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Basic Repertoire presents 21st Century Vinyl
Michael Fremer’s Practical Guide to Turntable Set-Up.

NSTC English language, no regional coding, full screen, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Running time: 3 hours 9 minutes

Michael Fremer  - 21st Century Vinyl: Michael Fremer's Practical Guide to Turntable Set-Up

Michael Fremer noted analog authority guides us through turntable set-up in this Digital DVD.  Real die-hard analog enthusiasts won’t likely have a DVD player, I wonder if he plans on releasing this on analog videotape? 

I would like to comment on some of Michael Fremer’s statements in the opening monologue:

"Reel to Reel tapes do sound fantastic but they never caught on."

This is true but Reel to Reel does have a very loyal following and some even well enough off financially to support a company offering 2 Track 15-IPS Reel to Reels at $329.00 per title.  I wonder if he has ever heard of "The Tape Project"?  He made no mention of us die-hard Reel to Reel lovers, pretty much dismissing us!

Then he says, "Now lets look at some of the other formats that came along. Of course there was the LP, of all the formats that came before or since, the LP makes the most sense.  The size is right, the graphics are right, the amount of material on each side is right and sound as we know is absolutely magical and the best."

OK this I pretty much agree with.  LP covers are often works of art and the 12-inch size is pretty perfect although some works have to be spread over two or more sides.  Also the sound is not always the best, the top 1% of LPs maybe but I can provide plenty of examples where the Reel to Reel or the cassette version is superior to the LP. 

Next Michael says: "It was the cassette that killed the LP not the CD.  The cassette became the defacto standard because they were cheap, they were portable, you could play them in your car, your boombox but that was a very bad format that we all hate."

Michael please speak for yourself I listen to LPs, Reel to Reels, Cassettes, CDs, SACDs and DVD-Audios and I can say completely and without any reservation cassette is my favorite format, especially audiophile cassettes.  Have you ever heard a properly set up Nakamichi cassette deck playing pre-recorded tapes?  I find most cassettes on my Nakamichi to offer full range sound with superb bass generally deeper and with more power than LP.  Cassettes mid-bass is also usually fuller than LP.  And the human voice on the best cassettes has a realism that only analog Reel to Reel can beat.  Plus the delicacy in the high frequencies when azimuth is correctly adjusted is amazing!  Also cassettes have the highest "goose bump" factor of any format, they sound so real!  So no Michael we do not all hate cassettes!

Michael then shows some really unusual LP covers and makes some very funny comments.  Michael I cringed when I watched you take LPs out of their covers, your thumb and forefingers actually touched the outer grooves.  Please look at my photo below for the correct way to hold an LP.

Next Michael interviews mastering engineer George Marino who takes us on a tour of Sterling Sound’s Neumann cutting system.

Afterwards Michael sets up a Pro-Ject RM-5, Rega P5 and a VPI Scoutmaster.  He gives some excellent pointers and shows how to measure and set all parameters of a turntable/arm/cartridge system.

I was not able to view the detailed PDF File in the DVD-ROM section of this disc as I don’t have a CD-ROM drive in my computer.  This PDF File contains even more information and set up tips.  If any of my readers has a DVD-ROM drive please submit your review of it and I will add it to my review.

So all in all I do recommend this DVD, not withstanding his comments dismissing analog cassette.  The beginning monologue is quite entertaining.  Also there is a bonus black and white short movie with Michael as a young man, I actually found this quite enjoyable.

Michael Fremer holding Vinyl the wrong way.


The right way to remove an LP from it's jacket is to rest the outer rim on the thumb of your left hand and put the fingers of the left hand under the inner sleeve where the reverse side label area is and gently slide off the innersleeve using your right hand. When the innersleeve is fully removed you hand should like as mine does above and then transfer to the tips of the four fingers of each hand along the outside rim and lower on the platter to play.

Other Comments from the press:

"21st Century Vinyl is a helpful bridge between the first flush of analog enthusiasm and a longterm survival strategy…Quit fretting. When the moment of truth comes, just set up a worktable in front of your TV (or vice versa) and go through the setup process step by step with a master. The path may be winding and narrow, but your feet are stronger than you may imagine." – Mark Fleischmann, Home Theater

"…The DVD is sure to be of valuable functional service to many audio buffs just getting into vinyl playback, and to remind us with Michael's pep talk on its wonders that it really is a terrific format that has not died out by any means." – John Sunier, Audiophile Audition

"…a product that should have been around long before August 2006. It provides easy-to-follow, practical advice for obtaining the tools and knowledge necessary to complete competent setup of most turntables…a resource that will allow many to recapture the hands-on nature of this hobby and have their record-spinners making fine music in no time." – Bill Brooks, Soundstage, August 2006

"…for the LP lover who has never done so out of fear or lack of confidence, or has tried and had something go wrong, this is, in my opinion, the perfect nudge to get them past the stigma and fear. This is a must have disc for any vinyl fan at any level of accomplishment. A hearty well done, Michael. By the way, what took you so long?" – Greg Weaver, Positive Feedback Online