Jay Reatard – Blood Visions

A punk rock examination of a schizophrenic serial killer in 15 parts.





I won't stop until your dead

cause of the voices inside my head

helping you and hurting me

Time will heal all wounds

but I will kill you

slowly, fading all away…

Blood Visions has all the brutality of Iggy pop's Raw Power, and continues to draw from garage pure rock bands like the Gang of Four, and the Kinks. It's a surprising revisit to a stripped down raw sound of speed power pop savagery. Be prepared for it, this album is going to grab you by the throat and not let go the entire ride from the opening pace of the clattering of sticks on the rim of a snare to launching into manic tempo punk garage rock, track after track. Before you have a chance to breathe, the next song kicks in. It owes in the quick harmonies of the Ramones, the danger of the Undertones, the early Replacements, it's classic and shocking in it's simplicity and power. But Jay has been playing in one form or another since 17, in The Retards, Final solutions, Night terrors, the list goes on and on in everything from synth punk to acoustic home recordings. The kind of dues paid live and in the studio, the background that would be needed to produce this masterpiece. On the surface it's effortlessly simple, powerchord pop punk. As fast as you can 4/4 drum, exploding distortion chorus repeating vocals. But the levels of songwriting and arrangement quickly make this stand out from anything by his peers. Every instrument and vocal exists in it's own relative space, the left and right channels are so severely separated, you have to hear this in separated stereo and not through a mono speaker on the front of a high school classroom record player. As much as I love you Califone 1400K, you met you match with Blood Visions.

The cover shows Jay in nothing but his underwear in front of a seamless light greenish backdrop covered in what looks like blood, it's dripping from his speedo. But it's not just blood, there's a huge bruise on his upper left thigh, and the he looks a little surprised but deadpan finding himself caught at the scene of the crime. It's someone who still doesn't realize what he's just done, the blood still wet on his hands… everywhere.

Side A: The split

Blood visions

it's what they want to give me.

There's an outside influence tormenting him, or even if it's from inside, it's not his conscience, it's something sinister and alien. There might be room yet for him to still come back from this point or get treatment, but what kind of person is left after society gets a hold of the remaining redeemable part. The character who isn't completely turned yet is internalizing their demands, this outside force. How do you expect to explain that to anyone? The vocals pan back and forth, a punched in terrifically distorted 'Blood Visions' yell overpowers the layered harmonized vocals oppposite.

O these things will change.

He can at least be sure that it's not going to last, this is a normal rejection of values of someone pissed off…lost, striking out at the things you can't control, and it's nothing to worry about.

Jay, or rather the killer, chants Greed!, Money!, Useless children! over and over, in time with a rolling snare. The world is constantly bombarding the character, it's getting to be too much… the suburban drive for money and family and the endless struggle for what? What is any of this going to be worth in the end? It's the beginning of de-personifying everyone around him. They aren't worth caring about. They are all useless, living lives not worth living. Is he being driven to this by these suffocating surroundings? How can we blame this person who isn't fitting into the societal standards, who doesn't want any part of anything around him.

It's so easy when your friends are dead

it's so much easier when you don't even care

'It's so easy' is a further examination of his surroundings. Anything he once cared about is already dead to him, his friends, his family…everything is meaningless. They are the walking dead, he's seeing into the future, the future he's about to create where the world and anything anyone cares about is all going to disappear. It's the beginning of the desperation and the first time we hear the monotone split personality voice for the first time.

All these places mean nothing to me

My Shadow shifts into heavier distortion, it quickly almost completely drowns out the underlying acoustic foundation underneath. He's becoming aware of an alter ego that will let him get away with what he really wants and it's slowly taking over whether he likes it or not. The ego is splitting. He's becoming more aware of this other side of him that is getting out of control, that's been waiting to get out. He's waking up with no memory of what his 'shadow' has done. But there's some possibility this other side could help pull off what he really deep down wants… the things he didn't think he was capable of before.

