Do You Still Buy Vinyl?

This weekend we observed Record Store Day around the world, complete with a slew of special releases on everybody's favourite antiquated audio medium. Hobbyists everywhere rushed out to stand in line in front of local shops to pick up a couple of the good old-fashioned discs. How about you?

Unlike cassettes — or increasingly, CDs — you can still get vinyls of just about anything (worth getting), and with packed-in digital downloads, you might as well if you've got a decent record player. So do you still like to go out and get a real record now and then? What's got you so attached to them? Is the the sound, the experience, the desire to be hipstery? Let's geek out.


Comments

    I just bought some the other day with a record player for my dad, brand new :D

    I bought the soundtrack to each of the de Blob games on vinyl when the opportunity arose. Two of the best pieces of gaming swag in my collection :P Though I'm kind of too scared to actually play them...

      don't be, records are made to be listened to. And Soundtrack records never appreciate in value. Just keep them clean, dry and stacked so they don't bend.

        I dunno, I think these ones might or will at least retain it. They weren't ever actually for sale, 500 copies of each were pressed and given to people who worked on the games as a "thank you" and I got lucky enough to score them from eBay. So at the very least, they're special to me and very hard to replace if something does go wrong.

    I started collecting about two years ago. I always liked to collect CD's, but as soon as I bought them I would immediately rip them to my computer and never play them again. With digital downloads becoming the norm, I stopped buying CD's altogether. It wasn't CD's that I missed, but creating a collection. It was then I decided to give records a try and I never want to go back. Not only are they fun to collect, they're fun to play as well (unlike CD's).
    About a month ago I setup a mid 1970's Hitachi sound system in my room, which was complete with a vinyl player, cassette deck and AM/FM/LW radio. I also mounted some 25w speakers on my wall, and it's all awesome.

      Woah. I totally didn't see this before I posted - What a coincidence! :D

      Fun to play? Are you a nutjob? They are a complete PITA. You have to keep them in anti-static sleeves, inside zip-loc bags. You have to handle them incredibly carefully, you have to take great care cleaning each side before you play it. You have to be totally anal about your stylus or risk destroying your records when you play them and still, after all that, they wear out after a few years.

      When vinyl was the only option, I bought records, recorded them to TDK SA cassette, then zip-locked them back up and NEVER played them again. When CDs came out I couldn't wait to replace my collection with something infinitely more durable.

      20-odd years later I still have a few holes but around 95% of my LPs have been released on CD. The two big holes are Ruts DC's Animal Now! (released digitally a couple ago years ago) and both of Spizz's original albums - Spizzenergi's Do a Runner and The Spizzles' Spikey Dream Flowers. There are others but these are three albums I really want on CD for my collection. Sadly, I doubt that half my 7" collection has ever been released digitally but I have digitised some of it myself.

      Nothing on God's Green Earth would ever make me buy another LP or vinyl single.

        Not sure if something was different 20 years ago...But i keep all my records in the sleeves they come in. Don't really handle them with all that much care...About all i do to maintain them is spray them with my disk cleaner when i buy them and never really do anything else. Needle has been going strong for 4 years now with no problems and has never damaged my records.

        That said i do balance my record player once every 6 months and invested in a good tipl which is hardly a pain in the ass...So yea...

          Well, perhaps that's the difference between how important music is to you and how important it is to me. Whatever, don't expect to be able to play any of them more than a few dozen times before you start to get crackles and sound degradation, especially with a 4 year old needle. I used to replace mine at least twice a year.

            Once again i think it might be different environments. I am quite into sound quality. Its become something of a hobby / relaxation tool for me. I have invested a good amount of money and time into setting up my different set ups of speakers / amps etc etc to get a good sound for different types of music.

            As far as my vinyl goes, i have old copies, second hand copies i buy online or given to me from family and new re prints or releases. And they do get a thrashing.
            That said yes second hand vinyl did need a bit of a better clean out when i first got them. But a bit of care has gone a long way.

            My Master copy of Earl Klugh's finger paintings that i got from my HiFi store as a present i tend to have on all the time as background music when i have guests over...And it is still going strong...So perhaps different times different environments or different cleaning tools?

              I don't do background music. When I put music on it is to listen to.

        I feel sorry for you - it's great that you used to care that much about your vinyl, but you didn't need to, and it sounds like it impacted negatively on your experience

          Yeah, I'm not really careful with my records at all and have never once used a "proper" cleaner on them or kept them in anti-static or zip lock bags. I did break a needle once when I was 17 or 18 but eights years on and it's never happened again. I do remember my dad would copy his records straight to tape and never play them again though, maybe it's just what people did back then?

            Of course it's what we did when we cared about sound quality. My parents never cleaned their records (I never played mine on their stereo) and they used to wear them out very regularly. They had no interest at all in sound quality but still I think they went through two or three copies of the Paint Your Wagon soundtrack.

    Just got a very pretty one the other day from a band I supported on Kickstarter- much nicer than the plain shiny black things I bought as a kid. I would have preferred a CD though, even though it came with a couple of digital download vouchers. Vinyl is a silly relic really and maintains its tenuous position due to mythology, nostalgia, and fashion, not practicality.
    Why not bring back reel to reel tapes, cameras with film cartridges, film cameras etc? All great analogue tech that's got more to offer than vinyl records, but it's simply not as fashionable.

      That is precisely why vinyl is becoming popular again. Music being practical makes it boring! MP3's are great, and they serve a very good purpose, but they distance you from the music being made. Vinyl demands attention because it is much more fiddly and it is much more sizable; it draws you in and gets you involved in your listening experience. The sound quality aspect is debatable, certainly there is a warmer tone that people appreciate, but not everyone is sold on that.

