Thomas Faurby is a record collector based out of Aarhus in Denmark, who started collecting vinyl in the early 1990s and over the course of time he amassed quite a large vinyl collection which currently counts about 1,000 LP’s. He also runs an Instagram profile under the pseudonym mastervinyl, where he shares photos of records, gear, and more records.
In an interview for Vinyl Sphere, Thomas tells us about his record collection, gear that he uses for listening to records, and also gives an advice on what to focus to if you plan on starting your own vinyl collection.
How did you go about starting your vinyl collection, and how long has it been since you are a record collector?
I was born in 1981 so when I started buying music in the early 90s vinyl was still available in most stores. It was cheaper than CDs so my first music collection mainly consisted of records. Like most other people I switched to CDs and I remember selling my records in a yard sale in front of my parent’s house. A kind man came up to me and told me that I would probably regret it later if I sold them but I didn’t listen. He was right though… I started building my current collection somewhere around 2009. In the beginning I mostly tried to stock up on some of the affordable classics from the ’70s and ’80s. Stuff like Joni Mitchell, Genesis, Marillion and Rickie Lee Jones was among my first buys. Things have developed quite a lot since then and my buying patterns have changed as well but that’s how it all started.
What was the first vinyl you bought or received?
I honestly don’t remember but I was (and still am) a fanatic Beatles fan so it was probably a ’90s pressing of Abbey Road.
How large is your vinyl collection?
I think it’s somewhere around 1000 at the moment.
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?
That has actually changed a lot since the beginning. Early on I would often pick up a record just because it looked exciting and though that sometimes paid off most of the time that album would later be sold again. Today I almost exclusively buy new or recent records or sometimes classics that I felt was missing in the collection.
Where from do you get your records usually?
When it’s possible I pick them up at a local store. In Aarhus, where I live, there are a lot of great record shops. I do buy a lot online as well. And because of my Instagram account I’m lucky enough to get a substantial amount of albums for free. Both from labels and independent musicians. That’s really exciting.
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?
I think the most valuable record is my numbered copy of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. I’m really bad at making lists and organizing things in general, so I don’t have an official list but I do keep an ever changing sort of informal list somewhere in my head though.
Tell me about your turntable setup (turntable, preamp, speakers,…).
I’m a huge fan of vintage hi-fi so my setup consists of a lovely Luxman PD-121 turntable from 1975 with a SME tonearm and a Denon dl103r pick up. The amp is also Luxman – a L510 from the early ’80s. It sounds absolutely wonderful. The speakers are Danish. A pair of System Audio 3070 which was top of the line sometime in the ’90s. When choosing a record player I always advice people to look for quality second hand gear. Some of the stuff from the ’70s and ’80s still beats a lot of newer gear and has that vintage vibe that you don’t get when buying new.
Do you have any advices for people that are about to start or just started collecting vinyls?
Well first of all get a decent stereo setup. It doesn’t have to cost a million. But a poor sounding system won’t make you happy and you’ll probably lose interest quite fast. If you want a collection with integrity try to get a lot of classics to begin with. If you go to markets and yard sales you can make some great bargains. Just stay away from compilations and stick to original albums unless you have some kind of emotional connection to a particular compilation of course. Go for the best albums by the artists first. If you want a Joni Mitchell record choose Blue or another album from 1970-1976 era. Quality first! I’ve sold so many records because they weren’t good enough after all. If you need to find out which albums to get with an artist you can try rateyourmusic.com or allmusic.com. Quite quickly you can build a collection that feels substantial. When the basic collection has been secured I would start buying new albums as well. This is a lot more expensive but today everything is released on vinyl and there is so much great music to be discovered out there. I would follow some nice accounts on Instagram, playlists on Spotify etc. There is only one problem with that approach: It might become very expensive! 😉
Follow Thomas on Instagram.