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Vinyl in the Present: Groove Jazz

The vinyl record is on the scene again in a big way and Brent Butterworth explains how to get in the groove

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VPI Scout II Turntable

Jazz continually revisits its past, so why shouldn’t audio enthusiasts do the same? Sure, it’s easy to argue that audio technology has shown clear improvement decade after decade while jazz, in the view of some fans, has not. But there’s more to audio than just technical specifications. Each audio technology has its own charm and its own aesthetic-and, of course, each audio format evokes a certain era.

The love of the past and the quest for a more soulful sound have led many serious audiophiles to embrace LP records again. CD sales are declining, but sales of LPs, while still small, rose 35 percent from 2008 to 2009. It’s getting hard to find a brick-and-mortar store where you can buy jazz CDs, but every major city has at least one good record store selling LPs new and used. Even the 18-to-24 set has embraced the LP, playing classic sides in addition to the MP3 files stored on their computers and iPods.

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