Corduroy is back in fashion, Polaroids are the new ‘must have’ cameras and vinyl sales have reached a 25-year high. But is it possible to stay on-trend and still ensure audio excellence? In conjunction with Audiolab, we provide our top tips for looking after vinyl this Record Store Day and beyond….
Vinyl record sales reached a 25-year high in 2018, with 4.2 million records sold in the UK alone. Thanks in no small part to Record Store Day – the worldwide celebration of independent record stores which takes place on Saturday 13th April – many people are taking the power back when it comes to owning our music.
But while vinyl is back – and so are record players of all sizes and prices – do you have to forego great audio for that authentic vinyl sound? Thankfully not. Here’s our advice to ensure you get the most out of your record collection.
1. Spin the right records
Good music is essential here, and thankfully we’re spoilt for choice this year. Prince, Bob Dylan, The Charlatans and Morrissey are all releasing special edition albums with limited copies being pressed, so our advice would be to grab them while you can. No matter what genre you’re into, there is something for everyone. Baby shark is even getting a vinyl release, if you’re into that sort of thing!
2. Pick your spot
Make sure you place your record player as far away from any vibrations as possible, including your speakers. It needs to be level and have a good support so not to allow footfall to affect it. Turntables with rubber feet can stop any vibrations affecting the record, but always make sure you place the turntable in the correct place with good support.
3. Choose a decent turntable
The right turntable can make or break a record. Unlike streaming or CDs, a lack of care when choosing a turntable can ruin the final sound. For example, while cheap portable record players may look pretty cool, they may not deliver the best sound, leaving you disappointed in the long run. Also do your research and make sure you set everything up correctly – it will make all the effort worth it when it feels like you’re listening to your favourite album for the first time again.
Pairing your turntable with the right speakers is also important. Wharfedale’s limited edition 85th Anniversary Denton speakers have that classic vintage look with a mahogany finish. However, other models are available too so shop around!
4. Take care of your vinyl
Storing your vinyl collection is not as easy as storing CDs. They can scratch and warp easily, so you have to take care. Store them upright, keep them in their sleeves, and make sure they stay cool and dry. Always handle with care and look into good airtight containers to store them in.
5. Amplify your sound
Listening to vinyl is a great experience. You want to elevate and help that sound as much as possible without distorting or ruining it. So you need a decent amplifier.
One option is Audiolab’s 6000A, with a built-in phono pre-amp which should deliver a beautifully engaging, yet refined, crisp sound. The 6000A will let your record soar and rebalance any bass lost during recording.
About Record Store Day
Record Store Day was conceived in 2007 at a gathering of independent record store owners and employees as a way to celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding nearly 1400 independently owned record stores in the US and thousands of similar stores internationally. The first Record Store Day took place on April 19, 2008. Today there are Record Store Day participating stores on every continent except Antarctica. This year’s Record Store Day takes place on April 13th, 2019. For more information go to https://recordstoreday.com