Back in the grooves with a vinyl revival,23739,25538171-23272,00.html

FORGET about home theatre surround sound, iPod docking stations and the latest new-wave all-in-one music systems.

It's time to get ready for the next revolution.

Record players and the paraphernalia that goes with them – stylii, cleaning tools, vinyl records and old-fashioned amplifiers – are making a comeback.

The downloading generation has discovered the tangible benefits of vinyl, and records sales are soaring across the country.

High-end hi-fi specialist Mervyn Marshall, of Northside Hi-Fi, has already doubled his sales of record players this year over last year.

Egg Records owner Ric Trevaskes says players and old-fashioned amplifiers are becoming harder to get and more expensive as more people want them.

And the range of retailers stocking record players has mushroomed, from the small retailer dedicated to acoustic excellence to mass market stockists such as Aldi and Dick Smith Electronics, as record companies now produce records that come with codes to access a free download so you can protect your precious vinyl.

Brisbane's Rocking Horse Records owner Warwick Vere says record sales are up 45 per cent on last year. "It is one of the good things that has come out of the downloading generation," he said.

"They and their cousins are discovering the wonders of vinyl. "There are some funny stories of course. A lot of them go, you mean, you turn them over and play the other side?"

Mr Vere says there's no doubt records sound better than CDs, as the highs and lows of recordings are compressed on CDs.

While many may not realise the value of their dusty old record collections, a lot of others over-estimate the worth of their collections.

'We have plenty of people ringing us up telling us that they've got Hot August Night by Neil Diamond," Mr Vere said.

"I tell them, so has half the universe, love."

Those new to vinyl are discovering you just can't buy an old record player on its own –

you also need the old-fashioned amplifiers, usually sourced from parents or grandparents, to reproduce the sound.


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