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In recent years there has been a vinyl comeback. Many music lovers are turning back to vinyl to make the most out of their listening experience. Afterall it is the great sound quality and fun of collecting that makes it such a rewarding activity. However, those unfamiliar with analog music may find that it could be somewhat of a hard hobby to commit to.

One of the biggest challenges is not knowing where to start. This comes as a result of the countless different record players on the market. Urban Outfitters sells the Crosley Voyager, one of the most popular and affordable record players, for only $60. Nonetheless, it is important to note that this set has been known to damage records in the long run. It is therefore in a collector’s best interest to invest in a turntable that is of high quality. Audio Technica offers great record players that range anywhere from $100 – $300. 

black record player on white bed sheets
Photo by RF._.studio from Pexels

Even despite their high costs, these analog systems are prone to degradation. Over time, records may get scratched and warped, which in turn damages the needle that produces sound. Collectors should therefore look to pair their record players with cleaning kits. This allows for proper care of the equipment while also optimizing the listener’s experience. 

Although records are usually reasonably priced at about $20 a piece, it does eventually begin to add up. That being said, nothing is worse than buying a record and discovering that it is a bad pressing. This tends to happen with purchases from online retailers, simply because it’s unclear as to whether or not the records are authentic. 

album photos on wall
Photo by Clay Banks from Unsplash

Local record stores are great in that they are one stop shops for all things vinyl. Not only is there almost always a guarantee that the merchandise is authentic, but it is extremely fun browsing large collections for hours on end. It is also gratifying knowing that proceeds go towards a small business that supports local artists and shows. The staff is always a great resource that could help you build and maintain your growing collection. 

Laylani Cedano is a first year transfer student at the University of California San Diego. She is currently a Communication major and plans to pursue a career as a talent manager in the entertainment industry. During her free time she enjoys roller-skating, thrifting, and hanging out with friends. Some of her interests include music, film, and anything pop culture!
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