The boom in vinyl record sales is creating a rising demand for high-quality audio components, such as direct drive turntables, amplifiers fitted with low-noise toroidal transformers and high-end speakers, as consumers increasingly embrace the ‘warmth’ of analogue sound.
Sales of vinyl now account for 1.5 per cent of all record sales. Though the figure remains small, it has to be seen in context – in 2007, vinyl accounted for just 0.1 per cent of all record sales. This retro revival shows no sign of slowing down and has been given new momentum by the fact that supermarket chain Tesco is to stock vinyl copies of the new album by vintage rockers Iron Maiden. Should the experiment prove to be successful, Tesco plans to stock albums from a wider range of artists in the near future.
Retailer John Lewis recently reported that its turntable sales had increased by 240 per cent. Customers at the store now have a choice of at least eight turntable models, compared to just one a few years ago. However, all these turntables are either USB models which connect to a computer and enable users to convert their old albums to a digital format or all-in-one systems complete with built-in speakers. While these make it possible to listen to vinyl, they fail to make the most out of the format.
For those looking to genuinely benefit from the many advantages that vinyl offers over digital formats, far better equipment is needed. With far lower levels of noise and hum than traditional EI transformers, toroidal designs make it easy to get the best possible sound out of a wide range of audio equipment and are therefore the component of choice for devices in which sound quality is king. If you’re manufacturing high-end audio equipment it’s easy to find components that fit your exact specifications, such as custom toroidal transformers by siga.
Vinyl sounds better than MP3 files because it is a lossless format in which nothing has been compressed so the record sounds exactly the way the artist intended. A further advantage is that, unlike a set of MP3 files, vinyl has intrinsic value and is therefore not just a collection of music but also a form of investment. In the case of some particularly rare releases, a vinyl collection can actually grow in value.