Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Marantz TT-15S1 Turntable Reviewed

I have been in contact with a new site (http://www.audaud.com) that I hope can provide relevant, fresh material for the blog. I hope you enjoy this first post and please stop by their site for many interesting features.

AUDIOPHILE AUDITION focuses on recordings of interest to audiophiles and collectors, with an accent on surround sound for music, and on all hi-res disc formats. Over 100SACD, DVD Video/Audio and standard CD reviews are published during each month, and our archives go back to January 2001.

The Wonderful World of Vinyl; Marantz TT-15S1 Turntable Reviewed

An introduction on getting back into vinyl or trying it for the first time and a review of a quality entry-level turntable system.

Published on November 27, 2008

SOURCE: http://www.audaud.com


The Wonderful World of Vinyl

I recently inherited an LP collection from a relative who was as passionate about his music as he was about keeping his records in excellent shape. In the past I’d been given a few collections (consisting of a few hundred records total) from others who had “moved on to CD” and/or didn’t have a record player any more and had no more reason to store the LPs they had collected over the years.

I had duplicate (and triplicate) copies of some records as well as music I decided I would never be able to enjoy. When I sold some of these discs (and mentioned the desire to sell to others) I couldn’t avoid the multiple comments about the “resurgence of vinyl.” From their enthusiasm you’d think vinyl purchases had somehow toppled the sales of CD, but alas my retort was more along the lines of, “well, vinyl just never really left.” And truth be told, those who spin the black gold (as I fondly refer to the discs) range from DJs to diehard audiophiles who own equipment ranging from six-figure systems to portable plastic "close ‘n’ plays."

The enthusiasts are those who never gave vinyl up, came back to vinyl after their lack of enjoyment from the sound of CD or compressed music like the iPod mostly offers, or were just introduced to the format after seeing ads, TV commercials, movies and other media that has proclaimed vinyl playback to be hip again.

A few things sparked my recent interest. For one, when I met my wife she was playing her records (of which she had about 200) through a plastic turntable she obtained at a flea market. This wouldn’t do! I quickly replaced it with a vintage receiver (with a decent phono input), a set of speakers, and an old Thorens TD-160 I had lying around. Why lying around you ask? Well…I have to admit that my vinyl days had come to an end.

It is not that I don’t appreciate a good analog system—far from it! I had just grown tired of the hassle of storing, cleaning, maintaining, flipping, and messing with the 12” discs. As I write these words I imagine the disappointed vinyl fanatics ready to give me the list of 100 reasons why I should play vinyl vs. the smaller aluminum variety. You can stop right there. This, in fact, is what this article is all about: Rediscovering that which was never really gone to begin with.

By way of reviews I will be exploring the world of analog players and accessory products and perhaps even offer some insight into areas like record cleaning and how to make the whole experience more fun. That’s what this hobby is all about anyway, right!?

I’m not an engineer (although I was studying to be one), so most of my observations will be subjective. If I come across any fantastic technical articles for those inclined, I will reference them at the end of the reviews. Otherwise you can join me on a journey into sound. Feel free to relay your CONSTRUCTIVE criticism and suggestions to my email address. Thanks and let us begin!

-Brian Bloom


Marantz TT-15S1 TurntableSRP: $1600

Marantz America, Inc.
100 Corporate Drive
Mahwah, NJ 07430
630-741-0300 (voice)
630-741-0301 (fax)

Basic Description

Acrylic turntable including arm and cartridge (manufactured by Clearaudio for Marantz), 33 1/3 and 45 rpm speed belt drive system, Clearaudio Satisfy radial tonearm with adjustable stylus pressure from 0-5 gram; 3-18g cartridge compatibility; Cartridge output voltage at 1 kHz ~ 3.6 mV with recommended stylus pressure of 2.0 grams, Aluminum cantilever; Souther plastic record clamp; 350 mm D x 440 mm W x 110 mm H (to spindle), 6.125” to top of cueing lever when arm height is adjusted for mat; 3 year parts and labor warranty on tonearm and table—90 days on cartridge.

Associated Equipment

Krell KAV-400i Integrated Amplifier, Musical Fidelity A5 Integrated Amplifier, PS Audio GCPH Phono Stage, Whest Two Phono Stage, Bowers and Wilkins 803S speakers, Audioquest cabling. Accessories used are too numerous to list—please see future accessories reviews for more information.


