Record Rooms 10 - Nigel Lopez

Record Rooms 10 - Nigel Lopez

This edition of Record Rooms takes us to the cosy space of Nigel Lopez. Nigel co-runs one of our favourite local labels, Evening Chants, while also playing a key role as a promoter for Symmetry, bringing in live acts such as Hojean and Bruno Major. 

Every listening space is as unique as the person who created it, and Nigel's is no exception. It may look very 'function-over-form' on first glance, but take a closer look and you'll realize each piece of kit is pretty high quality. Opting for professional grade studio monitors for your listening space is one of the best ways to achieve high quality audio on a budget, and if you prioritize your actual record collection more than expensive Hi-Fi equipment, this may be an option to consider for yourself. Read on for the full scoop.

Hey Nigel! It's been a minute. How have you been? 

I’m good! Recently started a new job at the beginning of the year, and things have been going pretty great. I’m also still at Symmetry, and we’ve been booking lots of exciting acts for the rest of the year. We’ve got something up our sleeves at Evening Chants as well so 2023 is looking pretty good so far.

What's been on your rotation these days? 

To be honest, I haven’t been listening to much vinyl, but I am still buying new records here and there.  Some of my latest purchases includes the beautiful wooden box set from Blume, featuring Julius Eastman’s pivotal The N* Series that also comes with a 12-page booklet which I’m looking forward to digging into and learning more about his history as an artist. I also finally purchased one of my favourite records from 2021 on vinyl, Faye Webster’s “I Know I’m Funny haha”. Outside of vinyl, I’ve been digging the new Yaeji, Fever Ray, Yves Tumor and Angel Olsen albums.

Yaeji's new record is available right here!

Your setup is definitely functional, but pretty high quality. Can you tell us a bit about how you put it all together?

Not going to lie, I am a totally noob at this, so I always seek advice from Daniel Peters and Zhang Bo, who I 100% trust in all things audio (and music).

Nigel's listnening space.

Your speakers are really nice, and it's great to see them on stands. Can you tell us why you decided to go with active studio monitors rather than hi-fi speakers? 

It’s a funny (and very lucky) story. I was looking for new hi-fi speakers for my room, and posted for some recommendations on my Facebook. A day later, my cousin reached out to me saying he had some speakers in his store room that he hasn’t used for years, and does not intend to either, so I can just take it from him. Turns out they were Genelecs 8040B. Felt like I won the lottery. I am incredibly lucky and grateful to have these in my small ass room. Never would have been able to think about affording it. I love my speakers. There’s something wrong with the subs on my left monitor but I’ll get it fixed eventually.

Genelec 8030B studio monitors on stands.

That's a pretty unique Technics turntable you've got too, can you tell us a bit about that? 

I found it on Carousell, and turns out the guy repairs turntables and other audio equipment. His studio is in some warehouse in Bukit Batok (where I live), so it was perfect. He was very patient with all my questions. He basically refurbished the turntable himself.  I had a bit of an issue where I had to leave the turntable with him for a bit to fix it, and he offered to deliver it to my house once it was fixed. What I love most about my turntable is that it is an automatic player where the tone arm goes back to its position after finishing a record – which means I can go to sleep with a record on without worrying about my stylus getting ruined overnight. His name is @solarix on Carousell! Go hit him up.

Technics SL-D3

Interesting pairing with the Audio Technica stylus & cart, we think it's a pretty underrated stylus! What made you go for it? 

Not going to lie, it came with the  refurbished turntable. My knowledge about stylus’ is close to none, but I should really learn more about what’s good. Glad to know that it’s a good stylus.

Audio Technica AT95H Stylus and Cartridge

What do you use for your phono stage? 

I use the Schitt Mani as recommended by Daniel Peters. It does its job and has a nice clean look for an incredible price. I also have a Schitt Sys which allows me to control the volume on my monitor as well as switch between inputs (computer / turntable). I’ve been wanting to get a mixer so I can listen to my records AND listen to the notifications on my computer, but I haven’t found a nice mixer that is a nice size for my table.

Schitt Mani phono stage

Do you have a DAC to listen to digital sources? 


How do you find your setup as compared to a more typical hi-fi focused one? 

I feel like my speakers do need a bit more drive, and I could use an amplifier/mixer. Not sure if this answers your question, but I’m not entirely sure.

Any advice for a younger Nigel just starting out in his music journey? 

Don’t rush into upgrading your equipment! The right time will come to upgrade when you are ready financially.


Follow Nigel: 
Follow Evening Chants:
Follow Symmetry Entertainment: