4.1 - Old Vs. New Vinyl
When you start building your record collection, one of the first choices you are faced with is the dichotomy between used and new records. Since many newly released albums are available on vinyl, you can often find records by your favorite active artists at a record store just a few shelves away from classics from decades past.
There is a strong case to be made for starting out your collection with both old and new records. Rare copies of older albums are often prized by collectors, but there is still a place in every collection for newer releases.
Many diehard record collectors diligently seek after older pressings of classic albums, admiring them for their rarity, collectibility, and unique sound. Older pressings of records, especially albums from the earlier half of the 20th century, are often mixed in mono, meaning they will give you the same signal out of both your left and right speakers. For audiophiles, a mono mix of a classic album is desirable because it gives the listener the original intended sound as opposed to a stereo remaster.
However, one of the major drawbacks of buying vintage records is the potential for years of wear and tear to reduce the quality of your listening experience. When you buy a new record, you have a guarantee that it is in pristine condition and will sound great. Buying a vintage record comes with a level of inherent risk – you never know exactly what you are going to get.
If you choose to add used records to your collection, make sure you inspect them and assess their condition first. If you see deep scratches on the surface of a record, its playability may be in question, meaning you might want to pass on it as anything more than a display item.