It’s been a while since I’ve done any serious turntable setup, so I thought it would be useful to describe the procedure for those who are in the same boat. After unpacking all the pieces, I made sure the table I was using for assembly was level by using two separate bubble levels (which I later used on the playback surface). The manual is excellent and includes pictures and numbered steps to make the setup as easy as possible.

The three turntable legs unscrew, so in case it is impossible to have a completely level surface, the user can level the table by adjusting the legs. White gloves are included to keep the table clean during assembly and for handling the belt. An extra belt comes with the table, but there is no 45 adapter or dust cover. You can buy an aftermarket Gingko Dust Cover for $279 that measures 19” W x 14” D x 6.5” H. A basic 45 adapter costs $3 and a Clearaudio stainless steel adapter sells for $45. Other options will be discussed in a later accessories article.

The table comes with a tonearm, cartridge, record clamp, as well as tools and oil (which you may need in the future). In addition to the ground wire that is attached to the tonearm, there is a ground that attaches directly to the underside of the table. TIP #1: Wait till the ground wire is installed before removing the tape on the topside of the base that holds the bearing in place; otherwise it may fall out, spill oil, and generally make a mess.

The TT-15 comes with a soft mat, but whether it will be used needs to be determined before adjusting the height of the tonearm. I didn’t compare the sound of both, but the included clamp is only recommended to be used with the mat (or with warped records). A vinyl enthusiast I know said that his experience with tables of this type leads him to believe that it would be better to avoid the mat completely. Adjusting the height is incredibly easy—just slip the counterweight under the tonearm and use the small felt piece or not depending on whether you will by using a mat or not. This will be all that is necessary to adjust VTA (vertical tracking angle).

If the supplied Clearaudio Virtuoso Ebony cartridge (exclusive to this table) is used, then setup is very easy. The supplied screws thread right into the cartridge (without need of a nut above or below) and according to the manual, pushing the cartridge into the forward position is all you need to adjust offset. Most cartridges require a lot of work to properly align the cartridge, so it was nice to be able to have it set easily. If a different cartridge is used, the manual specifies that the stylus tip needs to be 32 mm back from the wood part of the arm. I went ahead and checked alignment with a DB Systems Protractor anyway. This is an indispensable tool for adjusting proper offset. I confirmed that the accuracy was within a small fraction of a degree although it was hard to tell definitively due to the fact that the cartridge has rounded sides. TIP#2: If you are going to use an alignment tool, make sure you secure the platter with tape so that the needle doesn’t get damaged by sliding off the tool.

Pinch-nosed pliers are a good tool to attach the cartridge leads, but I was able to do it successfully with my fingers (and nails). All that was left was stylus pressure and anti-skate. The quick and dirty way to adjust stylus force is by first leveling the tonearm parallel to the platter surface (so it floats) and then apply the recommended force to the stylus (most often accomplished by turned the weight on the tonearm toward the center of the platter). The cartridge instructions recommended 2.0 grams of force while the turntable manual indicated 2.2 grams. I chose to go with the lighter tracking force. If you ever see the needle bouncing off the record you know that you have applied too little force. Too much force can cause premature breakage of the needle and poor sound quality. You can always listen and make slight adjustments as well.

Initially I tried to adjust the stylus pressure using the prescribed method, but I’ve found over the years that this is not usually all that accurate. In this case, when I measured the pressure with a digital scale from Steve Blinn I found that I was off on the high side by >.1 gram. Like setting offset, make sure to secure the platter to avoid needle damage and set anti-skate afterwards to avoid bending the shaft of the cartridge.

The manual specifies the magnetic screw be set half way for proper anti-skate (which is what I did since I didn’t have a test record or oscilloscope to check to make sure it was set properly).

Lastly, I set up the motor. The pulley needs to be positioned at 3 mm above the height of the motor which turns out to be approximately the tip of the included screwdriver turned sideways. I would recommend a better screwdriver for actually tightening down the plastic screws for the pulley. The supplied one seemed too fat and I couldn’t tell if the screws were tightening or just slipping.