I can't see your face cause I've been looking at you

The way you do all the things you do

I can't talk to

My Shadow

My Shadow

My Shadow


The violence first starts with 'My Family'. A really bent string dominates the sound from the beginning, which is an unsettling off note, like the character, bending back and forth making it hard to hear the horror going on underneath.

please close your eyes

as the blows make impact

and say good bye because they are never coming back

The genius of Jay as a producer comes out in the breakdown section between verses, two gated fuzzed out guitars that could be mistaken for electronics and makes The Cars at their best sound like amateurs. The moments right before they both come in on opposite sides of your head you can hear the amp struggling to contain the distortion, and somehow it makes it even better. Knowing when to leave those unheard moments in are why I keep coming back to this entire album, as much as I've come to this awful conclusion.

But back to the killer… of course it all started at home, he hates them most of all, and they are part of this sick outside meaningless world. He hates himself and they made him, so they have to go first. The voices could be stopped then… maybe they will finally shut up if he just does what they tell him.

My family

they ne-

ver knew.


Of course no one knew he was capable of this. He didn't think he was capable of this .

The voices echo in 'Death is Forming' and repeats this line over and over in his head even more. The manic explosion of chorus and the words in different configurations: forming death, death form, the shadow/alter ego is completely taking over, he's lost control over this split. It's becoming him. The very idea of death itself is forming more and more in his consciousness, it's the only solution now, the only choice. Ultimately for him, for the hopelessness around him. The guitar track starts to careen out of control to that point of endless sound, but there's more to go yet.

'Oh it's such a shame' is foreshadowing the B-side which is obsessively looking back, reliving over and over.

He's a waste, everyone can see now, and it's too late, oh the poor kid, if there's any sympathy at all. Is that what everyone is going to say? Will they even care? Or the mindlessness around him the machine will just keep turning after the killing. This time the guitar builds to complete breakdown, the wave is building out of control and this time it just keeps getting bigger, more and more guitars keep adding to the mix but it never crashes, just fades away… it's the crane shot of complete and utter loneliness, the fuckup trapped in the middle of perfect manicured laws and picket fences, the beginning of the inevitable end. It's still possible to sympathize with him, it's not his fault, but he's already done it, for him there's no other choice. He's resolved to give in to the voices and what they want. He already past the point of no return.

He's sees himself, the new self:

I look into your eyes and try not to cry

let's hope it's not wasted.

Side B: Regret

'It's not a substitute for you' opens the second side in this literal break of the music and our lead character. He says 'missing you', he's missing the hope, his old self. This killing, the violence wasn't an answer… big surprise, but it never sounded so fist pumpingly good.

Then come the 'Nightmares' which is the closest approximation to a Reatard ballad… the punked up fast acoustic foundation which quickly is overpowered by the crunch of electric fuzz blasts it's way in. The vocals are still hard to pin down where exactly where they are spatially coming from, nothing is ever centered like this character, slightly off, a little louder, one side overpowering.

He's talking about finding the person that used to exist, the person that didn't want to do those things. This could be seen as hopeful, but it's just talk. You could even make the arguement that he's talking about some one who made the voices go away, a weak stab at some kind of unrequited love long gone, nothing can save him now…. this is futile.

Nightmares are all you bring to me

I'll keep searching for you

Of course this chorus repeats endlessly until the next disjointed thought in this ADD punk rock requiem…

'I see you standing there' is one of the most directly disturbing songs from the head of someone who only sees targets for whatever sick plans he has.

I see you in the park I see you doing well
playing with your children everything is swell
The vocals are even sound obsessed, monotone and frantic, tetering out of control. The idea that there is a psyche like this obsessed with hunting a victim, waiting in the shadows is terrifying. Being in complete control over another person, for some kind of gratification we can't understand. He hates society, the monotony, the fake happiness. He can de-personify everyone, they have no souls, this is about choosing a victim.

