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Peter's Vinyl Revival


Peter's1 journey into vinyl collecting was sparked by his dealer's suggestion. From digital to the richer, more organic sound of vinyl, he now treasures over 300 records. Discover how his passion for the authentic sound of vinyl shaped his collection...

Peter, could you share the story of how you started building your record collection? What initially sparked your interest in collecting vinyl?

I returned to home audio about 11 years ago with an all digital system. About 14 months ago, my trusted dealer from Natural Sound in Framingham, MA, said “I’m surprised you haven’t asked me about vinyl…”. A week later I listened to a couple of records at his shop and right away I knew it was the best Blood on the Tracks I had ever heard. I borrowed a turntable from him, bought a handful of records to compare to my ripped CDs in the hope of finding a significant subset that sounded best on vinyl. I was shocked that virtually everything in my musical sweet spot—rock, pop, jazz from ~1960 to ~1990 sounds much better on vinyl—fuller and more organic

How many records are in your collection, and what storage method do you prefer? How much space do they occupy, and how do you manage when you run out of space?

300, on bookshelves. Fortunately, I can expand to least 1,000 before my wife is likely to be bothered

What drives your passion for collecting records the most? Is it the hunt for rare editions, comparing the sound quality of different pressings, the visual and tactile appeal, or something else entirely?

The organic sound—a good record moves me emotionally. I do not care about rarity (actually rarity makes me kind of sad—I want The Beatles in mono!). But I do get a little thrill when I find a super good sounding record and/or one better than I already own, or a title I did not expect. What an incredible time we live in when inside of a month I can buy Coltane’s Ballads on UHQR, plus used originals of Speaking in Tongues, Tumbleweed Connection, The Concert for Bangladesh, The Hissing of Summer Lawns, and The Big Easy Soundtrack—all in NM or Mint condition and sounding better than ever on a modern stereo. (OK, the original Hissing is not great sonically, but I have a reissue that’s supposed to be great on the way!)

And this is minimal effort—Discogs, my local record shop (Planet Records in Cambridge, MA), Amazon, and Steve Hoffman Music Forums combine to make purchases easy

With such a vast digital collection at your disposal, how do you decide which new albums to buy on vinyl?

One problem with my new love of vinyl is that I enjoy my 1,100 or so CDs much less than before. I started with the idea that I would only rebuy stuff that I loved, but the hurdle gets lower all the time, haha

Could you describe your ideal setup for listening to music that you've found to provide the best sound experience?

I have a couch facing speakers in approx an equilateral triangle, 8’ or so per side. Speakers approx 3’ from front wall, empty space behind me

How do you handle the inherent flaws of vinyl, such as dust and scratches? What equipment or methods do you use to keep your records clean?

I try to buy NM or new records only, I have a Degritter and (for heavy stuff) a Spin Clean. When these fail, I remind myself that it’s beautiful art with a small human-like imperfection. When that fails, and it’s a record that is a masterpiece, I buy another at a higher price (this last step has been very rare).


  1. Peter HG from Cambridge, MA