“I need perspective ’cause I’m facing the wall
I need perspective ’cause I’m not that tall“ – Peter Gabriel (1978)
Here is the news:
‘Amazon sold more turntables than any other home audio product this Christmas ’ – music to a vinylphile’s ears.
However – this is only part of a broader picture. Is the audiophile world not walled in by its lack of mass market perspective?
Look over the wall – and into the mainstream. Look at what people bought. The leader of Amazon.com’s seasonal turntable bonanza was a US$50 all-in-one from Jensen – turntables like this are (worse than) the UE Boom or Beats Pill of the vinyl world.
More recent news:
‘The world’s biggest quality turntable maker sees production soar 400%’. A four-fold increase in sales, as recently reportedly by the Czech Republic’s SEV Litovel factory who handle manufacturing for Pro-Ject and Music Hall, sounds super impressive.
Vinyl is back. We’ve heard it time and again. Music to the vinylphile’s ears: he never gave up on the format during its fallow years; and he loves the smell of vindication in the morning.
British turntable manufacturer Rega is now making 4000 turntables/month. SEV Litovel are forecasting that they will produce over 10,000 turntables/month within three years.
This too is only part of a broader picture. Look over the wall.
SEV Litovel’s four-fold production increase took place over eight years.
Furthermore, recent RIAA figures point to a slow down in vinyl sales growth: an increase of 1.8% in unit sales for 2016 is a long way from the 38% annual growth average noted between 2012 and 2015.
Vinyl record sales still represent less than 10% of (the USA’s) total music consumption.
Streaming is a blue whale to vinyl’s ocean trout.
The bigger picture – perspective – helps us keep the stories that we hear (and tell others) better anchored in reality.
We should read more than one audiophile publication; pay attention to how our non-audiophile pals listen to music; remain skeptical of those who try to tell us there is only one way to reproduce it.
We should always look over the wall…