If you’re keen about music or a true collector of blue music, chances are you already knew about the vinyl resurgence that started nearly decade ago. Or if you’ve missed the stats, the sales of vinyl records has reached a record breaking spot last year. Over 9 million vinyl copies were sold only in the United States.
If you’re too much into music, you’d probably have more than a few vinyl albums and decent sound system by now. You may be all thankful to have tasted (sorry listened) the flavor of vinyl and how it produces crystal clear and natural acoustic sound. That’s far superior than ordinary CD’s and the downloaded MP3’s available on the internet.
Is it love for the records or what, it has divided the people into many groups. One of those groups lives with vinyl records and even dream about having the biggest collection of all times. Such people don’t like to hear a word about the medium and they’re quite sarcastic about other formats too.
Then there are casual listeners with limited collection. They’re open minded and love music more than the medium. This group does not take vinyl record rituals so religiously.
Anyhow, the vinyl resurgence has been well acclaimed by new generation who have a serious attitude towards turntables, vinyl records and collection. The only reason that holds true, considering we have multiple ways to listen to music that are far easier than buying turntables and records, as the youth seems more keen about the sound quality these day.
The generation that was used to sophisticated ways of listening to music, such as live streaming, MP3’s and downloadable music, has shown a dramatic switch to vinyl albums – with attention grabbing art work on covers, the grooves that hold first copies of original music and the efforts of artists who created the album.
Regardless of the increasing popularity of vinyl records, the market is still a lot smaller than that of downloadable music and CDs.
The Resurgence of Vinyl
As everyone knows technology keeps on changing with time, just like CDs replaced vinyl records and then they were replaced by MP3s. Quite surprisingly vinyl kept on living under some roofs owned by true music lovers. It survived the entire phase of CD and MP3 domination during which it was completely vanished from the mainstream.
Reasons for resurgence
Anyhow it had to return one day, and lucky for us! It happened just a few years back. The most probable causes of vinyl resurgence have been:
- Large-scale music piracy
- The nature of downloaded files (they tend to lose their quality with time)
With these basic reasons, people have shared many other reasons why they prefer vinyl records over CDs and MP3s, such as:
- When you buy vinyl record, people take you for a person with rich taste of music. You take loads of CDs but no one really cares whether they have a limited edition of vintage music or a bunch of computer software.
- No one can compare the feeling of holding a music record and it’s certainly not possible with MP3s.
- Vinyl records offer unique smell as well. It brings excitement and enthusiasm to the collector.
Why Read This Post
This post is meant for those music buffs who want to start their own vinyl collection. It consists of the following:
- How to buy the first record player
- How to buy vinyl records
- How to preserve your collection
But before jumping to the these tips, you need to keep in mind that vinyl records are not as cheap as CDs, and the sealed ones are even more expensive as they’re quite rare. Records come in different prices, ranging between $10 and $40 per record. If you want good deals and discounts, you need to make friends with best shops in town. You should also look for friends who have the same love for vinyl as you. Once you get going with it, there’s no limit!
Table of Contents
How to Purchase Your First Turntable
What would you do after having finalized that you’ll be the next best vinyl record collector? The answer is simple, find a high quality turntable. You heard it right. Buying a perfect turntable is more important than buying a vinyl record. Obviously, it’s more expensive, more valuable and it runs your records. Next thing that comes after turntable is, the sound system, because you want to listen to high quality music, don’t you?
We know that this stuff is going to take some money out of your pocket, so be vigilant. You need to find something that fits these requirements:
- It should match your budget
- It should offer the best value for money
The more you pay, the better material, sound and precision you’ll get. Anyways, don’t be too extravagant if you’re just a starter. Stay within your budget and find the stuff that can be upgraded later (normally all turntables can be upgraded).
You can conduct your own research and talk to the people who have already tried a few models. You can listen to friends and take their advices. Internet research can also help you find the best model for your budget. But do not purchase anything just by its looks or manufacturer’s specs.
If you have no one to guide, consider these things:
Price and Features
The basic purpose of turntable is to put the stylus onto the record and play music. You are not going to get more than that. But the listening experience, even with the basic setup, is more pleasurable compared with ordinary music format. So, it doesn’t matter if you’re getting the basic setup, you need a start. And when your knowledge about turntable improve, you’ll be making much better decisions regarding latest hardware to be associated.
Price range has been the talking point of any product, so let’s see how what you can get under following price ranges:
Below or Equal to $100 Range
You can choose from a large variety of budget turntables to play your records, but at the same time, keep in mind the following things:
- You have to sacrifice some amount of sound quality.
