Buy Vinyl Records

Written by Charles Peacock
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Vinyl records are something of a technological enigma. Most types of technology that have been usurped by newer designs (as records for the most part have--first by eight tracks, then cassette tapes, and now CDs and DVDs) usually fall by the wayside and become nothing more than antique curiosities within a few years. Records are a real exception, since their sound quality and utility for DJs gives them advantages over even the newest digital formats.

Buying Vinyl Records: What to Look for

Most sellers of used records use a standard grading system to express the quality of their records. This system ranges from "mint" to "poor," with a lot of variations in between. Record grading usually depends on two main factors: the quality of the record's visual appearance and the quality of playback. For those looking for new dance records, though, condition is not an issue. Fortunately neither is availability, thanks to internet retailers.

Luckily, when it comes to buying older records, appearance and sound quality are closely intertwined. If you see a warped record with a lot of scratches on it, chances are it's not going to sound very good. There are many different types of scratches, however, so if you're looking for a particular rare record, you might have to live with certain visual blemishes that may not actually affect playback quality.

The obvious way to tell if scratches or scuffs are going to affect playback is to listen to the record before you buy. If this is not possible, try looking at the record from an angle. If most of the scratches and scuffs are not visible from the side, chances are the record will sound fine.

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