There is a cutout in the plinth (base) for the motor and it is best if the motor does not make contact with the base. However, the power switch is on the side of the motor and turning it on and off causes the motor to move requiring you to reposition it (if you are neurotic about such things) each time you turn the table on. The switch should be on the top or remotely located.

The spindle was a bit tight on some records so I gently smoothed it down, so I wasn’t fighting with the TT-15 to get records off. That concluded the setup. I used a couple of different amplifiers and phono preamplifiers while the turntable was under test (all listed above).

Operation and Maintenance

This turntable is fully manual meaning you will have to lift the arm to the record and then put it to rest when the arm moves into the exit groove. I would agree with the manual and give the platter a slight spin before turning on the motor—this will increase belt life and prevent slippage or possible locking up of the motor mechanism. Other than that, this turntable worked just as expected. I had an old 45 adapter lying around for use with a record or two that needed it. To change the speed, just lower the belt down on the pulley.

To dust the records off I used an Audioquest antistatic carbon fiber record brush. I tested speed accuracy with a KAB SpeedStrobe. According to my measurements, the turntable was between .5-.6% fast. This disc has the speed numbers right on it (as opposed to bars), so it is easy to keep track of how far off the speed is. Also, it comes with a strobe light, so no worries about differences with line voltage or 50/60 Hz issues.

To clean the stylus I used the Extreme Phono solid-state gel stylus cleaner. This is the best, safest and simplest stylus cleaner I have ever had the pleasure to use. [LAST also makes Stylast cleaner which I use. They also offer record cleaners and a very effective preservative for vinyl....Ed.]


I played music on the TT-15 for weeks--off and on every day. Rating the subjective quality of sound comes down to how you feel and what sort of emotional response is elicited when you listen to any given system. I.e.: what is your reaction to the music and not the equipment per se. My time with the Marantz involves a lot of groovin’ and listening pleasure—about as high a compliment you can give.

For those who enjoy all the adjectives and audiophile descriptions, here goes…

I began with Dean Martin’s Greatest Hits Volume I. Sound was delicate with nice top end extension. The sound of this turntable leans toward clarity rather than warmth. Background noise was low and imaging and focus was as good as you’d expect on this record. This table offers better dynamics and focus in comparison with cheaper tables. There is a bigger image and less flattening of the soundstage, with a more fleshed out sound.

A record I’ve heard many times is Earl Klugh’s Fingerpainting. My notes say “transient response is king.” Sound is easy and yet there is nice pluck and pop with a nice portrayal of rhythm and drive. The feeling that sometimes happens with CDs: that the image or acoustic environment is smaller than it should be, is completely absent.

It always surprises me how even many cheap turntables/cartridge combos can get the bass sound so right. It might be something in the way the recording is mixed, or an anomaly with the playback chain, but for whatever reason drums just tend to sound more real than on CDs. I hadn’t listened to Dire Straits’ Making Movies in years, so I thought it might be worth another listen. The sound of vinyl (when records are well-recorded and in good shape) is highly addictive. Aside from the increasing novelty/coolness of record playing these days, I would absolutely encourage anyone who hasn’t heard a good analog system lately to take another listen—you might just be surprised at how enjoyable the experience truly is.

Another group that hadn’t had much airplay on my system is The Fifth Dimension. The Greatest Hits on Earth has more than a few good tunes and better sounding recordings just shown on this table. The sound was very liquid and musical. Rediscovering old music is yet another reason to get back into vinyl—not to mention how much old vinyl is available in record stores and on eBay. [Whether old or brand new, you might want to consider a record cleaning machine for your vinyl...Ed.]

The last record in the extended listening session was The Doobie Brothers’ Captain and Me. This album was incredibly fun to listen to on disc with the TT-15. Guitar and bass sounded great! All in all the presentation was solid and quite enjoyable.


To put it into perspective, a similarly built table directly from Clearaudio would cost about $1200 for the table and arm, $875 for the Virtuoso cartridge, $200 for upgraded feet, and you get a thicker platter to boot with a 3 year guarantee! In case your head hurts, the math adds up to $2275 vs. $1600—quite the bargain. And these days with the dollar being so devalued it would be hard to find a better sounding combination for less money. Highly recommended!

written by ~Brian Bloom~

Vinyl 45s make a comeback

Interest in singles has once again revived a `dead' music medium, the seven-inch vinyl record

Ben Rayner
Pop Music Critic

The seven-inch single is pretty much the inverse of the MP3 file.