In 'We Who Wait' a prison cell is referred to and I imagine he's caught at this point, and the vocals are some kind of justification by the split to just be patient and the rewards will come. Trying to continue topersuade the conscience, it's almost over, you aren't like them.

'Fading all away' isn't a cry for help as much as it is a resignation that it's a part of him now. This is his nature there's no changing him. There was a destiny to this, that no matter what he could have done this would have been the outcome. He wasn't going to be able to stop with any amount of rehabilitation or reform. It's not even a matter of good or evil, this is just the way he's been made and he can see the whole hopeless situation now. Maybe he was completely powerless?

'Turning Blue' is a further reflection on the things he's done, and the failures of the split personality to make anything better, the sane side of him is now living in worse horror that he somehow made for himself. The dreams of the killing, that's all that's left of the experience, the memory of taking life and the reality that nothings changed.

You can even hear the institutional walls echoing in the refrain vocals, the linoleum walls of a tiny space, closing in.

As sad as it seems

you're turning blue in my dreams

Puppet Man:

I heard you never can die

if you don't act alive

lying in my garbage can

I don't want to be this man

Is this someone looking in at him from the outside? He's getting glimpses of how the world sees him now. This is the final desperation of the split personality, even the dreams are gone, it's all garbage. The self fulfilling prophecy of the world is shit, full of useless people has all come true. He's still there, but barely, he's most directly coming to terms with the reality of this situation, his complete insanity, he has a faint memory of everything before, only enough to know what a mess he is now. Just enough to make it even harder and more depressing.

The end of this entire breakdown culminates in 'Waiting for something' and is punctuated by the beating of toms and a restrained bassline, the vocals are forced bursts of monotone thoughts. Throughout this downfall he's become less and less emotional, almost robotic, except for the brief internal chorus of fighting back, he's a medicated zombie, the only emotion coming from the almost lost part of him that existed in the first few tracks.

I'm sitting

here waiting for something to happen

oh no no no

they won't get me


The guitar here is truly possesed, the rhythms turning into just pure phase distortion. He's been so disillusioned but he's still fighting all the way to the end, as they come to completely take him over. By the end of the track the tom has given over to sticks banging on metal sheets, electronic distorted drum claps through left and right channels. A metal door creaks shut and it's all over. It's exhausting.

I don't know if you want to get into the mind of someone like this, it's as much a condemnation as much as it might reveal but it's never been so direct, and non stop, so immediate, there's really no stopping this back to back uncensored internal monolouge, it will continue in your head long after hearing it. If a piece of music had the possibility to literally change someone's thinking listening to it, like the backwards subliminal messages in Black Sabbath, this is probably the closest thing I have ever experienced. As much as I want to hear it again, I can't just hear the perfect catchy music anymore, this is the punk rock Executioners Song, and it's the most scary and fascinating place to be in for 28 minutes….



These audiophiles prefer vinyl to digital

RALEIGH – The unmistakable crackling sounds. The heartbreaking needle scratches. The album covers you can stare at for hours.

A record collectors show is hardly the place to win an argument on the convenience of downloading a song from iTunes or the sound quality of a new CD. Audiophiles who rule the shows will school you on the virtues of spinning vinyl over downloaded digitized sound.

"Records have the cracks and the pops that CDs just don't have," said Anthony Perry, a collector from Smithfield. "It's just better than that other stuff."

There was plenty of that "other stuff" as well as vinyl at the biannual Record & CD Collectors Show at the Holiday Inn near Crabtree Valley Mall on Sunday, including some new CDs and a few rare ones from artists such as Prince and James Brown. Record collectors and dealers came from all over the region to buy, sell and trade anything from posters of classic album covers to a $600 Beatles album.

But as some collectors were quick to point out, the real soul in the room was coming from the crates and crates of vinyl.

"Show me a CD that plays after five years without skipping or stopping," said Bill Cox, a retired record collector from Hampton, Va., who was at the show selling albums he'd been collecting since his military days. "Vinyl is a different breed of passion."

