Music industry planned to kill vinyl records with CDs, forcing us all to buy new equipment and put our music collections back in place. It was stupid: after all, the labels were owned, and the electronics were made. But you know, the best plans are broken, etc. According to Nielsen data, vinyl sales in 2017 marks the 12th straight year of growth. In the UK, it was 3.2 million units, a high of 25 years. Business consultant Deloitte plans to sell 40 million LPs worldwide this year and values the USD1b vinyl market for LPs, turntable and accessories. This is, of course, diminished by a 500% increase in streaming services, a 24-hour all-you-can-eat buffet.
If you are looking for a revival of vinyl or just feel that you have gained an upgrade, let me point you in the direction of Clearaudio Concept. With its sharp design and robust finish, its flagship deck is controlled by a meaty rotary dial with three speeds, 33.3, 45 and 78 (yes, 78!).
The combination of materials — wood fibre, aluminium surround — appears to reduce vibrations to give a cleaner sound, but I am influenced by a) its wood birch finish and b) its simplicity, both in design and configuration. While some turntables require a steady hand and an MA in physics, this one is really just plugging in and playing, as all the adjustments are made before leaving Clearaudio HQ in Erlangen.