The Week I Became an Audiophile: On Vinyl and Listening Styles

It doesn't take special ears to become an audiophile... just perhaps some doctor's orders to listen to music. Join our marketing associate Jo for a week of product testing and reflection on what the word "audiophile" truly means.

Start with the Introduction here.

Tuesday, 3/3/15: On Vinyl and Listening Styles

My boyfriend has a record player. Don’t ask me what kind it is because I haven’t a clue. When I first listened to this record player I was put off when the music stopped after about 20 minutes. Dennis put down his hand of rummy. “It stopped,” I observantly say.

“I have to flip it,” Dennis replied.

“Really?” I asked. “Already?”


“Oh.” I sat silently, watching him flip the aforementioned record.

Riveting conversation, I know, but perhaps a decent illustration of how foreign this was to me. I was surprised. How did people live with these? Would classy 1940s New York denizens be in the middle of impressing their party guests / prospective clients / love interests / monopolistic tycoons when all of a sudden, scratch -- music goes silent. I imagine everyone staring concernedly about the room, the host adjusting his collar, “Uh, lemme get that.”

How awkward.

I must be spoiled. I like hitting buttons to skip tracks through a playlist of hours to resume my passive listening experience, and have that be the only interaction with my audio equipment. Today on the drive to work, I didn’t even realize my radio was on until halfway through my drive. Is this what musicians intended - to have their creations fade into the auditory background of our lives? Or to have whole, composed albums pulled apart and divvied based on popularity of single songs instead of how they contribute to a larger piece of art?

For sure that record player made me realize that there was a new, uninvited emptiness through Dennis’s tiny dining room; something no longer adorned the red walls and the dim lights and our dog’s snoring suddenly became very noticeable. Then the appeal of such old-fashioned audio hit me. It emulates the age-old adage, “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” Sure, I can do a bunch of research (eventually!) on differences between the sound quality of vinyl and digital audio, but a big, non-technical aspect of the allure seems to be the interactivity and appreciation for the fleeting art that is music.

Bluetooth streaming is convenient, as are internet radio, etc, and I love having my own background music to follow me wherever I go. I love the songs that play, the moods they bring, the ease of pushing play and letting go for hours. But the experience is one, and I am still learning.

Continue reading here.

Join us in early May for our Spring event, The Evolution of Audio, where you too can discover all the latest technology and listening experiences Gramophone has to offer. Click here for more information and to RSVP today!