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daegor

Thinking of giving up The HobbyTM

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Any constructive discussion is welcomed, especially from anyone here that has downsized or eliminated their record collection. But I mostly just need to write this down.

 

PROS of keeping:

  • Tangible item
  • The appeal of the presentation, larger artwork, interesting variants, etc

CONS of keeping:

  • Cost, especially factoring shipping to Canada. PayPal will be adding additional fees to currency exchanges soon too
  • Takes up a lot of room
  • Huge pain in the ass to move (not that I intend on moving again for a long time)
  • Audio quality - It's just not better than digital, a lot are sourced from CD masters or similar so it will actually sound worse than digital even before touching the vinyl. Not that it's always a bad thing, the warmth pops and clicks definitely lend themselves to some albums.
  • Bad for the environment - I'm sure on the scale of things it's not that bad, but less pollution is less pollution.
  • Bad for health - We're constantly surrounded by toxic shit, and I'm not a germ/clean freak by any means, but it is a factor.  And I do have my family to consider in this regard as well.

 

PROS of giving it up:

  • Assuming I keep the money in the same arena, I would have more money for audio equipment (home stereo, car stereo, portable player, headphone, etc).  Something that is currently lacking for me in general, I prioritize my spending money on the records themselves.
  • A digital purchase (ideally direct from the band or bandcamp) provides more money to the band in nearly all cases than the purchase of a physical item.
  • I'd honestly probably listen to music more.  Right now if I want to just listen for the sake of listening it's limited to one room if my house where my records reside.  I simply don't take a lot of time to do this anymore.  I have HUNDREDS of records that I've probably only listened to once, even though I really enjoy the album.
  • Money is a little tight at the moment, not tight enough that I need the money from selling the records but it would certainly take some of the pressure off to be able to pay off some debit.

CONS of giving it up:

  • Lack of that tangible art piece....

 

 

Have you guys had similar thoughts? Are some of my pros/cons bullshit? or are there points I'm not considering?  Have you gone through this thought process? Why did you keep up with or give up The HobbyTM?

 

I've been considering this for quite a long time too, about a year.

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I just turned 40. There was a time (around 2011) that I almost quit. A lot of the same reasons. Burn out, cost, moving, portability.  Glad I didn't. I would honestly miss it and would probably be buying it all back now that money is not as tight.

I did make a few changes though:

1. No variants - I only need one copy of a record

2. Sell the items I don't listen to 

3. Only buy new releases I have already heard and believe they belong in my collection long term

4. No 7"s, singles, novelty items, etc. Just download that stuff.

5. Record player is in between my kitchen/dining room. Not sure of your layout but I would remove the player out of a small "listening: room if that is where you keep it. I play it while cooking meals, friends over, etc. I use a portable bluetooth speaker outside with phone, digital in the car. 

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I feel quite guilty about the environmental impact to be completely honest. I end up reusing most of the packing material, but it is still an awful lot of plastic like the tape, labels, shrink wrap and then the disc itself. I think I'll still collect in the future, but I haven't bought nearly as many records recently as I used to. I only have a handful of preorders on the way. I still find it difficult to part with them. I didn't know paypal was adding more fees for shipping to Canada, thank you for the heads up!

Edited by Han Solo

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I was in a similar place a few years ago, even listed my whole collection.

 

Anyways, similar to a few things @cside says:

1) Get rid of duplicates/variants (if you have any). I started a variant collection, while it was cool, money added up, and you honestly only need one copy, use that to buy others you want.

2) Don't buy records you won't listen to. This one's tricky, but I've bought a handful of records over the years that I never end up listening to. Try the "Marie Kondo method" on your collection, maybe free up some space, and give you some ones to sell.

 

If you still find some joy with records, music, you don't have to stop. But try slimming down the collection a bit at least.

 

 

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I'm not planning to give up, but I've definitely cut back this year. The primary factors were:

  1. Limited space
  2. Moved in April and didn't set up my stereo for several months so I fell out of the habit of looking & buying
  3. I work from home a lot and before moving, I was in a 1BR apartment with desk in same room as stereo. Now in a house, stereo is in living room and while it's close to my office I would just have to turn it up louder, and it's more of a distraction to go in the other room to flip records and shit.
  4. My g/f and I combined our collections when we moved in together, and now when I browse it's just weird having so much stuff in there I don't recognize...I give up more quickly when I can't decide and just play digital. Heh.
  5. There are other things I'd rather spend my money on for the most part, like home improvement.

I mostly put on records while making & eating dinner nowadays. But still find that I play them a lot less often than I used to. So I'm buying a lot less, but I'm not trying to sell it off or anything. Everything's sitting comfortably behind me as I type. It's sitting comfortably under the bluetooth speaker I'm currently listening to.

