In recent years, there has been a revival in the hobby of collecting vinyl records, which has attracted a new generation of aficionados who are enamored by the allure and sentimentality of analog sound. Beginning your journey with vinyl may be an exhilarating and terrifying experience all at once, especially if you are fresh to the world of crackling melodies and vintage artistry. Here are seven crucial pieces of advice for newcomers to the hobby of collecting vinyl records to help you navigate the depths of the hobby.
Start With Your Music Preferences
Start your record collection with songs that you already enjoy listening to. It doesn’t matter if you like rock, jazz, classical music, hip-hop, or any other type of music; you should collect albums that appeal to your taste. Not only will having a collection that is representative of your musical tastes make you happy, but it will also motivate you to develop a closer relationship with the pastime of collecting vinyl records.
Explore Vinyl Record Stores And Online Marketplaces
Expand your collection by exploring local record stores and online marketplaces. Visiting physical stores can be an enriching experience, as you’ll have the chance to browse through albums, interact with knowledgeable staff, and stumble upon hidden gems. Online platforms offer a vast selection and convenience, allowing you to find rare records and bargain deals from the comfort of your home.
Understand Vinyl Record Grading
As a beginner, understanding vinyl record grading is crucial. Vinyl records are graded based on their condition, from Mint (perfect) to Poor (unplayable). Aim for records graded as Excellent (minimal wear) or Very Good (some wear but still playable) to ensure a satisfactory listening experience. Be cautious when purchasing records with a lower grade, as they may affect sound quality.
Invest In Quality Equipment
To truly appreciate the warm and authentic sound of vinyl, invest in a quality turntable and speakers. A good turntable will have adjustable tracking force, anti-skate, and a high-quality cartridge. Match it with decent speakers or headphones to enjoy the full spectrum of vinyl audio. Remember, vinyl record collecting is as much about the equipment as it is about the records themselves.
Handle Vinyl Records With Care
Vinyl records are fragile and easily damaged, therefore you should handle them with care. Be careful when handling them by holding them around the edges and avoiding getting your fingers inside the grooves. Before you play each record, clean it with an anti-static brush, and then store it upright in protective sleeves to keep it free of dust and scratches.
Learn About Pressings And Editions
Vinyl records can come in a variety of pressings and editions, and some of these pressings and editions can be more valuable than others. Take the time to educate yourself on the different types of pressings, such as initial pressings, reissues, and limited editions of the record. Original pressings of legendary albums can have worth both in terms of history and money, making them desirable additions to any collection.
Join Vinyl Collecting Communities
Joining an online forum, a group on social media, or a club in your area can allow you to connect with other vinyl collectors. These forums provide a wealth of information, including album suggestions, advice, and even opportunities to buy, sell, or trade recordings. Your love for collecting vinyl records can grow stronger and lead to the discovery of more music if you spend time interacting with other people who share your interests.
Vinyl record collecting is a gratifying journey that offers a unique and immersive way to experience music. By starting with your favorite music, exploring various sources for records, understanding grading, investing in quality equipment, handling records with care, learning about pressings, and engaging with the vinyl community, you’ll set yourself up for an enjoyable and rewarding vinyl collecting experience.