Most of his albums were in pristine condition, well preserved for dozens of years in plastic covers. That's part of the reason he could charge $75 for an Isley Brothers album. There was no writing on the album cover. He took care to keep the original sleeve. And the grooves were still smooth without scratches.

"I've got thousands of records," he said. "This is my hobby. It's pure joy to me."

For others, the records — from the album covers to the labels — took them back to slower, less-complicated times.

"CDs are nice, but when you hear this, it reminds you of when you were a kid," said Bryon McKay of Clayton, who was stocking up on albums from his favorite band, Kiss. "It reminds me of when I first started listening to music."

One of his big scores Sunday: a Kiss album from Germany, which had the lightning bolt double S's of the Kiss logo reversed so that they didn't resemble the Nazi swastika. That made it worth the $10 for McKay.

Same with the $40 Kiss "Double Platinum" album that Cox was selling: It still had all the original accompanying stickers.

The thrill of the hunt had the show buzzing by mid-morning Sunday. With another record collector show in Carrboro the same day, hard-core collectors were making deals in Raleigh and heading to Carrboro for more.

Disc dealing

The art of the deal was part of the lure for Curtis Warden from Timberlake. He bought three albums for $20: a Dutch copy of Blue Oyster Cult's "Secret Treaties," Emerson Lake & Palmer's "Brain Salad Surgery," and a white-label album from the "Live Yardbirds." He said it wasn't a deal he'd likely find at a big-box retailer.

Steve Eisenstadt of Raleigh is a regular at the show, not so much for the music, but for the album covers. He likes to frame and display some of his favorites. On Sunday, he took home Elvis Costello's "My Aim is True," Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" and Jimi Hendrix's "Smash Hits."

Jim Mettrey and Hope Turlington were there to make a little money by selling some of Mettrey's massive collection of 45s. Mettrey spent 16 years in the jukebox business. Now with about 20,000 singles that have been stacked in a warehouse since he quit the business in 1985, the timing seemed right to start selling.

"They're going to get aged out," said Mettrey. He was concerned younger listeners wouldn't see the value of the singles as the older crowd might.

On Sunday, his singles from the likes of The Carpenters, James Taylor, John Lennon, AC/DC and Neil Diamond were selling for $1 each, about the same price as an iTunes download.

"There's a certain nostalgia here that you can't find anywhere else," he said.



Josh Ritter – The Historical conquests of

Over the past several years Josh Ritter, a native of Idaho has made quite a reputation for himself in Ireland. A regular tourer he combines a great grasp of appealing music with a laidback appealing personality, onstage and off.

With beautiful lyrics and usually hushed tones he's grown and grown a fanbase and has been accepted as a native here.

This album, his first on vinyl, is a bit of a change from his previous more folk oriented releases. There are many out and out pop moments on this. Seventies pop. Its entirely engaging and even euphoric at times. It really sounds like Josh is living the life we all want to lead.

Arrangements are almost simple and straightforward. The melody is generally regular and with just enough twists, or flourishes to keep things interesting.
Choruses are big, bright and breezy. The wonderful Right Moves being such an example. Complete with
the Great North Sound Society Orchestra providing brass backing.

More simple singer/songwriter introspectives are not forgotten. Just Josh and his guitar but his lyrics always draw you in and keep you interested. Josh's own voice is an appealing if not impressive tenor.

But the belters are where its at and there's plenty of them. Probably unusual for Ritter this is a record to turn up loud and bounce around the room to.

marvellous stuff.

Simple packaging and heavyweight value. The vinyl comes with a cd which gets it a bonus point but the sound quality is not great and basically sounds like its being played through a transistor radio. Is this deliberate?

Ron Sexsmith – Time Being

I've always quite enjoyed Ron Sexsmith without being a huge fan. I did however love Cobblestone Highway and retriever, and indeed gave the excellent Diverse pressing of Cobblestone Highway a pretty good review on this site.

So here we have another reissue of his latest album on vinyl by another new label called Coppertree Records. They seem to be based in Wales and, well, I don't know very much about them at all.

But they do have something to say for themselves and this record…

Coppertree Records start their vinyl campaign with a lavish 180g heavyweight pressing of Ron Sexsmith’s Time Being. His eighth album proper, and his first to have the tender loving Coppertree vinyl treatment. Considered the singer / songwriter’s songwriter, Ron Sexsmith has earned immense respect from his peers, critics, and a devoted international audience. The Toronto based singer / songwriter boasts a who’s who of celebrity endorsees such as Paul McCartney, Elton John, Elvis Costello, Steve Earle (who produced Ron's 2001 album, Blue Boy), Sheryl Crow, John Hiatt, Bono, John Prine, Radiohead, and Chris Martin (who dueted on the track Gold In Them Hills). Coppertree Records have taken due care and attention to the finest of details, and produced a lavish and desirable release that will have any vinyl junkie palpitating at the very thought of it. The heavyweight 180g vinyl pressing is housed in a full colour inner sleeve which is stored in a beautiful double weight, embossed and hand numbered sleeve. To have Ron Sexsmith on ‘the original analogue format’ is essential, so stay tuned, as Coppertree Records may have some more announcements to make with regards to Ron Sexsmith’s material

The packaging is simple enough. An embossed single outer sleeve and a flimsy inner picture sleeve. Everything is glossy!! 🙂

Sound quality is very good. Its credited as being mastered by Bob Ludwig which is always a good sign. however the vinyl will have been mastered by someone else. There are no problems though. Its a good vinyl pressing and the sound comes through nicely on the vinyl though does sound digital. Good digital.

Lyrically as always, Ron is quirky interesting and thought provoking. No standard statements here.

Unfortunately the music, while not bad, does not seem to be such an instant classic as the two previous albums mentioned above. Sexsmith has a laid back style which never exactly reaches out and grabs you anyway. Here the music seems to do so even less. I see from the website that its been getting 4* reviews all over. I think I'll give it a 3.

Duffy – Rockferry

And so, after Amy here they come.

Duffy is one of the latest young things to come along, singing her heart out. Just as if the 70’s 80’s and 90’s never happened. This is apparently due to her paren’t record collection. The fact that it is released is probably more due to the success of Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black album.

While that album was heralded, and made famous by, the (annoying)single Rehab, Duffy’s calling card is Fever. A virtual homage to Aretha Franklin. A gutsy belter, funky enough to shake both your head and booty to. You’ll be singing along to this one and I can’t see it being quite as annoying as the aforementioned Rehab. Probably who I find it most similar to is a 60’s band called The Cake who sang some songs by Jack Nitzsche.

All the right names are on board here. Bernard Butler helps out on guitars, production and songwriting. He also helps with the string arrangements but luckily seems to stop short of singing. fot that he (or err she, Duffy) gets in his old partner the magnificent David McAlmont on backing vocals.

The above names will give you some idea of what this record is about. There is an appealing melodrama throughout much of the record with crescendos of sweeping strings and Duffy’s effective vocals. Other tracks are straightforward soulful and lightly funky. No dirty grit here but enough to appeal to the mainstream public.

Production is pretty much Motown wall of sound. You have this great impressive wave of music coming at you. You’re not so much expected to concentrate on the intricate details as get carried away in the waves of emotion and music.

Voicewise and musically this record has often been compared to Dusty Springfield. This is an obvious comparison, and err an apt one. Tunes are all solid and memorable.

I love the closer, Distant Dreamer, an emotional gripper that builds and builds for a fitting finale.

The NME don’t like it because its not cool enough, or modern enough. Or something.

Most enjoyable.

Standard packaging in general. Simple inner sleever with credit in a thick enough outer picture sleeve. Pressing not bad and heavy enough. Sound quality is deliberately retro.

