My new Gramophone Player

When I was a small boy Cassette tapes had become mainstream, but in our house, we still had many Gramophone Discs and a player to play it. So I have had hours of entertainment listening to Illayaraja’s Tamil hit songs and BoneyM songs from the LP records. But in the 1990s the player broke down, the discs scratched and lost, leaving me only with the memory of them. I felt LP records carried in their music a bit of magic, it was fun to pick up the needle and place it gently on the record with care not to hurt it – like a bee drinking honey from the flower we need to take the music from the record.

All this came back to my mind when I read the article on Gramophone in one of March issues of Mint newspaper titled “The house of vinyl” by Shamik Bag. The article talked about how Gramophone is coming back to life as a nostalgic gadget and A.R.Rahman’s upcoming album will be the first LP in 13 years for India’s premier music house (Saregama). Reading this I decided to buy a Gramophone player for myself. Since I wanted to listen to LP records with ease, I went with a modern version of the Turntable (Model TT-29) brought from Europe to India by Saregama against antique versions. I ordered the player online from their website for about Rs.8000 and it got delivered in a few days.

Getting the player and installing was easy, but I couldn’t play it as I had no discs to go with it. I couldn’t find a single Vinyl record from Saregama’s online store, tried in local music stores, Chennai’s Electronic Bazaar (Ritchie Street), Moore Market – no luck. Saw some Vinyl in the new Odyssey store in Express Avenue, but it turned out each of the few records cost Rs.2000 or so (One-Fourth of my player cost). Giving up I called my Uncle, luckily he had few records in his attic which he promptly sent to me (thanking me for vacating some space in his attic). Later I found there are some Vinyl records available in Flipkart.com – I have ordered Vande Mataram for Rs.767.

Now I am happily listening to the music from my new Gramophone – and it does sound just as good as I remembered, I love the hisses and the imperfections.

Update April 2019

I have been receiving queries for this post, which I am summarising and answering below:

Question> Where can I buy Gramophone players in India?
Answer> Nowadays, there are many choices available online from Amazon India and Flipkart. I will suggest you stay away from the fancy, antique-like gramophone players with big Brass horn speakers – they are not practical for listening. If you can afford, go for players from reputed manufacturers like Audio-Technica and Pioneer, but they are expensive and start from Rs.15,000 (USD 220). Otherwise, try brands like Ion. For example, this player, Ion VJB01 cost about Rs.5600 (USD 80). Any players you may choose, ensure it has an audio output (called RCA ports) to connect external speakers or home theatre system.

For listening to music, stay away from these antique-looking, brass horn players - they are not practical.
For listening to music, stay away from these antique-looking, brass horn players – they are not practical.

Question> Where can I buy Vinyl records?
Answer> If you live in Chennai I will suggest the Lilly Pond Market (near the old Moore market, next to Chennai Central Station) for buying used vinyl records (second hand). There are 1 or 2 shops here that sell them, but they are not open all the time. You need to try your luck. Records cost about Rs.300-500 per piece. New records are available on online and Music stores but they are expensive, over Rs.2500 per record. If you live in other cities, you may try the local used markets.

Question> How can I convert my vinyl records to MP3 format to listen from my computer/mobile?
Answer> You can try a device like Ion Audio Max LP USB Digital Conversion Turntable, I have their Cassette to USB (Tape2PC) device and I am quite happy with that.

 

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27 Thoughts to “My new Gramophone Player”

  1. I would like to inform all Vinyl Records lover that we SURAINE RECORDS introduce our own brand Turntables in INDIAN market, as we initiate to introduce LP Records in INDIA though HMV( Now Saregama) . We would like to do more in this field and please spread awaireless for our brand Turntables since we want to do a lot in this filed as we do earlier through HMV. Now we are direct in market to alive the market for Vinyl which exist due to people like you and us. Hope we get your all support . Our Email: surainerecords@yahoo.in

  2. Durgesh

    Dear sir, I have old collections of LP’s .like Abba,Egles,dobies,carpenters,dr.hook , Beegees around 15 in number. My oldplayer is not in working condition.I decided to buy new one.pl send me the online id to order
    Thq

  3. anandsampan

    i have some records.. if you are still looking or looking for more … contact me

  4. vijaya & tilak

    Dears, we also enjoyed songs & music on a TT. We shall certainly fetch one & catch up with you all.

  5. Neel

    I have some old gramaphone records with me. Does this LP player that you have play these old gramaphone records also?

  6. i am looking for THRILLING THEMATIC TUNES BY MS VISWANATHAN RELEASED IN 1970 BY HMV
    THAT WAS THE FIRST STEREO ALBUM IN TAMIL

    [Blog Author: Contact Mobile number removed to protect privacy. Anyone has any information on the above please post a comment, I can pass it to the commenter]

  7. raghunath

    friends you will get 2nd hand turntable in good condition from 2000/- onwards. buy belt drive turntable with preamp,so that you can convert them to audio cd. make sure the turn table is rumble free.
    follow quikr.com or olx.com

  8. madan

    I am looking for an old functional gramaphone with Horn type, any one to assist in buying from Delhi

  9. I

    There are LP records available in Moore Market. Here’s a link I came across:

    http://www.kiruba.com/2012/03/the-hunt-for-the-vinyl-records.html

    Hope this helps.

