Vinyl records have surged in popularity in the past few years. The debate between the sound of digital vs. analog is a hot button for many passionate music lovers. Many say it’s such a broad debate that there is no true winner. Music is such an important part of so many people’s lives. Vinyl brings them a sense of nostalgia while digital brings them the highest technology in entertainment. We’ll break down the pros and cons of vinyl records so you can make a decision for yourself.
The Benefits of Vinyl
The Sound of Vinyl
It might sound a bit cliche, but people love the sound of vinyl. That tiny ticking in the music combined with the distortions of the format of vinyl makes this unique sound unlike any other sound in music. The perfect, modern recordings cannot hold a candle to the warm tones and crackles of vinyl. Many music lovers crave the gritty sound that makes rock n’ roll stand out above any other format.
Beautiful Additional Furniture
You can buy a portable little record player, but you can also pick up an amazing piece of furniture that includes a record player. Those vinyl players in a vintage suitcase don’ last as long as the real thing, and they can even damage your vinyl. There are an endless amount of varieties of different record players perfect for decoration in your home. From a bright red vintage look that pops in a room to a classic, elegant look that brings the room together, you can find the perfect accent to any room with a record player.
Your Taste in Music Will Improve
You may think you love music, but you open the door to another world of entertainment with vinyl. Record stores don’t usually stock trendy artists. It’s more about class and the classics. The one-hit-wonders are reserved online. Record stores don’t mess with artists that fell off the earth. Records are more about the classics like The Beatles, Janet Joplin, Michael Jackson, and others on that level. Records will bring your music taste up a few levels with the best lyrics, riffs, and production as a whole.
The Nostalgic Feel
One thing you cannot get with anything but vinyl is nostalgia. Your grandparents weren’t grooving to digital downloads back in the day. Think of your parents unwrapping a record then throwing it on the player in excitement. You must unwrap the sleeves and breathe in the classic smell. You get to feel the vinyl between your fingers. The digital realm can never hand you this feeling. Think about sitting back in your chair as you listen to the crackles and the warm sound. For a few minutes, the world seems perfect and simple.
The Disadvantages of Vinyl
Maintenance & Care
It can be a hassle to ensure your turntable and records are working at their peak. Vinyl needs attention so it will stay in great condition. You must store it a certain way so that the records won’t deteriorate over time. The records and the table also need to be cleaned at times. A record brush is a handy little tool that will help you maintain your records.
It’s easy to damage a record. CDs are almost resilient to skipping unless they’re scratched, and digital files stay in their place unless they’re erased. Vinyl is a different story. Damaged vinyl means your entire record is gone. Usually, records only get damaged if they aren’t handled properly, you don’t regularly clean them, or you play them on low-quality equipment. If your turntable is low quality, it can quickly wear down the record. The tonearm must be calibrated correctly with the correct tracking force balance or it can easily break your records.
It isn’t easy to store most records and their turnable. Records are much bigger than other forms of music. You can’t store them in an online folder or even in a small holding case. You need a large enough area where you can access your records and your record table easily. Records are best stored vertically to prevent damage to the sleeve and warping. They also must be kept away from direct sunlight.
Surface noise is often taken care of through regular cleaning, but there are some types of noise that cannot be cleared on a record. A small hiss, pops, and clicks are just part of this way of listening ot music. This can become a huge problem when dirt and wear alignment make the noises more predominant. A worn-out record may drive you crazy as it pops and hisses. Other people just like to listen to the character of the noise. An anti-static brush also helps alleviate this issue, but surface noise isn’t going anywhere with records.
Can’t Skip Tracks
Turntables don’t give you the ability to switch tracks easily. You must line up the grooves of the points of the tonearm on the perfect part of the song to hit the exact song you want at that time. Instead of changing the song at the click of a button, you’re forced to manually figure out the grooves of the song. It’s also easy to damage records or the stylus if you try to skp tracks. You may drop the stylus on accident or press it with too much force. Scratches on your vinyl lead to big issues for the record. If you can’t stand listening to an entire song, a record might not be fore you.
The Bottom Line
Vinyl records must be more than simple nostalgia because the soaring sales prove they’re just as popular today as they were 25 years ago. There will always be pros and cons no matter the format of music. Vinyl will remain classic and unique to many music lovers, while others will switch to the newest and high-tech way of listening to their music. When you find an old record, make sure to honor its place in society, both today and decades ago.