If you listen to the experts, vinyl should be residing in a technology graveyard somewhere, snuggling up next to 8 track cartridges, Amiga computers and Betamax videos, but it’s proving to be the format that really will not die.
According to a new report, the demand for vinyl and turntables is soaring, with the rise particularly evident in New York, where audio outlets are reporting huge increases in LP and turntables sales.
“It’s all these kids that are really ramping up their vinyl collections,” enthused Rachelle Friedman of J&R Music, which now stocks no less than 21 different analogue and digital turntables.
“New customers are discovering the quality of the sound. They’re discovering liner notes and graphics,” she told the New York Times.
A report by Nielsen Soundscan found that more than 2.1 million vinyl records had been sold so far this year in the US, representing a massive increase of 35 per cent over 2008 – and the highest vinyl sales since figures began in 2001.
Although they often cost less than half the price of their vinyl counterparts, CD sales continue to plummet, dropping nearly 20 percent this year according to Nielsen.
UK vinyl sales up
There’s been a similar story of vinyl resurgence in the UK, with kids joining dance fans in their quest to own something more substantial than the invisible bits and bytes that make up a digital download.
Over in Chez Wirefresh, our office rocks to the sounds of a whole heap of digital devices, but perhaps the best loved is our Rega Planar 3 (pictured right).
We’ll concede it’s not much of a looker, but the sound quality is exquisite and that chunky black box certainly produces a far warmer and more natural soundscape than our CD player.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering what the chuffing heck that sci-thing above is, it’s the sublime Michell GyroDec, a truly stunning piece of British audio engineering that we can only dream of affording. But look at it! How cool is that?
7 Comments on “Vinyl refuses to die as turntable sales soar”
Vinyl for the win! Where’s the fun in owning an iTunes catalogue?
Plenty of vinyl gets an airing at Moose Mansions – the only problem we have is dragging our old bones out of the armchair so frequently to turn the record over!
I still buy vinyl, and not just to sit on a shelf looking pretty !
I have been DJ-ing with vinyl for over 25 years and still mix wax to this day. Nothing has the same feel or sound as real vinyl, and REAL DJ’s will always play vinyl. My records get hammered and still play fine with careful tone-arm setup and cleaning.
Nothing is as satisfying as digging through a crate of records, pulling one out, taking it out the sleeve, quick dust, place it on the platter, and place the stylus on that groove oh man Im getting horny just thinking about it !!!!
Vinyl has got one HUGE advantage (along with many others that are not insignificant. A stylus finds it easier to vibrate for a 100hz frequency than a 15khz frequency so you get more accurate lower end replication which is ideal for the bass-head junkies in the nightclubs. Also downloading music does feel sterile and it has all the romance of a boil in the bag kipper. There is still something about buying a record that you never set out to get but bought on a whim, dropping it on your turntable and screaming “AVE IT!” when you find out it is a stomper tune in mint condition! Sadly though a lot of my generation are about as romantic as a pre-nup and thats why itunes is (sadly) winning. 🙁
I like the cut of your jib, sir!
There’s been a real increase in the numbers of 7-inch singles released over the last decade. They’re probably loss-leaders/promotional items only, but it’s nice to see that format enjoy a slight revival. And they’re all pressed on fantastic Deutsche-Grammophon quality vinyl too!
I still enjoy turntables but I use time coded vinyl with Traktor now. I have always been more tech geek than vinyl freak. I also have a usb turntable to digitize rares, which I do often from my DJ friends. I still will buy vinyl on occasion if its rare and I must have it.