Vinyl, records, LP's, 45's, 12″s, or whatever you want to call them is one of the purest forms of listening to your music. Despite an explosion in digital and streaming music — including Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Soundcloud, or Tidal — consumers are spending more money on vinyl records, and here is the most surprising them, most of the buyers are actually millennials. LP's have been enjoying a comeback in recent years, and the vinyl record is the only format of music available that has recorded positive sales growth from 2009 to 2017. This is impressive, especially because the overall number of albums sold in all formats has been decreasing since at least 2007. (Chart below from statista.com; the number is in millions of sales per year.)
Why The Hell Is Vinyl So Popular?
Vinyl's popular as a collectible format or to put on display, due to its retro appeal and large cover art. CD's are pretty much dead at this point because there's no use for it — they're too small and plasticky to be nice collectibles or displays, and online downloads are both more convenient and available in much higher quality. Vinyl, if kept in proper condition, holds it's value better than any other musical platform. Have you ever seen someone who collects CDs? No, you see people who just have CD's in piles in their rooms, people COLLECT vinyl.
A user on a Reddit post summed up why I personally got back into records, “As a 28 yr old that started collecting in 2011 right at the start of the revival, I started because I want to feel something again. Music had become a condiment. Put it on driving. Put it on running. Put it on autopilot. It was always a secondary activity to something else for me. By taking back control and putting music first, giving my full attention to a record, the meaning, and fidelity that had always been there started coming alive in new ways.Music also became so abundant and accessible it was meaningless. When you have access to practically every song ever written via Spotify, it turns into an endless sea of infinite homogeneous choices. With a record, I can enjoy and study the complex nature of a single album for a few days to a week. In summary, records make people feel emotions they enjoy, so they keep buying more.”
The 2 reasons above are exactly why I personally collect vinyl. Yes, especially in electronic music, not all albums that come out are released on vinyl anymore, also the ones that are usually are in limited print, but that helps to both points below. If your a die-hard Above & Beyond fan, do you wanna just have Common Ground on your Spotify, or do you want a limited edition 3 LP box set with colored vinyl, that maybe 500 or so other people in the world have? It's THAT itch, to get the record no one else, to get that album you love on vinyl, to be a part of the music, not just hit play and go on auto-pilot.
How To Start Your Vinyl Collection
1st off, you are going to need a turntable, receiver, & some speakers. I'm going to tell you right now, If you are serious about getting into vinyl, I would suggest to find a nice pair of floor speakers and older receiver off of eBay, craigslist, or Facebook marketplace. Those are also great ways to find older vinyl, admittedly you won't find much EDM, but you will find some gems!
Now for the turntable. I'm super biased on this and only have 1 recommendation for you. GET THE FLUANCE RT-81 TURNTABLE YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT. Currently listed at $249.99 on Amazon, this is the most user-friendly entry-level turntable, that takes 2 minutes to set up, and is ready for YEARS of enjoyment. Everywhere you look, this turntable is receiving rave reviews, whether it be from industry professionals, professional tech reviewers, or the Reddit community, this turntable is universally loved by all vinyl heads.
As I'm not a professional, I have linked some videos below highlighting the quality and craftsmanship of the turntable itself. Even though Fluance is new to the turntable game, they are a respected company with audiophiles as they produce some of the best quality speakers on the market. If you have any issues or questions with it you can always reach me on twitter as well as this is my current turntable and don't see myself changing anytime in the future.
- Tech Radar Review (if you want the specs and important geek stats and review)- http://www.techradar.com/reviews/fluance-rt81-turntable
Last but not least, where to buy vinyl. There are SOOO many places to get vinyl but I'm going to give you my Top 5 places.
- Artist Websites. Yes, it's usually the most expensive, but it will usually be the only place a lot of electronic albums will be released and also the only place to get limited edition vinyl.
- Discogs.com. Discogs is a MASSIVE website that catalogs every single vinyl ever released. It has a marketplace to buy and sell so it will basically have any vinyl you want but at a price.
- reddit.com/vinyldeals. A subreddit on Reddit dedicated to finding vinyl deals around 20% off or more.
- dealsonvinyl.com. A user made a website that covers Amazon for the best prices on vinyl.
- ebay.com. Self-explanatory. If it was released, it will be on eBay.
I hope this somewhat helps anyone who was thinking about or just plain interested in vinyl. Once you get hooked, I'm telling you there is NOOOOO STOPPING!
Photos: Stock Photos