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Collector Interview: Steve S.

Posted on May 15 2018

Steve Spratt is the president of HPS Palo Alto, Inc, and got back into record collecting 5 years ago with the help of a good friend. With 8,000 LPs and counting, it looks like Steve is really just getting started!

Steve owns two sets of engraved alphabetical record dividers. Steve has also shared a video of his listening room - which is a treat to see the layout and all his equipment in action!

Size of your collection:
8,000 LPs, 1,000 78s and 1,500 45s

How do you organize your collection?
Alphabetical: I have two collections: Historical jazz and early rock, both organized by artist/group

Give us a breakdown of your collection:
Almost all mint vintage first pressings

Favorite or biggest music genre in your collection:
Near complete collection of Duke Ellington's work

Current top 3 albums:
Dave Brubeck-Time Out 1959
Don McClean-American Pie 1971
Sonny Rollins-Saxophone Colossus 1956

What album do you think every new vinyl collector should own?
Dire Straits, Dire Straits 1978

Best party album:
Sinatra, Songs for young lovers, 1954

Best album to listen to when you’ve had a rough week:
Charlie Parker with Strings, 1950

Last record you purchased:
Coltrane-Giant Steps

How long have you been collecting records? How did you get into it?
A close friend got me back into records about 5 years ago after I had given away all my youthful collection. At his urging I purchase a big jazz collection and when my friend sadly passed away unexpectedly his early rock collection was offered to me.

Where does your vinyl collection live in your home? How often do you listen to vinyl?
I had a listening room built special in my house. I listen whenever I can get time...not often enough

Do you share your collection with family?
I like to play disc jockey when friends come over. Many of the young kids have never seen a record player :)

What is more important to you? Sound quality or building your music collection?
Sound is nice but the collection is what's important. I have many wonderful early 78"s that just sound terrible but I love them because of the history.

Where do you hunt for vinyl?
They show up everywhere once people know you're into them. One of the best little vintage record stores I've seen is in Roseburg OR at a place called the Record Loft in the upstairs office of an auto hifi installer. Crazy good quality, selection and prices.

Anything extra you want to share about your collection, set up, turntable, your equipment, listening room, plans for the future, etc?
I play my vintage records on restored vintage equipment. An old Garrard 301 turntable, Macintosh tube amplifiers and Altec A5 Voice of the Theater speakers.


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