Aug 02

Dust off that Old Turntable and Play a Vinyl Record Album

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Take some time to rummage through your basement one day.   If you are over thirty years old, you may come across an old turntable, various stereo components (i.e. a tape deck, amplifier, cd player, equalizer, headphones), and a vinyl record album or two.   You will remember all the great music you used to listen to.  Don’t just nod nostalgically and walk away – take this stuff (including your vinyl record albums) upstairs and set it up (you know you want to!).  You will not be disappointed …

My Vintage Stereo Set-Up

Here is why you should consider vinyl records:

1) They are fun to play

I found a virtual treasure trove of vinyl record albums in my basement: Singable Songs for the Very Young  (Raffi), Brotherhood (New Order), The Queen is Dead (the Smiths), The Hurting (Tears for Fears), Smurfing Sing Song (The Smurfs), Synchronicity (The Police), A Forest (The Cure),  War (U2), Thriller (Michael Jackson), etc. etc.  There is something very special about taking a vinyl record out of its sleeve, reading the liner notes, placing the record on the turntable, and placing the needle on the record.  I can’t really describe it, but the music seems so much more interactive to me when compared to using an IPod.   The crackle of the needle finding the groove is a sound that I like.

2) Better Sound

I think that vinyl record albums sound better than MP3s.  It has been explained to me technically something like this (I am paraphrasing here): analog sound (like that found on a vinyl record albun) includes each and every single sound and sound variance of the music (it looks like an undulating wave), digital sound chops up the song into a lot of little ‘bits’ (samples).  No number of ‘bits’ can match the true a full sound of an analog recording.  I had forgotten how good vinyl records actually sound.  I have listened almost exclusively to digital music for about twenty years now.  Cue up a digital recording and a vinyl record album to start at the same time; then switch the input as the song is playing.  You should notice a world of difference (of course, there are some variables like if the record is warped or scratched, the quality of your equipment and your stylus, etc.).  If you have a decent records and decent equipment, however, you are in for a treat.

3) Price (?)

I put a question mark after price because of the countless P2P music downloads that occur every day.   If you download your music illegally, vinyl record albums simply can not compete on price.  When it comes to buying your music through ITunes, however, the situation changes.  For example, I bought Combat Rock by The Clash today in vinyl for $6.00 in excellent condition.  Combat Rock sells for $9.99 on ITunes.  I also bought Off the Wall by Michael Jackson for $9.00 in vinyl (again, in excellent condition).  Again, it sells for $9.99 at ITunes.

Now I know that a digital recording does not get scratched or warped.  I know that you can carry it around on a MP3 player the size of a Chicklet.  I know that you can switch between songs (or even an album) at the touch of a button.  I do own an IPod and I do like convenience MP3s.  At home, however, I mostly play vinyl record albums.  I just prefer it.  I think you might too if you give it a try.

I should also add that you can buy many new releases on vinyl as well.  Like a current album and want to enjoy it on vinyl?  No problem, just go buy it on vinyl.  I should add, however, that new vinyl record albums are NOT cheap (expect to pay anywhere from around $20.00 – $30.00 in Toronto).  Most of my collection is vintage vinyl record albums.

In summary, dusting off your old stereo equipment and playing a vinyl record album is a great way to enjoy music in a way that MP3s simply can’t deliver.  Vinyl record albums are fun to use (as long as you don’t play with them in the sun for too long), they offer better sound, and they are cheaper than MP3s in many cases.  You will also be putting that old stereo equipment back to good use.  Gotta go flip my record …

Here is a link to my entertainment category for more entertainment ideas.

What do you think about vinyl record albums?

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Author: Jason Milburn Google

Frugal dad – focusing my money and energy towards happiness and the things that matter most since around 1985.

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