The Value of Vinyl in a Digital World
For forty years, the music industry has sought to make music more portable and accessible. From 8-tracks and cassettes to CDs, media changed forms from the 70s through the 90s, trying to find the sweet spot between quality and portability, and since 2000 the advent of MP3s and streaming services, it has never been easier to access a wide array of music through smartphones, computers and other entertainment devices. During this all of these decades, audiophiles around the world have quietly kept their record players spinning, forgoing convenience for quality in their home audio systems. Not only have records and record players continued to be made, but sales of both have increased since 2010 and in 2017 the sale of records exceeded those set back in 1991.
So the question for those of us who abandoned our record collection years ago is,
why should we go back?
The audiophiles will go on about how vinyl records offer the best quality sound of any media and how analog from the source to your ear is the best way. There is a lot of validity to that argument, and listening to a favorite record on a quality stereo system is a great way to hear the difference, but if quality alone were the only factor, digital music options exist that offer the same level of accuracy and fidelity.
The physicality of the media, the nostalgia, and the ritual of spinning up that disc and gently laying down the needle create an experience, a time when music isn’t just something happening in the background but a relaxing activity that lets other concerns fade away for a while. In a world where so many things we interact with are digital and impermanent, holding a favorite album and using a record player is a great way to connect to a past time that may seem gone, but as long as we continue to use and love those old, but amazing records those times are still with us.
If you are interested in hearing the amazing quality difference of vinyl records for yourself, contact Custom Audio Video for a demo of the newest addition to our showroom systems, a McIntosh Labs MT5 Precision Turntable, an absolutely astounding piece of kit.