For My Fellow Millennials: What You Should Know Before You Start Collecting

Updated on October 10, 2017
Rachel Dawidowicz profile image

Rachel is a social rights activist and feminist. She is an engineering student, writer, musician, and record collector.

Why Just for Millennials?

Collecting records are great, the sound, and having a physical copy of a favorite is an amazing feeling to have. There is however more to it than just buying a record player, and the albums to play on it. There is much more to it that you should be aware of if you decide to start collecting. I am directing this articles to my fellow millennials because well, you aren’t doing your research when it comes to vinyl.

2 in One Players Aren't Worth It

Yes having both speakers and a turn table being in one package sounds great. However most of those players are made of plastic and a stylus without a counter weight (A cylinder at the end of the stylus) will not only damage your records, but if you bump into the record player, it will ‘jump’ and cause damage to your needle. A steel tonearm is more effective sound wise, quality wise, and will save your records and needle. Also, better quality record players have an equalizer option so you can change around sound. Most of the newer players on the market have built in preamps, so all you need is a good set of speakers and you will be good to go.


 2 in 1 are awful for your records
2 in 1 are awful for your records

Just because it is expensive, it doesn't mean it's good

Most think that a just because a record player is $300 dollars it is great, and a $100 record player is worse. Let me tell you, it is not true. My Stanton T. 92 cost $280. While I was narrowing down almost 10 turntables, there were players running for $500 dollars and were worse than the $280 one. You should do a lot of research, consult professionals, make sure the stylus is made of stainless steel, has a counter weight, has at least a 33 and 45 rpm (Revolutions per minute) and sometimes some have 78 rpm (early Jazz records are most notorious). Never buy a record player that has speakers built in, and blue tooth connectivity. Without going into technical detail, the wrong record player will only do damage to your records because of the quality of the tonearm and needle.

You don't need to spend a whole lot of green for cleaning equipment

cleaning fluid to clean any used record before play is needed. However you can make your own cleaning fluid using distilled water and isopropyl alcohol. You should invest in a microfiber brush however, because even the newest albums may have dust and dirt on it that will affect the play. So get a brush just to dust the record before play. Microfiber brush is important to have as well because it doesn’t leave any dust destroying the grooves as you play. A paper towel will leave back dust and destroy the grooves. Long story short, a microfiber brush, and anti static cleaning arm will be your best friend.

Record cleaning DIY

It is addictive

In 2014 I began with two albums Billy Joel The Stranger and Boston’s self-titled. April 2017 marked three years since I began collecting, and my collection is slowly climbing to almost 350. You’ll never get enough of it, and will keep hunting for the next find. Just a friendly tip if you do go beyond 20, if you like older music always buy used. The dollar bin and used section shelfs typically have gold nuggets. I found my first two records in the dollar bin 3 years ago.

It comes with a price tag

I guess this can count as number three. Records can get pretty pricy, but if you want to upgrade on new needles, or stylus, even a new record player and speakers and sound system, it will all add up. So just be aware that with the addiction comes the price tag. You will have to get a slip mat for the record player itself , and may have to have money on the side in case your stylus needs to be changed.Trust me though, when you are able to play your favorite album on the record player 20 or more times with HI-FI (High Fidelity) sound it becomes priceless.

Buy albums you know you will listen to

There is nothing worse than buying a shirt, leaving it in your closet and never wearing it. A record is the same. Why spend money on an album you know you won’t listen to? It will only take up space in your collection, and you will probably forget that you even have that album. So do yourself a favor, if you want to buy an album make sure you will give it a play. If you don’t know the artist, Spotify and YouTube are great places to check out a new artist before you shell out money to bring it home

What you should look for in a record player (and why)

While a record player isn’t a new car or a house, it deserves well thought research. After all, you are about to buy something you will probably use for many years to come. So stay away from Urban Outfitters, Best Buy, Target and other stores that may sell those suitcase looking record players. Open Amazon, or go to a DJ store (They exist). Make sure you know your budget. Like I said earlier, a record player for $700 may be just as good as a $300 one. The first thing you should research is reputable companies that sell audio equipment. Such companies are Stanton, U Turn and Pro Ject. From there make sure that the tone arm (The long arm that has the needle) is made of steel, and has a counterweight. The importance of the counterweight is you can set it to the force at which you want the needle to move along the grooves. Which is why a plastic tonearm is dangerous. Also make sure it is heavy. That way if you bump into it (On a table for example) the needle won’t jump, unlike the suitcase looking ones would, because they are made of plastic. The platter (what the record is laying on), is also important. If it is made of metal there will be less slippage. The last thing you should be aware of is the needle that is being used in case you have to replace it, so you know which one you will have to invest in when the day comes.

Belt Drive versus Direct Drive

Most Crosley’s you see and major retailers are direct drive. Which means that you just press a button, and the platter begins playing on its own. In Belt drive, it is driven by a belt around the platter. Older players have a belt drive, but some newer ones also have it. So just make sure to read up that you are getting a direct drive

Milk crates and other storage

Please don’t leave your records just laying around, you are only destroying them. Keep them in a box, upright, wide enough for there to be enough space to poke your finger in, if you pack them to tight it will only destroy them. Records are relatively fragile, and if you drop a disk, you may cause a scuff or scratch on it. Trust me, I know this from experience. If you have the money and room, a shelf would be a nice investment. I built my own shelf, and use milk crates for extra storage. You can use storage bins, or milk crates from the back of liquor stores, just as long as there is space to fit them in the storage.

Enjoy

As you take the record out of the sleeve, and put it on the record player, brush all off the dust, and put the needle down, enjoy it all. There is no better feeling than having your favorite album play through speakers, as you hold the album in your hands itself.

One album I always enjoy. It was the first Eric Clapton album my dad ever showed me
One album I always enjoy. It was the first Eric Clapton album my dad ever showed me

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Rachel Dawidowicz profile imageAUTHOR

        Rachel Dawidowicz 

        12 months ago

        Many 20 somethings don't have the time or money to restore and rebuild. Which is why it is for millennials. Thanks for your input

      • Rachel Dawidowicz profile imageAUTHOR

        Rachel Dawidowicz 

        12 months ago

        it is 3/4 Distilled to 1/4 alcohol

        usually you don't use it every time you play it. At least I don't

      • profile image

        Marty 

        12 months ago

        Isopropyl alcohol will eat vinyl. There are so many non-damaging cleaning solutions available that will break down fine particles and will not damage the vinyl. Micro fiber brushes are not anti-static brushes. Micro fiber brushes should only be used on a dry record...isopropyl alcohol will eat that too. Or do whatever you want, because one may not care of one's records don't last.

      • profile image

        Gavin Haasl 

        12 months ago

        Direct drive means the platter is directly connected to the drive motor. You’re thinking semi-automatic vs. fully automatic vs. manual. The real value in equipment is the second hand vintage market. I spent $235 on my entire vinyl rig, and it’ll outplay every turntable in the $300 and less market. Pioneer PL-250 automatic return TT ($125), Kenwood KR-V 8070 receiver ($75), and Pioneer 3 way speakers ($40). Turntables are fairly simple machines and easy to work on/restore. That’s why the vintage market is the best value.

      • Rachel Dawidowicz profile imageAUTHOR

        Rachel Dawidowicz 

        12 months ago

        Thank you, you totally should start spinning again. I absolutely love spinning them

      • jo miller profile image

        Jo Miller 

        12 months ago from Tennessee

        I have some of my old albuns that I've kept through the years. I may not have taken good enough care of them. Your article makes me want to get them out and play them more often.

        Good job.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, spinditty.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://spinditty.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)