Products We Love

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by TimmahTao, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. TimmahTao

    TimmahTao Well-Known Member

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    We have a lot of threads in which we talk about product recommendations and ask for advice. Even more threads where we talk about good experiences with products and companies that we have dealt with. Why not put them all in one place where we can keep things organized and reference back to if we forget the name of something.

    Post in here any products that improved your listening or storage experience and I'll index them in the second post. Post some details! Why is the product so good!

    Maybe we should LIKE products that we also have and like, so we can figure out crowd favorites?

    Blatantly stealing this idea from @Corycm and @Benjamin Dashley because they said they were gonna do it and then they forgot! BOOM.

     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
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  2. Benjamin Dashley

    Benjamin Dashley #NotMyModerator

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  3. TimmahTao

    TimmahTao Well-Known Member

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    I sleeve my records according to how much they're worth, or how much I like them. ALL of my stuff gets washed, a new inner sleeve, and a new poly outer sleeve, but the dollar bin finds get cheaper inner sleeves. Amazon links to all the stuff I've used and liked (shilled?) below.

    BEWARE OF PRICE GOUGERS.
    This stuff goes in and out of stock regularly and sometimes the only seller is a third party with the stuff marked up to twice the price.

    Sleeve City Diskeeper 2.0 - These are essentially a plain polyethylene bag made for records. They get a lot less crackly static than some paper sleeves I used, and they are clear (frosted) so that I can see if I missed any crud or hairs that stuck to the outside of the record. They are, however, extremely floppy. When you slip them into the outer sleeve of older records that are a bit smaller than today's norm, the corners tend to bunch, and I really hate that. I've looked at the Diskeeper 1.5, which I think are the same material with a round bottom to eliminate bunched corners, BUT I HAVE NOT TRIED THEM.

    Sleeve City 3.0 mil Budget Outer Record Sleeves - These are made of a much thicker and lower density polyethylene compared to the inner sleeves. Like the inner sleeves, they are slightly cloudy, but I use them on my cheaper records, which tend to have more worn covers, so I don't worry about it much. The sleeves themselves are big enough to fit a single gatefold, but feels tight with a triple gatefold. Good luck getting anything bigger in there. I like the texture of the plastic on these; its soft and pliable and stiff enough to get stuff in and out easily. I don't like that they sometimes have rough corners.

    $5-25 Record Level:
    Sleeve City Diskeeper Audiophile or Mobile Fidelity Original Master Sleeves - These are essentially the same product; get whichever is in stock at Amazon and cheaper. They're an upgrade over the cheaper 2 layer Diskeeper 2.0's. These have three layers of thin, smooth plastic. Two of them form a pocket for the LP and the last holds in a layer or two of white rice paper. This makes the sleeve much stiffer and MUCH easier to slip in and out of the cover. It also adds a bit of padding; if the record has a gatefold sleeve, I always place the sleeve so the paper side is facing out. Does another layer between the LP and the outside record make a difference? Probably not, but I'm clearly neurotic, so it makes ME feel better. I really like these sleeves and have used a couple hundred of them. Worth every penny, if you like your records. One annoyance? The paper side doesn't have a cutout to let you see the center art of the LP. I guess they have to save money where they can.

    Sleeve City Ultimate Outer 2.5 mil Record Sleeves - Yes, these are thinner than the budget sleeves, but that's because they are made of a different kind of plastic. Unlike the budget sleeves, which are cloudy, these are crystal clear. It's a really surprising difference. I hadn't really considered the budget sleeves hard to see through until I got these and it was a night and day difference. If you enjoy the cover art of your albums, get these. Instead of polyethylene, these are made out of mixed polypropylene and polyester. WTF does that mean? Well, they're almost completely clear, nice and stiff, have smooth edges, and are super shiny... BUT... they have one major issue. Unlike the cheaper sleeves, which are very pliable and almost stretchy, these feel almost crinkly, like cellophane. If you are having trouble getting the LP in, you will crinkle or bend the corner and they will stay crinkly and slightly creased forever. I don't like that, but am willing to live with it for the better clarity.

    $25+ Fancy and Favorites Level:
    Sleeve City Diskeeper Ultimate Audiophile Sleeves - Fancier versions of the regular audiophile sleeves. These have four layers of plastic and have rice paper on BOTH sides. Even better, both sides of rice paper have cutouts so that you can see the label art. These are much thicker than the cheaper ones; in some cases so thick that they have trouble fitting in tighter album covers. They offer a lot more padding, so I use these for my favorite albums and anything rare or valuable.

    Sleeve City Ultimate Outer 2.5 mil Record Sleeves - Same as above.

    Special Cases:
    Box sets get the same inner sleeves as above, but don't fit in regular outer sleeves. Try these:
    Sleeve City Ultimate Outer Box Set Sleeves - Same material as the ultimate outer record sleeves I use for my nicer records. Super clear plastic, with a tendency to crinkle on the corners. These bags are also pretty massive, which means smaller box sets are left swimming. Make them easier to get in and out, but looks a bit sloppy, I think. It's better than trying to jam the box into a sleeve to small and ripping it though. Keep in mind that the plastic has NO give or stretch. If it doesn't fit easily, it won't fit.

