Vinyl Record Subscription Service | Victrola
Vinyl records offer a warm, rich, sound that many find superior to digital music. With a record subscription service, you’ll receive a curated selection of records each month, so you can be introduced to new artists in the genres you love that you might not have discovered otherwise. Our record club allows you to build your vinyl collection over time while saving time and effort.
Experience the nostalgia of vinyl records with our vinyl subscription service – enjoy on your own, or give it as a gift!
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How Our Record Subscription Service Works
Step 1: Select Your Plan
Choose a Silver 3-month, Gold 6-month, or Platinum 12-month subscription.
Step 2: Choose Your Style
With 10 different genres to choose from, we have something for everyone. Fill out the questionnaire post-subscription purchase for a deeper dive into your musical taste and preference. Don’t worry, you can change your genre selection at any time by logging into your account.
Step 3: Music Delivered To Your Door
Our staff will hand-select 2 titles to ship to you every month based on your preferences. Just cue up your record player and enjoy!
*Note that subscriptions will automatically renew upon expiration. Please contact us to cancel!
Choose Your Vinyl Record Subscription
What You’ll Get
- 2 Curated Albums Per Month for 12 months
- Free Shipping
What You’ll Get
- 2 Curated Albums Per Month for 6 months
- Free Shipping
What You’ll Get
- 2 Curated Albums Per Month for 3 months
- Free Shipping
Based on your genre selection, you may receive titles similar to these.
Frequently asked questions
Your subscription will automatically renew upon expiration.
To cancel, please contact us directly and our team would be more than happy to assist you with the process.
Our post-purchase survey will help us determine the type of music you enjoy and cultivate a great mix of records for your personalized subscription box. If you would like to purchase a specific vinyl record, please visit our record store.
Sign up for our subscription service, and we will email you a coupon code for a record player or turntable of your choice!
Yes, simply login to your account to switch genre preferences.
Yes, you can choose up to two at checkout, and up to three when you fill out the post-purchase survey. Change your selections at any time by logging into your account, or contact us directly to give us more information!
Every order is shipped at the beginning of the month. Your order will be shipped through USPS and can take up to 7-10 days to be delivered to your house.
All our records ship USPS Media Mail from our Vinyl warehouse in Kentucky. How quickly you receive your order will depend on your location, but it typically takes one week.
All the vinyl you receive from our subscription club are non-refundable. If you record was damaged in shipment, contact us for a replacement.
If you already own what you received, you may return it to us unopened for an exchange. We allow this one time per subscription duration. Contact us for a return authorization.
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Where To Buy Vinyls Online (Record Shopping Made Easy)
I used to spend hours browsing my local record store.
But it no longer exists.
Most people are in a similar boat. Brick and mortar record stores are becoming increasingly rare.
The pandemic didn’t help either.
As a result, I’ve been buying tons of records online the past few years.
And I’ve learned where to buy vinyls online: which places make buying records a pleasure, and which ones make the process painful.
Keep reading for a list of the best online marketplaces for vinyl records. You might be surprised by some of the inclusions.
- 1 Where To Buy Vinyls Online
- 1.1 eBay
- 1.1.1 Rare Or Hard-To-Find Records
- 1.1.2 What To Watch Out For
- 1.2 Discogs
- 1.2.1 How Discogs Works
- 1.2.2 Collection Feature
- 1.2.3 Want List
- 1.2.4 How To Search
- 1.3 Amazon
- 1.3.1 Wishlist Feature
- 1.3.2 Used Records
- 1.3.3 New Records
- 1.3.4 Sellers On Amazon
- 1.3.5 My Recommendation
- 1. 4 Rough Trade
- 1.4.1 Inventory And Prices
- 1.4.2 Pre-Order
- 1.5 Amoeba Music
- 1.5.1 Prices
- 1.5.2 Inventory
- 1.5.3 What I Don’t Like
- 1.6 Tower Records
- 1.6.1 Inventory and Prices
- 1.6.2 Exclusives
- 1.6.3 Recommendation
- 1.7 Walmart And Target
- 1.7.1 Exclusives
- 1.1 eBay
- 2 Best Places To Buy Vinyl Records Online: Final Thoughts
Where To Buy Vinyls Online
Before we get into the best places to buy vinly records online, there is something I feel I should point out. I used the word ‘vinyls’ in the title, because a lot of people search for that word.
