Do you think that streaming music is too easy and cheap? Are you looking for a much more inconvenient and expensive way of enjoying your favourite tunes? Well, look no further, because here is all you need to know to about starting your own vinyl collection!
All jokes aside, it is a lot of fun to turn back time and grow a physical music collection. And some would even argue that vinyl remains the ultimate format in terms of reproducing sounds, although this is of course debatable. In case you ever found yourself toying with the idea of having your own vinyl collection, here is all you need to know to get you started!
As with many hobbies and pastimes, starting a record collection means that you will first have to acquire a few basic gadgets and tools to get you underway. First things first: a turntable.
Now, there is a seemingly infinite number of record players available on the market, and making the right choice is no easy thing. However, if you are aware of one key difference, you should be able to get a model that suits your purposes.
Do you intend to only listen to records at home purely for enjoyment? Do go for a belt-driven turntable, as they are most straightforward in use and often cheaper in price. Additionally, they have more freedom in terms of design and can therefore act as a better eye-catcher in your living room than your average DJ turntable can.
Intend to spin and mix your records with the help of two turntables and a mixer? Then don't opt for a belt-driven player, but rather go for one with a direct drive. The main difference here lies in the motor's ability to maintain a consistent pace and catch up more quickly if interrupted by human interaction. Although these turntables are usually much more expensive, there are also beginner models available for more reasonable prices, so don't shy away from them altogether!
The second thing you will need is a pair of good speakers. Now I know that we all love our Bluetooth devices these days, but if you make the decision to set up a turntable and record collection, you should also think about a fixed spot for your sound system. And don't place your speakers too far away from your player, otherwise you will end up being plagued with long and ugly cables, just like in the good old days.
Equally important is of course cleaning equipment. Don't wait until you have already started collecting records before making this investment and do remember that dust and dirt are the worst enemies of your collection. One brush for your records, and one for your stylus (more commonly known as the needle) should however do the trick to keep the situation at bay.
And who knows, maybe you were even lucky enough to inherit some old records from a relative, in which case you do want to make sure that you free them of as much dust particles as possible before giving them a spin and bringing them back to life.
When it comes to actually buying your records, do think about your surroundings first rather than going straight over to online shopping. Even in little Luxembourg, you can find one or two shops that sell vinyl.
A true legend in the business is undoubtedly CD Buttek in the heart of Luxembourg City. This store has been frequented by more than one generation of music enthusiasts and still sells vinyl after all these years in the business. Do pay them a visit if you want to get started with your own collection, the store is located right across from the Grand Ducal Palace. And don't forget about Vinyl Harvest, another Luxembourgish record seller, which is located in Rue Victor-Hugo in Esch-sur-Alzette.
When it comes to international addresses, the offer is significantly bigger of course. No matter the city, you can almost be certain that each town has at least one known record shop with more vinyl on offer than you could potentially listen to in a week. So, do make the best out of any trip abroad and see what international record stores have on offer.
Organising your records
There are two aspects to this process. First, you actually have to physically store the records in your home. Remember what we said about dust and dirt, so do choose a clean area that sees less activity than a kitchen, for instance. Similarly important is to always keep your records in a vertical position. Don't stack them on top of each other! Vinyl is an extremely sensitive material, and records can easily bend and become unusable under too much pressure. I repeat, don't stack your records!
The second thing to remember when growing a record collection is to keep an overview of your purchases. Looking at your shelf full of vertically stored records, it is rather difficult to remember everything you have at some point. Luckily, the internet is your friend and helper in this case!
On the site Discogs, you can save each of your releases in an orderly fashion and simultaneously see what your collection is worth along the way. Do give the site a try, as it can further help you locate those rarities which you never seem to find in a physical store, and ultimately connect you with a seller. Happy hunting!