I picked up some random records from the Goodwill store today. Sadly they didn’t keep their vinyl in good condition :/ They were all crammed together on a shelf that was about to collapse. Next time I should try Half-Priced Books maybe if I want to buy used vinyl locally. I know there’s a record store somewhere in this town as well.

Nonetheless, I grabbed just a few random albums for $2.00. Mostly just so I can make sure my current turntable, inherited from my folks, works. It’s a Soundesign using a ceramic cartridge and an old needle so I’m not expecting much but figured I would try it on bad vinyl while I wait on a new needle at least. The goal of this whole exercise is to see if I like vinyl enough to invest more into it, including getting a hi-fi turntable with a magnetic cartridge and all that jazz.

Turns out that there was a Johnny Cash album hidden in the Nat King Cole album I thought I bought, sweet! That was a fun find to say the least and I’m going to wait on playing that until I have better equipment (at the very least a better needle). Johnny deserves better than what I have at the moment.

The record I opted to play was a random Pachebel’s Canon. I tried to find the exact recording on iTunes for comparision-sake but wasn’t able to track it down. Even so, it was a fun listening experience, despite all the pops, fuzz, and 60Hz hum. There’s definitely dynamic range I haven’t heard (or at least noticed) on modern digital recordings, even of some of the classical albums. It also sounds smoother, particularly the highs compared to a random Pachebel’s Canon I do have that, more or less, matched the record version. The digital version was obviously far more clear but the highs sounded flat audibly. The low end sounded better, however.

I was trying to be as unbiased as I could though I would be lying if I said I didn’t want the vinyl to win out and end up sounding better. So take all of the above with a grain of salt. For me, I think it gives me enough of a reason to invest into the whole thing. Now I want to hear what records in good condition sound like with a good turntable and pre-amp and, in fact, I’m excited to get to hear it. Vinyl, despite the epic war between the formats, certainly won a place in my heart. Of course, to be fair, I still reminisce about cassette tapes…