Perfect Imperfections of Listening to Vinyl Records

One thing we think people should be talking about more when they’re considering the quality of vinyl is the imperfections that make vinyl so nice to listen to. There are a lot of quirks that come with vinyl that makes it better to listen to than digital, in our humble opinion.

Humming Sounds

What do you think of when you think of listening to vinyl? First, there’s that slight pop as the stylus touches the record. You can hear the hum of the record spinning before it actually plays music. It is these tactile and visual features that make listening to vinyl such a special experience. Sometimes this hum is the result of poor grounding to your analog gear. Other times it's just the reality of listening to vinyl records. Static electricity is most likely what you’re hearing, and that’s perfectly normal.

Surface Noise

(An up-close look at vinyl)

Surface noise is also a possibility when listening to vinyl. It’s caused by the vibration of the stylus running across the grooves of the record as it is spinning. Furthermore, each time a stylus runs along the grooves of a record, it leaves a small amount of scratching that overtime will add more surface noise. Of course there are other causes for surface noise, such as dust and debris on your records. Since static electricity acts as a magnet for dust, it’s important to remove debris from your records. But, if you’ve removed all of the dust from your records and there’s still some slight surface noise, sit back and enjoy a listening experience that is unique to your specific record.

Small Pops or Cracks

Pops, and small cracks are also perfectly normal for vinyl records. Sometimes, it can help to clean your record or use an anti-static brush. As long as there isn’t a continuous tick in the same spot, your record just has a natural slight imperfection, which is what makes listening to it so fun!

Vinyl: A Perfectly Imperfect Medium

As far as listening to vinyl goes, there’s always the possibility of small imperfections that will cause some irregularities in your audio. There can be a small hum, some small cracks, some surface noise. Think about the human existence. None of us are perfect. We all have imperfections that make us who we are. The same can be said about vinyl. None of them are perfect and will come with their own quirks that make them sound the way that they do. But these are the imperfections that make vinyl what it is. A warm, audio-centric medium that gives the listener the greatest sound possible. Enjoy them!

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1 comment

  • Johnny

    You forgot warping! I love a warped record, nothing like watching it spin and wondering if it’s going to damage your stylus or not! Adds a sense of fun and danger when listening to a horror soundtrack I find.

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