Now that we’re officially into the holiday shopping season, some will be considering vinyl and turntables as presents. If weekly sales trends are any indication, 2018 will end with another big uptick in vinyl sales, making this the eleventh consecutive year of double-digit growth and the best year for vinyl since sometime in the 80s.
But why? Why are people continuing to adopt a music storage format with technological roots that date back to the late 80s? The LP has been with us since 1948. Stereo records haven’t changed much since 1958. So what’s the attraction?
Many vinyl fans will say “better sound” and “gear love.” Let’s go to CNET:
The sound is the thing, but I’d also concede “gear love” is part of the reason we love playing LPs. Turntables look and feel cool. Digital gear is less touchy-feely, and withyou can play all the music you want without ever touching them. Digital audio is more like an appliance — it just gets the job done without asking much from you. Maybe that’s part of the reason LP fanatics find digital soulless.
There’s magic in the sound of analog audio.
I can offer no better proof of that than to point out that some recording and mixing engineers transfer digital tracks to tape to add some analog “flavor” to their digital recordings. It never goes the other way around; no one converts their analog recordings to digital to add digital sound to their analog recordings! It’s worth adding that while analog recordings are mastered to digital for streaming and CD purposes, it’s not as an “effect.”