos victrola

 

Like magic, not only are you now able to hear the turntable through the speakers that the Connect:Amp is powering, but you can push the sound to any other Sonos connected speakers. This means, I can be playing a record on my turntable (in the living room on the first floor), but push the sound to my daughter’s Sonos Play:1 in her room on the third floor. Awesome.

The Sonos Connect:Amp is a very clean amp, and I use it to drive a pair of B&W CM1s and a B&W sub. Not the height of audio fidelity, but in terms of the bang::buck ratio, this rates pretty high. I’ve had some pretty awesome audio experiences with this set up, and look forward to many more now that I’m rocking the vinyl.

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[The Chasing the Thrill posts chronicle my adventures in trying to capture that ephemeral moment when song and audio fidelity come together into a sound that makes me forget everything else. Mostly it will be my notes on the vinyl that I listen to, but may include some non-vinyl music moments as well. If you’re interested in the set up I use to listen on, here it is.]

Rumours is one of those records that falls squarely in the Reminiscence Bump-land for me. It’s one of the first records that I remember hearing as a young kid.

 

Rumors cover

 

It’s, of course, perfect.

Nothing much need be said about the recording, songs, etc. If you do want to delve deep into the making of the record/history of the band, I highly recommend Storms: My Life With Lindsey Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac.

I purchased the 33rpm vinyl version that was remastered in 2009. There’s quite a bit of discussion about the various vinyl releases. Without going to far into the details, the bottom line is that both the 45 rpm and the 33 rpm versions of Rumours were mastered from the original tapes by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray.

To my ears, this release is why one bothers with vinyl in the first place. The dynamic range is unreal. This is as close as you get to hearing what the band put on tape as you can get.

If I had only once chance to prove to someone that vinyl can not only sound far superior to CD, but that it can actually provide a different sensory experience, this (so far) is what I would play.

 

Rumours on the turntable

 

You can find the 33rpm version for about $25. The 45rpm version (which I haven’t heard, but sort of want to now) will run you $45. (I will not be linking to Amazon for purchase, because I find it impossible to determine what version of the vinyl you are purchasing from Amazon, and they jumble the customer reviews across format, which renders them useless.)

10 out of 10.

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