Vinyl Lovers Gift Guide
Buying a gift can be a real pain in the butt! You might stress for hours wondering if the recipient will like what you picked out while worrying about going over budget, getting the gift on time and whether you will need to return it.
Well, if you have a vinyl lover on your gift list, life just got a little easier.
This article will give you great ideas on what you can give the vinyl lover in your life, no matter what the occasion may be.
If you are buying a gift for a vinyl lover, the most obvious thing you will want to give them is, well, vinyl!
Vinyl has gotten big over the last few years so there are tons of artists releasing new music in this format. If the release is new enough, there’s a good chance the person you are buying for won’t have it yet.
You can also go with rare vinyl. Rare vinyl is difficult to find and it’s perfect for collectors. Even if your vinyl lover has the album you picked out, a second copy never hurts if it’s worth a lot of money!
If you are looking for rare vinyl, this article has tips that will help you find these precious albums.
If the person on your gift list happens to be a musician, you can surprise them by getting one of their recordings pressed to vinyl. To do this, you may have to work with the recipient to ensure the artwork and design is correct and that the music is credited properly, so it may not be much of a surprise….but it will still be a great to have.
Keep in mind that it can take a while for vinyl order to get completed, so if you are planning on getting records pressed as a gift, be sure to plan weeks in advance.
While this won’t be the easiest gift to give, the sense of personalization will make it one they are sure to love.
Turntables make great gifts for vinyl lovers. They can be bought as part of a complete phonograph system or they can be sold separately. When purchased separately, they can be added to a DJ system to be used in clubs and on recordings.
There are certain features you will want to look for in a turntable. For one, you will want to find out if the arm is manual, automatic or semi-automatic.
If you have a manual arm, you will have to place it directly on the vinyl yourself. If the arm is automatic, it may play the record as soon as the cover closes. If the arm is semi-automatic, you may have to prompt it to a certain position before it hits the vinyl itself.
The one you choose is really a matter of taste.
The turntable should also have the capability to play 33’s, 78’s and 45’s.
You will also want to look at the components of the turntable taking the following into consideration.
- The Platter: The platter is the plate the record sits on. A heavier platter is ideal because it reduces vibration.
- Tonearm: The tonearm is the arm that swings across the record allowing the needle to make contact with the vinyl. A high-quality tonearm is necessary because it provides more accuracy and consistency when the record rotates.
- Stylus: The stylus has direct contact with the record, and it’s important to use one that’s high quality. However, a stylus is easily replaceable. In fact, it should be replaced after 1000 hours or so of play time. So, if you’re stuck with a bad stylus, it’s not the end of the world.
Only an expert will be able to determine if every component of your phonograph is up to snuff, but if you go with a good brand, you’re likely to get a product you are happy with.
Funky Moose has a selection of high quality turntables with one that’s likely to suit your needs.
Speakers can be added to a phonograph system or any other audio device including your phone and your computer.
If you are shopping for speakers as a gift, here are some things to look for.
Frequency Response: The frequency response is measured in Hertz (Hz) and it indicates the range of tones the speaker will produce. The first number tells you how low the speaker will play while the second number represents its upper limits. The wider the range between the two numbers, the fuller the sound that comes out of the speakers.
Sensitivity: Sensitivity tells you how effective the speaker is in converting power to volume. The higher the rating is, the louder the speakers will be given the amount of power sent through them. Sensitivity is measured by driving a speaker with one watt of power and measuring how loud it is one meter away using decibels.
Sensitivity can make a big difference in terms of how much power a speaker needs to put out the same amount of sound. For instance, a speaker that’s 85 dB will require 100 watts to reach a certain volume while a speaker that’s 88 dB will only need 50 watts to hit that same volume.
If you have a low powered amp, speakers with a high sensitivity rating will help you get the most out of your system.
Power Handling: Most speakers will have a recommended power range. This gives you an idea of how strong your amp should be. The low number indicates the minimum wattage required while the higher number tells you the maximum wattage the speaker can handle.
Impedance: The impedance is the amount of electrical resistance the speaker presents to the amplifier. It’s a little tricky to figure out impedance because it’s constantly fluctuating. However, in order to help consumers compare models, speakers are usually given a nominal impedance rating.
Be warned that low impedance speakers (4 ohms) can be problematic when used with receivers or amplifiers that are not designed to deliver large amounts of current continuously. Check your amplifier’s specs to make sure it will be compatible with the speaker you’re considering purchasing.
Materials: Speakers can be made from a variety of materials including metal, paper, plastic rubber… and the list goes on. Each material has its own sonic properties. Most manufacturers will use materials that offer a good balance between light weight for more efficient movement and heavy weight for clearer sound without distortion. The higher quality material, the better the sound will be.
At Funky Moose, we have speakers that will make your music sound great no matter what application they are being used for.
Record weights are puck like objects that are placed on the center of a record while they are being played. They provide the following benefits.
Vibration Damping: When a record is played, the stylus vibrates in the record grooves. This is how it gets sound to your ears but in doing so, some of the vibration gets transferred to the record itself. This makes it difficult for the stylus to accurately read the record and it distorts the sound. The weight reduces the vibration making the sound clearer.
Keeps Records Flat: Records can warp over time. When records are warped, it is difficult for the stylus to track the sound properly. Putting a weight in the center of the record will prevent warping and improve trackability. However, if a record is hopelessly warped, adding a weight won’t help.
