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How to Start a Vinyl Collection

How to Start a Vinyl Collection

The renewed interest in vinyl that's developed in recent years, particularly among young people, shows few signs of slowing down. And because of the revival, many of the hottest new albums are released on vinyl — it's not the sole format relegated to classic rock and jazz. That said, one major benefit of a building a proper record collection is that it helps you broaden your musical horizons. So, let’s take a look at what it takes to start a vinyl collection, plus other essential considerations as you begin your vinyl quest.

1. Choose a quality turntable and amplifier

The Denon DP-300F is one of the higher-rated turntables you'll find. A lower-priced model like the DP-29F is also a great option. Both boast the commitment to hi-fi excellence and trusted sound that's embodied Denon for over a century. You lose on certain elements of quality when you choose a model with a built-in amplifier which also reproduces mono or weak stereo sound, turntables often marketed to vinyl neophytes. Also consider the additional investment you’ll need to make in pairing a turntable with great-sounding stereo speakers and an amplifier — like the Denon PMA-60 — to get started on the right foot.

2. Buy the records you want to hear

Digital Trends offers a few interesting tips on the best (and simplest) aspects of getting into vinyl. Things like finding quality bootlegs, to understanding how to keep your records clean and properly store them are key to your newfound vinyl endeavors. And whatever you’re into, it's probably on a record. So begin exploring record stores in your area. Look for your favorite artists, but also explore and ask the staff for recommendations. More than a few vinyl shops will play a record for you before you buy it, if you're not immediately sold on something.

3. Condition and preservation matter

New vinyl releases or reissues are often on 180-gram vinyl of excellent quality. Other shops lean toward used vinyl, where you must be willing to ask what they consider "good" or "fair" condition.

Protecting a record only begins at purchase. You must periodically inspect it for scratches or other damage, and then clean it. PledgeMusic recommends using a fabric-sensitive cloth and all-purpose vinyl cleaning fluid. Storage also requires specific parameters: Stack records vertically in a cool, dry area. Horizontal stacking carries the risk of warping.

4. Enjoying vinyl is about aesthetics, to an extent

Debates over whether vinyl sounds better than certain digital file types (like FLAC) will rage forever among audiophiles. However, the truest value of vinyl listening is its experiential nature, as Gizmodo points out. The feel of a physical record in your hands before you set it on the platter and drop the tone-arm down to play it. Flipping through liner notes and really digging into the unique aspects of lyrics and its overall production. Enjoying the artwork of the album cover. These are just a few things that add to your enjoyment of vinyl. Plus, there is a communal aspect to hanging with family, friends or your loved one and discovering a new record together that no other audio format offers.

Whatever contentment you get from going vinyl, count on the superior quality of Denon turntables to truly elevate the overall experience.