However, the actual word we use to describe LP albums is ‘records’. The word ‘vinyls’ is only used by people who don’t know any better. In other words, those who are just getting started.
There is nothing wrong with that at all. We all get started with any hobby or interest at some point. We’re all beginners in the beginning. And personally, when I’m just getting into something, I like to know if I’m using the wrong word or doing something else others will find annoying.
This is especially true with this hobby. There are a lot of very snobby collectors out there who will jump down your throat for using the word ‘vinyls’ instead of ‘records’.
With that out of the way, let’s get into the best places to buy vinyl records online. We’ll begin with one of the internet’s biggest marketplaces (perhaps the biggest).
Ebay is quite underrated when it comes to finding things to buy online, and records are no different. I have personally bought no less than 50 records in the last couple of years on eBay.
The truth is that eBay is probably my favorite place to buy records online. The trick to buying records on eBay is to find sellers you like and continue to buy from them. I have a few sellers I buy from. I consistently get good records from them and they ship the records correctly and quickly.
Many large companies have accounts they use on eBay, in addition to plenty of individual sellers. New releases are always easy to find on eBay.
And since there is a lot of competition within the eBay marketplace, you can almost always get a better deal on eBay than anywhere else, especially for new releases or mass-produced stuff from major labels.
Rare Or Hard-To-Find Records
eBay does have sellers with rare and hard-to-find releases. You can find almost anything you want on eBay, but keep in mind that many of the sellers know what things are worth and will price their stuff accordingly.
However, you do sometimes get lucky and find a seller that does not really know what they have and has priced it far below fair market price. I have found a few good deals this way!
What To Watch Out For
E-Bay has a convenient feedback system, though it can be a bit misleading. Watch for sellers who have 100% positive feedback, because this is extremely hard to maintain. You can be certain if a seller has 100% positive feedback that they go out of their way to take good care of their buyers.
Feedback Score Broken Down
If you see a seller with 90% positive feedback, that may seem pretty good right? Actually, it is not good at all. You almost have to try to get feedback that low on eBay. The sweet spot for a seller that is doing a good job is between 95 and 100% feedback.
Number Next To The Name
Take a look at the number next to the seller’s name. This is the number of individual reviews they have received. A number over two thousand means they have been working at it for a while and know what they are doing, whereas a three-digit number is a sign they are a rookie, so be careful.
Discogs is an interesting website with a database-style setup that can be overwhelming and quite irritating for a record shopper. That being said, it is one of the best websites to buy vinyl. And to sell it.
I have personally bought at least 150 records from Discogs over the years, especially during the worst part of the pandemic.
How Discogs Works
Discogs will make more sense to you once you understand it is a database. As a database, it stores data like release date, country of pressing, record label, artist, and so many more details, down to the vinyl color.
People have something called their ‘collection’ inside Discogs, and you can input your personal record collection including the artist, album, release date, and catalog number.
This allows other people to see your collection, and it also makes it very easy for you to sell your records when you decide to do so. All the data is already there.
There is also a want list for every user. Much like eBay has a watch list, the Discogs want list will send you notices when something you want becomes available for sale. This is a great feature, especially if you use the app. The app is well-maintained and quite useful.
How To Search
To find an album on Discogs you just use the search feature. But the devil is in the details. This is where it can get very frustrating as a record shopper.
Make sure you use the filter feature and choose vinyl. Once you search you will get all the versions of the album.
For example, Live at Leeds by The Who has hundreds of versions: versions from all different countries, reissues over many years, remixes, rare vinyl color variants, etc. And since Discogs is a database, it has all these versions listed. It can make your head explode with options!