Five tips for vinyl virgins from a vinyl guy



Five tips for vinyl virgins from a vinyl guy

Posted by Tony Nauroth April 08, 2008 12:08PM

Categories: Views on Life
Vinyl doesn't go back as far as this player, but this sample is definitely analog, not digital.

When I was in the third grade — you'll be able to figure it out by the time you finish reading — my father, a printer by trade, invented a machine part to make his boss' printing presses more efficient. It saved a ton of money. My father didn't get the credit and he didn't get royalties for it. But his boss did buy Dad a new stereo radio/phonograph player in a beautiful cabinet. Top shelf at the time. He also gave us 125 vouchers for 33 and 1/3 rpm albums we could redeem at a local record store.

The boss, a Mr. Glucken of Pittston, Pa., knew my Dad liked music.


Glucken also asked Dad if he'd like to move into his country mansion near Dallas, Pa., and take care of it while he did the grand tour of Europe. So all 10 of us moved into this magnificent home on the top of a hill, with its half-mile long driveway and 73 acres of fields and woodland.

Glucken was on his grand tour for nine years while we lived in his mansion — free! It was great. And frequently we would gather around the stereo near the huge stone fireplace and listen to vinyl. For all its pops and scratches, the sound that came out of those 8-inch speakers was as warm as the crackling fire nearby.

We're in the midst of a revolt against digital sound, despite — or perhaps because of — its perfection. It's unreal, especially when heard by the ears of those trained to listen to vinyl. Yet even teens and 20-somethings are getting into this 100-year-old technology and need a simple "how-to" guide to find their groove — literally.

Josh Bizar, director of marketing at Music Direct, a company that specializes in everything "analog," says, "Since the technology is all new territory for the vinyl virgin, it can be tough getting through that 'awkward stage.'"

Josh put together five tips to help vinyl record "virgins" get started:

FIND THE RIGHT TURNTABLE — Used record players are a dime a dozen at garage sales and thrift stores, but a 30 year old record player could have many problems. Make sure you get a really good service tech to get it up and playing properly. There are also countless new turntables on the market today. For an investment of $300, you can buy an amazing new turntable with 21st century technology that will be perfect right out of the box.

A modern phonograph player.

SET UP YOUR SYSTEM WITH CARE — Any turntable will need to be properly set-up to get the maximum amount of music out of your record. That means finding someone who knows how to install the phono cartridge (needle) properly to get the most music out of the grooves. Also, make sure you place your turntable on a rock-solid shelf to keep vibrations away.

LOOK FOR QUALITY VINYL — Thrift shops, garage sales, used record stores and even your uncle's basement are great places to start your vinyl collection. There are also more new LPs pressed today than anytime since the mid-80s. Specialty stores can advise you on all the great music that's available on the best quality new vinyl.

A record album slides out of a press at the United Record Pressing company in Nashville, Tenn. on Jan. 25, 2007. The press turns a blob of vinyl about the size of a hockey puck into a record album.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR RECORD COLLECTION — Avoid all those ticks and pops by removing the decades of grunge from the grooves with a really good record brush and record cleaning fluids. There are even special record cleaning machines that do all the work for you and will vacuum dry the LP so you can play it immediately. They can be pricey, however. Still, clean records not only sound better, they're much more valuable.

BRING YOUR RECORDS INTO THE 21st CENTURY — The biggest trend in vinyl right now is taking your records and making them digital. Many newer turntables can connect directly to your computer via USB, and even older, standard turntables can run through a special USB Converter and achieve the same effect. Download some free "ripping" software, like Audacity, and you're ready to put your record collection right onto your iPod.

Of course, to get the full effect that I remember, you'll have to invent something really cool and valuable. Then move into the country. Just remember to hold out for royalties.




