It’s Christmastime/the holidaze. Time for festivities, lights, drinks, and vinyl-listenin’. Okay, so I’m back home for winter break and yes, I loaded my turntable and box of vinyls into my car for the few short weeks that I’m here.
Here’s my reasoning: We have a better sound system in at home and I just can’t pass that up. PLUS, I know I got vinyl for Christmas…and I don’t have a turntable for home and Austin.
It’s funny, even before I was gifted a turntable, I was given vinyls. Friends and family assumed I had one, or vinyl decor was the new thing. For me, I think it was the former. Then when I was finally given a turntable (thanks to Toms), I had no idea what I was in for. It seems that vinyl-collecting is “back in style” or I just crawled out of the stone I was living under. Anyway, speaking to many friends and acquaintances, they tell me that they also desire to own a turntable. Before we all dive back to the 80’s with our media-turntable-set-ups, here are some truths I learned as I started my own vinyl collection.
Four Truths I Learned About Vinyl-Collecting:
- It’s addicting. Last year, I became a Spotify Premium user because I wanted to save money on the mp3 albums I was buying off of iTunes/Amazon. It seemed to make sense, but even after I became a Premium user, I still bought vinyls (with mp3 downloads inside). I had to, I needed X on vinyl (X = artist name).
- Collecting is expensive. Most of the vinyls that I have are relatively new and so they range from $15-$25/vinyl. It adds up and I’m not even counting those pre-order, limited-edition vinyls. I’m pretty sure ⅓ of my paycheck went to vinyls this past semester. Sidebar: At Waterloo Records on Tuesday nights, they have Happy Hour aka 10% off regularly priced LPs from some time to some time. Go look it up.
- Equipment is expensive. Right now, I have a turntable that connects to a pair of computer speakers (help me I’m poor). I’m still working on getting a receiver, but I have speakers (I’ve decided to help out my dad, and take his short-stack speakers). On top of the vinyls which are $20 a pop, equipment can cost upwards of $200. It’s probably a personal thing because I’m opting for a bangin’ set-up, but why would you play music on anything short of high-quality?
- Vinyls can virtually sound the same or lesser quality than CDs, arguably. GASP. There is a lot of literature behind it and I’m still reading. Analog versus digital, the possibility of lesser quality when it’s digitally recorded at first and converted to analog. CDs last longer etc, etc, etc. The way we argue that there is a warmer sound to vinyls? Possibility, but to an untrained ear (which can be subjective), there may be no difference. It may just be the “bias frequencies.”
I don’t know it all, but I want to. And despite these truths, I feel really lucky to have a turntable with a collection of vinyls that I’m proud to display. The intention of writing this blog post was to point out some things I never thought about until after I got my turntable. If you’re getting a turntable for Christmas, let’s talk! If you already have one, let’s talk! If you don’t, let’s talk! My turntable and speakers have an open-door policy.