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I got a bug a while back. One that demanded I get myself sorted with some vinyl. So I got the parents old turntable (Technics SL-B3) down from the attic. It was dusty, and had suffered some grim build-up around the controls, so my first order of business was to wash it down with some gently soapy water. My dad suggested that maybe it might need a new belt.

Proof of one man's powers of understatement )

So I ordered the new belt from Turntable Basics who told me what length I needed from the model number, and it arrived swiftly complete with instructions.

Next thing I needed was new needles. This was much more difficult, and had me attempting to track down some 20/30 year old manuals online, before realising the replacement part number was written on the turntable itself. I found a nice place on eBay that sold them, and snapped them up.

But, it's an old turntable, and my stereo is a fair bit newer. It's Aux port expects pre-amped input to be able to drive the speakers. Something this turntable doesn't do. So I needed a pre-amp. I found a very pretty one for £100 that I'd have to order from Belfast. But I'm not a patient lass. So I wandered from A/V and electronics shops, getting looked at as if I was insane. Only two sales assistants had even heard of them. One told me to order from Belfast, the other, in Peats, sold me this with a very dismissive and rude attitude.

A phono-phono cable acquisition later and everything was in place. But to be sure I needed a record I knew the air of by heart but didn't mind getting damaged. Cue a 7" copy of Moonlight Sonata I picked up in a charity shop.

All fired up and looking pretty )

But alas! The pre-amp is complete shite. I had to turn the stereo up a lot to even vaguely hear the music, and as I did the background noise and hum got so loud it actually drowned out what little sound was present. To give it another chance I hooked up my mp3-player to it. And yep, the same result. So tomorrow I begin my attempt to return the useless piece of scrap-metal that is far from fit for it's purpose, and order the pretty pre-amp from Belfast. Once again I learn that it's impossible to walk into Peats as a female and actually get anything useful from them. But now I'm only a hairs breadth, or about two weeks, away from getting to listen to my brand new LPs. This is an event I greatly look forward to.
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