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The Turntable Comes Back Around

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(credit: Sandra McNeil/WWJ)

(credit: Sandra McNeil/WWJ)

sandramcneill Sandra McNeill
After graduating from the University of Michigan, Sandra McNeill...
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ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – Think the turntable is dead? Think again.

At one Ann Arbor sound store, the old spinning disk with the spindle in the middle is adding up to some big business.

WWJ Newsradio 950’s Sandra McNeil spoke with Keith Moorman, the owner of Overture Audio

“We’re doing very well with turntables,” said Moorman, who sells about three to four high-end turntables a week.

When you add in components and repairs, it amounts to about 30 percent of his business.

Moorman said that records just sound better. Digital music is compressed, he said, so you don’t get the fuller sound of an analog record.

“There’s all kinds of subtleties … harmonics and overtones and the breathiness or the emotion of a female vocalist … that just get tossed because it’s too much information to fit on an MP3,” he said.

But isn’t there too much static?

Moorman said that if there’s one thing that drives him crazy it’s people who “nostalgically remember the clicks and pops. That drives us up a wall. That’s like saying you’re fond of the Renaissance era because of the Bubonic plague or something. That’s ridiculous.”

A good turntable, he said, is quiet.

So who’s buying the turntables? More and more customers are young. Tom O’Keefe sets up the units. “We’re getting college students back in again, interested in vinyl. There’s a big resurgence in vinyl with the younger generation now,” said O’Keefe. “They like the physicality of it, they like the larger art work, and they like the warmer sound.”

O’Keefe said that record sales have doubled each year over the past couple of years. “It’s gotten to the point now where most of the stuff you’d be interested in musically is coming out on vinyl,” he said. “I’ve picked up the last two Adele records on vinyl.”

As for how far the resurgence will go, Moorman doesn’t think turntables will ever be a really large part of the market. But, he said — for music aficionados — the turntable will never go away.

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