Friday, August 25, 2006

Gramaphone me...

We got an old gramaphone in my hometown home. It's actually an electric phonograph, with two 2-feet tall speakers, standard turntable with ceramic stylus, and an amplifier-cum-radio tuner. Can't remember if it was a 75rpm or a 45rpm. Easily 30 years old. Really an antique worth keeping in my opinion, but Papa wants to throw it away.

You see, we have finally sold our old house and have been moving stuff out of the house to the new one, and also been deciding which stuff are worth keeping and which are the ones that we REALLY need to get rid of. Our family (except Mama) are a bunch of pack rats, what others see as junk we see as treasure. I'll talk about this in another topic...

So Papa wants to get rid of it, he thinks that thing really takes up a lot of space, and it's old and unusable. So don't think all our old folks are attached to inventions and products created from their era. Papa is a real Audio-Visual fanatic, and ever since the inventions of CDs, DVDs, and really cool Kenwood sound systems came about, he never looked back.

I have lots of memories with that machine, which was given to us by Uncle Victor - Papa's cousin. When I was small, Mama used to play it everyday while she does housework. I think that's mostly where my passion for oldies came from. We even also have a few Christmas, and nursery rhyme records. Songs for all occasions for the entire year. Sometimes, we would just turn on the radio. Lots of Bee Gees and Samuel Hui records there too, and I was a big fan. And Papa wants to chuck it out.

It's not old, it's just seasoned. (hmm... i think i will used that phrase once I am of age) And it's not unusable, it's just that the stylus/needle is spoilt, and they don't know where to get a replacement for it. Can't blame them, in our current age of high-tech stuff, things like gramaphone ceramic/crystal styli is just not something you can get at a local mall. So I told them to NOT throw it away, I'll take it, move them over here to my place.

Actually, there are still shops lying around still selling gramaphone records and phonographs. All second-hand items of course. The one in Ipoh is closed already, but there's one over here in Sea Park. I frequent that shop occasionally just to look at the old records. So today I asked the shopkeeper, if he has styli for sale. Here's the funny story: he was looking at me in an awkward way, as if to say "what's a young man, dressed smartly in slacks and shirt wanna get a styli for? Is it for his grandma? Does he even know how to use it??". So the grizzled old man was babbling away at me --> "Which type you want? The Kawai type? Toshiba? National? Each of them are different you know....blablabla.." So i said, I wanted the really early types, the "flip-overs", with just a standard ceramic needle will do. Stopped his long-speech halfway, looking bit embarassed, he took me to the glass shelves. I had a look, and after talking to him further, it seems that the type I wanted may be REALLY obsolete. However, he can do mods. So I'm going back home next week, and return with one of the needles to show him, and see if he can do anything.

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