You have just got home after a weekend day of driving around town looking for the perfect album to bring home. Being thrilled at your bounty you decide to open the sleeve, slide out your new record and give it a listen. The sound of the needle dropping. You hear some light static from surface noise and static. Then your music begins to play.
Is Vinyl Worth It? Vinyl records are worth it if you are someone who wants the best and enjoys collecting. Vinyl maintains its value while producing great sound and experience for its listeners. Drawbacks to consider for vinyl are maintenance, cost of equipment, and cost of albums.
When trying to figure out if records are worth collecting, buying, and using you have some things to consider in your personal discovery. In this article, we are going to go over the pros, cons, and additional things to consider when looking to start your collection.
Determining If Vinyl Is Worth It – Pros and Cons of Vinyl Records Over Digital Music
There are quite a few things to consider when deciding whether or not collecting vinyl is worth it. Everyone has their own reasons behind their choice. On a personal level, we absolutely believe vinyl is worth the investment, and we will go over the reasons why soon but first let’s consider some pros and cons of vinyl.
- Vinyl sounds better because they produce high-quality vintage sounds that have depth, texture, and warmth.
- Large sleeves that house the albums also contain large prints of artwork
- Purchasing the record version of albums pays the artists a little more
- Maintain their value over their life if taken care of
- Best format for all-around experience for an album
- Some people consider vinyl to be too bulky and inconvenient.
- Storage space due to size of albums
- Confined to listening at your home or somewhere you have the equipment
- Cleaning takes a little time
- Cost of equipment and storage
- Need to be stored in poly sleeves
Longevity: But Is Vinyl Just A Fad? The Vinyl Resurgence
We actually wrote a great article about records making a comeback, when you have a chance to read it you will find some statistics that help to better understand why vinyl is here to stay. Some people believe vinyl is complicated, expensive, and inconvenient, yet people still love it, and according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), modern vinyl record sales increased by 30% in 2020.
Records are here to stay as people are searching for more meaningful experiences in their lives even in their music. Streaming is much like fast food, it’s not the greatest but the convenience is really nice. Records are more like cooking a really nice meal at home, you enjoy the whole experience.
Is Vinyl A Waste Of Money? Is It Worth The Investment?
This is a difficult question that comes down to a personal opinion or choice. If you were to directly ask us “Is vinyl a waste of money?” our direct response would technically no. On average between your album that goes down in value and the album that goes up in value, you are not wasting money because you could get it all back when you were done with them.
Vinyl is not a waste of money if you are a person that values a good experience as vinyl records bring an entirely different and better experience. There is something about hunting for a new album and then getting the satisfaction of holding it and listening to it. This experience does not come without its shortfalls like with anything there are other costs and some cons associated with buying and owning vinyl.
So some of the disadvantages too owning and purchasing vinyl is the additional cost associated with listening to and storing them. Listening to vinyl you generally want the highest quality. If you are using a travel turntable with built-in speakers while it may be affordable it is not going to sound great. The good news is that the money you invest in the equipment like the record itself should last you a long time.
Another common expense with vinyl is the cleaning and general maintenance of the vinyl itself. We highly recommending picking up a this cleaning kit for maintaining your collection on a daily basis and this cleaning system for deep cleaning from time to time. Even with the cost of these cleaners its cheap to maintain your collection. They both come with enough to keep your collection clean for a very long time.
It is natural to want to protect your investment and by storing them properly you will protect them. We did write an article about how to store your vinyl that you should find helpful. There are some affordable options for storing records out there that the article also goes over.
To summarize, is it worth the investment? Yes, we believe that it is worth the investment even with the shortcomings. After you make your initial investment in the records, storage, and equipment the only ongoing expense is buying any new record you want and changing the stylus from time to time.
Are Record Players Worth It? Analog Sound, Tone, and Tangible Physical Connection To Your Music
Record players range in price points wildly and we can understand why “you may ask are record players worth it?” If you have a limited budget but still want decent quality, you should budget for $200 or so. If you have more to spend, consider a $500 budget to get your setup started.
If you are looking to save money where you can, we would suggest buying the highest quality turntable you can afford and hit up local garage sales or thrift stores for floor speakers and an amplifier. From there, you can upgrade the components individually to build your ultimate setup.
Record players are worth it if you have the budget to afford the proper setup. Once you have a quality setup it’s unlikely you will have to replace any components in your lifetime unless you just get bit by the record bug.
Budget Friendly Turntables We Recommend
All-In-One Record Player – While we do not believe you will get the best experience with an all-in-one record player they do have their place and can satisfy a lot of people just wanting to get into records or going for a specific style.
Starter Turntable – We refer to this turntable as “Ole Faithful” at VinylBro. While audiophiles may scoff at this turntable and criticize it for surface noise and inner groove distortion this turntable just works. We own multiple around various areas and they work for most beginner setups. We know that if you are looking for a starter turntable you likely are not looking for perfect but more of a decent quality product that will last if you are happy with it.
Mid Range Turntable – We could say a lot about this turntable but that’s for another post. The amount of features this turntable brings to the table for the price is impressive. Best bang for the buck, I have this turntable set up as my default turntable in my home for guests to listen to and use. It’s really a great turntable for the money.
The Vinyl Experience: Does Vinyl Offer Superior Sound Quality?
The reality is that collecting vinyl records is an incredibly personal experience. There is just a different experience when it comes to vinyl records. The reasons we believe vinyl records are worth it is sound quality, size or artwork, supporting the artist, and the experience from shopping for the perfect album. Once you have bitten by the record bug it is a hobby you will quickly love. You will understand why many people say vinyl records are worth it.
Frequently Asked Questions – Is Vinyl Worth It?
Is owning a vinyl collection worth it?
Yes, for many music enthusiasts, owning a vinyl collection can be worth it. Vinyl records offer a unique listening experience and the act of playing a record on a turntable can be a special way to engage with music.
What are the pros of listening to vinyl records?
Vinyl records often have a warmer, more dynamic sound compared to digital formats. Many collectors also enjoy the tactile experience of handling vinyl and the larger artwork that comes with it.
What are the cons of vinyl records?
Vinyl records can be more delicate and require proper care to avoid damage. They may also have surface noise, such as crackles and pops, which some listeners find distracting.
How do I start a vinyl collection?
You can start a vinyl collection by browsing record stores, online marketplaces, or by attending record fairs. Look for albums from your favorite artists and genres to kickstart your collection.
Are vinyl sales increasing or declining?
Vinyl sales have been on the rise in recent years, with many music lovers finding joy in collecting and listening to vinyl records as a unique physical format in the digital age.
How do I deal with the crackle and hiss when playing vinyl?
Some crackle and hiss can be inherent to vinyl records due to wear and tear. However, investing in a good turntable, cartridge, and quality vinyl pressings can minimize these issues.
Why do people prefer vinyl over CDs or digital downloads?
Some people appreciate vinyl for its nostalgic value, larger album artwork, and the ritual of placing a record on a turntable. The unique sound characteristics of vinyl also appeal to many audiophiles.
What should I consider if I want to invest in vinyl records?
Before getting into vinyl, consider your taste in music, the listening experience you seek, the available space for your collection, and the investment in audio equipment such as a turntable and speakers.
How should I care for my vinyl records?
Vinyl records should be stored upright in a cool and dry environment, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Handling the records with clean hands and using a carbon fiber brush for cleaning can help maintain their quality.
How do vinyl records compare to other formats in terms of frequency range and dynamic range?
Vinyl records often offer a more limited frequency range compared to digital formats, but they can have a higher dynamic range which contributes to their unique sound characteristics.