Physical, inconsistent, mortal and definitely not portable in the post-Walkman sense of the word, the beloved, wee black discs upon which rock 'n' roll was born should by all rights have been dealt a final death blow by the arrival of digital music files.

Curiously, though, sales of 45s – a format introduced by RCA in 1951 – are on the rise. Especially in the U.K., where they've inched back up to more than 15 per cent of the total singles market and the White Stripes' "Icky Thump" last year posted the highest single-week sales of a seven-inch in 20 years.

Most of the activity in mainstream circles is overseas, mind you, where the major record labels never used the advent of the compact disc as an excuse to kill off their singles market altogether and force the record-buying public onto full-length CDs. Since the rise of Napster and, later, iTunes, however, a market for single songs has been reborn, and one of the unintended benefactors has been the seven-inch. Sub Pop Records' famous "single of the month" club has been reactivated. Toronto has its own label dealing just in seven-inches, Davy Love's Magnificent Sevens imprint. And with more seven-inches out there making the rounds, more musicians have started thinking in terms of singles again.

Toronto country troupe One Hundred Dollars, for instance, fetes the release of its "Fourteenth Floor" seven-inch for local label Blocks Recording Club tomorrow at the Silver Dollar. It's the first in a series of singles to be issued by different labels around the country.

"We had initially conceived it as a takeoff on Gordon Lightfoot's `Railroad Trilogy,' but the format was too small to do three songs," laughs vocalist Simone Schmidt. "We thought it would be more interesting to leave it open-ended and use the seven-inches to record interesting singles and B-sides – things that we wouldn't necessarily want to put on an album.

"It's all new and it's all thematically linked to where the label is. So for the label in Alberta, we're recording a song called `Black Gold' that's about Fort McMurray and the oil sands. ... It's interesting to have that kind of challenge in the concept when you're writing."

The creative possibilities offered by the 45, not its marketability, are what have sustained the format through all these years when it was supposed to be dead.

"I personally love them," says Oliver Ackermann of New York noise-rock outfit A Place to Bury Strangers, which recently issued a volley of seven-inches on Important Records. "When you create a seven-inch, it's an opportunity to do something unique that doesn't fit for an album. The tracks are also immediate; there is no filler. A single is a glimpse of a moment and an experience and an idea."

They're also highly collectible. The punk and indie-rock undergrounds have always been particularly fond of the seven-inch as a badge of fanhood, something doled out in limited quantities and often specific circumstances – on certain tour dates or on labels available only in a certain region.

Bands like No Age and Toronto's F---ed Up are almost legendary these days for the volume of material they churn out on hard-to-find seven-inches.

"Seven-inches are like little flags for the fan," says Joel Carriere of Toronto's Dine Alone Records. "It's a conversation to relate and compare."

As a result, says Carriere, "it's a lot more fun for us to work on it because we are getting rad pieces of history to fans ... Vinyls are not going to float a record company by any means, but they will put a smile on some fans' faces and in the end that's all you really want to do."

Evaporators lead singer Nardwuar the Human Serviette – such a fan of "dead" formats that you can still get Evaporators albums on eight-track cassette – finds the artwork possibilities of the 45 attractive, conceding that the actual sound of the recording is almost secondary to the package itself.

He recalls with no small fondness, for instance, an old Tumor Circus seven-inch titled "Swine Flu" that came out during the 1990s. Each copy had a hole drilled through it, rendering it impossible to play.

"They're like pet rocks," he says. "People just want to collect them."

SOURCE: http://www.thestar.com

Proper Turntable Set Up- by Michael Fremer

I have had the pleasure of speaking with a renowned stereo expert, Michael Fremer, who has also released a DVD about proper turntable set up. I have watched it, and I love the way he not only explains the techniques; but is able to connect with his audience. I say splurge for the $30, it is surely worth it!

