Friday, January 7, 2011

Craigslist Tale

This was the turntable I bought in the late 90s when I returned to playing vinyl. It's a Music Hall turntable made in the Czech Republic, maybe it was still Czechoslovakia then. It was considered an entry level audiophile deck. It sold for $299 when I bought it. I don't remember if I paid full price. The stylus had been replaced once. The anti-skate counterweight was lost when I took the turntable to work for a Halloween skit involving me playing a DJ. It plays fine without the counterweight. Still, the 'table was unused over five years, except for the Halloween gig.

Somehow I had ended up with four turntables in the house. I decided to sell two of them. I placed an ad on Craigslist for the Music Hall 'table. The asking price was $90, which I knew was an attractive price, even for a 12 year old table with a missing counterweight (which can be replaced for $15 from Music Hall). Try selling a 12 year old CD player for any amount of money. They usually end up at Goodwill or the dump. Digital technology is based on planned obsolescence. Analog provides a much longer life span. Some of the most sought after turntables today are vintage makes from the 1960s.

Within a few hours of posting the ad I got three offers. I called the first guy back, Robert, who said he could show up that night to pick up the 'table. We agreed to meet the following day. Robert turned out to be interesting guy. He could identify my other turntables and the rest of my audio gear. When I asked what kind of music he liked. He answered that he mainly listened to 70s German rock and listed some bands he enjoyed, about half of which I recognized. He told me I should pick up anything on the Brain label. I thought that was good advice, based on the few albums I had on the Brain label. This was the music he listened to growing up in Bosnia. I asked him whether he was there during the civil war. He had been. His face grew dark and he told me how horrible it was. He changed the subject to myself and asked where I was from. When I told him I was from Michigan, he said, "Wow, that's a big change." I had to laugh out loud. He laughed too when he realized how absurd his statement was considering his own history.

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