From Hydrogenaudio Knowledgebase
Why invest in an obsolete, 50+ year old music medium?
- Used vinyl is often extremely inexpensive - 50 cents to two dollars a disc is common for some releases. Vinyl is a very cheap way to expand your collection in older artists that you cannot justify spending $15/CD on listening to.
- Some albums have simply never been released on CD.
- Some album art is better suited to the larger scale of LP covers and sleeves.
- The ritual of playing a record - of pulling it out of its sleeve, placing it on the turntable and playing it - may often compel the listener to focus on the music in a more dedicated way than when listening to a CD or to computer-based music. Completely independently of any sound quality differences, this ritual, like the rituals involved in live music listening, might substantially improve the enjoyment of the music.
- The mastering of an original LP release is often considered superior to a CD remaster of the same release. This can be for any number of reasons, including:
- Increased use of compression and limiting on the CD release, reducing dynamics
- The master tapes have often degraded in the time between the LP and CD releases
- The equalization and even mixing of some CD releases is radically different than on the LP releases. For instance, many Zappa LPs have had entire drum tracks replaced for the CD release.
- Properly maintained vinyl is of a surprisingly good quality and is often not objectionable.
- It can be safely purchased as a long term investment.
- The standards of record playback are relatively simple and nonproprietary. Record players can always be constructed from scratch, including the cartridge assembly, with a minimum of technical experience. Playback has been standardized for roughly 50 years
- Properly maintained disc records (including both vinyl and shellac) have survived to the present day with little degredation. The long term chemical processes involved with vinyl are believed to keep it stable for 100 years or more.
- While large swings in value have plagued vinyl as collector's items, there are no long term risks to future devaluation for vinyl as a whole.
- Well built turntables should last 40 years or more and are refurbishable.