By Jonathan Ionescu
A gramophone record, usually referred to as a record, is a disc that holds music on it with deep grooves. The grooves start from the end of the disc and finish at the center of it. Many people today refer this as to what is called, “vinyl”.
For a while, I have owned a record player and I’ve liked to collect vinyls.
Occasionally, I’ll go record shopping at a few places in Allentown with my friends. Sometimes I’ll be able to get a bunch of records for cheap. It really depends where you go. Some may argue that vinyl is a waste of money, or some may say that it is one step higher than the digital music we listen to today. I will give you my opinion based on my experiences with vinyl.
Sound quality can be up for debate. It is no doubt that vinyl quality is better than CD & MP3. But what is disputable? Well, many people have problems with the raw background noise that goes on during the record is played. From time to time, you will hear a scratch or crackling. This is only the case if you do not take care of your records. It is important to make sure you keep your records stored properly, in a sleeve and clean them time to time.
I personally think the crackling you hear is part of the music experience. Something played digitally with no flaws that plays perfectly just sounds kind of ‘fake’ to me. I also really like how there are many different kinds of turntables and speakers to choose from. The better the turntable or speaker, the better the quality of course. Having a good pair of speakers lets the music fill up the room everywhere. It isn’t like a wireless bluetooth speaker you hear kids play on the bus on the way back from school. It is good quality. It’s all for the listening experience.
The second reason why I buy vinyl is for the physical ownership of it. Something about just owning a tangible piece of music is so much better than having a digital copy of it filling up a hard drive. You can pick up the actually music/record, and look it. The art that the artist has made is sort of satisfying. You can frame it if you’d like, keep it as a collection item, etc. As you pick it up, you can look at the lyrics and other side notes that the artist has made. Vinyl lets you get in more touch with the artist.
Lastly, being apart of vinyl collecting gives you a memory to look back on. It also opens up opportunities for adventure. When you walk into a record store, you are doing what is known as “crate digging”. It is the act of searching for an album/single that you love on vinyl. Once you come across the record you are looking for, you never forget that moment. When I came across records I have always wanted, for example, King Krule, Bruce Springsteen, or Mac Demarco. There is such a joyous feeling coming across what you have been looking for. It is also adds on when you find what you were looking for in the discount section. I’ve saved money so many times in different places. I was at an antique store and came across a Joni Mitchell record that I bought for seven dollars. A few weeks later, it was twenty-five dollars at Barnes & Nobles.
Collecting music on vinyl might let people give you an eyebrow or they may give you judgement but that should not matter. It’s music that is made on a different format that comes in better sound quality, nothing more or less. My music taste and everything else that follows is very diverse. I try to be different.