Over the past few years, you may have noticed the resurgence of the record player. If you were lucky enough, your parents may have jammed to the velvety sounds of vinyl. There’s something magical about the way music sounds coming off a record player. Yes, the digital age of song is upon us, and don’t get us wrong, we’re extremely grateful. Spotify basically rules our life. But when you flip the switch, steady the needle and the turntable begins to spin, it’s magic.
So why? Why are the sounds so different? Most of the music we listen to is stored and broadcast in a lossy format, where minutiae details are often lost and the overall value of sound is reduced. Why do they do this? It’s simple, audio is compressed in order to make it small stream on your phone, or to broadcast over the airwaves on your favorite radio station. Vinyl is what’s called a lossless format. Nothing has been lost when pressing a record. It sounds exactly as the producer or band intended, it is the truest version of their vision. We recently partook in a fun experiment, where we listened to Led Zeppelin’s album Physical Graffiti, we gave it a whirl all the way through on both Spotify and then on our record player. The difference was remarkable.
Luckily most musicians these days recognize how important it is to retain such quality. While you may not find, the latest version of Despacito on vinyl many artists have made their music available in this format. Luckily for us, the record era is alive and well in Chicago. Sprinkled throughout the city are some amazing shops that range from trendy to “High Fidelity-esc”. Listed below are some of our favorites.
Our turntable was a hand me down, gifted by our father. It’s the same turn table we used to dance around the house as kids. Luckily it was very well kept and safely stored, and today it works perfectly. We also have friends who scoured estate sales and antique stores until they found a turntable that was gently worn. If you don’t have an heirloom record player or maybe don’t have the time to thrift. There are tons of options out on the market today. If you’re looking to really implement vinyl in your life, we would suggest investing and paying a little more, to maximize sound quality. Below are some of the options we like at varying price points.
- Some great albums by current artists that you should add to your collection- Alabama Shakes/ Boys and Girl, The Black Keys/ El Camino, Jack White/Blunderbuss, Beach House/ Bloom, Shovels & Rope/ O’ BE JOYFUL, Jay-Z/The Black Album