- Some turntables within the prices range offer limited space for upgrades.
So, if you intend to upgrade your model later, always buy a new turntable. You can find all-in-one turntables at this price range.
Within $300 – $500
If you’re prepared to spend over $300, you are surely investing your money for far better sound quality. There’s a definite change in the mechanism, the material and durability.
Turntables within this particular price range are customizable and they are compatible with different sound producing sources. So, a model over $300 would give you a great start.
Over $500 Range
Go ahead, if you have the money. But that’s when you stepped out of the newbie world. And when you step into the world of pro’s, only sky is the limit. Turntables above $500 are obviously high-end, they have exotic design and material not to mention about unmatched sound quality.
As you’re going for high-end models, do your research. It is recommended that you should consult experts regarding the best models and make. You also have option to divide the price and purchase turntable and speakers separately.
- High-profile turntables are meant for acoustic and loud sound, they have a built-in pre-amp that allows you to connect your turntable to high performance speakers or stereo system.
- One of the best features any turntable could offer you, is its ability to connect to the computer without a receiver or extra cables.
- They are also equipped with built-in software to convert vinyl albums into MP3 files.
Some sellers offer vintage mechanisms giving you bragging rights of a rare vintage model, but it is not recommended since you’re objective was to create a collection not to have something that’s full of hassle. Vintage turntables also require high maintenance and they’re not as reliable as the new models.
But, if you are in love of vintage turntables and want to showcase a rare fetch rather than playing records, there are some vintage stores to fulfill your desires.
How to Buy the First Record
As mentioned earlier, the cost of used records vary in terms of material quality, amount of deterioration and sound quality. Then you have sealed records that are more expensive.
Begin with pre-owned records, because they’re cheaper and far easier to obtain compared to new records. Here are few places to get vinyl records:
- Record Stores
Search the nearest record store in town for new and used vinyl. If you visit the store physically, you’ll be able to learn quickly and more. You can choose records according to your taste.
- Online stores
There are few good e-Commerce stores where you can get the best deals, such as Amazon.com. You can find a wide range of records on these sites and they’re cheaper than what you find on specialized sites. But online shopping means, you may have to pay for shipping. Another disadvantage of online shopping is, you cannot physically inspect the product, rather rely on customer reviews.
You need to inspect closely and look for scratches and damages. Keep in mind that no vinyl record has the same quality after it has been used a couple of times. However, there won’t be too much issues with sound if the vinyl doesn’t have serious scratches on it.
You need to consider the condition of record’s jacket. If it has worn out or the areas around the vinyl within the jacket is not in good condition, this means that mold has developed inside because of incorrect storage. The storage place may have ben damp or dark. If the vinyl is in good condition regardless of the damaged jacket, it will cost less compared to the one with good jacket.
Price of Vinyl Records
As you’re new to vinyl, pricing may put you into problems. Here, you can follow this rule in determining the price:
- Know the demand of the record
- How scarce the record is
- What kind of pressing it has
- What’s its overall condition
You can always browse and bargain prices of your favorite albums. Keep in mind that the record may be expensive it is vintage, limited edition and has new press.
- Price also depends upon the weight of the record. Most new records are available in 180 gram weight, then there are lighter versions as well. 180 gram records are more durable and wear less with time.
- Pressing year also determines the price. If the vinyl belongs to 60’s, has accurate dates, has thicker jacket and well-maintained sleeves, it will be more expensive than present-day records. You can always start with recent pressings that are less costly.
How to Take Care of Your Vinyl Collection
Maintenance of vinyl collection and turntable is not too difficult. All you need is be consistent with cleaning. Here are some quick tips to keep your collection from damages.
- Your records are not meant to be stacked up one on another. Keep them in upright position with a little breathing space between two successive records. The record inside should also have a breathing space so that it may not stick to the internal surface of the jacket.
- Keep your records away from the sunlight, UV rays and heat sources. They are the enemies of your record collection.
- Keep your records dry. A wet record or the wet sleeve is the perfect place for mold. If, by chance the record gets wet, clean it with dry cloth and don’t store it until it dries completely.
- The vinyl needs to be clean before and after it has been played. Use carbon fiber brush, lint-free cloth and dirt removing solution that is only meant for vinyl. Avoid using any other chemical or solvent.
- The stylus needs to be replaced from time to time. a dull stylus can easily damage the grooves of the record, so be careful about it.
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