Why I Love Vinyl Records

It's no secret I'm a fan of vinyl records but I realized I've never actually explained by aberrant behavior. So here is my defense:

Vinyl is imperfect. Like a painting or a person- vinyl records are always somewhere south of perfection. There are so many small details that go into making a record- mastering, cutting, pressing, etc- so there is endless room for error. Which makes a well pressed record a thing of beauty to see and hear. Digital is always perfect, every time. To quote the Talking Heads "Heaven is a place, a place where nothing, nothing ever happens". Perfection is boring.

The way it sounds. Some people will swear that vinyl sounds better but I would argue that it mostly sounds different. Without getting too technical I will try to explain the main differences. To quote Neil Young "Digital music is a picture of sound". Vinyl is analog which is continuous like a river- every time you play a record, in small ways, it will sound different. The needle will track differently, a new "pop" will appear, etc. Also there is no doubt that vinyl has a real "warmth" to it that often means more bass response and a warmer middle range. Another key difference is the way albums are mastered for vinyl versus digital (most of the time). Digital has a hard stop at 0db but vinyl is an organic matter and there is no hard stop. So this leads to an artistic struggle between the dynamic aspect of the music and the physical limitations of the vinyl. So vinyl is more dynamic (most of the time), sonically, than digital which means less fatigue for the listener and more emotion in the music. 

The experience. Listening to vinyl is a very immersive experience. You put the record on, you sit down, look at the jacket and focus on the music or maybe read a book. There's no skipping around, jumping tracks. That's a pain to do so you don't do it. The limitations of vinyl relaxes me. Infinite choice is stressful. With vinyl you have your record collection and that's it, if you want to listen to a record you don't have, too bad, you'll have to buy it. Like we find with design- fewer choices means a better overall experience.

I could go on with so many other reasons but these 3 hit on the main points. If you are a vinyl enthusiast I'd love to hear what you love about records. Or maybe this post inspires some to start their own collections. Oh- one that thing- records generally don't go down in value over time, only up, so that's nice too.

Also check out my site www.recordgeeks.com for vinyl pressing reviews.