Know What You Want
The key takeaway here is to know exactly what you want when you start searching. For example, say you want a first pressing, or the US version represses from 2010 on 180-gram vinyl.
If you know what you are searching for, you can find it right away using filters. If not, there could be a lot to sift through.
Of course, this is not a big problem for new releases or indie label artists, since there are not hundreds of versions (yet).
The biggest benefit to using Discogs is that the vast majority of sellers know what they are doing. Nearly all of them are record collectors themselves, or record stores using Discogs to help them make more money. I love Discogs and highly recommend it.
Amazon sells everything, and why not LPs? I have a few albums in my collection that I got from Amazon as gifts on Christmas.
Amazon has the Wishlist feature which you can share with anyone and give them access to your list. As people buy things off the list, they disappear. This feature is brilliant, and it is why Amazon makes so much money on the holidays and people’s birthdays.
I personally do not recommend Amazon as a place to buy used LPs. This is not because it is necessarily bad for all LPs, but they have thousands of sellers that have no idea how to ship records.
Also, sellers are not required to show pictures of the actual item. You only get a description of ‘good’ or ‘acceptable’. But what does that mean?
With new records, this is not an issue. Anything new is going to be the same description for every seller. With Discogs, some standards are explained in detail, so you know exactly what condition the used record is in.
Sellers On Amazon
Amazon has so many sellers and many of them sell toasters, shirts, and LPs. You want to avoid this type of seller, and try to stick to sellers that specialize in records.
You can click on a seller’s name and see their entire inventory to check if they are an ‘everything’ seller or a specialty seller for records.
Much like eBay (and Discogs, too) Amazon sellers have a score you can see on their profile page. The more positive feedback, the better the seller is.
Amazon does not inherently have a wider variety than any other marketplace. From what I can see there is no benefit to buying from Amazon over any other marketplace.
You may be able to find a slightly better deal on a new LP, but for a dollar more, I would rather know for a fact my record will arrive safe and use Discogs or a trusted seller on eBay.
The wish list feature is great, but Amazon has not put any infrastructure in place to make the used vinyl record market safer for buyers. I believe used records are a special niche that not every business can understand or be successful selling in.
Amazon should stick to toasters and blenders, in my opinion. There are too many better places to buy records.
Rough Trade is a huge online independent record store. They specialize in independent artists, but they also have more mainstream releases as well. You can find the Beatles, the Who, Elliot Smith, the Shins, and many other modern or classic rock bands.
Rough Trade is not a marketplace like the other 3 places on the list so far. There are not various sellers, each with different feedback and inventories. This is nice because you know this outfit knows what they are doing, since they specialize in selling records online.
Inventory And Prices
They have any genre you can think of, though they specialize in rock music. It is easy to understand the online shopping setup. You can just use the search bar to find what record you are looking for.
Their prices are comparable to any other retail record shop. New LPs can Range from $20 to $35, depending on the artist and release.
They have a pre-order feature which comes in handy these days, since the vinyl record craze is out of control. Some releases (especially in small-batch color pressings) will sell out fast, so getting a pre-order is a necessity.
Rough Trade is great, I have ordered from them, and I recommend them for sure.
Visit Rough Trade.
Amoeba Music have physical stores in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Hollywood. Much like Rough Trade, Amoeba Music is an independent record store.
They bill themselves as the largest independent online record store. They have a vast inventory of independent and underrepresented artists. They do also have major label artists as well.
Their prices are pretty good. Often they are a bit lower than Rough Trade’s prices. I have only ordered from them two times so far, but both times I got what I ordered fast and safely. They can get pricey for rare stuff, but that is true of all these online shops.
They get their used inventory from their physical locations in California and sell it online and in their stores. They have agreements with most independent labels and purchase new releases in bulk, which can help get you a slightly better price.
Amoeba also sells merchandise, books, and movies. It is a decent place to buy records, especially if you are looking for an independent artist that is not very well known. Amoeba has a wide variety of lesser-known artists from many different genres, not just rock.
