You will probably get different answers to this question depending on who you ask. As a long time vinyl collector and listener (50 years plus) I would say yes.
Now to qualify my answer a bit there are some things you have to keep in mind before deciding if you wish to start buying vinyl records. Read along and I’ll explain in a little more detail
There is a Difference Between Playing Vinyl or Digital
The number one difference is with vinyl you are handling a larger much more sensitive media that has different handling requirements than a CD or a digital file.
- Vinyl is a more active listening experience rather than what I would
consider a passive listening experience such as cleaning house with an
iPod and ear buds. You can’t be lazy whem it comes to vinyl.
- Vinyl Records Are More Expensive
- Different equipment is needed which adds to the expense
- You have to treat vinyl differently than digital.
If You Are Lazy Then Maybe Vinyl Isn’t For You
With vinyl records you cannot be lazy, meaning you have to be willing to get up and down to actually put the record on the turntable and change the record when it finishes playing. There is no way around this. You cannot set a playlist like on your iPod or phone. If you want to skip songs, you have to get up and lift the tonearm and move it to the song you want to play next.
Vinyl listening is more of a listening experience rather than just listening. You put on a favorite record then go sit in your chair with the jacket in hand and enjoy the music as you “actively” listen. To me listening to records is more of an activity than listening to music in the background. I like to sit, listen and let the music flood my senses.
You also need to care for your vinyl records more than a CD. Vinyl needs to be clean and free of dust and dirt. See my post HERE on how to clean your records.
The Equipment Is Different
For playing CDs you just place a few into a player and push play. To play vinyl you need a turntable, Speakers and most likely an amplifier.
For beginners, I would not recommend one of those cheap starter turntables that cost under a hundred dollars. They will damage your records. Either look for a good vintage turntable at a thrift store or maybe craigslist. If you go the used route I would suggest finding a friend who has some knowledge and have them look at it and help set up and make sure it is in good enough condition to use.
You will want to make sure it has a diamond stylus and is not worn and properly calibrated so that is where a knowledgeable friend would insure everything is good to go. If you buy something new (read my review HERE) there will be instructions for set up included an in the case of the ones I mentioned in my review there are written and video instructions for proper set up
Vinyl Records Are More Expensive
Depending on where you get your vinyl you can expect to pay more for it than the cost of a CD. Most of the newer vinyl releases will start out at around $20 and go up from there.
An alternative is to buy used from eBay, Discogs, thrift stores or garage sales. But buying the used route you may have to hunt a bit to find records in decent playable condition. But saying that I have found tons of very nice in thrift stores. You just have to dig sometimes but the thrill of the hunt is part of the collecting process that can be fun. I can spend hours digging thru boxes of records looking for ones I like. You can build a nice collection of good used vinyl looking thru thrift stores or online. When you buy new is where the big price jump occurs
I’ve bought and sold records for years so my collection is always changing. All together I suppose I now have between two and three thousand records and some of them I have had for 40+ years. Almost any record, with the exception of a few are for sale. If I sell one I like then I just hunt for a replacement. Unless it is one that is in mint condition, then I won’t sell it. And I have several artist that I would not sell as I know replacing them would be difficult. Like Ten Years After, Cream, John Mayall and a few others.
So, What’s it All Mean?
To summarize, in my opinion, yes it is worth it but you must keep in mind that there is a little “work” involved in building and maintaining a record collection. Is it worth it for everyone I’d venture to say no, it is not for everyone. But as for me, a music lover, it is worth every penny I spend on it. Even the drudgery like cleaning records I enjoy, Sometimes I just go get an album and read the liner or jacket notes for the heck of it. I enjoy my record collection and I love when someone comes over who is not a collector but just likes to listen to music. I enjoy the time sharing a beer or two and listening to a great album with a friend.
In case you haven’t noticed, if you read my various blog articles you can see I have a bit of a passion for vinyl records. So much so I recently decided to turn my passion for records and music into a blog.
If you have a hobby or passion you would like to blog about perhaps you would like to learn how you can do what I am doing. I found the perfect place to teach me how to do this as I had no idea even where to begin. This place is called wealthy Affiliate and you can join free with no credit card required. You may decide to upgrade to a premium membership but you don’t have to. You can stay a free member as long as you like and still have two websites and they teach you how to set up your websites too.
So, if you would like to explore a little more just click HERE to learn more. Contact me once you are in and set up a profile and I will do everything I can to help you get started off right.