What's old is new again and vinyl is experiencing a renaissance, raking revenue for artists, and delivering unmatched sonic beauty to listeners. Last year, 3.1253 million vinyl albums were sold between Black Friday and New Year alone. It's insane.
Whether you're an audiophile that can pick up the tiniest frequencies in a sound or a nostalgic lover of old times, vinyl records deliver an organic experience. Herein are some of the reasons to try vinyl records:
An active music experience
Vinyl sound is analog, and the record playing process is mechanical. This makes the sound unique, and it's impressively involving—you've to sit and listen and spend time with the entire album. You'll have to set aside time for music in your daily schedule.
Then there are the regular maintenance routines for better sound from vinyl records: wiping records from dust, changing needles, cleaning phonograph disks, and so forth. It is all a labor of love that gives the music a new meaning in your life.
The search for vinyl records is an adventure.
As a vinyl hobbyist, your standards are set higher. You cannot hit the record store to buy airy mass-produced stuff that characterizes the modern music scene. You won't even find half of today's popular albums on vinyl.
The search for vinyl records is meticulous. It is thrilling and enlightening. You pore over discography information to find artistic honesty and musical genius. You spend time—that you would have wasted on social media memes—to find songwriters that set the bar higher.
The search may take you online or to music stores, yard sales, neighborhood vinyl groups, and other places where you will find not just good music but also great people—audiophiles, music lovers, and even artists.
An immersive listening experience
Modern era mass-produced music is super compressed after getting broadcast in a lossy format. The beauty of sound is a sum of its intrinsic vibrational details, but with digital music, these details are stripped out.
Listening to vinyl lets you get the full picture of sound. This is full audio data reaching your ear as was in the production studio before getting sullied by algorithms. Expect sound that is full of depth and texture.
As a first-timer, you may be astounded by the experience that feels like journeying through sound surrounded by frequencies, color, and warmth. It is powerful, inspiring, dramatic, and uplifting.
Vinyl records sound much better than MP3—the sound is lossless, uncompressed, warm, and full. The experience is active, immersive, and thrilling. This is the truest definition of music.
It’s about the music, not how you listen to it. I have my collection of vinyl and wouldn’t part with it for anything. However I enjoy it regardless of how I listen. People who preach otherwise are not in love with the music, but rather a misplaced belief they are somehow hearing something others are missing. Enjoy the music, how you enjoy it doesn’t matter.
“Vinyl records sound much better than MP3”
This is an unfair and misleading comparison! No audiophile listens to MP3-encoded files. They listen to music that has been encoding using a lossless algorithm.
The music “in” a vinyl record must first be transduced by the stylus, where all sorts of distortions can be introduced. Then the frequency distribution must be “balanced” by passing it through the electronic components of an equalizer. Finally, of course, the signal must be amplified for speakers or headphones. At all these points distortion can be introduced. A vinyl record is not “full audio data reaching your ear as was in the production studio,” any more than a digital file.
Records do require some care but if handled properly they can last a lifetime. I have records that are over 50 years old that still sound wonderful. My oldest records keep me in touch with my younger self.
Hello. I love vinyl, but your statement
“with digital music, these details are stripped out.”
is not accurate. FLAC, wav, and SACD varieties do not compress or strip out details. Your statement is true for MP3 and spotify type sites. I like your site, but want to keep information accurate.
Regards — Doug
I have found the truest sound comes from the needle & pick-up. The quality of the pair is how you get the full dynamic range out of the pressed vinyl. Spend the money and buy the best you can afford. I have only Grado pick-ups and I get the deep bass and the high trebles without distortion.