Loveland music store loves its vinyl records

Jenny Sparks/Loveland Reporter-Herald

Lizz Roth co-owns Downtown Sound, a new store in Loveland, with her parents, Veronica and Ed Roth. The store opened earlier this month with an emphasis on vintage music technology.

By CRAIG YOUNG
Loveland Reporter-Herald

LOVELAND (AP) – In this family business, mom and pop wax nostalgic while their 20-year-old daughter revels in retro.

Downtown Sound, which recently opened in Loveland, sells vintage vinyl records, turntables, guitars, tube amplifiers and other vestiges of decades-old technology.

“My generation didn’t grow up with it. It’s pretty cool for us to have something tangible,” said Lizz Roth, who partnered with her parents, Ed and Veronica Roth, on the new venture.

“A CD is just plastic,” she said. “A vinyl record, you have to take care of it.”

For anyone of a certain age, the term “vinyl record” sounds like a redundancy, along the lines of “land line” and “film camera.” Back in the day, they were just records and telephones and cameras.

Lizz Roth said her family is hoping to capitalize on the resurgence in the past few years of the vinyl record.

Nielsen SoundScan data shows CD sales falling by 5 percent in 2011, with vinyl record sales up more than 36 percent. Midway through 2012, vinyl continues to grow, although at a slower pace and as only a fraction of total music sales.

And those statistics don’t take into account sources such as garage sales, thrift stores and some record stores, where you’ve always been able to pick up old albums.

Some audiophiles never let go of their records, or LPs (long-playing records), but youngsters such as Roth yearning for that “something tangible” also are pushing the trend.

The record uses analog technology: Small wavy grooves imprinted in the vinyl send the sound vibrations through a diamond needle or stylus that follows the grooves as the record rotates on the turntable.

Fans of vinyl enthuse about the richness of the sound, complete with crackles and pops, compared with the cold digital precision of CDs or MP3 files.

Roth said sales of new records are coming both from current recording artists releasing on vinyl as well as re-releases of classic albums such as The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” (No. 3 on the charts).

At Downtown Sound, almost everything is used, she said. “We think it’s really cool to reuse.”

Roth said her mother always has wanted a family business. They settled on the Downtown Sound concept because her dad has a collection of guitars and can repair amplifiers and other equipment, and because they all love music.

At the shop, customers can buy, sell or trade their records and musical equipment or bring items in for repair.

More than 40 guitars from Ed Roth’s collection, most of them electric, hang on the wall. Album covers from The Doors, Bob Dylan, Bad Company, The Monkees and many others grace the front counter, and amps and hi-fi equipment sit in the back.

On the store’s opening day,Tony White of Nostalgia Corner picked up a stack of Elvis and Beatles albums to resell in his own shop.

“Albums are hot,” he said, “because you can buy record players again.”

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