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The sight of a record player nestled in a cosy living room brings an instant feeling of nostalgia. While other music devices have come and gone, the turntable remains a symbol of days gone by where fans would save their pennies just to get their hands on the new release of one their favourite artists.
These days digital music formats have completely changed the music industry. Music is now readily accessible, convenient and available to anyone with an internet connection. The sheer volume of music available to us is now at an unprecedented rate and musicians are experiencing new realms of exposure that would never have dreamed of a few decades ago.
Yet, even with all the recent technological advances, vinyl remains just as popular as ever. In fact, some might even say it’s making a comeback. So why is this? Is it true that vinyl produces a much better sound quality or is it the experience that people are after? The romance of slipping a record out of it’s dusty sleeve, gently placing it on the platter and lowering the needle to hear the sweet sounds of a carefully selected album greatly outperforms the experience of hitting the play button on your laptop. So let’s get into the nitty gritty of it…
Quality of sound produced by turntables
So is the sound quality any better if the same track is played digitally or through an analog player? This is a greatly debated topic as sound is obviously a subjective matter, but if you ask almost any devoted audiophile this question the answer will often be yes. The main argument is that a digital recording takes a snapshot of the analogue sound wave and thus some information is lost in this process. In contrast, the vinyl record contains a groove that mirrors the original sound wave and therefore no information is lost. Because of this, avid audiophiles will argue that the vinyl sound has more depth and warmth to it.
Vinyl is collectable
In the current age of consumption we often move through the world looking for the next bright shiny object. No sooner have you purchased a new piece of technology than it has been replaced by the latest model and we are continually throwing away items that no longer have any value. How many of you still have their a CD player or DVD player? These items are all becoming obsolete.
Appreciation for vinyl will never fade. It’s not just about the sound quality but also the experience that is attributed to playing music through a record player. It’s about respecting music and the musicians that you have appreciated enough to purchase an item you will keep. You can learn a lot about the character of a person by merely pursuing a bookshelf lined with their favourite records. And those songs that define a certain time in your life, that instantly conjure a moment in time, can remain with you forever rather than being lost in a dense collection of audio files on your macbook.
What to look for in a turntable
There are a few simple things to keep in mind when shopping for record players. If you read too deep you will quickly become confused so to keep things simple we’ve come up with a brief list:
- Know your budget – anything under $150 can be considered a starter price, although you will probably want to spend around $200 to get some features like USB record function or a built in battery pack.
- Understand turntable speed – the three most popular speeds are 331/3, 45 and 78. These numbers tell you how many times the table turns in a minute. Each record should be played at the speed dictated on the sleeve. The majority of our record players play 3 speeds but there are a few that only play 2 so make sure you check this before you buy.
- Does it have a USB port? – This is a popular feature for people wanting to convert old their vinyl collections into digital format. Our GPO Attache Case Turntable has a USB port so you can digitise your entire vinyl collection easily.
- Does it have a built-in speaker? – Some record players come with a built in speaker while others need to be connected to an external speaker in order to produce sound. If you are looking for a simple plug-and-play machine then the GPO Attache and Crosley Cruiser is the perfect place to start. Keep in mind that the internal speakers are only about 5 watts so if you want to crank up the volume you can still connect these turntables to an external speaker using an RCA cable to achieve a louder sound.