What I Don’t Like
Their site looks like it was created in 1995 and is very annoying to use. It only uses half the screen, all the pictures are small, and the text is also small. It looks cramped, crowded, and like a hot mess.
However, it is well organized, and you can find your way around. It is just ugly, and that gives me anxiety. That said, Amoeba is a good place to buy from. You can trust their shipping and customer service.
Tower Records gives me a bit of nostalgia when I think about it. I used to shop at Tower Records down the street from my house. That is where I bought the first few batches of records in my collection.
Unfortunately, they closed all their physical stores, after music downloads became all the rage and before buying vinyl records became cool again.
If only they could have held out another decade. They could be the biggest record store on the planet once again.
That said, they did start jacking up prices back in the day, since they had an unofficial monopoly on LPs and CDs early on. So I suppose their demise was justified anyway. They exist now as an online-only record shop.
Inventory and Prices
They have a decent inventory. Most of the popular new releases will be there, along with the popular re-pressings and remastered classics by big-name rock, pop, and country bands. Their prices are along the lines of other big retailers like Walmart, Amazon, Target, etc.
They have been in the business for years, so I am sure you can trust them when buying records. They do still have some amount of clout in the industry, but nowhere near what they once did. Because of this, they do sometimes get some decent exclusives, which are available on the exclusives section of their site.
In my opinion, there is no benefit to buying from Tower Records over any other place. They do have some good exclusives and from time to time their prices can be quite good, but they don’t really stand out or offer any amazing benefits over other popular stores.
Visit Tower Records.
Walmart And Target
I decided to put these two in the same entry, because there is no real difference here, when it comes to buying vinyl records. These are big box stores that started selling vinyl because they can make money on it.
While this is not bad in and of itself, it does not give me any reason to give them my hard-earned money. I don’t buy records at either store, and I don’t plan to.
Because they are large corporate superstores, they have substantial buying power. That means they do get a massive number of exclusives on major label artist releases. Special color variants, exclusive tracks, etc. are very common in these places.
I have never bought any records from either store, but they do a good job shipping and they will take good care of you if you use them. I have my personal reasons for not using them, but I know for a fact they do a good job and are reliable.
Keep in mind you are not going to find many independent artists in these stores. They generally only carry very popular albums they are certain they can sell thousands of.
Visit Walmart. Visit Target.
Best Places To Buy Vinyl Records Online: Final Thoughts
You have a lot of options for places to buy vinyl records online these days. But not all that many good options. The ones above are the best options, but not all will appeal to everyone.
As mentioned, I personally do not buy from Walmart or Target and generally avoid Amazon (for records anyway), too. But I included those options, because they are among the best places to buy records online.
Are there any additional stores you feel belong on this list? Or have you had a bad experience with any of the ones I did include? If so, please feel free to leave a comment below and let us know.
USSR vinyl records | Retro Mir
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear about “Soviet music”? Is it the Red Army Choir with their military orchestra songs or the enigmatic symphonies of Dmitry Shostakovich? The British Library holds a wide variety of Soviet and Russian music recordings from various Western record labels, as well as the official Soviet (now Russian) state-owned record company, Melodiya.
C 19During the 1950s, technological advances in the recording of music led to the widespread practice of listening to and collecting records. Three key technical innovations fueled the rapid growth of the recording industry after World War II: the development of magnetic tape recording, the invention of the vinyl LP, and the introduction of stereophonic sound reproduction.
The LP remained the main format for listening to classical music at home between the 1950s and the early 1919s.80s, when it was gradually overtaken in terms of sales by cassettes, and then by CDs. The creation of the LP format also led to an important repertoire phenomenon: the entire mainstream classical music repertoire in the back catalog of major record companies was very quickly re-recorded in the 1950s for the LP format. This meant that the record consumer now had access to a huge variety of interpretations of the same music. Thus, by the late 1950s, the Western classical music market was saturated with recorded interpretations of works from the traditional Western canon, and listeners were hungry for new performers and repertoire.
