Hey dudes and dudettes. Matt Dyson here from dysonsound.com. I’m an audio junkie who will be sharing all things related to vinyl and your listening environment. I can geek out on it so hold me back if I start to freak out. Hope you enjoy.
There’s this hip new craze sweeping the nation. Big black circular (or at times small and colorful) pieces of wax you may see floating around record shops or merch tables. Well people, those things are called vinyl records. And they’re not just hip, they’re a way of life for some.
You ever feel like you’re getting left out of some really cool party or club because you don’t know how to act or what to wear? Well that’s why I’m here. Because I know nothing about being cool or fitting in at clubs. I know about vinyl. And I want to share what swarms through my brain all day and night with you in hopes you too can dive into this crazy, waxy world and enjoy all the pleasure it brings to me.
Step 1: Acquiring a turntable.
As digital music players have gotten smaller and smaller, turntables have stayed the same size. Why? Because you try putting a 12″ disc into your fucking iPod touch and tell me how well it turns out.
Turntables come in two main forms: standalone decks, and all in one players. Here are the pros and cons with both.
This is a sexy bitch, ain’t she? This is what you’re going after if you want to dive into the deep end. But the Rega table pictured here will run you a couple hundred bucks. Not a starter venture. But something to look up to. For this you’ll need a nice receiver and speakers. If you don’t have them? Don’t bother with it. Go with a lesser model turntable like the Stanton line. Still great decks (I own one myself) but you can find models much cheaper than the Rega. Only go this route if you want to setup a nice home stereo system or have one. Otherwise they’re pretty useless. They’ll sit there and look pretty but you won’t hear a damn thing out of them. And if your receiver doesn’t have a phono input with a ground you’ll need to buy something like this Rolls phono preamp. This is key. You need to ground the turntable to something and if your receiver doesn’t support it, you’ll absolutely need that power amp.
All In One decks:
If you don’t have a home stereo setup well shit, I suggest you get one!
But luckily there are units that support you if you don’t. The sound quality will not be as good and you’re very limited to cheap needles and speakers, but they get the job done if you want to just listen to some vinyl. I can’t stress enough going the other route and getting yourself a proper home listening environment. That is the true way to listen to vinyl. But if you want one of these units to save you some money, go with the Crosley line. They’re pretty robust and will do the trick if you don’t want to go full out.
There are many other units out there like the Crosley ones, but do you research and make sure you’re getting a solid unit. Nothing like ruining the vinyl experience on a cheap turntable.
Step 2: Acquiring vinyl
This should be the easy part. Find a record store near you and go digging. If you want a new release then do what I do and find labels who ship vinyl or find a a record store who carries new releases. The latest I came across is and awesome man who started up a vinyl only record label. By stocking a Blake Mills 7″ right off the bat he has my vote for being awesome. Check him out at Analog Edition. I’m sure there will be some very solid releases coming soon.
Step 3: That’s it!
That’s it people! Getting into vinyl is really that simple. I promise. Find the right turntable and get your asses out there and start buying some vinyl! It’s such a better investment than a CD and will last you for years to come. I’ve got plenty of 40+ year old records that sound amazing.
If you have any questions (even the stupidest ones) please ask me! I’m in no way a vinyl snob. I just want you all to enjoy what I enjoy on a daily basis. Contact me on my personal site: dysonsound.com or on the twitters @dysonsound I’m always up for chatting about one of my big passions in life.