I recently got a record player for a music-loving friend (ok, a girl). I’ve always heard, from audiophiles, that despite technological advances, music still sounds the best in analog form — the truest form — specifically on vinyl. The soundwaves that are borne out of vibrations off grooves will forever trump compressed, digital files, they’d tell me.
Having given the record player a few spins — Kendrick Lamar, De La Soul, D’Angelo (LOL) — I’d have to agree. Music from a record player do indeed sound superior to Spotify streams or mp3s — the medium on which I’ve listened to music for the past decade. But is the difference in quality enough to justify the extra hassle?
As digital technology make everything in our lives simpler, at what point do we decide “It’s okay to sacrifice quality or tradition to save time/space/money”?
I say this, because the transport of the record player from place of purchase to my friend (ok, a cute girl)’s apartment was rough. The entire setup — turntable, speakers, amp — was too bulky to carry on a bus or subway, which left the taxi as the only option. Hailing a cab was impossible at the point of purchase (Sham Shui Po, where people are packed like a can of sardines), so I had to walk two blocks to a taxi stand, with the package’s heft — and the crowded, narrow streets of SSP — making every step a strenuous workout.