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Is It Worth It To Buy Vinyl Records

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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 Digitalbuy vinyl records

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 DifferentIs Vinyl records worth it

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 ExpensiveVinyl records are 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 Meanworth?

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.
.

Craig

20 Comments

  1. Craig,
    I guess that is true, there is a little more effort in Vinyl as you do have to change it and put it on, but I think it is well worth it. Sounds like you have quite a collection of vinyl.

    Lisa

    • It is a little more effort and care but is very well worth it as far as I am concerned. Yes, I have a few records 😉

  2. Hello Craig, I have not had records in many decades. And so it is with joy that i am glad to see that people are really interested in them again. I really think though we are such a society of instant gratification that the care that goes into maintaining an album collection is a lot. What do you think?
    in peace and gratitude, ariel

  3. Hi Craig, your passion for music, and especially from vinyl, is so evident. I love the graphic of the cat with paw cast into its food dish as an example of who should probably not go this route!
    My youngest daughter shares your passion and has found many albums in stores near college campuses.

    • That’s really cool your daughter has a passion for vinyl. you should have her contact me as I would really be interested in learning what her record collection contains. I love talking music and records with people. Many times while crate digging at the local thrift stores I strike up conversations with some of the old timers like me.

  4. I have lots of great memories of listening to real records growing up. Both of my parents had fairly extensive collections and I can remember digging through them, looking at the album covers, reading the lyrics if they were printed on the sleeves (the Beatles red and blue albums were great for this).

    I totally agree that vinyl is a more active listening experience, and coming home from the record store with a new album was a much more exciting and rewarding experience than simply downloading a file…

    While I can absolutely appreciate the ability to bring my entire music library with me digitally, listening to my favourite artists on vinyl is a much more engaging and satisfying experience.

    • Do you remember our parents ever having an record changing turntable? You used to be able to stack several records on the spindle and after a record played the next one would drop into place and play. Back in the day if you got a double album on record would have side one and the flip side would be side four. this was to faciliate the playback in the order in which it was designed to be played.

      I do remember the excitement, as a kid, coming home from the record store and tearing the album open to listen to my new purchase. Exciting times! I also do appreciate I ability to have my music on my phone or iPod. Easier to listen to when mowing the lawn, driving etc.

  5. Dear Craig,

    Thanks for the valuable information as said “Old is Gold’ I have only came across and seen this on the Films (Movies) only. Surprised to hear still people are using it and loving it.

    Your Friend,
    Paul

    • Hey Paul, Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I do have quite a few old records in my collection that I enjoy listening to as often as I can.

  6. I did not realise that vinyl records are still manufactured. It is a great hobby to have. I did enjoy your article on is it worth it to buy vinyl records. It has made me decide I will stick with modern gadgets!

    • Hi Tania,
      Vinyl collecting is not for everyone and yes they do require more care than a CD. Just think that until the 70s vinyl was the most popular means of listening to music.

  7. I didn’t realize so much went into collecting records like that. My grandpa had a few records he passed down to my dad when he passed. I didn’t know that they needed so much tender love and care. Since finding your blog, I am kind of hoping I get those records one day.

    • Hi Brittaney,
      You should let your dad know you want them when he has no se for them anymore. I would love to see what records he has. You never know what might be in those boxes and hopefully he has them stored standing up on edge and not lying flat.

  8. Hello Craig,
    Great article and website. I love vinyl records and I agree with you. You have to treat them with kid’s gloves because they are fragile and yes, they can be pricey. I also agree with you, it is active listening and man, those ‘oldies but goodies’ that the ‘music world’ does not make anymore…times and tunes to e relished!
    Thanks for the tips and keep writing!
    I will be back.
    Michelle

    • Thank you Michelle,
      It’s just flat out fun to listen to vinyl in my opinion! Sure they need to be cared for, but that’s really part of the fun. Once you have them clean it’s just a matter of giving them a quick brush before and after playing and promptly putting them back in their sleeve and on to the shelf. Even cleaning them is not too bad, at least for me!

  9. Thank you for this great post, Craig. There is nothing like vinyl! I grew up in a small town in the state of Washington. My oldest sister, nearly 10 years older, taught me how to dance to a select few 45 rpm records by The Beatles. That actually started my love for music. Of course, my older sisters (I have three) had all the best music and countless hours were spent listening and crooning over Elvis. LOL! Great post, Craig. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

    • Back in the day all we had was vinyl or radio. I remember during my high school years we would often get together at someone’s house to listen to records. Everyone would bring their 45s in a little case and we’d either sit around listening or be dancing. Those were the carefree days indeed.

  10. Hi Craig. You’re certainly an expert when it comes to the subject of vinyl records. Wow, a collection of over 2 – 3 thousand vinyls spanning over 40 years. That’s quiet impressive.

    • Thanks for stopping by Zola,
      I’ve slowed down my buying recently and have been doing more selling but my basement is still over run with records. I really need to thin the collection out as there are many I don’t listen to anymore so I should just gather those up and offer them for sale as a big lot.

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