During the COVID-19 Pandemic there were a number of things that became oddly popular as we all locked our doors trying to avoid a raspatory virus that could kill you. Daily Fantasy Sports was one topic. Streaming movies and TV was another. For some older people as well as younger music enthusiasts, listening to music on a turntable was another. LP sales have grown a lot in terms of percentage as vinyl was a dead format a decade ago but it has had a comeback in the modern era even if physical media makes up only about eight percent of the total record music sales in 2022 according to the industry group RIAA.

Ideas on How To Make a Turntable Work For You In the Modern Era…

  1. Let’s be clear that listening to music on an audiophile turntable is not an high definition listening experience but that doesn’t mean that it is bad. Today’s digital streaming is, in fact, an HD experience. Files that you stream from sources like Amazon Music, Tidal, Qobuz and so many other locations are a digital copy of the master tape that is so close in performance that even professionals can’t hear the difference. An LP has very limited dynamic range (64 dB total) which is about half that of a Compact Disc – not to mention the aforementioned HD files which are even higher performance. An LP also has high distortion in that the physical stylus vibrates in the V-shaped groove. That’s called second degree harmonic distortion and that’s bad. When an audiophile spends a lot of his or her money on an audiophile component, they pay a lot of money to get a very quiet, low-distortion device. Feeding it a high distortion source is like putting 40 octane gas in your Ferrari. It is just foolish.
  2. Where is the value in a turntable in the modern era? There is plenty. Some audiophiles like the ritual of opening the jacket, cleaning the disc and listening to a record on the format that is was originally master for and released on. Others like the idea if actually owning their music in the physical domain. That’s cool too. Other people are tired of dealing with computers and screens that emit blue light. An iPad or Crestron remote or whatever are digital devices. A turntable isn’t and that can be an advantage. Listening to an album (meaning a collection) with songs in order – not on shuffle – is another advantage that many audiophiles who like a turntable note.
  3. The sculpture and/or industrial design of a turntable also can be really cool. Some are cozy, wooden devices like the legendary Linn LP12 turntable from Scotland that has been upgrade and improved for over 40 years. Other turntables look more like a spaceship. Some have two tonearms. Others are polished aluminum. Companies like Pro-ject make Dark Side of the Moon themed turntables or Metallica themed turntables. The cool factor of a turntable can be really high.

The cost of buying vinyl today is high. Sometimes over $100 per record. Unlike a CD or streaming that vinyl LP wears out from its first spin. Used vinyl often has even more noise and distortion than new vinyl yet the cost of used vinyl has gotten obscenely high

Finding the sweet spot for you as an audiophile who might want to bring vinyl into your system is a very personal decision. Hopefully, we’ve given you some facts and insights that help you make the right decision in this article.