It’s no secret that record collecting has become extremely popular within the last few years. Not only is it a cool collection to build, but there’s something so awesome about being able to hold music in your hands (especially with those cool colored pressings).
So, let’s say that you want to start a collection, but you don’t know how, or you aren’t sure where to start. That’s where I come in handy. Being an avid collector for almost 4 years, I’ve learned some helpful tips that I came to pass on to you.
1. Do your research. Look into the type of player you want. Do you want something with built in speakers for less wires and fuss, or do you want something that requires external speakers to get that incredible sound? With those comes an array of colors, styles, and models, and you can really find a player that fits with your style and aesthetic.
2. Keep it local. Support local stores! With the huge boom in collecting, more and more stores have been popping up all over the place. Of course, there are exceptions to that when you’re looking for a specific press or a specific album. Side tip: look in discount bins! Most record stores have them, and you can find some great bargains.
3. Take advantage of Discogs! Discogs is an online database and marketplace, and you can find gallons of information on pressings, and if you want a specific press, there’s a good chance there’s a copy for sale!
4. Be wary of Ebay! Searching for specific albums can be tricky. Especially if it’s a record that was only pressed once about a decade ago (example: the earlier albums for all your favorite emo bands). Most people flock to Ebay- but be warned. People on Ebay tend to hike prices like crazy. I understand maybe that specific album is your favorite album of all time, but don’t worry. Most bands have repressed their albums again and they are now way easier to get. Don’t blow your money on an album that probably isn’t worth it.
Now that you’ve picked out a player and discovered some options as far as shopping goes, let’s talk about some tips for storing and maintaining your collection.
5. When you go record shopping, don’t leave your albums in a hot car! The vinyl can melt, and it would really suck to come home to a melted album.
6. Most people use shelves or bins to store their albums, which is definitely the best way to do it. However, it’s not a great idea to stack them. The pressure can cause the albums to warp or bend, and you definitely don’t want that.
7. Make sure to clean your albums every so often. I use a cleaner that looks like a brush with a velvet cushion, so it doesn’t put too much friction on the grooves. You can get those from most record stores for a decent price!
8. When handling vinyl, make sure not to touch the grooves. The dirt and oils from your hands can seep into the grooves and ruin that part of the record.
9. This one goes out to my festival/concert fam. Since vinyl is way more common than it has been in previous years, artists will usually sell records at their merch tents or tables. While this is a great way to get some vinyl, some exclusive presses, and, if you’re lucky, get it signed by the artist or band themselves, be careful. If you’re out at a summer show, make sure to take note of the heat, and remember that you’ve just purchased some dope vinyl as you head out into the pit.
10. And finally, have fun with it! Record collections are such a personal and unique collection that can showcase a big part of who you are as a person! The limit does not exist!
Overall, collecting records is an awesome way to collect your favorite albums, and it’s a great way to listen to music. It’s a unique experience, and there’s so many options to get the experience and feeling you want. Happy collecting!