Hemswell Antique Centres

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A beginner’s guide to collecting vinyl records


As people have become increasingly tired of the often-sterile nature of digital music, the resurgence in the demand for vinyl records has exploded. But where do you start if you want to dip your toe into the world of collectable vinyl records? And how easy is it to build a vinyl record collection?

Get a record player

If you are serious about collecting vinyl records, the chances are you want to listen to them! New record players or turntables can be found online quite cheaply but if you are playing vintage records, nothing beats a vintage record player!

Buy records you love

Novice collectors can choose to buy new vinyl or vintage vinyl, but should never be tempted to buy vinyl for the sake of it. If you only buy music you love, you will never be left with regret, whether that’s a brand-new album or a much loved, crackly recording from the 50s. For those looking for specific albums no longer in print, second hand vinyl is the only option.

Where to buy vintage vinyl records

If you have access to a specialist pre-owned vinyl record shop, start your search there. The chances are they will offer a broad range of genres if you haven’t quite narrowed down the focus of your collection. Failing that, if you don’t want to buy sight unseen (and it is always better to view the vinyl in person before buying), antiques centres like Hemswell are a great place to look. Dealers are passionate about their collections and often have the time to chat and answer questions. You will also be able to check the records and their sleeves out for yourself. For more ideas on where to source vintage vinyl records, our blog ‘Where to find quality vinyl records for sale’ has lots more ideas. Before handing over your hard-earned cash, inspect the vinyl for damage. As well as the obvious scratches to be avoided, check that the record has not warped or buckled.

Look after your vinyl record collection

As soon as your collection has its first vinyl record in it, start to maintain it. Vinyl records should be clean and dust-free so get into the habit of cleaning your collection regularly. Investing in rice paper sleeves is a good idea; they are a cost-effective way to protect the vinyl against unwanted dust and dirt. An anti-static brush is another must-have and it is good practice to run one over your records each time you play them.

How to store your vinyl record collection correctly

Storing your collection correctly is not difficult if you remember that your vinyl records should never be stored horizontally, one on top of the other. Any weight will cause the vinyl to distort and warp which will damage the record. For more storage ideas, read our blog How to clean vinyl records and store them safely’.

At Hemswell Antique Centres, our vintage vinyl is housed in Building 3, where you can easily lose yourself browsing everything from Elvis, The Beatles and classic Motown, to The Clash, Queen and Fleetwood Mac.

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