Audiophile Awareness

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

Buy it here: http://tinyurl.com/6xtp3s

Product Details

Actors: 21st Century Vinyl-Michael Fremers Practical Guide
Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
Language: English
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Musicangle.Com
DVD Release Date: September 12, 2006
Run Time: 189 minutes

Product Description

Michael Fremer, the senior contributing writer to Stereophile Magazine and an expert in all things analog, presents his Practical Guide to Turntable Set-Up! Shot in his listening room, Fremer sets up a Project RM-5 (known outside the U.S. as the RPM-5),

Don't take my word for it, here is what others have to say about the DVD:

Customer reviews

If you have ever wondered how to set up your turntable so your vinyl sounds like it is supposed to sound, this video is an enourmous help. Written, acted and produced by Michael Fremer, one of the very few Vinyl Gurus I have ever seen who can communicate and is listenable - and watchable. This video is both very informative and entertaining. Apart from the setting up of three turntables in three different price classes, all of which he does very well. Michael gives a short introduction to diferent LP qualities, from "Virgin" vinyl - British, to "Streetwalker" vinyl - American. And, during the various set-ups, he admonishes us, the watchers, to "don't go crazy" during set-up. At the end of the video, he introduces us to his personal turntable, the Continuum Audio Labs "Colibri". Said piece of equipment costing around USD 100,000. Michael, when it came down to it, "went crazy".
Very, very highly recommended. Martin Straub

Enlightenment, February 15, 2008
By Perry Noblett "Value shopper" (DFW Texas)

I have been a music fan forever. But I was always upset by the results I got from record players/turntables. All the surface noise, the snap crackle pop during quiet passages drove me nuts. When Compact Discs arrived I sold all of my albumns and started over. But, to face reality, the sound just isn't as good. So after several years of trying to ignore it I came back to Vinyl. The first thing I learned was that I never really understood how to properly set up a cartridge in a turntable. After much study I concluded that I might not ever learn how and why doesn't someone make a DVD about it. about three days later I stumbled upon this DVD by accident. Knowing that M Fremer is the resident Guru of vinyl at Stereophile I snapped it up. Mr. Fremer has made a most informative video about how records are made, some history of vinyl, and how to set up your turntable. He walks you through setting up three different turntables. The tape does not seem to be overly rehearsed, or edited. As he encounters problems he deals with them and explains his thinking rather than stopping the tape and eliminating the problem. Very real world way of doing things. I found this product most enjoyable and enlightening. My Turntable sounds better than ever also.

21st Century Vinyl is a must have for anyone with a turntable.

It meticulously takes each step in the set up process and fully explains it on three popular, or at least, representative, current turntables.
It is an invaluable reference which both explains, details and reviews the use of a turntable.

I would heartily recommend it. However, both myself and a friend's wife (the friend also has the disc) commented on the way the presenter handled the LP's at the beginning of the disc. Definitely, do not take this as the way to handle your valuable and in many ways irreplaceable, LP's. throwing them aside, placing hands on the playing surface and pushing the record back into the cover before casting it aside! Oooh, made me annoyed.

In any case, despite this minor gripe, a very solid and well-presented disc with a small element of whimsy from on-screen notes (such as "You didn't see that!" when the presenter accidentally knocks the tonearm off it's rest while explaining something......) make this an essential companion for turntable owners.

Visit Michael's site: http://www.musicangle.com/ Music Angle serves High-End Audio Fans and provides eclectic music and sound reviews by Michael Fremer

Now McCartney Says He’s The Political Beatle

A new report says that Paul McCartney claims that he is the real politicized figure in the Beatles, not John Lennon.

McCartney is quoted as stating that it was he who first voiced concerns over the Vietnam War with the legendary foursome and advocated their anti-war stance.

According to the report, McCartney claims that a meeting he had with philosopher Bertrand Russell in the mid 1960’s fueled his own- and eventually John Lennon’s curiosity- about world affairs. Apparently, after his ‘talk’ with Russell he ‘told the guys, particularly John Lennon’ about the meeting and telling them (the Beatles) “what a bad war it was.”

The interview, in Britain’s’ Prospect Magazine, also says that McCartney believes his stance has inspired the work against poverty by Bob Geldof and Bono of U2.

