Record Player – To Buy or Not to Buy

So this is my first blog post, and the beginning of a possible miniseries “To Buy or Not to Buy” where I will talk about potential purchases in an effort to justify them to myself.

For the longest time I have contemplated whether or not I should purchase a record player. Now I know what some of you might be thinking, but I can assure you, I am no hipster. Nor is it my motivation to become one. Instead, I believe my motivations lay elsewhere. Mainly in the idea of being a collector. I have have many ideas of the kind of things I’d like to collect – classic cars and watches being the main attractions. However, I have many hurdles to overcome before I will fulfil those dreams, not to mention the fact that I can’t even drive yet. That being said, I have an idea of something a little more easily obtained – records. The image of a wall covered in records appeals to me. Building a collection sounds fun. It gives you something to be excited about. I think the search for the records will be play a major role in the enjoyment of it.

However, my motivations for purchasing a record player are not exclusive to the idea of building a collection, but also I believe it to be a product of my love of music. Now I don’t profess to be an expert on music, nor am I a particularly musical person. The recorder is as far as my music career has progressed thus far. Music is perhaps the most subjective thing in the world. Everyone has their own taste, and I truly believe that there is no such thing as bad music. I like to think that I listen to quite a wide range of music, however my real favourites are usually what I would describe as ‘classics’. Music that was, more often than not, originally distributed on vinyl. Frank Sinatra for instance. In my opinion one of the best artists ever. Unoriginal, I know, but I truly believe it. Then there are other artists, perhaps less conventional. The Spinners, Gladys Knight and the Pips and Aretha Franklin just to name a few. This music was made for vinyl. So as a fan shouldn’t I at least give it a shot?

If I am completely honest, I am surprised that I have not bought one yet. I think one of  the main stumbling blocks is my lack of experience with record players. I don’t know enough to know what kind of ‘set-up’ is best. Do I buy a one with built in speakers? Like a Crosley. Or is it best to buy a turntable which can be connected to separate speakers? Does it really matter? The problem is, I don’t know the answer. I need advice. Despite the issue of technicalities, there is also the fact that I have never needed one. We are all surrounded by technology that can link us with music in an instant. Last year, I was lucky enough to be gifted a Sonos Play:1 by my girlfriend for my birthday. It is honestly one of my favourite things. It sits on my desk and it is really the only way I listen to music whilst in my room. The sound quality is amazing over all genres. The Sonos has made it so easy to listen to music. So easy in fact that I rarely don’t have music on. Music might be playing nonstop in my room, I am seldom listening.

We are all guilty of it. Putting music on to fill the silence whilst carrying out some tasks. Be it studying or cleaning. But we rarely sit down and listen. It is here where a record player comes in. It forces you to listen. Unlike your gym playlist on Spotify, vinyl does not hold 6 hours of music. You don’t get a chance to wonder off and get occupied by something else and come back 30 minutes later and for music to still be playing. Music is something which is so emotive. It has the power to remind you of an exact time in your life – good or bad. A record player will allow you to slow down the process, and as a result and enjoy the music by listening. You are less likely to walk away. You respect it a lot more. Another byproduct of listening to vinyl will be discovering new music. You may buy a record for one specific track but more often than not you’ll find yourself listening to the album in its entirety, leading to discovering new songs. There is also this kind of romantic element to putting on a record. The raw sound with the scratches, individual to each record.

So to conclude, we are no further forward. I haven’t chosen a record player. However, I believe that I have identified the real reason why I want one. So I am going to read a little bit more into the technicalities in the hope of making a decision on what kind to buy. That being said if any of you have experience and want to give me some advice please feel free.

So next you are about to put your music on, take a second to listen and properly enjoy it.

Thanks for reading,

Calum

p.s if you want to listen to a bit more of my taste in music, then follow my on Spotify and check out some of my playlists. Follow Me

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