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Should You Get A Record Player?

If you’re considering diving into the world of vinyl records, keep reading.

While every method of enjoying music has its own set of pros and cons, we at The Sound of Vinyl believe that there is no better way to enjoy the work of your favorite artists than by listening to records. A great turntable can offer you unparalleled sound quality, an engrossing listening experience, and the chance to hear an album the way the artist intended. In this post, we will be discussing some of the best reasons to get a record player of your own, as well as a few potential drawbacks to consider.

Why Vinyl?

Even as new forms of recorded music have taken the world by storm in the last several decades, the turntable has continued to retain its devoted following. Invented over a century ago, the record player revolutionized the music industry, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. While some people favor the convenience of digitally streamed music, there’s nothing like the immersive experience of listening to one of your favorite albums on vinyl.

Vinyl Records Sound Incredible.

Vinyl is a truly unique format, and its longevity is a testament to just how good records can sound. The turntable has been refined and adapted to meet the demands of a modern audiophile who is always looking for the best possible listening experience. Thanks to constant innovation in turntable design, as well as improvements to the build quality of vinyl records themselves, this tried-and-true format has never sounded better.

Vinyl Sound vs. MP3s: What’s the Difference?

  • The primary distinction between the sound that you get from your turntable and digital music has to do with compression. 

  • Compression is an audio effect that brings the loudest frequencies in a sound down and the quietest ones up. While compression has a wide array of uses for audio engineers during the process of recording, mixing, and mastering, it can also have a negative effect on sound quality in some cases. 

  • When a recording is converted into a digital audio format (mp3, wav, etc.), it inherently undergoes some compression. The result is that some frequencies in the recording may be rendered inaudible to the listener.

  • Digital audio that is over-compressed is often referred to as “lossy” due to the negative effect of compression on the dynamic range of a recording.

With vinyl records, the “lossiness” that you may experience with digital recordings is not a problem. Instead, you get a warm, analog, dynamic sound that does your favorite albums justice.

Vinyl Makes You Pay Attention to Music

While digital streaming platforms are set up to make music as instantly accessible and digestible as possible, vinyl practically forces you to slow down and appreciate each track on an album. While you can technically “skip” songs on a vinyl record, it’s an inherently difficult task – it’s also not what the format was designed for. Instead, vinyl is intended to offer a listener the best possible means of enjoying an album from start to finish, no skips.

In an age when virtually all art and media is available in a bite-sized form, listening to music on vinyl encourages you to take your time and soak in the beauty of an album. If you love music but tend to feel the uncontrollable urge to skip a song the second you feel yourself losing interest, vinyl is an excellent remedy. Listening to records can boost your appreciation for music, all the while helping you to extend your attention span.

Records are Tangible and Collectible

Another major selling point for vinyl as a format is simple – you can hold a record in your hands. While digital music can travel with you anywhere you go, it’s also intangible, which can leave you feeling disconnected as you listen. In contrast, a record is something you can look at and feel, which can dramatically enhance your listening experience.

In addition, records are often collectors’ items that can sometimes be worth hundreds of dollars after a few decades pass. Vintage vinyl is a world of its own, with many record collectors exclusively lining their shelves with rare gems from past eras.

Vinyl Can Improve and Refine Your Music Taste

If you’re constantly struggling to figure out what to listen to, vinyl can help in a number of ways. The format can help you gain a clearer picture of an artist’s discography, get you acquainted with more songs, and integrate you with a thriving community of people who are always looking for the next great album to listen to.

One of the best ways to take advantage of the vinyl record collecting community is to shop for used records from time to time. By visiting local pre-owned record stores, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with other collectors in your area. Many audiophiles and vinyl enthusiasts love to talk shop, so you’ll be sure to get plenty of recommendations for excellent albums to try out.

Vinyl Helps You Value Music

While streaming promises a convenient and portable listening experience, vinyl gives you something better – a deep and abiding appreciation for every record you hear. Because you have to own (or borrow) an album to hear it on vinyl, listening to records can give you a sense of ownership of your favorite LPs.  

Are There Any Cons to Owning a Record Player?

While there are plenty of perks of listening to music on vinyl, there are also a few things to consider before you make the jump. Below are a few potential drawbacks of listening to vinyl.

  • Vinyl records cost more than streaming. Streaming services typically charge a monthly fee for access to millions of songs. With vinyl, on the other hand, your only available music is the records you have in your collection. While this may discourage some people from buying a turntable and making the switch to vinyl, it’s just as much a pro of the format as it is a potential con. Since records are an investment, you’re more likely to listen to and appreciate them as much as possible to make the most of each album you own.

  • Not all turntables are created equal. While vinyl can offer a superior listening experience, your turntable setup can make or break the sound quality that you get out of your records. A cheap, entry-level turntable will always produce inferior sound, so it is definitely worthwhile to invest in a record player that is well-made and pair it with a great set of speakers. Like records themselves, your audio setup can be a big investment. However, it’s worth the price of admission to get unparalleled sound quality and an immersive listening experience.

  • Records need maintenance. Records are fragile, and you’ll need to carefully maintain your growing collection to keep each of your albums sounding good. While it won’t take much time or effort to keep your LPs in good shape, it’s still worth considering the need for routine upkeep.
  • Conclusion

    Listening to music on vinyl gives you the chance to appreciate an album as it was meant to be heard. With a high-quality turntable and a great set of speakers, you’re setting yourself up to get the most out of vinyl. For helpful tips about how to choose a turntable, as well as information about the other gear you’ll need for vinyl listening, make sure to check out our blog.


    4 Reasons Why Vinyl Is Better Than MP3 | Vox


    Does vinyl really sound better? An engineer explains | Oregon Live

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