Reduces Wow and Flutter: Wow and flutter are once per revolution pitch variation that can result from warping or a pressing plate that is not precisely centered. While some claim a weight reduces these variations, it produces a very slight improvement that is barely noticeable.
If you think a record weight is the perfect gift for the vinyl lover in your life, check out the collection on our web site.
Passionate record collectors will take a vested interest in keeping their records clean. Clean records sound better and they will stay in good shape long term.
There are many items that can be used to clean vinyl. These include the following.
Brushes: Brushes are used to clean the surface of the vinyl as they are placed on the turn table. They reduce static charges from the stylus keeping the stylus and the record in better shape. Brushes come in a variety of shapes and materials. Shop around to find one that is best suited to your needs.
Cleaning Fluid: Vinyl cleaning fluids are specially formulated to clean the grooves in a record player without damaging the surface or leaving buildup. They can be applied with a brush or rag. You may also buy a kit that contains both a brush and fluid.
GrooveWasher Splash Record Landing Towel: This landing pad cushions and protects records when they are being cleaned off the turntable.
Record Washer Unit: This unit holds your records and spins it as it’s being cleaned. It often comes with brushes and fluids so you have everything you need to keep your vinyl in great shape. It may include a special gentle drying cloth as well.
Disposable Cleaning Wipes: Cleaning wipes can be used to clean the surface of your album. Make sure to buy wipes that are formulated for vinyl. This will ensure that they will get the record clean without damaging its surface.
Check out our cleaning supply section to determine what items will work best for your vinyl lover.
A vinyl collector will want to keep the items in their collection as clean and safe as possible. An album sleeve is just the thing.
Album sleeves are designed to fit an album perfectly. They are often made of a soft propylene material that can have a flap on top or not. They are similar to what many record stores use to store their vinyl.
Sleeves can also come in more heavy-duty materials like hard plastics. And while you can slip your entire record into one sleeve, you can also buy sleeves that have compartments for holding the separate elements of the album including the cover, any extra materials and the vinyl itself.
For a better idea of the type of sleeves you can buy as a gift, check out the sleeve section on our web site.
Vinyl lovers are music lovers. Therefore, they will appreciate most music related gifts.
Instead of buying them audio equipment, take it in a different direction by purchasing items like shirts, hats and masks that advertise their favorite bands or record stores.
If you’re looking for cool merch, Funky Moose has a selection of shirts, hoodies and masks that you can choose from.
Subscription Services and Gift Cards
Even though vinyl is a vintage industry, many companies are stepping into the modern age by providing subscription services. You can sign up your vinyl lover and pay a monthly fee ensuring they get the music and gear they want on an ongoing basis.
Another safe bet is a gift card. Simply purchase a gift card from your favorite vinyl or gear shop so the person you are buying for can get a gift they are sure to enjoy.
One reason people love vinyl so much is because it’s so great to look at. Both the cover and the vinyl itself has a stylish appeal that takes it to the next level.
Many artists and crafters realize how great vinyl looks and use elements to create unique pieces of art. For example, vinyl has been used to make useful items like wall clocks and coasters. You can also buy frames to frame your vinyl covers and display them. Paintings and posters with a vinyl record theme are another option.
If you want to buy your vinyl lover a great looking wall clock or another piece of vinyl art, Etsy is a great place to find what you’re looking for.
Any good record collector knows that you can’t just leave records scattered around on the floor. That’s why most of them use shelves, bins and other types of containers to hold their records.
When it comes to items you can use to hold records, the possibilities are endless. They can range from something like an old milk crate to a holder that was specially designed for that very purpose.
For a more unique idea, you can find a milk crate or another type of container that will fit an album and customize it to create a personalized item that is meaningful and useful.
Vinyl lovers know how much the audio experience means. A pair of headphones will feed them music for a personal experience that blocks out the rest of the world.
When looking for headphones, there are a variety of types to choose from. These include the following.
- In Ear: In ear headphones go directly in the ear. They’re great for portability but sound quality isn’t always the best.
- On Ear: On ear headphones are not placed in the ear. Rather they are placed directly on top of the ear. While not as portable as in-ears, they are still easy to carry. The fact that they go over the ear makes them good for noise cancellation and they tend to have good sound quality.
- Over Ear: Over ear headphones have large cups that go over the ear. Although they are the hardest type of headphone to carry, they are great for sound quality and noise cancellation.
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth headphones can be on ear or over ear. The most important feature is that they are wireless providing a tangle free listening experience.
Now that you know the different types of headphones, here are some features to be aware of when purchasing.
- Noise Cancellation: Noise canceling headphones will block out exterior noises.
- Battery Life: If you have Bluetooth headphones or headphones with active noise cancellation, you will want to make sure the battery will last for a long time.
- Water Resistance: If you plan to use headphones while working out, water resistance will ensure that the sweat won’t damage them.
- Collapsible Ear Buds: In ear and over ear headphones with collapsible ear buds will be easier to transport.
- Built in Microphone/Control Module: Most earphones work through your smart phone. If you don’t want to deal with pulling your phone out every time you need to make an adjustment, choose headphones with a built-in mic or control module. This will allow you to do things like answer calls, control music and access Siri without having to use your phone.
Now that you know the various gifts you can get a vinyl lover, I bet you feel a lot less stressed. Which of these items will you be giving the next time a birthday or holiday comes around?