As counter-intuitive as it may seem in this age of iPods and MP3 downloads, vinyl, the favorite physical format of music collectors and audiophiles, is making a comeback. Eclipsed by CDs, and nearly forgotten by major retailers, the vinyl long playing (LP) record is nonetheless enjoying a resurgence in popularity.
Over the past decade, music has become more about portability and now serves as background to other activities. By itself, music can no longer hold the attention of most people. With vinyl, people actually listen! Vinyl is a stay-at-home format and requires more of a hands-on work ethic: youve got to cue the tonearm, lower the needle, and when the sides over, turn it over or play another LP. Digital requires almost nothing from you.
No music seems to draw you in more than when its coming off an LP. Its more engaging. Its not just an audiophile thing either; lots of non-audiophiles play records. You dont have to be a golden-eared audiophile to notice that CDs and LPs sound very different. Records have a warmer, richer sound more like that of real instruments and voices; CDs almost always make them more detailed and brighter-sounding than they are in real life. Its not that CDs sound bad, just less interesting, vinyl enthusiasts say.
Records provide more of a connection between fans and artists. Many of todays music fans buy vinyl LPs for home listening and MP3s for their portable devices. For many, the vinyl record is the true version of the albums release. The size and presence of the artwork, the better sound quality, and the involvement and work the listener has to put in, all make it the format of choice for people who really care about music.
Most music fans under 40 years old have probably never heard vinyl. They have never heard or experienced the sound quality that makes the LP so special. Its this generations discovery of the warm sound and engaging listening experience that is contributing to vinyls resurgence in popularity.
At Wilshire Home Entertainment, we are experiencing a vinyl revolution of our own. We recently brought in a number of turntables from the European manufacturer Pro-Ject and our customers have been rediscovering some of their favorite albums. Have we made you curious? Do you have some old vinyl records sitting in a crate? Dust them off and bring them in! Were happy to help you discover or rediscover what might possibly be the closest thing to near-perfect music reproduction.