Introduction

The Vinyl Vault

Over the course of the foreseeable future we will be
making a series of articles available on our website that will enable users to
optimize the performance of their vinyl playback systems. We trust that it will
be informative and assure more enjoyment from your records, yet at the same
time be a fun series and something to look forward to. We will endeavor to
cover all aspects of vinyl records, turntables and associated items and topics.

We obviously sell various products that will
enhance the experience and also ensure that the advice that is given can be
followed and utilized fully, to add to the joy of listening to records.

A lot has been said about vinyl in general, some of
it good and some of it bad. However, irrespective of the general impression
that people might have of records, the following is certainly true:

  • A
    vinyl record is what it is – it is a relatively inexpensive carrier of
    musical signal and can reward us with wonderful sound if a few general
    matters are adhered to, like properly set up turntables and the use of
    decent cartridges and styli that are not worn or damaged.
  • Records
    are surprisingly versatile and much more resilient than what we sometimes
    give them credit for. Considering how many records have been left all over
    the place, in or out of their covers, transported and manhandled,
    miraculously survived many rip-roaring parties, it is amazing that you can
    still start them up and dig the groove (literally and figuratively)!
  • Many
    recordings will never be released on other formats, notably CD, or
    otherwise. So we certainly need to look after them and treat them with
    respect. So, would you rather listen to records that are not absolutely
    perfect, or not at all?
  • There
    is wear and tear on records. The simple act of playing records works on
    the principle of contact and therefore also friction to produce audible
    sound, but a properly set up turntable and a decent undamaged stylus tip
    will give many hundreds of plays before noise becomes an intrusive factor.
  • There
    is nothing as tangible and pleasant to behold as a record cover with
    glorious artwork and excellent and well-written liner notes, photos and unique
    cover materials. The physical dimension li9mitations of the CD cover and
    casing have limited artwork and the general approach to what can and what
    cannot be done comfortably, or even be seen or read easily. Double and
    triple gatefold sleeves and fold-outs, pop-up sleeves inserts and shapes,
    and brightly coloured and interesting record labels all make for fun and
    great discussion topics.

But – it is hard to put into words the exact
emotions that we experience when we listen to our records and reminisce. The
memories flood back and the sound very often surprises us beyond our loftiest
expectations. Too many pages have been written about the differences between
vinyl and other source formats, but there is a depth and width and emotional
content from records properly reproduced that is extremely difficult to
describe merely with words. There are many technical explanations or viewpoints
as to why records sound better than CD’s, or not, but frankly – who cares?
Listening and enjoyment is the key. Your heart will answer the questions. The
acid test – when the same title is played on both vinyl and CD invariably has
vinyl as the preferential victor. And if not – which is more like the real
deal? Neither…

The articles will appear once a week. In addition
to the technicalities and information, we will also supply a list of
recommended vinyl titles that are in print and obtainable that will give your
turntable a decent workout. Remember that these are only guidelines and not a
definitive list of recording to own. We realize that not all music appeals to
all users, but the emphasis is on good quality music. Many people state that
they do not listen to certain types of music, yet if they had access to good
recordings and enjoyable music they very often find that they actually enjoy
(shock and horror!) many things they would never have contemplated listening
to. From software availability viewpoints vinyl users have never had it this
good, with many new recordings released on vinyl even offering additional
tracks and specials that their CD equivalents do not.

So we trust that you will have fun following the
series and hopefully find it an enriching experience that will make you enjoy
your records and turntable even more if you are a user, and if you aren’t (but
actually have one that hasn’t seen action for some time), you might even be
inspired to haul it out, set it up and spin some old friends!

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