    7" records:
    Paper Inner Sleeves - Yes, I'm a hypocrite. I normally hate paper sleeves. I hate how they get grubby. I hate how they leave white fuzz all over the records. I hate how staticky they are. I still use them for 7" inch singles. Most of my 7's came nekked, with no sleeve at all. By using paper sleeves, I can make quick notes on the sleeve after I clean and play test them so that I can categorize them by Artist/Genre/Condition/Etc quickly, without having to take them in and out of the sleeve again. They do have a hole in the center for me to read the label, but I am profoundly lazy. I have tried the 7" poly diskeeper sleeves from Sleeve City. If you MUST have plastic sleeves, they are fine, but I stopped using them. Like the cheap, paperless sleeves that I use for my dollar records, I find these to be too floppy. I know it happens to everyone sometimes, but I find it annoying. I keep my 7's in boxes, so having a stiff sleeve is what allows me to flip through them quickly. Plus, I hate crunched corners.
     
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  4. mistakes and regrets

    mistakes and regrets Active Member

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    I would personally suggest this cork mat over the one you have listed. I have owned both and the material quality is night and day. It's not that much more expensive either.

    I also second the use of Sleeve City Diskeeper 2.0 & Ultimate Outer 2.5ml sleeves. I literally just placed another order with them today.
     
  5. TimmahTao

    TimmahTao Well-Known Member

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    Added it to the index post!
     
  6. Tyr

    Tyr Well-Known Member

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    I'm a big fan of the Schiit Mani preamp. It works with both MM and MC carts and has a really solid soundstage.

    I also love the Sennheiser HD 598's for a good pair of headphones that won't break the bank. Really clean and clear sound with very detailed highs/mids. They are just "good" for bassheads but since I'm not a huge bass freak it doesn't bother me much. Good all around performer.
     
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  7. Canuckle

    Canuckle Well-Known Member

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    Want to pass on my unbridled promotion for this platter; Pro-Ject Acryl. Anyone who has a Debut carbon out there and is suffering from the staticky slipmat and steel platter that comes out of the box, this solves it all.

    It is pricey, but totally worth it IMO. It makes changing speeds easier (if you don't have a speed box), reduces the static and platter resonance. Highly recommended as an upgrade for your Debut Carbon. (Note that it already comes if you grabbed the Esprit model of the Debut)
     
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  8. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Well-Known Member

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  9. Kris

    Kris Well-Known Member

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    I've had my Onkyo TX-8050 Stereo Receiver for about 6 months and I'm very happy with it. I bought it from Amazon as a warehouse deal for about $220. I bought it because I wanted a dead easy setup and I already had 8ohm speakers and wanted to re-use them. I knew I only needed stereo output (2 speakers + subwoofer). It has network capabilities, like Spotify (not Spotify Connect though), Pandora, VTuner, etc.
     
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  10. Bradley

    Bradley Well-Known Member

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    The SOPHIE butt plug is great!
     
  11. Padfoot24

    Padfoot24 Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  12. BinkyBarns

    BinkyBarns New Member

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    Nice list of products.

    The way I look at it, if it is good enough for the Library of Congress, and I can afford to follow what they do - I'll follow those recommendations. Of the sleeves in the list the only sleeves they use are Mobile Fidelity Original Master Sleeve.

    There is a nice section on care, handling, and storage of audio visual materials.

    http://www.loc.gov/preservation/care/record.html

    Packaging and Storage Containers

    • Grooved Discs: When possible, replace record sleeves with a high density polyethylene sleeve (e.g., DiscWasher V.R.P., Mobile Fidelity Original Master Sleeve, Nagaoka No. 102 Anti-Static Record Sleeve); the Nagaoka sleeves can fit inside paper sleeves when an original paper sleeve needs to be retained
     
  13. Corycm

    Corycm Well-Known Member

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    Ordered one of those cork mats for myself.

    Static around here is hellacious, considering buying another ZeroStat, unless someone likes something better.
     
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  14. MaxPGH

    MaxPGH Well-Known Member

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    Did you get one with the dots or just the standard?
     
  15. Corycm

    Corycm Well-Known Member

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    I got the dots. I haven't gone back and listened to any albums I know inside out, and this is a new set up in a new room, but there's noticibly less static and definitely no downgrade from the sound I had with a felt/rubber mat.
     
  16. teee

    teee Well-Known Member

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    Where did you get the cork mat? I need one. The static during the winter is ridiculous.
     
  17. Corycm

    Corycm Well-Known Member

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    The link up near the top - http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cork-Turnta...683376?hash=item4ae1220670:g:DE0AAOxy4dNS0DHL

    $20, not gonna solve all your static problems, but loads better than any sort of decorative slipmat or felt. I've seen a few anti-static impregnated cork mats, but never bit on them. Maybe next winter. Midwest winters are too damn dry to do nothing.
     
  18. teee

    teee Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I knew there must have been a link - I was just being lazy. :rolleyes:
     
  19. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Well-Known Member

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    vinylphile69 and GritNGlitter like this.

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