Last Updated
May 17, 2018
Ric's Blog

Dec 7/13 - Christmas Cheer!

With the Christmas holiday season fast approaching, I think it’s a good time to re-visit some advice that I offered a few years back.

The interest and demand for vinyl and turntables is not slowing down and in fact, the increase in record sales is actually surprising some industry insiders. While in many cases it is just a fad ( more on that later), most of the customers are just fed up with the current music scene and are looking for the “magic” that quality music can and does provide. The cliché “you get what you pay for” certainly holds true in the record and turntable market and with a little direction, you can see what the fuss is all about.

Turntables are available for as little as $100.00 to some going for $26,000.00 ! The spread in prices is huge and somewhat daunting but count on spending $300 to $500 for a quality starting turntable. There are no “bells & whistles” on most quality ‘tables, just basic functions such as power, cuing and in some, speed adjustment. You might be wondering why such a price spread? The simple answer is quality of materials, workmanship and ability to play records.

If you are buying a turntable as a fad, only spending in the $100 range will get you something that will play some records but the sound will be poor and the listener’s interest will be short. In fact, I’ve had some customers complain that these cheap ‘tables skip on brand new lps, as the grooves are cut wider and deeper than in vinyl’s heyday of the 60s, 70s & 80s. The needles are just spit out of the groove with information they just aren’t good enough to handle. The more money you spend on a cartridge/stylus, the more refined it is and it traces the groove deeper giving more accurate sound. Often these cheap record players are made of plastic and some even come in an “all-in-one” system with built in cd player, radio and amp stacked into one unit. STAY AWAY from these, as far as you can !!!

Record labels are realizing that cd sales are dying off with digital downloads eclipsing their sales in large numbers. While downloads may be the way to go if you just like singles and pop fodder, but if your attention span is greater than a flea’s then the album format may be for you. There’s nothing greater than sitting down and listening to the “musical statement” an artist/band has created for an album. Vinyl records are being produced at a dizzying pace and many of the re-issues are simply stunning ! Most are 180 to 200 gram utilizing quality raw materials to give a substantial product. While some are digitally re-mastered (generally a bad choice), many are from the original analogue source which is as close to being in the studio with artist !

New music by the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Mumford & Sons, Arcade Fire and many more are available on vinyl along with the re-issues of bands like Dire Straits, Allman Brothers, Van Morrison so there is loads of music to suit many tastes. While I can’t stock all of the lps, I do have a large selection, ones that I’ve heard or had rave reviews about. If you are still a bit confused about getting into vinyl and turntables, please come into the store, I’d be happy to chat for a few minutes and help give you direction about which way to go.

At this time of year I’d like to ask that if you can, help a neighbor, donate your time or money or food to help the less fortunate, and just plain BE NICE, a smile goes a long way and even if you brighten one person’s Christmas, then good on you !

Food bank donations can be left at the store,

Peace, happiness and Merry Christmas,

Ric & Yvonne

Jan 29/17 - 25 years of Ric's Recollections

Feb 3/16 - Short holiday break

Jan 3/16 - Toronto top 10 record stores

Nov 12/15 - Vinyl Records, gifts that keep on giving

Apr 10/15 - Record Store Day 2015

Jan 26/15 - New release vinyl and great used record collections.