      I collect vinyl now because it compliments my mp3 collection. almost everything i have on vinyl i have in mp3. It's just a nice way to collect music.

      Regarding the other analogue items you mentioned, film cameras are certainly seeing a resurgence in some circles for much the same reason as vinyl. It offers a more immersive experience.

        Music is about music, vinyl is about fashion. Vinyl is a distraction from the purity of the music, not an enhancement. After all, you don't see anyone putting two minutes of silence into the middle of their digital CD/album to simulate the time it takes to turn the record over.

        I doubt that more than 1% of my music collection would be available on vinyl these days and I sold 90% of my old collection, so I can only imagine you have a tiny mp3 collection or a lot of second hand vinyl.

        Last edited 24/04/13 11:55 am

          I haven't seen people adding gaps, but a very well known director left in all the sounds he heard on his records (including the needle drop) in his most recent movie soundtrack for Django Unchained. This link http://24.media.tumblr.com/4f90681796c890872dccbfaf9b48d5ba/tumblr_mg47zjAnc51r2bjo9o1_500.png tells you why. Trivial as you may find it (I find it a bit trivial myself), it has been done.

          Secondly, my collection is almost entirely new and first hand, usually from http://www.insound.com/ but there are other websites that sell new and a number of record stores in Sydney that also sell new. My second hand records are from my grandparents, so they have a more sentimental value to them. My mp3 collection is indeed much larger, and finding some of the records to match the mp3's will take quite a bit of searching for the right one to come up. I'm not aiming for parity between the two collections, but definitely aiming for all my favourites on vinyl. It's a great way to support the artists, and the value for money you get with your purchases is pretty good I find. Lots come with posters and large booklets and extra artwork. As I said before, I think it's a great way to immerse yourself in the music. You can use 4 sense's instead of the 1.5 you would on an mp3 collection (.5 for those that bother with album art, like me. but it's in my pocket the whole time anyway isn't it.).

            I know there are plenty of places to buy new vinyl but the range is incredibly limited, which was my point. There are something like 25million songs on X-Box Music, how many of those do you reckon anyone could get on new, unplayed vinyl?

            Like you, I much prefer a more immersive experience, which is why I still buy most of my music on CD. In fact, over the past 6 or 7 years I have probably bough abou t20% of my CD collection again, thanks to the plethora of remastered albums that have been released. I'm less interested in the extra quality, for me it is about the previously unreleased B sides/demos and/or extensive sleeve nots that often accompany them. But with MP3s, it all comes down to the device/service you use. With my ZuneHD I can read band bios, look at artist's photos and view animated screen-savers, in HD on my TV, while I listen if I want to. And on my phone I can read lyrics via an app, too. Zune's ecosystem is actually very close to the physical media experience, way closer than anything else I've seen.

    I bought a red debut carbon about a month ago when my dad said I could have his collection. Since then have been buying and collecting vinyl non stop. Buying a CD or digital download feels so insignificant compared to a record. Each record feels like a work of art. But it is the sound that really gets me, my carbon sounds great and now when listening to digital music it just feels like there is something missing. Listening to old classics like the Doors and David Bowie, there is just no other way to hear them

    ps. 'vinyls' is not a word!

      So you listen to stuff that sounded awful to begin with. Unsurprising that it sounds better when brick-wall limited for vinyl. After all, that's the medium it was created for.

      One of the best things about CDs is that they come with multi-page booklets, usually providing more info and stuff than most vinyl records ever did. There were exceptions, of course - Test Dept's The Unacceptable Face of Freedom had amazing packaging - but then I have some CDs with even more amazing packaging so it all evens out. Even that album on CD did a good job of replicating the LP's artwork.

      I agree - Kate Bush released a beautiful edition of Running Up That Hill this RSD (http://www.katebushnews.com/wp-content/uploads/RecordStoreDay2013.jpg), and Lake Tahoe last year (http://mobile.collectorsfrenzy.com/gallery/190669380152.jpg).

    I like collecting vinyl because I like having a physical "thing" that I can touch, kinda like a CD.
    My problem with CDs is that after I've ripped them to my computer, I never touch them again.
    With vinyl, I can use the download-codes to put the music on my iPod, AND I don't lose the physical experience I love!

    Yes. And I don't own a turntable.

    I've been meaning to get into this for a while. Any recommendations for the best vinyl player or how to evaluate them? Cost is irrelevant.

      A Rega RP1 Performance Pack and a NAD PP2 Phono Preamp are a great way to start. Available regularly around Australia

      +1 for the Rega RP1. I have a NAD C556, which is literally exactly the same, with a different logo, and it's great.

    I buy vinyl when the release is limited edition or different (picture discs, coloured vinyl, etc.). Picture discs are still amazing :)

    Yep! I went to Landspeed Records in Canberra and got two vinyls which were the Tame Impala EP and Hvarf/Heim by Sigur Ros. It was a great day!

    I'm a huge fan of vinyl, not particularly because I think they sound superior, but really just because it makes me happy...!

    I think I'm mostly a fan of collecting vinyl, I like trawling through shops, cleaning (big recommendation for the G.E.M. Dandy system), and the interactive experience that I moved away from with CDs, and totally abandoned with MP3s. In fact, my MP3 collection was the reason I moved back a physical medium: I use them on the road, running, whatever, but mirror my collection with vinyl.

    I have a Rega RP6 (fire engine red!) and is a great focal point for the room. Sitting down and really listening to music this way really works for me, and is pretty rewarding.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now