"Why should I start a vinyl collection?"
We hear this question regularly. What are the pros and cons of collecting vinyl records? Is it worth the investment? Does it really sound that much better than digital music? Here's what we have to say about it.
In a world where streaming is the dominant form of listening to music, free downloads are not hard to come by, and CDs have become nearly laughable to some, vinyl enthusiasts can still be found all over the world. These are what we've found to be the top reasons why this form of recorded music is still respected.
Analog vs. Digital Audio
To the untrained ear, one might not realize that there is a difference in sound between analog (record players) and digital (CD's, MP3's, radio) systems. But, technically speaking, there is a major difference - and here's why: analog signals are continuous while digital signals are not. The groove of vinyl records are like drawings of the continuous signals, which will be decoded by the turntable. Digital signals are broken down into smaller pieces of information, but to our ears the sound we hear from our speakers remains continuous. Digital audio takes samples of the original audio at a specified rate, while analog audio takes the original sound waves and replicates them exactly. Technology still fails to create digital audio that perfectly replicates the original audio as analog audio is able to do. This means that analog audio produces a much more pure, raw, and original sound than digital audio.
For some of us, a major draw to building a vinyl collection is purely the warm, inviting aesthetics that a turntable setup effortlessly offers. Visually, a record player and collection of vinyl records is a neat addition to any room. Auditorily, record players warm a room with their unique sound, as mentioned before. A fellow vinyl-enthusiast says it just right,
"They're the best way to make purchasing music feel like something. Vinyl allows you to have a sentimentality about albums - there's a tactile quality, a ritual to pulling a record out of a sleeve and putting it on and focusing your attention on the act of listening for a side at a time."
Just like community naturally establishes itself around other hobbies or interests such as golfing or painting, vinyl collectors tend to find each other. The beautiful thing about this community is that it's not exclusive. You don't have to have a certain size collection or a certain type of record player to make the cut. My friends and I began our collections in college. We held listening parties in our crowded dorm rooms to take a break from late night studying. There are all shapes and sizes of vinyl lovers. Some, the broke college student kind, others the young professionals, the established middle aged, or the retired. Aside from the fact that community forms around mutual interests, a unique reason that there's a community around this form of music listening is purely because it's not the norm. Collecting and investing in vinyl music is something special to connect and bond over.
Worth the Investment?
Vinyl sales have been on the rise, not just in the past two years, but for over 15 years. (So, no vinyl is not "just a trend") Vinyl retains most of its value when taken proper care of, making it all the more worth the investment. If one day you decide that your collection is not of value to you, someone else will likely find value in it.
If you got excited while reading the above paragraphs, vinyl will without a doubt be worth your resources. There are still plenty of other reasons to choose vinyl if none of these struck you today. We hope that you make the move if you have decided that you want to join our music-loving community. Check out our Store for recommended products, and don't forget to Subscribe for our monthly vinyl packages!