Introduction to Vinyl

October 27, 2017

Playing vinyl records becomes very hot in these years, the sales increase of vinyl records is in the upward trend in these years.  So what is the magic of playing records ?

 

When CD was launched in 1982, many people started to abandon their record collections as it’s really very convenient in playing CDs.  CDs have become the most popular media for music for many years.  However, many audiophiles still insisted in keeping their vinyl records and used as the main source in their Hi-Fi system, the reasons are:

 

1) Many good titles did not release in CD format,

2) Vinyl record has a better sound than CD, 

3) when they bought the records, many of them have special memory. 

4) They have a lot of LPs collection, many of them are out of print.  

 

When music can be downloaded from internet, it becomes more convenient.  However, many private download was happened and copying of music is so easy.  This cause many record company didn’t put resources in the bands and artists.  The music industry was not as popular as before, lesser and lesser good songs/music launched.  Then the people start to aware that the best music was actually released from ‘60-‘80s.

 

During this golden era, vinyl records are the majority media with good sound.  By the way, if the records are kept properly, it can play well after cleaning (thanks for the recording cleaning companies who has released so many good and easy to use record cleaning machine now.

 

Why vinyl records are better sound than CDs or later on digital format?  The major reason is due to the master tapes to make the vinyl records were mostly recorded in analog at that time, and the master tapes were fresh when they were used to make the records, without any compression.  Most of the time when the people do A/B comparison between the same title CD and vinyl record, vinyl records always have a better sound.

 

Is it difficult in playing vinyl for a newbie?  Well, the answer is “Yes” and “No”.  “No” if the newbie purchases the turntable system from a reputable hi-fi shop who can provide good set up / alignment for the turntable, and most important they can provide a good after sales service.  “Yes” if the newbies just purchase a turntable from the shop who does not set up properly for them, or even don’t provide a set up service at all (we can see many hi-fi shop selling turntables but they do know have knowledge in turntable.

  

Below are the recommended record titles for the young guys/ladies who born in ’90, these were old albums but definitely good music.  The vinyl records (pre-owned or re-issue) should still be able to find in the record shops in Singapore and most important not expensive, but of course, if possible try to find the original pre-owned records if the condition is good and not expensive:

 

 

 

1) Dire Straits: Love over gold

 

 

 

This is one of the best album of Dire Straits.  The recording is super.

2) Rod Stewart: Foot loose and fancy free.

 

 

 

Side 2 of the album are the slow songs, my favorite.

 

3)  Deep Purple: Machine Head

 

 

The classic rock band / album.  A bit rock but believe me, you will love all the songs after you listen several times.

 

4) Carpenters: The singles 1969-1973

 

 

Normally the sound of a compilation record of a singer/band is not that great.  However, this album contains most beautiful songs of Carpenter with a good recording.

5) Michael Jackson : Thriller

 

This is the most successful record of the king of pop Michael Jackson.  All the songs in the whole album are wonderful.

 

6) Grover Washington Jr. : Winelight

 

 

 

Good melody fusion jazz music, good song : “Just two of us” is included in this album.

 

7) Ella and Louis

 

 

This is the best vocal jazz album… period!  Original album will be costly, but re-issue is fine.  

 

8) Vivaldi: four seasons

 

 

Classical music is not popular in Singapore.  This is the best easy listening classical music. You can try to find one (any composer and orchestra is fine) to appreciate this as a start.  Below is one of my favorite album.

 

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