Everything old is new again for Karl Motz, who has organized an event that will bring do-it-yourself vintage audio enthusiasts, fans of vinyl, and music geeks of all types to Cultus Lake next week.
Old records along with high-end and refurbished music gear will be brought out of out of basements, rec rooms and man-caves all over for the Fraser Valley Vintage Audio Fair on Sept. 29.
"They are scattered and not talking to one another," Motz said of vintage audio
enthusiasts. "What I'm trying to do is bring more exposure."
The Chilliwack resident builds custom plinths out of mahogany or cherry for old turntables. For Motz, it is a hobby, essentially, but he sells refurbished Denon or Thorens turntables along and other gear through his website.
If you've got $800, for example, you can get a "1963 Empire 208 turntable with a SME 3009S2 tonearm, completely restored and powder coated." Or, if you want to drop $3,000, he'll sell you a "Sony TTS-3000 broadcast turntable with two SME tonearms in a massive, lead-filled custom mahogany plinth."
This is mid-market stuff that Motz said simply hasn't existed for decades. The high-end gear has never gone anywhere for the serious audiophile with a lot of cash. Not only can you spend $10,000 on a turntable, you can drop five digits on a tone arm or even just a needle.
"That is out of reach for most people," he said. "But looking at the vintage market, the old Pioneer turntable that was $300 or $400 "back then," those things are still working well. What I do is build custom plinths. .. I redo the bases in hardwood so you can get a custom hardwood base for your Denon and it looks like a piece of furniture."
For Motz, vinyl is partly about his fondness for the '70s and reliving that, but it's also about reconnecting with music. Records take up a lot of space, there are the liner notes and cover art-listening to vinyl is an intentional activity, an actual experience.
"We have lost touch with the physical aspect of music," he said.
"Digital music generally is in the background. With vinyl you have to be much more engaged and is a much more engaging experience."
While the resurgence in vinyl is nothing new-many popular bands have released albums on records for years-Motz is testing the local interest in vintage audio. Vancouver, he says, is one of the great high-end markets in North America for vinyl. But while Motz lives in Chilliwack, he isn't entirely sure what kind of interest there might in the Eastern Fraser Valley.
He'll find out next week.
The Fraser Valley Vintage Audio Fair is Sept. 29 at Cultus Lake Community Hall, 4220 Columbia Valley Hwy. Doors open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. For more information check out www.classicsound.ca.
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