Turntables &

Vinyl Makes a Comeback

Would you believe that vinyl (good old fashioned records) sales in 2013 were 6 times the volume of just 2005?? Yes, for the years 2005-2013, vinyl sales have increased more than sixfold! Vinyl is making a huge comeback.  The bestselling vinyl LP of 2011 was the Beatles Abbey Road.  Grammy award winning Adele released her album 21 on vinyl to much success.   And one of my favorites, Mumford and Sons, released their debut album on vinyl as well, which just sounds great on my classic Linn LP 12 turntable! (To name just a few.) Record Store Day sees huge crowds at local record stores.  One of our local merchants, School Kids Records, has a big line every year of people waiting for them to open.

For anyone familiar with vinyl, it’s a different experience from digital music.  First of all, it’s a lot more trouble, but so is making a good cup of coffee or tea!  It will have its occasional tick or pop, although with a good system and a new LP, this is rare.  But the real appeal of vinyl is its very warm sound.  The sound can be especially alluring if the recording was done with analog gear.  Pulling out those old albums, if you are from my generation (the AARP crowd), can really take you back in time.

For those of you just getting into vinyl or thinking about it, we thought it would be fun to feature a few of the products and services available at Audio Advice to help you out.

Yes, We’ve Got Turntables!

Finally, no serious two-channel store is complete without a great selection of turntables. For many people, vinyl still represents the best sounding source we have. Interestingly, of all physical music formats, vinyl is the only one with sales increases over the past several years. We offer turntables from Sumiko/Project, VPI, Linn, and SME with prices that start around $300 and can go up to $45,000. We also have a wide range of replacement phono cartridges from most current brands. If you need to add a phono stage to your system, we have lots of choices there as well.  Please check out our turntable section for more details.

Listening to music is one of the most relaxing things we know of. When your music system is right, it can ease away all of the stress of the day. We invite you let our experts help you create a system you will enjoy daily for many, many years to come!

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sleek classic turn table
Scout VIP made in America
SME 30/2 turntable great audio

Turntable Overhauls

Our ace service tech Steve Jetter works on several turntables a week.  If you have an old turntable you would like to revitalize, we can help!  Also, we have a great selection of cartridges from Grado, Benz, Sumiko, and more.  If your turntable has been sitting around a while, you will need to replace the cartridge as the elastomer is probably shot.  But, we have them starting as low as $60.  When you buy a phono cartridge from us, the price also includes our precision alignment and set up on your turntable.

Getting Into Vinyl

For a great entry level turntable, the Sumiko Project  Debut III at $449 (2015 current price, subject to change) is a very good value.  The price includes a pretty decent Ortofon cartridge so you can start exploring vinyl without breaking the bank.  Sumiko’s has additional turntable choices, then we move into the made in America VIP turntables, which is our best selling brand.  Our two top choices, if you wanted to really get a great turntable would be a Linn LP12 or the incredible SME30.

Phono Stages

One barrier to getting into vinyl is a phono stage.  Most current electronics do not include a phono stage.  You need one because the output level of a phono cartridge is measured in millivolts, while the output of a typical CD player is 2 volts.  A phono stage amplifies the very low level signal and supplies the needed RIAA equalization.  Well, the good news is Audio Advice has a huge selection of phono stages starting as low as $159.  These will connect to a spare input on any current receiver or integrated amp so you can get started.

Both our Raleigh and Charlotte stores have both the products and knowledge to help you out down the vinyl path.  We can even show you the best way to clean and care for your LP’s.  Plus, you can learn how to protect and clean the fragile stylus on your phono cartridge.  Our vinyl related products include, Sumiko, Linn, SME, VPI, Grado, Benz, Audio Research, Sutherland, and more.  You’ll also find stylus and record cleaners from LAST, Sumiko, Benz, and more.  It’s a ton of fun and another great way to enjoy music!

phono stages get your audio going