"Give Peace a Chance" was the first "solo" single released by a member of the Beatles while the band was still intact, though, technically, the artist was credited as Plastic Ono Band, not John Lennon. It reached number 14 on the pop charts in the United States and was kept out of the top slot in the UK by The Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Women".

The song quickly became the anthem of the anti-war movement, and was sung by as many as half a million demonstrators in Washington, D.C. at the Vietnam Moratorium Day, on 15 October 1969. They were led by the renowned folk singer Pete Seeger, who interspersed phrases like, "Are you listening, Nixon?" and "Are you listening, Agnew?", between the choruses of protesters singing, "All we are saying ... is give peace a chance".

OK, now for my opinion. Oh really, Sir McCartney? Wasn’t Lennon the songwriter of such classics as “Revolution,” “Give Peace A Chance,” “I Don’t Want To Be A Solder” as well as “Imagine” (‘imagine all the people, living life in peace’)? Where were you at the ‘bed-in’ for peace in Toronto, where were you when John and Yoko led anti-war protests in New York City in the early 70’s?

I am appalled by the suggestion that YOU were the political Beatle. John Lennon and Yoko Ono did more to promote peace than Paul McCartney ever dreamed of. At this point in his life I can only conclude that he is not only delusional, but probably jealous of what Lennon accomplished in his short lifetime.

Top 100 Vinyl LP's for 2008

As always, I want to thank my vinyl friend over at http://dj-spyder.blogspot.com for this interesting data:

Here it is folks.

Below is the Top 100 Vinyl LP titles for 2008, based on actual sales by my company, URP Music Distributors http://www.urpdist.com/, which is the largest vinyl one-stop in the U.S. Our sales are primarily to independent brick & mortar stores and online stores. We do not sell to big-box chain stores (Best Buy, Fred Meyer, etc.)

The list is in order with the best selling title at top.

Also, interesting to note that the #2 selling LP for the year is a 15 year old release. Unfortunately, due to a recent price increase on that title, it is unlikely it will chart again next year. Quite a few titles (47 of them) on this list were released prior to 2008. I've included the year of which the current pressing was first released (not the year the original recording was first released).

