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Post Info TOPIC: Vinyl records coming back??!!

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Vinyl records coming back??!!


At a glance, the far corner of the main floor of J&R Music looks familiar to anybody old enough to have scratched a record by accident. There are cardboard boxes filled with albums by the likes of Miles Davis and the Beach Boys that could be stacked in any musty attic in America.

But this is no music morgue; it is more like a life-support unit for an entertainment medium that has managed to avoid extinction, despite numerous predictions to the contrary. The bins above the boxes hold new records freshly pressed albums of classic rock as well as vinyl versions of the latest releases from hip-hop icons like 50 Cent and Diddy and new pop stars like Norah Jones and Lady Gaga.

And with the curious resurgence of vinyl, a parallel revival has emerged: The turntable, once thought to have taken up obsolescence with reel-to-reel and eight-track tape players, has been reborn.

J&R Music, at 23 Park Row southeast of City Hall Park, now carries 21 different turntables at prices ranging from $85 to $875. Some are traditional analog record players; others are designed to connect to computers for converting music to digital files.

Rachelle Friedman, the co-owner of J&R, said the store is selling more vinyl and turntables than it has in at least a decade, fueled largely by growing demand from members of the iPod generation.

Its all these kids that are really ramping up their vinyl collections, Ms. Friedman said. New customers are discovering the quality of the sound. Theyre discovering liner notes and graphics. In many instances, the vinyl album of today is thicker and sounds better than those during vinyls heyday in the 1960s and 1970s.

Sales of vinyl albums have been climbing steadily for several years, tromping on the notion that the rebound was just a fad. Through late November, more than 2.1 million vinyl records had been sold in 2009, an increase of more than 35 percent in a year, according to Nielsen Soundscan. That total, though it represents less than 1 percent of all album sales, including CDs and digital downloads, is the highest for vinyl records in any year since Nielsen began tracking them in 1991.

Sales of CDs, meanwhile, have been falling fast, displaced by the downloading of digital files of songs from services like iTunes. Sales of albums on CD, which generally cost half as much as their vinyl counterparts, have dropped almost 20 percent this year, according to Nielsen.

With overall sales down, numerous big music-store chains like Tower Records, Virgin Megastore and HMV have pulled out of Manhattan, leaving music sales largely to online merchants and the few small, die-hard record shops scattered about Greenwich Village and Brooklyn.

One exception has been Best Buy, a national electronics chain that recently opened its sixth store in Manhattan. A year ago, the chain started stocking vinyl albums in about 50 of its stores, including one on the Upper East Side. Their presence, with their alluring cover art, still has the power to stun.

Some individuals come into our store and they stop in their tracks, said Andre Sam, a sales representative at Best Buys store on East 86th Street. They dont expect to see this. You can see them reminiscing as they start looking at the album covers.

Last week, that store and a new Best Buy on Union Square installed departments, dubbed Club Beats, where customers can test out turntables and other equipment that DJs use to mix music. They can spin, they can mix, they can scratch, whatever they want to do, Mr. Sam said.

He suggested that video games deserved some credit for the resurgence of interest in vinyl albums and turntables. Popular games like Guitar Hero and Rockband have introduced young customers to classic rock and pop artists like the Beatles and Metallica, while DJ Hero has inspired some to try their hands at mixing music for real.

Not all of the turntables in these stores are designed to do anything so old-school as spinning actual records. A few models are still made for that purpose, many of them with cables that connect to computers so that the music can be transferred to portable devices. But others simply allow their users to simulate the manipulation of records while the songs they are mixing are being fed from iPods.

Interest from younger listeners is what convinced music industry executives that vinyl had staying power this time around. As more record labels added vinyl versions of new releases, the industry had to scramble to find places to press discs, said Mike Jbara, president and chief executive of the sales and distribution division of Warner Music Group.

It is absolutely easy to say vinyl doesnt make sense when you look at convenience, portability, all those things, Mr. Jbara said. But all the really great stuff in our lives comes from a root of passion or love.


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The Forum Celestial Advisor

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This is a "Mercury in retrograde" movement. For me
whenever Mercury is in retrograde I feel like playing
something old...grab a bunch of 45's or some group
that I have numerous LP's of that I never felt worthy
enough to buy twice via CD's. I keep my Technics quartz
direct drive turntable on the downstairs entertainment
center. I have over 4000 LP's, a 1000 45's, a 1000 78's.
Do I want to play them on a regular basis?...no. I also
have over 1600 CD's with many of those the same as
the vinyl I own. Vinyl is so fucking delicate. Any scratch
is there forever. With the 78's, the rice krispie crackling
and surface noise thing adds some misunderstood attraction.
All vinyl requires a whole lot of jumping up to change sides
and shit. All vinyl requires cleaning before every play.
You just have to be away from it for a while before you
realize how stoneage it really was. In my circle of friends,
ain't one that would give a shit or even notice a thrill of
playing vinyl copy of any music. If vinyl is making a comeback,
it's for idiots. Maybe I can dump my collection for an extra
grand or two. (probably only Snippy would get this..."Forward
into the past")

-- Edited by The Krink on Friday 11th of December 2009 03:58:11 AM


If you are in a horror movie, you make bad decisions, its what you do.

Force Majeure

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The Krink wrote:

Technics quartz direct drive turntable

Ah, Snippy's problem - finding the rubber band for his JVC Linear Tracking TT - would have been solved with direct drive.

Not that he really wants to go back to vinyl...



Building Bridges


The Forum Celestial Advisor

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Posts: 14029

Yeah I got a very expensive Thorens turntable with a
20lb platter driven by a rubber band. The turntable
shuts off and the rubberband goes flying. I hated that
turntable. Been in my storage for I don't how many years.
It was also cool to have a turntable that tracked at less
than a gram. So you have to always tippy-toe whenever
playing a record. Audiofiles with thousands of bucks to blow
are always the advocates of the vinyl sounds better than
CD's. Audiofile magazine was notorious for offering up
product reviews on turntables selling for 10 grand or more.
And of course you had to have a amp of 10 grand or more
to go with it. And speakers 10 grand a pair to go with it.
Much cheaper to smoke a joint and listen to whatever record
on whatever record player and whatever stereo system you own.


If you are in a horror movie, you make bad decisions, its what you do.

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