Why do people still buy vinyl?
- In the world of streaming, listening anytime, anywhere is the gold standard. But what exactly is special about vinyl that means it’s getting back on its feet in the modern era?
- While the entire album can be heard online, many vinyl lovers still crave the thrill of finding new music in person. In many ways, buying vinyl is a lot like dating.
- Choosing a vinyl is a very tangible experience – walking into a specialty store, asking for recommendations, rummaging through the aisles and listening to different records for hours… all before taking it home.
- Unlike music streaming, which is easily available on almost any mobile device, a vinyl record can only be listened to on turntables, which unfortunately take up a lot of space.
- These days, many of us are used to listening to music in a compressed format that sacrifices quality over quantity. Vinyl records are different in that they retain the original quality as intended by the artists. The song on Spotify pales in comparison to the depth, warmth, and texture of a well-maintained vinyl record.
- While streaming can be incredibly lucrative for popular artists, most artists can barely make a living from streaming platforms alone. Buying vinyl records and other physical goods is a great way to support your favorite artists and help them keep making their music. For music lovers who want to help immortalize their music offline, vinyl records can do just that.
- Finally, unlike streaming sites that license music, vinyl records can be owned. With the growing interest in buying and selling vinyl records, collectors are starting to see its huge potential as an investment vehicle. Vinyl records from popular artists, especially those in good condition, often not only retain their value but increase exponentially over time.
History of vinyl records in the USSR
Imagine if the limitless music at your fingertips were outlawed. That songs that carry memories, both beautiful and banal, have been banned due to shifting political sentiments: and that the only way to listen to these songs is to buy bootleg bootleg records on street corners, always aware that you could go to jail for doing so. .
For citizens of the Soviet Union in the 1940s and 1950s, this was not hypothetical. The principles of socialist realism, espoused by intellectuals such as Maxim Gorky, were used by Stalin to ban any music, art, and literature that did not conform to the ideals of the USSR—and did not serve his cult of personality.
Western music – jazz and rock and roll, which were the pop music of the time; certain Russian music of emigrants living in the West, such as Pyotr Leshchenko or Konstantin Sokolsky, were considered traitors by people; and then the big folk traditions of Russian music, which spoke of the dark, criminal underworld in the USSR.
All of these were wildly popular, but it was impossible to get them. Everything changed in 1946, when a young soldier, Stanislav Filo, returned home to Leningrad with an apparatus for copying records.
Think of a gramophone or a turntable, but the other way around – where the stylus, instead of reading the grooves carved into the record, cuts into an empty surface. That’s what these portable machines were – and, oddly enough, the possession and use of them was allowed by the Soviet authorities. Although these machines were intended to record literal voice messages, they became the only way music was copied in the USSR.
Philo opened a legitimate store, but he also began secretly recording and selling smuggled jazz and boogie-woogie takes.
He soon gained a reputation among the dudes and began to develop a small fan base, including two key figures in the story, Ruslan Bogoslovsky and his friend Boris Taigin.
He studied Philo’s machine, which he thought he could reproduce and improve. One day at his family dacha, he showed Taigin his sketches, and the duo began selling bootleg records under the pseudonym “Gang of Golden Dogs”, in deference to the British record store “His Master’s Voice”.
What is x-ray music?
Bogoslovsky also found that x-rays are ideal for cutting out records for several reasons. First, this old silver nitrate film was soft enough to carve a pattern, but strong enough to hold its shape. The second and more practical reason was that local hospitals had to dispose of old x-ray sheets due to their flammable nature – which meant the duo could steal and buy film from them.
Jazz sounded from a grinning skull. The shattered tibia tensed at Ella Fitzgerald’s voice.
The king of Russian tango Leshchenko danced from a broken chest. Cut into a circle with a cigarette butt scorched in the center, the creepy façade of underground dubbing has led to a host of nicknames: “ribs,” “bone music,” “my grandmother’s skeleton,” and more formal X-ray publishing.
