Do You Remember Vinyl?

I may be about to give away my age here, but I noticed a small shop in Vero Beach that buys and sells vinyl records.  Seeing this shop brought back memories of all the time I spent saving for, and shopping for, my favorite music on vinyl record albums.  There was something almost ceremonial about listening to a new album for the first time.   First you would remove the cellophane wrapper, and then carefully slip the shiny black disc out of the protective paper sleeve before placing it carefully on the platter of your turntable.   Then I would wipe the vinyl records, vero beach, titusville, melbourne, FLsurface with a special brush before lowering the tonearm into the outer grove for the first time.  Once the music began to fill the room, I would of course study the wealth of information, art, and images on the album cover.

Bedroom walls of the 60s and 70s were frequently lined with record albums.

I listened to vinyl records long after the compact disc came along promising the world “perfect sound forever.”   I stayed with vinyl largely because much of my favorite music was off the beaten path, and did not have a large enough of an audience to warrant re-release on the new digital format.  Others however stayed with vinyl because they were convinced vinyl just sounds better.   I must confess, I did not miss the pops and ticks that I could never eliminate from my vinyl rig, but I do believe that vinyl records were able to reproduce a degree of warmth and depth that was lacking in the new compact disc.

There is definitely basis in fact for the theory that vinyl sounds better.  Real music consists of sound waves that are continuous, and ever changing in frequency.  The groove in a vinyl record is able to reproduce those continuous waves.  Digital on the other hand samples the continuous waves at a fixed interval and only presents the value of the waveforms at those sample points in time.

Think of it like a connect the dots drawing. If you take a drawing of a beach ball.  At every half inch along the round ball you put a dot with the next number.  If you replace the curved line of the original beach ball drawing with  straight lines from dot to dot, you will end up with a shape that looks a little like a beach ball, but not as much as the original drawing.   In our analogy, the music is the original drawing of the beach ball, and the digital recording is the connect the dots representation of the music.

vinyl records - vero beach, titusville, melbourne.After moving all those albums a few times, I finally decided that digital music was probably good enough for me, but believe it or not, the market for vinyl never died. There are dedicated enthusiast still who keep vinyl alive.    Some of the more hip recording artists today are choosing to have their new work released on high quality “180 gram” vinyl albums.   Audio manufacturers exist who are dedicating much effort to perfecting playback for the vinyl purist. You might not even recognize  some of the more esoteric  turntables for what they are.

This state of the art turntable retails for $35,950. The tone arm pictured adds $9,500.  A suitable cartridge may add as much as $15,000.

It seems the major focus on music reproduction is now all about convenience rather than fidelity.  With each new medium, the music is compressed a little more, and loses some quality in the process.  Now that even the compact disc seems dated,  I think it is quite cool that the nostalgic record player, and the vinyl record has survived.

DiSalvo And Company, P.A. is a  Treasure Coast CPA firm, with offices in Vero Beach, Titusville, and Melbourne,  providing comprehensive accounting and tax services for businesses in the Treasure Coast and Space Coast area of Central Florida. We  are the  Dave Ramsey endorsed local provider of Tax Services in your area.

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