Interview with SONJA BEHM, Record Collector from Finland

Sonja Behm aka vinylwife

Sonja Behm aka vinylwife has been into vinyl collecting for a couple of years now; she “runs” a very followed Instagram account where she shares photos of her collection and albums.

In a new interview in our “Record Collectors” series, Sonja answers our questionnaire about her record collection, her setup, and more.

How did you go about starting your vinyl collection, and how long has it been since you are a record collector?

I have been passionate about music for all of my life. I started collecting cassettes and CDs as a kid but I found vinyl properly when I met my husband. As soon as we got our turntable functioning and I heard the sound of vinyl I was hooked. It’s just a pure bliss to enjoy music in analogue format. I have been a record collector for couple years now.

What was the first vinyl you bought or received?

First vinyl I ever got was a birthday gift from my husband. He gave me Stam1na’s Viimeinen Atlantis (released in 2010) which I was really happy about because that band meant so much to me then (still does even though I don’t listen to them that much nowadays.)

Sonja following the theme of Radiohead‘s artwork for In Rainbows (Photo: @vinylwife)

How large is your vinyl collection? 

I stopped counting when there were 1000 records a year ago. Now there’s much more. The problem is we need a bigger apartment soon for the ever growing record collection (laughing).

How do you go about choosing which record will have a place in your collection? Do you usually check new albums online, or do you grab a record just “out of the blue,” or it’s a mixed bag of these two?

I’m more interested in “oldies” and love to go to flea markets and record shops for crate-digging. Sometimes I buy records based on cover (prog rock mostly, they hardly ever disappoint.) But I do use Spotify for searching new music when I’m away from home and can’t spin records.

Where from do you get your records usually?

It depends, both online and from record shops. Luckily there are several really good stores near to my hometown. It’s important to support your local record shop. And then there are flea markets — I have made some of my best finds there!

Sonja crate digging at Nostalgipalatset in Stockholm (Photo: @vinylwife)

What is the most valuable record in your collection? And do you have sort of a wishlist with records that you want to get one day? 

Oh, my wish list is endless — you don’t want to know! (laughing). Most valuable record… hmm. Have to think this one for a while. There are some very limited pressings of metal albums (with coloured vinyl), like Celtic Frost’s Monotheist or Metallica’s Master Of Puppets. And also some test pressings. But I don’t really care about the value, I care about the feeling.

Tell me about your turntable setup (turntable, preamp, speakers,…).

Currently spinning with quite humble set up but I’m pleased with Audio Technica AT-LP120-USB after changing the cartridge to vintage Stanton 68ieee, warm superb sound. Speakers are System Audio Saxo 1 Active with Pro-Ject Phonobox. Also have couple other turntables and receivers, probably going to use Marantz with bigger floor speakers in (hopefully near) future.

@vinylwife with her copy of Camel‘s 1974 album Mirage

Do you have any advices for people that are about to start or just started collecting vinyls?

Enjoy the journey because there’s no way back. Remember to handle records with love because every record has a story. I don’t consider myself as an expert, I think every record enthusiast needs to find their own way to enjoy, whether it comes to set up or music genres. Just remember to keep your mind open — that way you’ll find the real gems. Happy spinning!

Once again many thanks for including me, you have a wonderful layout – keep up the great work!

Follow Sonja on Instagram here.

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