Getting Started in Vinyl

Here at, ‘On Vinyl,’ we are enthusiastic about making the Vinyl experience as exciting and fun as we have found it. So why is vinyl, such an appealing media?

It was essentially invented in the late 40’s and was tremendously popular until the 80’s, which is when the CD overtook music sales. And Records for most consumers were forgotten. The music industry convinced us so. The CDs were dominant until digital media raised its head (MP3’s and the like) were punched by a little-known product, the iPod. And then a curious thing happened. Records slowly came back onto the radar.

There were a number of reasons:

We missed the physical packaging. People love the covers, photos, lyrics, list of musicians and artist info. Etc. But more importantly we missed the sound, and the ritual of putting a record on the turntable, cueing it down, and actually just listening. And there is nothing like it, and that’s why we are all here.

From the many years of collecting, it has given us an insight to the challenges, and joys of being a Vinyl collector. For us, the sound: the bold, soft, nuanced, bassy, the-space-between-notes, the highs and lows, the familiar and unfathomable notes, the wonderous beauty and even the jarring ear-busters, all make up the experience.

If you are just starting out, then there are a few things to consider:

Why are you interested? Are you a collector who likes to collect records? Or are you a collector who loves listening to records?

What is your budget?

The international demand for records has meant that even a humble 40-year record can be a substantial chunk of change. So, if you are using to Vinyl to explore music then, great, and you are no doubt use a streaming service. (Make making a list of what you like). Streaming gives you the opportunity to explore new and familiar sounds. From a practical perspective you may consider buying a few Cd’s, to step up your listening experience. Even a humble CD may improve on the Streaming….

Audio system and Turntable

Do you have a turntable? Seems an obvious question. But this new hobby kind of rests on that. An entry-point turntable, with a good cartridge, and a phono preamp (unless your amplifier already has one) is a great starting point. We do have some excellent equipment for sale

Great gear will reward you in many ways.

New or Used Turntable?

  • Used- You may be lucky enough to inherit some gear from a family member or have a friend who has some spare gear. If the turntable is an unknown quantity, then get it checked out. Not good if your lovely new records are played on a crusty old needle and will do irreparable damage to the delicate surface.
  • New- The safest road for success. A warranty, and easy set up if a fine thing. (Please avoid turntable in a suitcase and the like though)

The Headphone strategy

You could also consider a Phono preamplifier with a headphone output, and with some excellent headphones, take your listening up several steps. This is a clever way to experience the magic of vinyl. ‘OnVinyl’ have both Clearaudio and Mofi Phono-preamps with Headphone outputs available.

Handing your Vinyl

Tip. Do not watch the Hit’s Radio station advert and follow that. It is just awful to see a vinyl record managed this way. No matter how clean our hands are they are still not clean enough to touch the vinyl, so hold the edges.

Record brushes- Carbon Fibre Brush

These are a good idea and I keep mine right beside my Turntable. It will gently remove any surface dust, due to static. (Or the cat, or flatmates)