For the Love of Vinyl

This was my first turntable. My parents still have it somewhere, stored away.

I’m grateful that I grew up with this sturdy machine.

And I’m grateful that I recently hooked up an excellent, tuned-up turntable that makes my vinyl, old and now, sing.

I love the sound. That spark of static when the needle makes contact. And the generous dimensions of the cover art, which I always want to frame and display.

There are also legions of album junkies who insist that no digital format, whether compact disc or MP3, can compare to the sonic richness of a stylus penetrating the grooves of a vinyl record.

“There’s a huge difference,” says singer Sam Phillips. “It has a little grit and texture compared to digital. It’s heartbreaking not to have all that sound on an MP3 file. I love my vinyl and I play it all the time. Nothing sounds like it. Who would’ve thought? In the early ’80s we were trying to take all the noise out by making these really precise recordings. And now, we want it all back, because it sounds more real, more like the work of a human being instead of a machine.

Bought any vinyl lately?

How do you decide what to buy on vinyl, and what to download from iTunes?

Tell me about your collection, and what drives your decisions on format.

Me, I’ve been listening to Over the Rhine’s The Trumpet Child on vinyl lately, and Pavement’s Crooked Rain Crooked Rain.

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  • whitmana

    I have a CD player. I have an iPod. I use both. But when left to my own devices (quite literally), I’ll choose my 27-year-old NAD turntable every time. There is a warmth and a depth to vinyl that is simply unmatched, and it takes a whole lot of scratches and pops to cancel out its obvious auditory advantages.

    I bought my first vinyl album (The Beatles’ Second Album) in 1964, at age 9. I’ve certainly slowed down since then, but I’ve never stopped. Plus, there’s something about the imposing wall of vinyl music that greets visitors in my den. You don’t get the same effect with MP3 files. :-)

  • whyitmatters

    Hi Jeffrey, this is Barbara, your friend from the Glen!

    I have fond memories of listening to The Sound of Music soundtrack on vinyl at my grandmother’s house when I was little. Alas, she got rid of her turntable, as did my dad a while back. I recently imposed vinyl back into my music listening experience by accidentally pre-ordering the Fleet Foxes album on vinyl a few months ago. I didn’t have the heart to send it back. Since then I’ve acquired various old LP’s – early Elton, Billy Joel, Moody Blues, CSN, etc. Now I’m on the hunt for a good used turntable…hoping to stop by some estate sales in the near future. Your Mickey Mouse one is so cool!

  • I was born in the early 70s, mind you.

  • Mine was this 50s or 60s suitcase-lookin’ thing with the speaker on the top/front where the handle to carry it was.