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Thursday August 05, 2021
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Vinyl Revival



Black initially saw it as an obscure collector's item from his favorite band. Now he's an avid record collector.

"I don't think anything beats the active listening experience that comes with listening to vinyl," Black says. "Having to put the needle down on the record, and flip sides, and be careful with it. It makes it more intimate than just putting iTunes on shuffle."

Matt Bradish, owner of Underground Sounds, also prefers vinyl records to CDs. "The problem with CDs is, number one, the artwork is way too small," he says. "And number two, a lot of people believe that . . . the [digital] sound is too compressed."

Many experts predicted vinyl would disappear after CDs were introduced in the 1980s. But now, as CD sales plummet, records are making a comeback. According to Nielsen Sound-Scan, the number of vinyl LPs sold in the U.S. nearly doubled last year, to 1.88 million units. And while no one tracks sales in Ann Arbor, it's clear the town is ahead of the curve when it comes to the vinyl revival.

"Ann Arbor's always been a place where people sought vinyl," says Peter Dale, owner of Encore Recordings. And though Encore specializes in used music, lately more customers are buying brand-new LPs.

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