SRM Ultimate enhancement kit for LP12


Recently I've been a bit unhappy with my LP12. I've been thinking about changing the stylus/cartdridge. I've been looking at buying a new arm. A second hand Ittok or Ekos on Ebay. Just for background I currently have an LP12. Probably mid eighties vintage, but its beeen updated with a Lingo external power supply and the excellent micro-groove from Tom Evans. The cartdridge is the lovely Blue Point II from Sumiko. I didn't go for the Special as i wanted teh extra strenght a housing offers. I'm not the most gentle on my turntable.

But things seemed a bit fuzzy. Not as clear as they should be. Even extra sibilance at times. Ok maybe I should have just got the deck serviced.

Anyway while browsing on ebay(a slow month workwise) I came across a Linn LP12 upgrade kit from the company below.


It looked interesting. No half-hearted effort this. This is what they say and this is what it offers.

This is our Ultimate Sound Quality Enhancement Kit for the excellent Linn LP12. We guarantee it will significantly improve the sound quality of this superb record deck. The cost of this kit is roughly equivalent to ten audiophile LP’s – but this will make your whole record collection sound better! The kit offers a substantial cost saving over buying the items separately.

' SRM/TECH has been causing quite a stir amongst Ebay-savvy audiophiles of late. Its keenly priced and genuinely effective upgrades for Rega and other popular turntables are available either as individual items, or as kits designed to release the true potential of your turntable.' Hi-Fi World April 2005

The kit is designed to reduce external noise breakthrough, motor noise, bearing rumble, platter 'ring' and vinyl 'chatter' to provide quieter, more detailed reproduction, and comprises:

1. Silent Base. Designed to replace the flimsy hardboard baseboard, this is made from 10mm jet black acrylic which is solid and non-resonant. It features three adjustable spikes (complete with damping rings) together with access cut-outs for tone arm wiring and spring adjustment.

2. Acrylic Platter Mat. Made to fit inside the lip on the LP12 platter, this is made from 3mm acrylic and has a record label recess for perfect record support.

3. Platter Damping Ring (PDR). 19mm deep to fit LP12 platter perfectly. This acts as a peripheral wave trap, absorbing vibrations and resonances in the platter and enhancing rotational stability.

4. Tripod Platter Support. Three small discs, which sit between the sub platter and the outer platter decoupling the platter and reducing resonance.

5. The Revolution Disc & Spindle Damping Device. This is a 'soft clamp' with a sorbothane base. It clings to the record label and spindle, damping them very effectively, without distorting the surface of the vinyl – as conventional clamps do. The integral 20mm spirit level allows you to level the deck up perfectly.

6. Twin Motor Vibration Absorbers (MVA). The LP12 motor sounds at it’s best with two MVA's fitted, top and bottom. These fit tightly round the casing of the motor to reduce vibration which would otherwise be transmitted to the plinth or (via the belt) to the sub-platter.

7. Bearing Damping Rings (BDR). Supplied as a pair, these fit around the main bearing housing, effectively absorbing resonance generated within the bearing, which would otherwise be transmitted into the subchassis via the housing or (even worse) into the sub platter via the spindle.

8. Main Bearing Spindle Support Pad (SPP) High Purity PTFE pad that sits in the main bearing housing eliminating metal to metal contact and consequently reducing bearing noise.

9. Ultimate Turntable Bearing Oil. You have to remove the oil from the main bearing to fit the SSP, so we include a 10ml bottle of oil with the kit. This is the best bearing oil available – known to Audiophiles as 'Black Oil' it contains Molybdenum Disulfide and Graphite. Makes the turntable bearing quieter, more efficient and drastically reduces wear.

10. Adjustable Motor Thrust Bearing. Performs better than any factory fitted thrust pad as it allows the motor spindle to run on a lubricated 4mm hardened steel ball, dramatically reducing motor noise. Fully adjustable with the allen key provided, this will eliminate any ‘ticking’ noise from the motor.

Full instructions are included and are fairly straightforward. I was a little bit confused at times but got through it. Apart from the thrust bearing. I haven't tried to install this after my initial effort. However I emailed the company and they got back to me next day with extra instructions and a photo!!

