Vinyl Is Back
You might have been surprised to hear that people are buying turntables and vinyl records again. Here at Bay Bloor Radio there’s no doubt that vinyl is back in a big way. But don’t just take our word for it. According to Nielsen Music, Canadians bought over half a million vinyl records in 2015 – a 30% rise over the year before. In this era of digital domination, how and why has something so comparatively old-fashioned made a comeback?
Let’s start with sound. Compared with the way many people are listening to music, much of it through compressed digital files on their computer or smartphone, vinyl records represent a huge leap in quality, delivering a warmer, richer sound. With the right equipment, you’ll hear details in your favourite songs that you wouldn’t hear otherwise. And you don’t have to be an audiophile to appreciate better sound.
BBR Product Specialist David Ivancic says that labeling record players as “old technology” is wrong. “What many people don’t realize is that today’s turntables and vinyl records are so much better than what you might have been listening to in the ‘70s or ‘80s,” says Ivancic. “[We’ve now got] more advanced technology in the turntables and way better vinyl pressings.”
Whether you’re dusting off an old stack of records or starting a brand new collection, a new turntable is a gateway to falling in love with music again. The vinyl format encourages listening to full albums from front to back. LPs like the Beatles’ Abbey Road, Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, and Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon are still among the top-selling vinyl albums each year. But it’s not just about the classics: new albums from Adele and Taylor Swift were among the top 10 selling vinyl albums of 2015.
And it’s not only about sound. Compared to plastic CDs or invisible digital files, the vinyl experience is a tactile one. The experience of pulling a record out of a sleeve, putting it on the platter and dropping the needle is something that music lovers can cherish. LP records can be beautiful objects, at home on a shelf in your home in a way a sterile CD case could never command such attention. Naturally, the same goes for turntables. Choosing a new turntable today is more akin to buying furniture than audio equipment. The best-selling Pro-Ject Audio Debut Carbon turntable is available in seven colours, and models from Rega and Teac come in a variety of lacquered wood finishes. And with exciting new turntables on the way later this year from audio stalwarts such as Sony and Technics, there’s no doubt that vinyl is here to stay.