Buy these Lp's and many others at: http://vinyluniverse.com/a=CollectingVinyl

1 . Q-Tip - The Renaissance [2LP] (2008)
2 . Wu-Tang Clan - Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers [LP] (1993)
3 . Nas - Nas [2 LP] (2008)
4 . Mariah Carey - E=MC2 [2 LP] (2008)
5 . Roots - Rising Down [2 LP] (2008)
6 . Ne-Yo - Year Of The Gentleman [2 LP] (2008)
7 . Kanye West - 808s & Heartbreak (Deluxe) [2 LP] (includes trifold jacket with posters + lyric sheet + CD album) (2008)
8 . Game - LAX [2 LP] (2008)
9 . N.E.R.D. - Seeing Sounds [2 LP] (2008)
10 . Portishead - Third [2 LP] (includes full album MP3 download card) (2008)
11 . Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III Volume I [2 LP] (red cover) (2008)
12 . Madonna - Hard Candy [3LP] [Special Edition] [Colored vinyl w/ Bonus CD] (2008)
13 . Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) [2 LP] (2008)
14 . Common - Universal Mind Control [2 LP] (2008)
15 . Common - Be [2 LP] (2005)
16 . Gnarls Barkley - The Odd Couple [2 LP] (Limited Edition in Gatefold Sleeve) (B-side includes tracks in reverse) (2008)
17 . T.I. - Paper Trail [2 LP] (VERY LIMITED) (2008)
18 . Metallica - Death Magnetic [2 LP] (in Stoughton jacket) (2008)
19 . G-Unit - T.O.S. (Terminate On Sight) [2 LP] (2008)
20 . Lil Wayne - The Leak EP [LP] (2008)
21 . Raphael Saadiq - The Way I See It [LP] (includes download insert) (2008)
22 . Snoop Dogg - Ego Trippin' [2 LP] (2008)
23 . Amy Winehouse - Back To Black [LP] (2007)
24 . LL Cool J - Exit 13 [2 LP] (2008)
25 . John Legend - Evolver [2 LP] (180 Gram Vinyl with Download Insert) (2008)
26 . SWV - The Remixes [LP] (1994)
27 . Michael Jackson - Thriller (25th Anniversary) [2 LP] (Gatefold Sleeve) (2008)
28 . A Tribe Called Quest - Peoples' Instinctive Travels & The Paths Of Rhythm [2 LP] (1990)
29 . Kardinal Offishall - Not 4 Sale [2LP] (2008)
30 . Janet Jackson - Discipline [2 LP] (2008)
31 . Mobb Deep - The Infamous [2 LP] (1995)
32 . DJ Shadow - Endtroducing [2 LP] (1996)
33 . Estelle - Shine [2 LP] (2008)
34 . A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory [2 LP] (1991)
35 . Various Artists - Verve Remixed 4 [2 LP] (180 Gram Vinyl) (2008)
36 . Ludacris - Theater Of The Mind [2LP] (2008)
37 . Colby O'Donis - Colby O [2LP] (2008)
38 . Young Jeezy - The Recession [2 LP] (2008)
39 . M.I.A. - Kala [2 LP] (2007)
40 . Black Moon - Enta Da Stage [LP] (1993)
41 . Al Green - Lay It Down [LP] (2008)
42 . Wu-Tang Clan - Legend Of The Wutang: Wu-Tang Clan's Greatest Hits [2 LP] (2004)
43 . A Tribe Called Quest - Beats, Rhymes & Life [2 LP] (1996)
44 . A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders [LP] (1993)
45 . Jeru The Damaja - The Sun Rises In The East [2 LP] (1994)
46 . Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx [2 LP] (1995)
47 . Janelle MonĂ¡e - Metropolis: The Chase Suite (Special Edition) [LP] (Includes CD) (2008)
48 . Beck - Modern Guilt [LP] (180 Gram Vinyl in gatefold jacket) (includes mp3 download insert) (2008)
49 . Three 6 Mafia - Last 2 Walk [2 LP] (Gatefold Sleeve) (Includes Download Insert) (2008)
50 . Common - Resurrection [LP] (1994)
51 . Pete Rock - NY's Finest (Instrumentals) [2 LP] (2008)
52 . Erykah Badu - Worldwide Underground [LP] (2003)
53 . Robin Thicke - Something Else [2LP] (2008)
54 . Soulja Boy Tell'em - iSouljaBoyTellem [2 LP] (2008)
55 . Jeru The Damaja - Wrath Of The Math [2 LP] (1996)
56 . Nas - Illmatic: 10th Anniversary Platinum Edition [2 LP] (2004)
57 . Various Artists - Motown Remixed Vol. 1: Hip Hop [LP] (2005)
58 . Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds [2 LP] (Gatefold Sleeve) (2006)
59 . DJ Shadow - Preemptive Strike [2 LP] (1997)
60 . Mary J. Blige - Growing Pains [2 LP] (2007)
61 . Michael Jackson - Thriller [LP] [Picture Disc] (2008)
62 . A Tribe Called Quest - The Anthology [2 LP] (1999)
63 . Streets - Everything Is Borrowed [LP] (2008)
64 . KRS-One - Return Of The Boom Bap [2 LP] (1993)
65 . Pussycat Dolls - PCD [LP] (2005)
66 . A Tribe Called Quest - The Love Movement [3 LP] (1998)
67 . Ace Hood - DJ Khaled Presents Ace Hood Gutta [2LP] (2008)
68 . Common - One Day It'll All Make Sense [2 LP] (1997)
69 . Alicia Keys - As I Am [2 LP] (2007)
70 . Radiohead - In Rainbows [LP] (2008)
71 . Madlib - Shades Of Blue: Madlib Invades Blue Note [2 LP] (2003)
72 . Akinyele - Put It In Your Mouth EP [LP] (1996)
73 . Common - Finding Forever [2 LP] (2007)
74 . Rihanna - Good Girl Gone Bad [2 LP] (2007)
75 . Portishead - Third [BOX Edition] [LTD ED incl. 2 LP / P-Shaped USB with full album / 12'' of Machine Gun / Nick Uff 'art cell'] (2008)
76 . AC/DC - '74 Jailbreak [LP] (180 Gram Vinyl) (1984)
77 . The-Dream - Love/Hate [2 LP] (2007)
78 . Rick Ross - Trilla [2 LP] (2008)
79 . Daft Punk - Discovery [2 LP] (2001)
80 . KRS-One - KRS-One [2 LP] (1995)
81 . John Coltrane - A Love Supreme [LP] (180 Gram Vinyl) (1995)
82 . Beatles - Abbey Road [LP] (1995)
83 . Coldplay - Viva La Vida [LP] (includes free CD) (2008)
84 . Beach Boys - Pet Sounds [LP] (180 Gram Vinyl) (LIMITED EDITION) (2008)
85 . Goldfrapp - Seventh Tree [LP] (2008)
86 . Jay-Z - The Blueprint [2 LP] (2001)
87 . Dr. Dre - 2001 Instrumental [2 LP] (1999)
88 . Cherish - The Truth [LP] (2008)
89 . Deep Purple - Machine Head [LP] (180 Gram Vinyl) (1997)
90 . Erykah Badu - Baduizm [LP] (1997)
91 . Murs - Murs For President [2 LP] [Blue & White Colored Vinyl] (2008)
92 . Coldplay - Prospekt's March [EP] (2008)
93 . Led Zeppelin - Mothership [4 LP] (180 Gram Vinyl Box Set) (2008)
94 . Royksopp - Melody A.M. [2 LP] (2002)
95 . Jimi Hendrix - Band Of Gypsys [LP] (180 Gram RED-Colored Vinyl) (LIMITED EDITION) (2008)
96 . Lady GaGa - The Fame [2LP] (2008)
97 . Timbaland - Timbaland Presents Shock Value [2 LP] (2007)
98 . M.I.A. - Arular (2005)
99 . Led Zeppelin - The Song Remains The Same [4 LP] (180 Gram Vinyl Box Set) (2008)
100 . Duke Ellington & John Coltrane - Duke Ellington & John Coltrane [LP] (180 Gram Vinyl) (1997)

