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Parental Pride: Music Hall mmf-2.2 le Turntable

June 28, 2014

music hall

 

My 23-year-old daughter Al bought her first turntable a week ago and I could not be prouder.  We have been talking about this for a while now she finally pulled the trigger.  We went to the Needle Doctor and had a few models in mind: a Pro-Ject RPM 1.3 (my main table) a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon (my living room table) and a a Rega RP1.  I was kind of hoping for the Rega as I was interested in having yet another table in the family.  Fortunately I have raised my daughter right and her idea of buying a turntable is not a Crosley toy from Urban Outfitters.

Patrick from the Needle Doctor helped us and added to our list of possibilities the Music Hall mmf-2.2 le.  We were intrigued.  It appeared to be a Pro-Ject that had been hot-rodded  (the Music Hall is manufactured in the same factory as Pro-Ject and shares some components).  The Ferrari red color did not hurt its cause either.

As we were weighing our options we got some influence from Leland Leard (VP of Sales and Marketing) and Roy Hall (founder) of Music Hall who happened to be visiting the Needle Doctor that day.   When Leland walked over to give us a pitch, Al had already dialed into the Music Hall and the only open question was if she was going to upgrade to an acrylic platter or not.  The fact that the guys from Music Hall were there was too heavy of karma to deny – Al was hooked and so was I.  She ended up going with the acrylic platter upgrade.

Once our decision was made the Music Hall guys invited us for a wee dram of Scotch (Roy Hall is a Scotsman after all).  And this was no mere Scotch, but Lagavulin (a 16-year-old single malt Islay).

Al cashed out and we headed over to her apartment to set things up.  I loaned her an old Yamaha bookshelf unit (her next purchase is an amp and speakers – but the Yamaha should buy some time).

A few weeks earlier Al had purchased a nice piece of furniture from Nadeu Furniture in Minneapolis.  The piece was the perfect size to store vinyl LPs and the top was a good platform for the new turntable.

I set up the stereo and plugged in my iPhone and played some Lake Street Dive via Spotify (Al had turned me on to the band earlier this year). Now it was time to set up the turntable.  Al unpacked it and I set it up.  Pretty simple set up – assuming you have some familiarity with turntables – unlock the motor, level the table, drop on the platter, balance the arm and put a little weight on (1.75).  Within a few minutes we were ready to play some wax.

I brought over some LPs from my collection and I presented Al with a table-warming-gift for the occasion: Ryan Adams Gold.  This album has a lot of sentiment for us as we played it on repeat in the car for months when it first came out in the fall of 2001 – she would have been 10 at the time.  The first concert she attended was about a year later and it was Ryan Adams – I remember it well.  We got dressed up and went to dinner in downtown Minneapolis at the Cafe di Napoli which used to be across the street from the State Theater where Adams was playing.  It was very special night.  

We zipped through several selections as I demonstrated the tricks of pulling an LP out of its sleeve without touching the face, cleaning a record and dropping the needle in the groove.  We were a little rushed for time so we moved on.

al and MH

A few days ago Al emailed me to say how much she was enjoying the turntable and how much Adam’s Gold impressed her on vinyl.  I find it  interesting how music reveals itself on vinyl.  Some of this is because it actually sounds better, but I think the biggest thing is “active listening.”  Vinyl forces you to slow down and smell the roses vs. audio wallpaper that is most music we “listen” to.

Welcome to crate digging kiddo!

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