Commentary: Is the vinyl boom creating a new generation of audiophiles? – Nationwide

If you’re a particular vintage, you probably spent most of your disposable income on stereo gear. In the 1970s, 80s and early 90s, everyone wanted to own the highest quality sound system that could be purchased for both home and car use. The goal was to achieve the largest, clearest, and most accurate sound reproduction possible to get all the last fun out of these records and CDs.

Shops selling stereo gear were everywhere. A cheap way to spend the afternoon was to jump from store to store and listen to your favorite albums in gear you read in magazines like: Stereo review, Hi-Fi, When audio You probably couldn’t afford it. And, of course, the trip to the mall wouldn’t be complete without stopping by at Radio Shack to check out more affordable stereo equipment.

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Alan Cross explains how record sales exploded in Canada (May 21, 2021)

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But then the digital music revolution of the late 90’s took place. There was a recession before, but this was different.

The convenience of MP3s and other digital codecs could not be ignored. Compact discs have already pushed vinyl to the limit, and late Generation X and early members of Generation Y quickly moved to file sharing, iTunes, iPods, and finally smartphones all at once. Purchasing digital players and headphones has become a priority rather than a stand-alone stereo system.

On the other hand, aftermarket upgrades were difficult as the factory systems that began to appear in the car continued to improve and were so much integrated into the car’s electronic neural system. The last vehicle to come with a cassette player was the 2010 Lexus SC430. The in-dash CD player is hanging, but barely.

Click to play video:'Vinyl record staging comeback'

Vinyl record staging comeback

Vinyl Records Make a Comeback – September 29, 2019

Stereo retailers selling both home and audio gear were in jeopardy. Some people have been able to adapt by shifting their focus to the new home theater market, which involves the sale of more video products such as TVs and DVD players. Others have tightened themselves, focusing on the desires of Baby Boomer audiophiles who can afford expensive and esoteric equipment. From moms and pop shops to big box exchange retailers like Majestic Sound Warehouse and Future Shop, those who couldn’t compete disappeared while many dedicated audio dealers went out of business.

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This was an era of ample sound. Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z generally agreed that audio quality was secondary as long as the song was accessible and portable. Listening to music on laptop speakers, cheap earphones, Alexa units, or monaural Bluetooth speakers was fine. And certainly, it’s a lot cheaper than forking a full-fledged stereo system. There are literally generations of people who haven’t yet experienced a music collection through true hi-fi audio.

However, it may be changing.

After nearly a decade of near-death experiences, people rediscovered vinyl. Since 2008, record sales have grown by double digits worldwide year-over-year. In some countries, the dollar value of sold records has reached the point where it exceeds the dollar value of compact discs. There are signs that CDs are beginning to regain their lost love, but the main driver of recorded music sales is venerable records.

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This seems to produce an interesting knock-on effect. If you’re going to have vinyl collections, you need something to play them. Yes, you can go to Urban Outfitters and get one of those trashy portable turntables (don’t, just defeat the purpose). Alternatively, you can stop by one of the remaining high-end audio dealers to buy a stereo system similar to the one used in the 70’s. And that seems to be happening.

One of the most common requests from listeners is: “I want to buy a turntable. What should I buy?” Others are interested in speakers and amplifiers. According to some chats with audio equipment retailers, more and more people are looking for a two-channel audio system that is designed solely for listening to music. You may be witnessing the birth of a new generation of audiophiles and those who appreciate music in its fidelity glory.

Mark Mandahlson of BayBloor Radio in Toronto said: Building a system centered on high-resolution digital music “

Most of the credits (?) Need to go to COVID-19. Millions of people were stuck alone for months, so their music collection became their rock. Tons of vinyl were purchased and half of them were given to people under the age of 25. As new records entered the house, I became more curious about how good the music would sound. Evidence shows that many of these young music fans bought the right stereo gear for the first time. Older audiophiles, on the other hand, seem to be working on equipment upgrades — perhaps 95% of them.

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Where do these new audiophiles start?
“Headphones are almost always gateways,” says Mandhalson. “This is especially seen in the new headphone bar, which young people often visit to try out headphones and earphones to find their favorite sound.”

Not everyone is moving to full-fledged stereo. Bay Bloor Radio is one of many retailers who know they need to ease this new world. The start system for beginners can be as simple as a turntable with two powered speakers.

This also seems to be a long-term trend. By 2026, the global home audio equipment market is projected to be worth US $ 49.9 billion. And it doesn’t all come from buying cheap earphones and portable Bluetooth speakers for the beach.

Of course, it’s driving the market more than anyone returning to the type of stereo system that everyone had in the ’70s. Manufacturers are investing heavily in research and development. Not only will the quality of your gear improve, but there will also be smart homes, voice control, wireless technology and better streaming solutions. If you’re careful, you know that interesting innovations, or “new features” in industry jargon, are on the market quarterly.

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As someone who still has some of the gear that once lived in my bedroom — hello, my Akai AP-001C belt drive turntable I bought at Krazy Kelly’s at the western end of Winnipeg c. 1978 — This news makes my heart better. A long-lived hi-fi audio system!

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Alan Cross is a broadcaster with Q107 and 102.1 the Edge and a commentator on Global News.

Subscribe to Alan’s new music podcast continuous history now on Apple Podcasts or Google Play

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Commentary: Is the vinyl boom creating a new generation of audiophiles? – Nationwide

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