What to Know Before Starting a Record Collection
There are a lot of things to consider when starting a new collection- of anything. The space needed, the cost that you will incur, the time required… These are just a few things to consider before heading to your favorite record store and going nuts.
Why do you want vinyl?
Vinyl is both intimate and personal. It allows you to listen to a warm sound, while interacting with the turntable. You can do this alone, or share with friends- both offer a great time… there’s nothing better than getting home after a long day and putting on your favorite album, turning up the dial and breathing out all of the stress that built up. Alternatively, having your friends over and having that feeling of “I have to share this”, is also fantastic! It’s easy to get wrapped up for hours, pulling out a record and then another and another… Hearing something that’s been heard time and time again, but in a much more interactive way.
What do I need to listen?
There are many, many options for you to choose from these days. To start, try to find a basic and affordable turntable. Look for something that looks good to you, feels good to you- and try to find one with a pre-amp built in (some don’t, which requires purchasing additional accessories). You’ll also need speakers, and a receiver (though you can choose a suitcase style that has a speaker built in, if that’s your thang)- so be sure to cross check that you’re getting things that will work together. If you decide to buy vintage, then check out record stores that offer this- a lot of them will have them out where you can touch/feel/listen and see if it is for you.
In this wonderful day and age, there are numerous options for where to purchase your music. You can go to a store and interact with the employees and other vinyl lovers, you can hermit at home and check out websites, there are Record Fairs with collectables, and then some. If you’re buying new vinyl, chances are things will go very smoothly, with very little effort needed. Buying used vinyl is a great option- but be sure to look over what you’re buying before you take it home… Not everyone handles their belongings the same way that you might. Online, some retailers offer a grading system which can be very helpful in deciding if a particular album is for you or not. North End Records has a grading system on their site, which can be helpful for everyone.
What space will you need?
When you start out, you won’t need a lot of space- but it’s good to have an idea of where you may end up, and work towards that. Many consider quality over quantity, which is a great way to go about your new collection. If you bulk up on cheap records, you’ll probably rarely listen to them- and what’s the point of that? Another article we have here goes over a few options to consider in your storage needs.
What are your favorite bands?
Most importantly, what do you want to listen to? Check out your favorite bands website/facebook/etc, and see what merch they have to offer. They may surprise you, and have even more than you’d ever thought. Many sell their vinyl at their live shows, and this can be a great way to make an exciting night extraordinary (ever gotten a chance to talk to your favorite artist… now you can). This is the fun part- be creative, get out and have the time of your life.