5 Vinyl Collecting Tips for Beginners

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Are you just starting out on your journey of collecting records? Want to know some of the key tips for getting started, the kind of facts that most seasoned collectors wish they had heard before starting out?

Then come on in from the cold, dark night of ignorance as we explore 5 key tips for getting properly started with vinyl collecting.

5 Vinyl Collecting Tips for Beginners

1. Cheap, Cheap, Cheap

One of the key facets of real vinyl collecting is looking out for bargains. In this way, you should start collecting record more affordably.

Your local record store is all well and good, but thrift shops will no doubt have more great stuff than you could ever have imagined. Even your local record store will usually have a bargain section where you can fill up your record collection.

Record stores are great and are a good asset to have but make sure you are not paying too much money for a vinyl record.

2. Examining

Unless the record that you are buying is brand new and still sealed, you are best advised to inspect the actual disc before buying it and adding it to your vinyl collection. There really are no guarantees in the world of audiophilia.

Think about all the records that the owners of record shops have to label. If any record collector were forced to do such work, they would eventually make a mistake. Not to assume, but this could well have happened with your own record label.

Many record stores are overworked and also will not blame you for wanting to examine the goods. It is, in fact, a common practice.

3. Originals

There is a lot of talk on the audiophile market that suggests you should go with original pressings as often as possible. While this is likely good advice to follow, it should not necessarily stop you from purchasing a record you are really yearning for. In these instances, anything would likely do, even digital downloads.

Thus, do not let your vinyl sales hinge on this tenet of collecting records. Sure, the sound quality will be marginally better for limited edition releases like original pressing, but you have to ask yourself whether it is worth the wait. Bootleg records factor into this too.

4. Classics

Common knowledge says that if you are unsure where to start, then you should try a list of all-time greatest records like the Rolling Stone list. This is surely nonsensical, though. Why would you do such a thing when you could purchase the records that actually interest you in the first place?

If you can’t name any recorded music off to the top of your head that you would like to physically own, then there really is no use in buying a record player and becoming record collectors.

5. Loving

Indeed, the best advice you can receive when it comes to collecting records is simply to trust your own instincts. So often, people will start collecting records simply because they think it is cool and singles them out as an individual. Really, it is not only a great way to show that you love a piece of music but also to support your favorite artists.

If you are going into record collecting with the former attitude, then you really have no hope of continuing with it for long. If there is no love or interest in music there, then what is the point?

Final Tones

So, there you have it! Hopefully, you are now feeling ready and able to get out there and start collecting your own records. Remember, if you do not love it, then do not do it.

FAQs Vinyl Collecting

Are vinyls worth collecting?

This remains to be seen by each individual person. There is a real tendency amongst teenagers to get into record collecting because they see it as some sort of personality trait or simply as something to fill the void. If you have a real interest in music and enough money to spare, then collecting vinyl records is a great way to support your favorite artists – lord knows record companies are not doing them any real favors.

What are vinyl collectors called?

The most common and etymologically accurate term for someone who collects vinyl records is a record collector. Calling someone a vinyl collector, while it would be understood in record-collecting communities, might be confused instead for someone who collects polyvinyl chloride, the material from which records are made. Equally, a record collector is sometimes referred to as an audiophile or something like this. While this also would be understood within certain record-collecting communities, the term itself has more to do with the appreciation of high-quality sound equipment than the collection of records itself. Tread lightly and with care.

Why do people still collect vinyl?

The main reason there has been a massive and largely unprecedented cultural shift toward collecting vinyl records again has a lot to do with a broader societal nostalgia for bygone days that were supposedly simpler. This, though, has aligned itself with the fact that record companies have become worse and worse in their treatment of artists. Nowadays, owing to the ever-burgeoning use of streaming services, buying records and other physical formats (or indeed other physical merchandise) is about the only way you can actually support your favorite artists and allow them to keep making the music that you love from them.

How do you collect vinyl?

The main thing to remember when beginning to collect vinyl is to stay true to what you like and sounds good to your ears. There is a certain camp of audiophiles that, in the event that you do not know what to collect, would suggest you start by collecting the classics. If you do not know what you want to collect in the first place, then is this not indicative of the fact that you are just collecting for the sake of it? Such behavior is inexcusable and anyone who thinks to commit it really should check themselves before, indeed, they wreck themselves.

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Categorized as Guides

By Robert Halvari

My name is Robert Halvari - audio engineer and a total audiophile. I love vinyl because it has that natural character which brings music to life. I've been using and testing vinyl record players for around 15 years and I'm sharing my love and knowledge of vinyl by publishing all I know at Notes On Vinyl

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