Golden dogs became especially popular among the Soviet hipsters, who craved sounds that were not prescribed by the state. Some, like Fuchs, went so far as to donate blood in order to have money to buy records – blood for bones. But this fame also reached the ears of the authorities – and at 19In 1950, the gang was arrested and both men were sent to prison. Stalin’s death in 1953 supposedly meant a relaxation of these laws, and Bogoslovsky returned home with new methods he had developed during his imprisonment to help improve the quality of his recordings.
The most popular vinyl records from the USSR:
- Gaia. Gaia is perhaps one of my favorite ensembles from the Soviet era. They were primarily a pop group with a varied line-up of singers over the years, but have always incorporated Jazz, Beat, Funk, Rock, and occasionally Latin American elements into their music. This 3 track EP 1978 is probably the highlight of their recorded work. “Azerbaijan” is a proud and funky song “that is like nothing else. The second track “Mole” is also very special, with fantastic Azeri-style rhythmic and vocal arrangements. Side B comes up with another killer: “Brazilian composition” is six minute latin american funk melody, you won’t believe it was released in the USSR
- Raivo Tammiku Instrumental Ensemble. Raivo Tammik was an Estonian jazz musician who apparently married a German woman, left the Soviet Union and moved to Germany. His discography includes two incredibly great jazz EPs released on Melodia. The strongest of the tracks is probably “Ratastel” (Wheels) – an amazing jazz composition with a funky twist. I still have Martin from Frotee Records to thank for arranging a clean copy for me at a good price. The track “Ratastel” is reminiscent of another Estonian jazz musician, Jaan Kuman, who only two years later performed the song in a brighter version with his ensemble.
- Jaan Kumani Ensemble. Jaan Koeman was a trumpeter – his ensemble played various styles of jazz, from traditional to pure jazz funk. His recorded output seems to be limited to a couple of rare 7″ EPS’s, including amazing tracks like “Globus (Gloobus)” or “Contrasts (Contrast)”. Until now, little is known about Jaan Koeman’s ensemble producing an official Soviet album – only on cassette, which mainly features tracks from his EP series.As a side note, you should check out his Jazzaggression Records compilation, which features the best of his tracks.0016
- Aeolica. Let’s stay in the Baltics for one more episode. This time it’s the Latvian band Eolika, known mainly for their 1980 classic disco tune “Shooting Stars”. A full decade earlier they had released a beautiful and rather amazing 4-track EP which boasts the outstanding track “Japrot” with instructive whimsical organ solos and nice vocals.
- Vodogray. From Latvia we head to Ukraine, kind of a melting pot for the “Soviet Groove” with great bands like Arnika, Vizerunki Shlyakhov or Chervona Ruta (Sofia Rotaru’s band) just to name a few. One of the best pop bands was Vodohray, whose music always had a nice “Western” influence mixed with traditional elements. Among the rather collectible album 19’78 they released 2 more EPs. One of them, the two-track single ‘Zore My Evening’, was a lucky find in Berlin for 1 euro just a few months ago. Both tracks are very slow and soulful, and due to their strange vocals, may not be for everyone. However, the track ‘Kalina’ really kills me.
- Leil. From Ukraine, we again return to the Caucasus region. Georgia, as you can hear in my “Georgian Groove Basics” mix (look here, this is one of my favorite countries musically. Even though Georgia was one of the smaller states, it produced a significant and significant output compared to others Soviet states and was home to big bands like VIA 75, Iveria, Rero, Dielo etc. One of the lesser known bands is Lale, whose recording catalog is limited to only two (or maybe 3) floppy EPs. based on 4 pop songs, partly influenced by rhythm and jazz.Again, this EP may not be for everyone, but with its offbeat vocal approach, you might like it.
- Konstantin Orbelyan. At that time Kontantin Orbelyan was still a new name for me, but the photo on the back told me that it must be good. The album is actually a collection of works featuring the amazing tracks “Vocalis” and “Dilschan”.
