There are so many reasons to love vinyl. But perhaps key among them all is that, even in this world of high-resolution digital files and wireless streaming, there remains something unique about the sound quality and leasure you get from a great vinyl.
Tim, Deputy Manager, Bromley Store, 2nd year of service.
Pound for pound, vinyl has a broader dynamic range than most other media – particularly as engineers often master for it differently than they do for digital formats. The analogue process used for records contains no digital compression and the recent trend for producing heavyweight 180g vinyl means better sound, with physically deeper grooves for higher fidelity.
If you're going to go for vinyl, you need a turntable that will provide your amp and speakers with the beautiful, full-range sound synonymous with vinyl.
So why pay more for a high-end turntable? Richer Sounds only sells products that are great – and great value – but we do stock a wide range to suit all budgets. Spend more and you'll get more.
Most important of all is the sheer sound quality improvement you can get by upping the budget even slightly. Remember that the movement of the needle in the record’s groove picks up the audio signal from vinyl, so cutting out any unwanted movement, no matter how small, produces a cleaner and more faithful signal. That means not just isolating external movement but also vibration from the turntable's own motor.
High-end turntables use improved materials to enhance performance: the "platter" your record rests on is very important to avoid slipping or any vibration; the rigidity and weight of the tone-arm and cartridge are also very important; even the bearings used around its axle can make a big difference in isolation from vibration – that translates directly into a big improvement in audio quality.
Moving up from the most basic models can also get you some extra, and useful, features. One particularly useful one is a built-in USB socket so you can "rip" digital audio tracks from the vinyl source. This lets you have the best of both worlds: the beautiful sound of vinyl at home but also the convenience of digital audio files to listen to on the move. Most of the very best models shy away from in-built electronics, so if you want these features a stand-alone adapter is available.
The difference, of course, is best heard for yourself.
Our home-styled demonstration rooms in every store will let you compare different turntables but also let you put vinyl alongside CD and high-resolution digital files so you can compare and contrast for yourself. There's nowhere better to try them yourself and find the perfect turntable for your home.
RRP = Recommended Retail Price. RRPs are based on information supplied by What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision magazine, manufacturers, Hi-Fi Choice, Home Cinema Choice, Google, Which? & Pricerunner. Further information is available on request.