Setting Up My First Record Player: Inspiration for the Now Playing Record Shelf

Setting Up My First Record Player: Inspiration for the Now Playing Record Shelf

My journey to creating the record player setup I now enjoy today, and eventually what inspired me to make the Now Playing Record Shelf, started when I was 16. Like most 16 year old's, I had no money. It was chronic, and debilitating, because as far back as I could remember I had very little of it. But there was some hope for me: a summer job.

I found myself working for this realtor to clean out foreclosed properties. As is often the case with homes such as these, they were full of belongings, completely wrecked, and abandoned for some time. It was tough work, and it was during this job that I would find some interesting items in the contents I had to remove. All of it was going to waste, and being the opportunistic teenager I was, I would keep a few choice items. It just so happened that one day I found an old record player.

I had seen cool record player setups before, and it seemed to me like an interesting hobby and foray into music. Good record players were expensive, and to have a proper setup required speakers, and an amplifier/stereo on top of that. I realized that this record player was not too bad. A Technics SL-B210, they were first made in the 80’s. It had a counterweight, as well as some queuing and stopping buttons . With some headaches, a new belt, some fine tuning, and a clean up, I was able to get it working again. But that still left some items on the list: speakers and a stereo. At a garage sale, I haggled $25 for a pair of old Pioneer speakers: two 3-way cabinets with 12in subs. They were from the 90’s and had a bit of wear and tear, but everything worked. Next I was able to get a stereo from a family member who didn’t need it anymore. With all of those parts I finally put together my first record player setup. My vinyl collection continued to grow over the years, and I remember thinking how cool it would be to have a light up sign and shelf to display record covers.

Being someone who usually diy’s their own solutions, I came up with an idea that I really didn’t see anywhere else. It came to be the Now Playing Neon sign, the first product I ever offered on Jackslightshop. It was really, in essence, a product I wanted for myself. What I didn’t expect was that a lot of other people wanted something like this too. What started out as just an idea for my own setup turned into a fairly successful product. A record shelf and nice sign combo made sense to me, but I felt that it could be a lot to commit to for most people. So I figured: what if I could combine the two and make a sleeker option? The Now Playing Record Shelf. But people kept asking me to make a Now Playing record stand, a table top version of the record shelf. After getting tired of making custom ones on request, I just published a Now Playing record stand that anybody can buy.

These three make for my happy family of Now Playing products today, that I hope can meet all the needs of anyone looking for this type of product for their space. I personally use the Now Playing record shelf for myself, and I still have that old record player setup to this day. I have since replaced the stereo with one capable of bluetooth audio. I expect I will replace the speakers with something a little bit higher quality for living room purposes. Then put the old speakers in the shop or garage space, where playing loud is the only real requirement. I love this setup all the same and I’m glad I made it, since it would eventually lead to the creation of this shop.

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