When we moved here to Davenport I made the decision I wanted to set up my turntable. I did and it has become a rediscovery of music through vinyl. When I was in junior high I got my first stereo. Creating a music collection became a priority and I probably amassed a music collection of 33's, 45's and cassettes. As much as I preferred vinyl, by the time high school rolled around I probably bought more cassettes simply because of the Walkman that I took with me almost everywhere.

When I went off to college, my cassettes came with me. My LP's didn't. My first stereo was pretty much toast at that point, so I chose a more compact boom box that only played tapes. Eventually I bought a compact disc player and hooked that up to the boom box and started collecting CD's and never looked back. It wasn't until the late 90's I bought another turn table. I bought some used records, played some of my collection, but the stereo wasn't in a comfortable place and anytime someone walked by the stereo on the floor it caused it to skip. Truthfully, the CD player saw a lot more action. When I started moving around for different radio jobs the turntable got packed, and never set up again.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I set up my turntable this time around. Would I use it, or would it gather dust in my music room/office? I've been pleasantly surprised by my music listening experiences with vinyl thus far. I've found listening to albums on vinyl to be significantly easier than CD's or digitally. It's because listening to vinyl is a more active experience than in other formats.

You have to actively get up and turn the disc over. Or change discs. There's also the album or 45 sleeve artwork that's very easy to pour over every detail. Liner notes and lyrics are easy to read. It's eye candy that goes perfectly with listening.

In addition, having the collection broken up by having to turn or change the disc, for me, makes listening easier. Sometimes seeing those ten to twelve songs all in a row on the CD or computer just seemed daunting. Splitting up the collection by album side, just makes listening all the way through more manageable. Have I mentioned the sound quality? Sure there are clicks and pops, but it's just warmer than CD's and better than the digital quality of music we pump out of our phones.

These aren't earth shattering revelations. Vinyl lovers and audio snobs have pointed out many of them for years. For the average music fan like myself though I never paid it much attention. I'll say they're right. All those things are true and contribute to the listening experience.

I've re-discovered a variety of albums including The Eagles "Hotel Calfiornia", Chicago "XI", "Hot Streets" and "17", Richard Marx's self titled first album, Styx "Paradise Theatre" and REO Speedwagon's "Live You Get What You Play For". It's been fun. And if you've gutted your record collection, many used albums in great condition are available for very reasonable prices.

Take some time and set up your record player or turn table. Grab your favorite beverage. put on your favorite album and listen. Explore the album artwork. Rediscover your music collection through vinyl. I think you'll be glad you did!

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