By Don Lindich
Week 48, 2016
Q. My son is in college and some of his professors allow recording of their lectures. He doesn’t like recording with his smartphone and we are looking for an inexpensive solution. Any recommendations?
T.E., Ridgeland, SC
A. Anyone interested in recording a professor, or anyone else for that matter, should ask them for permission first. Besides common courtesy, it could be a copyright or criminal matter to record them without permission.
The Olympus VN-541PC is an excellent small audio recorder that sells for $39.99. It has noise cancellation to remove extraneous noise, one-touch recording and can record up to 2,080 hours of audio on internal memory. Recordings can reviewed using the built-in speaker or headphones, so he can listen anywhere. Recordings can also be transferred to a computer for archiving.
I am sure one recorder is capable of recording all of his lectures for the semester, but if it gets to be awkward keeping everything organized you may want to consider giving him a separate recorder for each class. The recorders can serve as “electronic notebooks” and he can erase and reuse them at the end of the year for the next set of classes. I would start with one recorder and see how it works out. You can always add more later if he wants to keep recordings separated by subject.
Pro-ject The Classic Turntable: When I was in college I used to visit a high-end audio gallery near my campus and marvel at the quality, style and sound of the Linn Sondek LP12 turntable. Introduced in 1972 and continuously refined since, the Sondek set the standard for sound quality and proved the prime importance of the turntable in the sound reproduction chain. It is historically significant and in 2012 Stereophile Magazine placed it #1 on their list of the 100 most important components they ever reviewed.
A new, fully equipped Sondek LP12 runs north of $20,000 these days and is fussy to set up and maintain. (Think Ferrari, complete with special tools and technicians required.) The stripped down Majik LP12 version sells for $4,250 with a very modest arm and cartridge. Though I still love the Sondek LP12, I think it is simply too expensive for what it offers and never bought one. The Majik LP12 is compelling but probably outperformed by Avid and VPI turntables selling in its price range, though they don’t have the simple, classic, beautiful look of a Linn.
This week’s holiday product highlight is Pro-ject Audio’s The Classic, which brings this timeless style to a high performance turntable selling for only $1,099 with a good starter cartridge. Simply put, it looks like a Sondek clone with its beautiful surround of real wood and thick metal platter. The Sondek plays in a different league in terms of performance and prestige, but The Classic will still bring high-end vinyl record sound to your listening room with definite pride of ownership to go with it. It’s the most compelling turntable I’ve seen introduced in years, especially in the $1,000 price range.
I have seen firsthand how compelling it is. Recently I helped a friend build a system and had several turntable suggestions prepared, priced from $399 to $1,099. I showed her The Classic first and she stopped me right there. “No need to show me the others… I want it,” she said. The Classic simply has that, “gotta have it” appeal and others seem to agree as it has outstripped sales projections and is backordered everywhere. I think it is worth the wait!