Long Live Vinyl – A Magazine

I rarely buy magazines nowadays as I never seem to have the time to read them when I do, apart from ‘Record Collector’ now and then, however, I was in town with a couple of hours to spare a few weekends ago and wandered into WH Smith with a view to getting something, although I hadn’t thought much about what, when I spied a new magazine, called ‘Long Live Vinyl’. It’s the size of a record sleeve, about 12″ x  12″, which is a nice idea and comes in at 114 pretty big pages, it is pricey though at £9.99.

I retired to a coffee shop with a Hazelnut Latte and set about reading. It had articles that I would probably expect to see, such as most valuable records in the world, classic album: Revolver, Essential Bowie and a nice piece on Roger Dean, who did the Yes albums and more. None of these came as much of a surprise but were interesting nonetheless and well illustrated with photographs. A guide to Brighton record shops was a good read and if I ever go there I’ll be re-reading before I set off and there was a nice 8 page piece featuring a collector of Price records. Also included were equipment reviews, headphones was one, turntables another, cleaning tips for records along with album releases, new and re-releases.

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It was a good read and I ended up in the coffee shop for about two hours, without reading everything, I still have some pages to go yet. I liked it, I didn’t like the price, but the magazine was really good and it’s great to see a magazine solely focused on vinyl so I wish them all the best with this venture.

Christmas Comes But Once A Year

I received a joint present from my Wife and Son this year, which they bought on Christmas Eve. This is a bonus for me as when they leave it stupidly late I tend to get something better than if they had time to think about it and to buy in advance. So I was asked to stay at home on Christmas Eve as they had to go out and get something, which I dutifully did, counteracting my disappointment and not having to trek amongst the thousands descending upon the shops by playing records and drinking coffee, it was tough but I managed it.

On Christmas morning I was delighted to receive a load of Record Vouchers, always good as I can then buy the records I want and not the records people think I want, which would usually be wrong. I also received a pair of headphones, which I had wanted as the ones I had been using were struggling, the slightest movement and one ear would cut out. These were not just any headphones though, they were exactly the Headphones I would have chosen has I had the opportunity. The Bose Quiet Comfort 35, what a set of headphones these are.

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These headphones are outstanding, well, compared to any I’ve owned before they are magical. They are bluetooth and automatically connect with my phone when I switch them on, a nice lady also tells me how much battery life I have left at this point as well. The battery lasts for up to 20 hours and so far, with a lot of listening, I’ve only charged them once, when it was down to 30%. They are super comfortable to wear as they cover the entire ear and are pretty light weight. The noise cancelling aspect is surprising, to me at least, as you can switch them on and immediately hear the difference as the outside world becomes distant, which is rather disconcerting at first but I quickly acclimatised to it. The noise cancellation works by continuously measuring, comparing and reacting to outside noise, then cancels it with the opposite signal.When you press play you are engulfed in the music with little or no outside noise distractions, depending on where you are, they can’t remove everything but it does make a huge difference to the listening experience.

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One thing I was glad to see was that they will still work even if the battery has no charge, a lead is provided for this, and the noise cancellation won’t work, but at least you can still use them.

The sound quality is wonderful and I’m hearing things in the music that I’m listening to that I didn’t know was there until now. A top Chef has a palette that can taste things that I can’t and there are producers and suchlike that can hear things that I can’t, but with these headphones I feel I’m getting close. What has also been a surprise is the range, I left my phone in the kitchen and went upstairs at the other side of the house and there was no noticeable difference in the reception. The other massive bonus is that I am no longer catching the lead, like that of my old headphones, on just about everything, door handles chairs, anything and everything seemed to be trying to yank them out of my ears.

There are volume controls on the right ear piece which also double as pause and skip and, though I haven’t tried it yet, you can take calls while wearing these as they have a built in microphone.

I am well aware that I’m gushing praise somewhat but theses things have really enhanced my listening experience and I love them! Yes, they are expensive, that’s for sure, but as I was lucky enough to not have to pay for them (not directly anyway) I can’t worry about that. I don’t know exactly how much this pair were but I would expect them to be somewhere around £290.

Here is a review, I haven’t listened to it but I will, and these are the grey pair (I prefer the black):