SOme nice touches are the spirit level in the top of the record clamp. Shamefully my deck was not level. New bearing oil is a nice addition. This is something that should have been touched up anywa. Just like in your car. The instructions suggest trying the deck with and without the supports for the spikes. A matter of preference apparently. So far i haven't bothered removing them. I figure Stuart knows what he's at!

The silent base is particularly impressive. It looks well engineered, nicely polished and looks and feels far superior to the standard base and rubber feet that come with the LP12. I prefer the acrylic platter(with an indentation for the label) that comes with the kit. The olde felt mat always annoys me by attaching itself statically when removing a record. I would have one slight worry here in that if any dust/grit exists between the record and platter that the lack of absorption(provided by the old felt mat) could damage the record. Well at least its an added incentive to clean your records.

Not bad for having to a cope with a deck which has seen many design changes over its thirty odd years of existence.

So within two hours I had my deck up and running with all the enhancements. Its interesting in that many original parts of the Linn look pretty shapbby. The base in particular while the inside is pretty empty. Even the wood is chipboard. Maybe the latest models are of far better construction. I hope so for the many thousands they charge.

I can't remember what record I threw on first but in teh last couple of days the enhancement kit has kept me up late listening to

Joe Jackson
Mary Gauthier
Dr. Alban
Credence Clearwater Revival
Van Morrison
The National
Ray Brown
George harrison
David bowie
Prefab Sprout
Ron sexsmith
Massive attack
Deacon Blue
Doobie Brothers

You get the picture.

In almost every case there has been a dramatic change in sound quality. Detail is overwhelmingly enhanced. There is a huge improvement in detail at all levels. Bass and general sound quality is much tighter. Each instrument is far better separated. SOundstage much improved. Every record now is a new joy, a new experience. i have a whole record collection to rediscover.

Of course it can't work wonders. Prefab's Sprout is only revealed as having a narrow soundstage, not because of the recording but because of the cramming of grooves and minutes onto one slab of vinyl.

Sons of the Pioneers' records, records which I had previously enjoyed for their extra clarity are revealed as being overly bright. These are early RCA stereo records and possibly are not using the RIAA curve?? Either way I put the blame on the record rather than the turntable.

The Ray Brown disc is the Pure Audiophile pressing of Soular Energy on 2 180g Blue Vinyl discs. I don't have the problem of my needle jumping out of the groove(There's a warning of this on the sleeve!) but I do hear a deliciously rich sound in bass, midrange and treble.

This enhancement kit is priced at the relatively good value of £219 Sterling plus postage and packing. It modernises and brings the LP12 up to the standard of modern decks such as the Clearaudios.

The company also has Rega kits and even have started to produce a turntable of their own.

Highly recommended.



Just listening toi the new Elbow album on vinyl. As is becoming customary its spread across two heavyweight 45RPM LPS.
I noticed this on the sleeve. Its something that seems to have slipped my attention before.

Turn Me Up!™ Certified

To preserve the excitement, emotion and dynamics of the original performances this record is intentionally quieter than some. For full enjoyment simply Turn Me Up! (www.TurnMeUp.org

So at their website, they say

Turn Me Up!™ is a non-profit music industry organization campaigning to give artists back the choice to release more dynamic records. To be clear, it's not our goal to discourage loud records; they are, of course, a valid choice for many artists. We simply want to make the choice for a more dynamic record an option for artists.

Today, artists generally feel they have to master their records to be as loud as everybody else's. This certainly works for many artists. However, there are many other artists who feel their music would be better served by a more dynamic record, but who don't feel like that option is available to them.

This all comes down to the moment a consumer hears a record, and the fear that if the record is more dynamic, the consumer won't know to just turn up the volume. This is an understandable concern, and one Turn Me Up! is working to resolve.

Its great to see such an initiative as this. What I would like to see them do is also give a list of certified records so that those of us who care can seek them out.

Best of luck guys!!