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A guide to help the average man... look less average

Playing Vinyl - Rega Planar 3

Mark Kwak

I am an audiophile. The first step towards recovery is admission, right? Just thinking back- it's quite sad how much time and money I spilled into this hobby of high-fidelity audio. Believe it or not, I used to buy, sell, or trade at least 3 headphones a week for almost a full year before I realized I was going a bit crazy. And we're not talking iPhone earbuds, we're talking $2,000 headphones. Pretty insane for a college kid with no income.

I scaled it down for a while as I was happy enough with my headphones and speakers setups (plural on purpose), but living in San Francisco got me really thinking about the piece that has always been missing from my high fidelity audio setup. Vinyl.   

Thus, I recently bought myself a little present. The Rega Planar 3 turntable. For those in the know, this is quite a legend of a turntable, one that's been around for many decades. This is Rega's newest 2016 edition of this popular turntable, and I found a deal that I just could not say no to. 

Beautiful, huh? So far I love it, and it's really got me enjoying music again. Went out on craigslist, bought a bunch of old records, and have been enjoying that amazing sound quality only vinyl can provide. I won't get into the "does vinyl sound better than CD/MP3/etc." debate, as I think there are benefits and cost to all formats, but I can say the tangible element of setting down a record on a spinning turntable is quite rewarding. 

In case you think it's a waste of money to spend this much on a turntable, I do have some recommendations at the lower price levels. Take a look at the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC, Denon DP-300F (get the upgraded ortofan stylus if you can), and of course the legendary Technics 1200 Mk2. You'll need to find that last one used.