Buy these Lp's and many others at: http://vinyluniverse.com/a=CollectingVinyl


Worst Album Covers by Pitchfork

Well, it's that time of year again. Best of and worst of lists from every music site and blog imaginable. I have chosen to feature the 20 worst album covers as compiled by Pitchfork.com. I have chosen this feature because I agree with most of their selections, I'd be interested to see what some of you have to say.

The 20 Worst Album Covers of 2008

Staff List by Dave Maher

This year, valiant and pioneering efforts were made in the field of horrendous album art by Oasis, the Fall, Fuck Buttons, Xiu Xiu, the Ruby Suns, Evangelicals, Hinder, Cloud Cult, Kings of Leon, Todd Rundgren, the B-52's, Enya, Rush, Deer Tick, the Script, and, as always, the Mars Volta, to mention only a few. Yet none of those covers made the cut of our 20 worst, and there are various reasons why. Some were too confounding to comprehend (could someone please write a graduate thesis on exactly what the fuck is going on in this Moby cover?). Others spoke for themselves (like the anatomically oriented offerings from Sebastien Tellier and Amon Tobin, both NSFW). Others were simply redundant (there's only so much crappy collage one list can take).

Perhaps, like all things truly subjective, the configuration of this list defies explanation. All I know for sure is that these are the album covers that called out to me from the depths of their wretchedness and said, "Please, tell our stories, if for no other reason than to prevent these atrocities from happening again." Never forget.

By the way, thanks to the friends and Pitchfork contributors whose ideas I "borrowed."

Here are four of their picks, to see the rest, please visit their site here:

Beck-Odelay / Death Cab for Cutie


Classic Rock Videos

Get your 3D glasses on and take a trip, man....

Album Cover Art

We are at #7 of Gigwise.com's sexiest and dirtiest album covers (Gigwise comments in quotes):

7. Kevin Rowland: 'My Beauty' - "More outright disturbing than sexy, 'My Beauty' sees Rowland wearing a dress while heavily made up and exposing his nipples. While many claimed it was merely a publicity stunt, the former Dexys man denied saying he was trying to display his 'soft, sexy, feminine side'. It sold about two copies upon its 1999 release. Literally."

This album cover made many of the other Gigwise lists (controversial, weird) and I think that someone at Gigwise just likes this inane image. I don't.