Tech and Tradition

Vinyl: an old word that is becoming new. For those who still have vinyls in a time capsule buried in the garden or stowed in the attic, it is time to dig them up and return to enjoying a forgotten musical art.

 But where is the vinyl player?

This is the real problem. Even if you still have your vinyl, the vinyl player or gramophone is definitely lost.

2015 was a weird year for the music market all over the world: for the first time, the digital music market was bigger than the physical-supported music. At the same time, the vinyl market grew 43% in a year, climbing to 5% of the global music market.

A big dualism and ageism supports the two areas. Mainly the reasons are based on a different lifestyle as well as the attitude of the listener.

People who have specific interests in listening to music where sounds, instruments and text are dominant, respect rhythm, fast choice and variety, and they prefer vinyl.

Vinyl must be listened to at home in specific areas, far from noise, and needs dedicated attention to the content. Digital music can be listened to anywhere and anytime, no matter what you are doing. It is a different surrounding accompaniment. It is easy to get, to exchange, to update.

Some would liken it to the same difference between a three-star Michelin restaurant and a McDonalds. Some prefer the first, some the second. You cannot spend twenty minutes eating in a three-star Michelin restaurant, and you aren't allowed to stay two hours in a McDonalds.

Vinyl matches a good glass of Italian wine, digitalis match a good Coke. Different lifestyles, but not different culture. If music is still an important part of human life, it is because music is probably the first globally-traveling artwork since early times. Humans have helped music be global. Popular singers left the courts of Europe and Asia to sing in front of kings, emperors and dignitaries.

From there until digital music running on the net, there has been a red wire that contributes to making music the most popular among the seven traditional arts.

Technically, vinyl seems to get the award for best music support because it is able to reproduce higher frequency than its digital counterpart and separate the tracks more efficiently. Modern gramophones and loudspeakers support vinyl music to get the sound absolutely clear even at low levels.

Who can surpass the easy way of creating playlists or downloading the latest hit and enjoying any moment of our lives better than with digitalized music?

There is also a sort of tricky situation within this dualism: since the mid-1970s, vinyl rasterizers began using digital. Vinyl rasterized during the 1970’s are using the 100% analog signal and seem to be “more authentic” than the others done later.

What is the most valuable vinyl ever?

“That’ll Be The Day/In Spite Of All The Danger” by The Quarrymen - £100,000. The 1958 original is the only known copy of the pre-Beatles disc recorded at a local electrical shop by McCartney, Lennon and Harrison with drummer Colin Hanton and pianist John Duff Lowe.

"The Beatles" – The Beatles

Better known by the name "The White Album", this Beatles classic is one of the highest grossing commercially released albums of all time. What made this particular copy, which sold for $790,000, so valuable, is that it was No. 0000001, and belonged to the one and only Ringo Starr. According to Rolling Stone, Ringo’s copy—which was well played and was even said to have Ringo’s fingerprints on it—sold for the earth-shattering purse at auction last December.

"Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" – Wu-Tang Clan

The world came to hate pharma-thief and hedge fund jerk Martin Shkreli in 2015 when he inexplicably raised the price of an essential HIV medication over 5,500 percent overnight. But we came to hate him more when, a few months later, he scandalously paid $2 million for the one single copy of this [alleged] Wu masterpiece. 

What about the most rare CD’s?


  1. Eminem - "Slim Shady Ep" (1997)

Only 500 copies of this CD were made, and only half of those actually sold. The record has gone down in history because it saw Em find his violent musical. Worth: £9,837


  1. Prince – "My Name was Prince" (1993)

Japan-only compilation. Worth $4500-$5000


  1. Rolling Stones – "Steel Wheels Japan Tour" (Feb 1990)

Japan-only compilation. Worth $4400 - $4600.


  1. Rolling Stones/Paul McCartney/Queen – "The Greatest" (1995)

Japan 3-CD box set. Worth £2,500.


  1. Bob Dylan – "50th Anniversary Collection" (2013)

CD set of outtakes, recorded 1962-63, released by Columbia Records in limited edition of 100. Sold in January 2013 for $2,625.


So maybe on a cost per recording basis, vinyl has won.