So you want to ditch iTunes (or give it a back seat) and get yourself a good old fashioned record player. Excellent choice. And an increasingly popular one, given the number of music purists and fans of the unique sound records deliver, who have reverted back to vinyl. After all, there’s something special about holding your favorite album in your hand, rather than it being lost amid thousands of other tracks and artists on your phone.
Although it is not easy to start a vinyl Collection, it’s definitely not impossible. In fact, Vinyl records are seeing a kind of a Renaissance in the past few years. According to a study, more and more millennials are buying vinyl records. The recent surge in popularity means it’s easy to get set up with everything you need. Here are a few pointers to get you started.
But First – Why Should You Start A Vinyl Collection?
Firstly, the main reason anyone would want to collect vinyl records is because they are an audiophile. Music puritans prefer the sound of analog music over digital music. In fact, they actively look down upon digital music. Not without reason, though. Digital music is more neutralized and auto-tuned. It is more precise and detailed, giving it a very cold and clinical vibe. On the other hand, analog music is less detailed and more rounded, making it more pleasant to ears. It has a certain ‘warmth’ to it that music aficionados cherish. Here, take a look at some other reasons to start a vinyl collection.
- The Aesthetics: Some people really like the analog aesthetics of playing music on a turntable. They can set up a whole sonic temple around this activity to bring back the vintage vibes.
- Sound Quality: According to some, there isn’t much difference in the sound quality of analog and digital music. It is merely confirmation bias. However, it cannot be denied that collecting and listening to music on vinyl is more immersive than simply pressing a button on your smartphone
- More Intimate Music Experience: Again, the whole experience of taking out a record, dropping that needle on the turntable and playing it is much more immersive and intimate. Moreover, taking care of your records and preventing them from damage simply adds more value to the experience. This is something that is getting lost in the digital age.
- A Great Way to De-stress: Like I said earlier, listening to music on vinyl is an immersive experience. It can help you de-stress your life. You can turn it into a relaxing hobby. Undoubtedly, music helps us relax and takes away the anxieties of everyday life. You can use it to stay happy on a day to day basis.
- Good Return on Investment: Starting a vinyl collection gives you a great return on investment. Due to the rise in popularity of records, people are always looking for their favorite album. If you happen to have a rare album on vinyl, fellow record collectors would be willing to purchase it for a good amount. The money you put into your collection is not wasted. Since, vinyl records have a great resell value, you can always sell them off in a pinch.
5 Best Tips on Collecting Vinyl Records
Get started with your passion of keeping a vinyl collection today with some of the best tips on the internet!
1. Good Quality Turntable is a Must-Have for Vinyl Records
If you really want to capture that wonderful crackling sound, then you’ll need to invest in a turntable of high calibre. There are, of course, the vintage record players that have stood the test of time, but the popularity of vinyl now means new turntables are on the market, made by quality manufacturers.
You can find a good quality turntable in the price range of $75 to $100. However, if you want a more advanced one with upgraded stylus and cartridge, be prepared to spend up to $300-$500. Not to mention, that turntables are prone to wear and tear over time. That’s why, add some extra cost for repairs as well.
2. Be Smart about Purchasing Albums on Vinyl – Make it your Favorite!
How to make your new turntable a truly special purchase? Make the first album you buy your favorite. In fact, why not pick your top 10 and hunt for all of them? You can do this online or by finding a store nearby You can search for ‘Vinyl Collection for sale’ or ‘Vinyl Records store Near me’. Something is sure to turn up! Moreover, great caution is necessary when buying for vinyl records. Play the record before purchasing to look for damages. Second-hand or used records often have a lot of wear and tear.
Furthermore, beware of purchasing new pressings of an old record that might be your favorite. Chances are, the record label didn’t have the original analog master and made it from the latest CD. This way, you’ll be getting a low-quality sound for an expensive cost.
3. Neglecting the Storage for Your Record Collection is A Big Mistake!
To truly protect your much-cherished record collection, you don’t want to leave your records lying around. You’ll need to have dedicated shelves, or maybe you’ll want to purchase a cabinet or case to put them in. If taking them to a friend’s house, it’s wise to have something secure in which to transport them.
Always store your Vinyl Collection in a dry and cool place. Do not stack them one on top of the other. Doing so, can result in wrapping of the record. Simply, it means the record bends or melts out of shape. A wrapped record is unfixable. Therefore, great attention is required in storing them. Understandably, it is much more work than listening to music or watching your favorite movies based on books on a digital streaming service.
4. Interact with Like-minded Vinyl Enthusiasts and Build a Community
Part of the joy of becoming a vinyl collector is the chance to meet others with a similar passion. Even if they’re not into the same music as you, a love of vinyl might be enough to secure a lasting friendship. You might want to share records with them, and if you’re new to the hobby, they can give you pointers for where to get your hands on specific albums and any little gadgets that will enhance your listening experience.
5. Colored or Black Records? – Inspect Vinyl Records Before Purchasing
As said earlier, the aesthetics is a big part of having a vinyl collection. While most people are staunch believers of the carbon black records, others like the colored ones better. Both offer the same sound quality but cater to different aesthetics. Consider what you like best before buying!
Additionally, look for heavier records. The ones that mention a ‘180 grams’ on the packaging. Thicker vinyl records are better because they are more sturdy and durable. Records wear down over time as you play them repeatedly. That’s just a part of the experience. You cannot fix it. However, a thicker record will last for more time than a thinner one.
How to Take Care of Your Vinyl Collection to Ensure Best Sound Quality
Vinyl records and the equipment needed to listen to them are all fairly fragile. It’s important to look after them if you’re in this for the long haul. Make sure you clean records so they’re free from dust and grime. It’s best to do this by hand using a carbon fiber brush and a cloth. Make sure to clean them before and after playing. Gently rub the cleaning cloth in a circular motion as you follow the grooves on the record.
When storing vinyl records, keep them away from heat, as this will damage them. So, don’t leave them in your car or above the radiator or any other hot place. Heat can stretch the record, distorting the sound
As long as you look after your equipment it’ll become great fun to keep a vinyl collection. Consider tracking down your favorite albums, meeting fellow vinyl enthusiasts, and talking about music day in, day out. So, be prepared to part with a bit of your money, time, attention and care!