- Artemy Ayvazyan. A lesser known Armenian composer is Artemy Ayvazyan. His album features a collection of works with various vocal artists. It contains the outstanding song “Caravan”, in which the singer Raisa Mkrtchyan performs. Although the album was released at 19’83, its sound is still the one we’ve all loved since the early ’70s.
- Jazz choir. Back to Georgia: This rare and beautiful vocal jazz album is known only to me, because I really had to buy and smuggle it out of Georgia for my friend, who at that time always had problems with German customs. So I bought this from a Georgian vinyl record dealer when I was in Tbilisi (Tiflis) for a DJ performance. Since the album was released at 1986, I expected that he would no longer be good … how wrong I was. Imagine the powerful and swinging Georgian version of the Polish singers Novi or the Estonian collage ensemble. The album is really amazing. I was still lucky enough to grab a copy from America for as little as $25 through Discogs before it was noticed by anyone else and before the Georgian sellers noticeably raised the price of this item.
- Apple. Another lesser-known ensemble from the Soviet Union is the folk-rock band Yabloko. Their album is mostly straight folk, however it does include the great tune “Wedding”. In addition, one of my favorite Soviet works of art is displayed here!
Where can I sell USSR vinyl records?
Retro Mir buys antiques. Anyone can sell antiques for cash. We redeem goods and even whole apartment furnishings. Clients can receive money immediately.
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How To Choose Vinyl Records
Despite the popularity of digital music and CDs, vinyl is still a hit with listeners of all ages. Think of what albums your collector may be dreaming of, a lost favorite or a rare gem. Whether you are shopping for a long-time listener with an impressive vinyl collection or someone just looking to take the first step into analog music, the revival of vinyl means that there is a huge range of classic albums and new releases to choose from and machines to play them on. You can find records of all genres including rock, indie, hip-hop, and even film soundtracks. Browse the offerings on eBay and start a new yearly tradition among your family.
Why choose vinyl?
For audiophiles, the answer is quite simple. Vinyl records sound better. The quality of a digital music recording like a CD is limited by its bitrate, or the rate at which it records information. The sound on a digital album is a series of snapshots, and the music is often compressed afterwards to reduce the file size. The grooves of a record are continuous and lossless. As long as you have a good turntable, you can hear the recording exactly as it was played . This isn’t necessarily true of modern album releases, though. Many new records and remasters are actually pressed from digital master files. Vinyl records are collectible, too. Many records from the time when vinyl ruled are now rare. Original pressings of albums from classic bands like The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd can have real historic value. Collectability isn’t limited to classic releases, either. Since digital formats have become the main medium for music, record companies have tended to treat vinyl records as special editions, so albums often come with unique artwork and other bonuses.
How do I assess the condition of records?
A vinyl record’s condition is of great importance to collectors, so they often look for graded records. These are rated on a common scale, although there is some subjectivity involved. Mint records are those that are in perfect condition and have been stored very carefully. They will never have been played and the disc and sleeve will display no damage. Some will still be sealed. Near Mint vinyl records will still show no damage to the disc or the sleeve or cover, but may show some signs of having been handled.Very Good and Very Good Plus vinyl records will show wear, although they have still been stored and used carefully. Grooves may be more worn and there may be creasing or scuffs visible on the sleeve. You might also get some crackle while listening, but the sound quality should still be excellent. Good and Good Plus graded records should play all the way through without skipping, but sound quality might be less than it was due to wear on the grooves. The vinyl and the sleeve or cover will have clearly visible defects.Lower grades like Poor or Fair may well not play through every time without skipping, and will display noticeable cosmetic damage like cracks on the vinyl or tears on the sleeve.Vinyl records will sometimes be given a play grade and a visual grade. Play grades refer to how good the sound quality is, while visual grades are down to how good the disc and its cover look.
What do the different formats mean?
LPs measure a foot across and spin at just over 33 rotations per minute. A vinyl LP can hold up to an hour of music on each side, so they are a popular format for albums. In longer albums the grooves have to be cut closer together which can affect sound quality.