Crate diggers, this weekend’s for you.
The Four Corners Vinyl Record Club is taking over the Holiday Inn & Suites on Saturday for a full day of nothing but vinyl.
According to Analog Planet, data company Luminate reports that vinyl sales are up 21.7% in the first half of 2023.
“There’s all this interest in vinyl right now,” said Jim Canagi, who owned The Record Man shop from 1988 to 2003 in College Plaza. He still buys and sells albums and sets up shop at the flea market and other events, such as the upcoming swap.
“I don’t know how long that’s going to last; we’ll ride it out as long as it’s popular, but there’s so much nostalgia with it. With older folks, 50s, 60s, that kind of age, there’s a lot of nostalgia,” he said. “The other thing about vinyl that people are realizing now is that they’re analog – analog versus digital. There’s a big difference. Analog is much warmer sounding ... when you hear a live concert, you’re listening in analog. When you listen to a record, you’re getting that same warmth, ambience, in-depth sound.”
Canagi has loved records his whole life, and has been collecting them since he was a kid, so his musical tastes extend for decades. And while he is a dealer, he also boasts an ever-changing personal collection of about 1,000 albums.
WHAT: Four Corners Vinyl Record Club presents Record Show Extravaganza.
WHEN: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
WHERE: Holiday Inn & Suites, 21636 U.S. Highway 160.
MORE INFORMATION: Email email@example.com.
“Mostly what I collect are audiophile things – Japanese pressings, which are actually the best in the world. That’s mostly what I collect now,” he said. “I’m 74 years old, so my interest goes all the way back to the ’60s. So I’ve been collecting old stuff: Beatles, Dave Clark Five, Animals, a lot of the British Invasion stuff. And then, through the years, just collecting the music that I loved all those years growing up. That covers a lot of territory.”
Canagi said part of the reason he closed his store, and the reason for vinyl’s demise was the advent of the compact disc. Look through anyone’s car in the 1990s and into the 2000s, and chances are good you would find at least one CD, and if you had a true music aficionado on your hands, you might have found a CD binder or even an organizer in one of the car’s sun visors.
But the tides are turning, he said, and now, it seems everyone’s developing an interest in records.
“When I had the record store, the reason we closed was due to the fact that CDs came into play and everybody was CD happy, and kind of got out of the whole record thing for a number of years,” he said. “In the last maybe eight years there’s all this new interest in vinyl, and that covers the entire demographic. ... A lot of the young college kids, particularly, are really into the vinyl; I sell a lot of records to college kids. But then it goes all the way through, all the way up to ... I get a lot of customers that either collect or they’re looking for stuff that they grew up with.”
For new record collectors planning on heading to the swap, Canagi has a few pieces of advice when shopping for albums and equipment – check the shape of any albums you want to buy, and don’t skimp on your equipment, especially one piece in particular: the cartridge.
“No. 1, I’d worry about condition. A lot of people will stick stuff out there for pretty good money or something like that and the condition’s not all that good. So the No. 1 thing I would advise is when you look at something that’s a little bit costly, ask the dealer if you can take the record out and look at it,” he said. “Other advice, one of the big ones with new vinyl people, particularly is to make sure you have a good cartridge. A lot of people think, ‘Oh wow, I’ve got these great speakers, and I have this really nice amplifier, and I have a decent turntable,’ but really where it all starts is at the cartridge.
“The cartridge is that little black box on the arm of your turntable where your needle is. The needle goes into a cartridge, that’s your microphone. You can spend from $20 to thousands of dollars for a cartridge. They can go real high-end. The most important part of your stereo is that cartridge.”