The First Step to Recovery is Admitting You Have a Vinyl Problem

It started innocently enough about a decade ago.

“I’ll do it once or twice,” I thought. “It’s no big deal.”

At first, it wasn’t.

Then a few times a year, turned into a few more times per year, and as the years piled on, so did the obsession. Now I’m here at the beginning of yet another year, and my once or twice habit, has turned into a financial drain that has added a lot of undue stress to my life.

Backrooms like these are where chasing this dragon leads. They are often scary and filled with freaks.

Backrooms like these are where chasing this dragon leads. They are often scary and filled with freaks.

Nearly every dollar I make, I struggle over the decision of using it to pay a bill, put away for a rainy day, or feed the beast. The beast is winning more and more often.

I was on the prowl all night last night looking for a fix, and finally went to bed depressed because I didn’t have the cash to score what I wanted, what I needed.

I feel like I’m losing control, which means my friends and family probably realized I lost control a long time ago. The addict is always the last to know.

My stereo equipment is inadequate, and my vinyl collection isn’t what i want it to be. It’s sad but true. It’s consumed me.

With addicts, things seem shiny at first. Then the shine wears off.

With addicts, things seem shiny at first. Then the shine wears off.

Last night I was searching for tube amplifiers, and phono preamps with tubes, and speakers capable of making such a purchase worthwhile. No matter where I turned, or what dark Internet rabbit hole I went down, I never had enough cash to be satisfied.

It didn’t used to be this way.

I bought a few records on a whim one day. I didn’t even have my own turntable. I had to use one belonging to someone else. It wasn’t long before I was on the hunt for my own.

That was when the cheap stuff was just fine. If it plugged into my receiver, and made noise, it did its job.

Then the records began to pile up. Not too many at first. Just a few here and there. It didn’t become a weekly habit for several years, and it wasn’t until earlier this year that I became a daily searcher.

Three years ago, I decided my turntable wasn’t good enough.

Then I got my hands on a classic Realistic LAB-395 Direct Drive turntable with its original Shure RXT-4 MM Cartridge, that only needed a stylus replacement.

Good enough, right? It plays. What more do you want?

Good enough, right? It plays. What more do you want?

Then my receiver wasn’t good enough.

It still isn’t, but until I do something with my speakers, there’s no point in chasing that dragon.

Since the speakers and tubes are still out of reach, I keep eyeballing an upgrade on the turntable, and maybe even a better phono amp that doesn’t have tubes.

The cycle is endless now.

If I’m not looking for high-priced audio equipment, I’m looking for over-priced accessories like dust arms, record cleaners, and stabilizer clamps.

In case you're asking, "What the fuck is a stabilizer clamp?" It's this.

In case you’re asking, “What the fuck is a stabilizer clamp?” It’s this.

I’m even considering learning how to solder and assemble electronics so I can get shit to put together myself.

I’m sick. I need help.

If it wasn’t for the steady flow of records I bring into the house, I’d be a miserable wreck with a bad case of the shakes.

There aren’t any Betty Ford clinics for this. I’ve just got to deal with it on my own.

I just hope I can come to grips with my problem, before I start pawning my grandmother’s jewelry and prostituting myself for .50 cents per ride downtown.

Turdles

This could get ugly, if I don’t turn my life around.

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