Aren’t new vinyl records always better than used?

While unlike audio gear and cars, the depreciation value of records is slow if at all, but like cars, does it always pay to buy new? With the huge amount of records out there in the used market that have not been re-issued and may never be, it is like trying to go to your local Ford dealer car lot and insisting on finding a 1966 Mustang to purchase, not going to happen.

If you have not noticed by now that vinyl records are back to stay for a long time to come, than you must be in a coma someplace. I grew up with vinyl records and it was the only music medium there was for a while before my time and into the first 4 years or so when 8-track and cassette tapes appeared. However, I never had a huge collection nor did my parents. I think at one point I had collected about 60 records by the mid-eighties. (I have more records now, than ever before).
Around the end of the eighties I had switched to CD. It took about 5 years of fighting about the price of CDs for me to switch and I did so because the prices came down. When CDs first hit the market, it was common to see prices from about $20 to $30 per disc. When they hit $10 I started buying in.

Somehow, I had the fore-thought to not get rid of all my records, however I regret dumping the ones I did. I held on to about 30 or so through the years until around 2010 when I was bitten by the “vintage bug”. That, believe it or not is when I got my first “real” turntable, an old Pioneer PL-510A. That Pioneer is still in use today! (It is in my second system). Taken care of, those old early 70s Pioneer tables do not die.  There is nothing wrong with using legacy turntables like that, if they are in good shape they should not give you any headaches. They sound just as good as some of the finer tables today and can handle just about the same variety of cartridges, etc. as other tables in their class.

That digression aside, I want to talk about records themselves. Back in the day it was common to see new record prices starting at around $1 to $2. Over time into the eighties, record prices crept up until they reached about $5 to $8 average for both single LP and some doubles. Still not bad at all even in the economy of the times. I was around 18 or 19 years old making minimum wage at the time and paying $300 per month rent to my parents plus my own phone and car insurance (I started working just before I turned 18) and still had enough left to go to the record stores every month and buy at least 3 records or more. (Continued on Page 2)