Home Grown: The collector on a never-ending quest to upgrade his set-up

Home Grown: The collector on a never-ending quest to upgrade his set-up



In Features

Because every record collection has a story.

Home Grown is our series profiling you lot and your excellent record collections. Taking our cue from the brilliant submissions to the #VFRecordCollections thread on Instagram, we want to share a little of your hard-earned love for vinyl with the world.

Each week, we’ll be profiling a different collector from around the world and finding out what makes them tick. Want in? Send us a pic and a few words about your collection to social@thevinylfactory.com

Name: Paul Grandfield

Location: Dallas, Texas via Bristol, UK

# of records (approx.): Over 4,000

How long have you been collecting for?

Thirty-five years. I started when I was 14. When I was 16, I worked Saturdays at Rival Records in Bristol. Even though I transitioned to CDs, as most of us did, I continued buying vinyl from record shows, car boot sales, and garage sales. I got back into collecting vinyl seriously about 10 years ago.

What part of your set-up are you most proud of?

Over the past decade I have gone through the seemingly never-ending upgrade process (read: affliction)! I love my current set up though, especially its mix of old and new.

My monoblocks are by Merrill Audio (Thor), pre-amp is a Vac Signature MKiia with phono stage, Dynaudio Confidence Speakers and a Micro Seiki RX5000 with flywheel (handmade clone), with a Falcon PSU and Roadrunner Tach build into the controller.

The biggest ‘a-ha’ moment was getting dedicated mono and stereo cartridges. A mono record via a mono cartridge can be breathtaking.

What record(s) are you most proud of?

I am proud of them all, especially some of the artist collections I have built up over the years, like Bowie, John Mayall, Jimmy Smith, and Primal Scream. A few stand out discs are: Bobby Vee’s Bobby Vee Meets the Crickets, X-Ray Spex’s Germ Free Adolescents , Explainer’s calypso 12” ‘Lorraine’, anything by Betty Davis, plus Stiff, Chiswick, No Future, and Stax label releases. Current favourites are Idles’ Brutalism and Vant’s Dumb Blood.

What does your record collection mean to you?

It’s a cliché, but it’s the soundtrack to my life. The tactile aspect – the liner notes, sleeves, etc – is also an essential part of my experience playing records. Because you have to get up and change a record every 20 minutes or so, it forces you to actually be engaged and thus listen. It becomes ‘foreground’ as opposed to ‘background’ music.

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