  10. Jayarajan

    (Disclaimer from Blog Author: I am in no way endorsing the below comment, I am making it visible, as it may be useful for those interested. Please contact the person directly)

    Dear Venkatrangan,

    Are you interested in LP GRAMPHONE RECORDS OF 1980s. I have around 20/25 records unused for more than 25 years. I am keeping with no player. I have some devotional cds. mostly from datta peetham, mysore. they are around 150/200. I want to give away, those who really use it, for a reasonable price. If you are or your friends interested, please mail me to my email – jayvijaynarayan@yahoo.co.in or madabhushis@gmail.com.

    thanks
    Jayarajan

  11. M.Milevaganam

    Hi Madam,
    I am interested in your LPs. It would be great if you could briefly provide info on the LP songs era, artistes, conditions of the LPs.
    Thanks

  12. priyadarsi

    Hi,

    I am interested to Buy a Gramaphone. Which model would you suggest , and how about the service support for the same.
    Where do we get the Records in india .

  13. Mrs. Vijaya Dandapani

    Dear Venkatrangan

    i have a rare collection of a set of 7 lp records for sale. It is Bhagavad gita (chapter 2 and 3), sung by Balamurali Krishna and explanations given by Swami Ranganadananda (Sri Ramakrishna Mutt). It is in pristine condition. I did not have a record player when it was gifted to meIt is about 40 years old.
    thanking you
    regards
    Mrs. vijaya dandapani

  14. swapnil

    Dear sir,

    I am interested in record players so how to purchase lower price & nice working gramophone
    please suggest me

    thank you
    Regards

    swapnil

  15. chandrasekharan

    Dear sir,

    I have certain records which are still in good condition. I’m interested in buying a gramophone record player for a lower price.
    Could u suggest me a site or a place where i can get it??

    Looking forward for your reply

    Regards

    CHANDY

  16. Sk

    Hi, Rhythm House, Mumbai has an LP section

  17. Saroja Ramamurthi

    Hi

    I have around 30 nos of EP and LP records of carnatic, old Tamil and Hindi movie songs. I don’t have a player now as mine got broken years ago. Now I wish to sell my old records. If anyone is willing to pay a good price for the EPs and LPs pls contact me thro’ my email id or post your contact details here. I will get back to you asap.

  18. Mahesh

    Dear Mr.Venkat,

    I am really in need of a suitcase type Gramaphone for my manager. Kindly help me in this regard. Inform how much it will be?

    With Regards
    Mahesh

  19. Mahadev

    Dear sir,
    If I buy the TT-29 Turntable with AM/FM Radio, do I require separate set of Amplifier or/and speakers to listen the music? or some sort of basic amiplifier/ speakers built in with that turn table?

    I have just ordered for the turntable with Sarigama and please guide me for setup.

    Thanks
    Mahadev Prasad,Bangalore

    1. You dont need an amplifier or speaker unless you need more sound & effects. It has builtin speaker and amp.

  20. ANIL KUMAR

    Hi venkatarangan,
    Nice to know that one person has joined the club of vinyl/record lovers. I have been collecting records and spool tapes for many years. As on date my little collection of records has crossed 9000 and spool tapes 100+. I have a great collection of Spools on Carnatic music recorded between 60’s and 70’s, which were mostly recorded live@ Music academy chennai and other places. Hence it carries its own value.
    I have records of various types recorded since 1890 to latest ones – which included Edison diamond disk, Edison velvet face records and magical records(true.. there are magical records).

    Record playing instruments: I have original victrolla of 1921 , GEC radiogram of 1920s, Phillips Stereo valve record changer from Holland, Dual 1019 Changer from Germany, Marantz advanced TT, Akai Fully automatic linear tracking player and many more…… My entire home is filled with records and these equipments…..

    If interested visit my forum in
    http://www.hifivision.com/phono-turntables/23503-rare-gramophones-radiograms-records-6.html
    http://www.hifivision.com/vintage-audio/24541-stereo-vacuum-tube-amplifiers.html#post345637
    http://www.hifivision.com/vintage-audio/23929-16-rpm-other-unusual-speed-types-gramophone-records.html

  21. Rajendra Prasad

    Recently I came to know that saregama had introduced 3 types of turn table, costing 8 thousand 15 thousand and 22 thousand. Also you can use pendrive and connect with pc. I am looking to but a new one. I have an old turn table and lots of LPs.

  22. Waman Jambekar

    I would like to purchage Record Player (Turn Table).I do not know where it is available & at what Price.I will be greatful to you if you can help me to get this information.I am eagerly wating for your reply which wll allow me to enjoy my old collection of EP(Extended Play)& LP(Long Play Records

  23. Bade

    check flipkart.com
    they have a new vinyl lp section

  24. Dinesh

    Dear sir, you can get old records at lillypond complex near central

  25. Bipul, Thanks for the site link. I am ordering two LPs from them. The Gramophone Player I got is nice.

  26. Bipul Gohain

    Dear Venkatarangan,

    Hi, I tumbled upon your blog while netsurfing for the vinyls. The you can find quite a number of vinyls old as well as in the new avatar at the New Gramophone House, Chandni Chowk N Delhi also they sale online. I’ve recently visited the store.The new Indian / Hindi LPs by Sare Gama / Sony etc. cost @ 750-900/- You can visit their site ( http://www.ngh.co.in / http://www.nghindia.com) + spares / repair / sale of the phonos. In Mumbai new vinyle are available at Rhytem House, Kala Ghoda, old records are avaiable at Chor Bazar and also at DN Road.The new English LP costs @ 2000+. I have one used turntable, looking to buy a new turntable. I am interested to know how’s your new player’s performance ?

    Regards

    Bipul Gohain
    Dehradun

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