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ive been struggling with this too. My 2 biggest factors about stopping/selling is the cost as I got 2 girls who are expensive with dance/gymnastics and stuff and the other is my time. I picked up a second job and my time to listen between work and family is almost non existent. Its been a solid month or 2 since I've spun a record. I have cut my collection in half to favorite albums/bands but I'm at the place now, do I sell all or really cut it down. Glad I'm not the only one with these thoughts. I do love buying, listening, admiring the packaging so its tough.

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I live in Canada as well and prices are getting absolutely out of control. Once you factor in shipping, most new albums (unless you can get it from Amazon) end up costing between $30-$45. The only reason I still buy records is because there's overtime at my job and I use that for my record money.

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been thinking about this for the past year or so. Between moving all the time and the insane prices, it's hard to keep up with it all. I've also been rebuilding my CD collection for dirt cheap since I sold most of them years ago. I basically cut back to getting things that are either A. mastered well or B. super important to me. One day maybe the industry will wise up and release dynamic masters digitally ($50 box set each I'm sure) but I'm not interested in waiting for that. "Hi res" digital audio 24/96 etc is more of a scam than digital vinyl masters (except the HDTracks release of Deftone's Koi No Yokan!). At the end of the day, being a music collector is suffering.

 

The big hipster vinyl resurgence is also cool because regular old folks are interested in music again for the first time since Guitar Hero 2 came out.

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20 hours ago, cside said:

I just turned 40. There was a time (around 2011) that I almost quit. A lot of the same reasons. Burn out, cost, moving, portability.  Glad I didn't. I would honestly miss it and would probably be buying it all back now that money is not as tight.

I did make a few changes though:

1. No variants - I only need one copy of a record

2. Sell the items I don't listen to 

3. Only buy new releases I have already heard and believe they belong in my collection long term

4. No 7"s, singles, novelty items, etc. Just download that stuff.

5. Record player is in between my kitchen/dining room. Not sure of your layout but I would remove the player out of a small "listening: room if that is where you keep it. I play it while cooking meals, friends over, etc. I use a portable bluetooth speaker outside with phone, digital in the car. 

Solid advice. 

 

There really is no need to quit enjoying music and records. You can leave the hobby part behind and just listen to records. 

Edited by Tidal Wave

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I still collect, but don't go as ham as I used to. The issue I am finding is that, although I am claiming to have cut back, I constantly listen to Spotify throughout my work week and find tons of new bands every week. Because of that I become convinced that I need to buy the albums of the newer artists I like. For example, I am trying to hold myself back from buying the new Babii album rn which will be like $33 after shipping and taxes. 😕

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I had made a post like this a year or so ago, ended up staying in the game but as most people said I cut back dramatically. For me I just ended up gravitating towards shows for my musical enjoyment, I spend most of my extra cash on concerts instead of records, I really only collect my favorite artists and have been meaning to go through and throw some stuff up for sale. I think just fighting FOMO on dumb shit was the hard part, but I got over it pretty decent. I also made the rule to not buy an album until I listen to it first, unless it's like a top 5 artist, but that's rare. All in all, do whatever is gonna make you the most happy.

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A few years ago I sold 30-40 records I wasn't really listening to to clear up shelf space, and although I got a good amount for each of them I kind of regret it. At some point I wanted each of those records, so it's kind wack to break up a collection I built just for the hell of it.

 

I certainly don't buy records like I used to because the cost is fucking ridiculous these days. When you could get a new release from an indie label for $10-$15 bucks I was all over grabbing things on recommendation or curiosity, those days are dead. Now I probably buy 10 records a year at the very most, and actively skip $30 represses because I'm like, "Fuck it, I've lived without this album this long." I suggest you just cut back on your buying, don't give up on it completely, or drive yourself crazy trying to downsize your collection.

 

Also, thanks to Discogs, I've told my wife if I ever bite it she can just turn the SELL button on for everything in my collection and make as much as she wants off it. I certainly wouldn't want to burden anyone with 750+ physical releases they don't want to listen to. Get rid of the rare shit and buy a MacBook you can use to make a slide show for my funeral or something.

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On 8/23/2019 at 12:40 PM, cside said:

1. No variants - I only need one copy of a record

2. Sell the items I don't listen to 

3. Only buy new releases I have already heard and believe they belong in my collection long term

4. No 7"s, singles, novelty items, etc. Just download that stuff.

5. Record player is in between my kitchen/dining room. Not sure of your layout but I would remove the player out of a small "listening: room if that is where you keep it. I play it while cooking meals, friends over, etc. I use a portable bluetooth speaker outside with phone, digital in the car. 

Everything he said and yes, Marie Kondo the rest you don't listen to. My son is now 13 and my wife is starting to enjoy spinning records now that the table is out in the living room/kitchen area. It's become more of a family activity now that I have less time to spin. That makes me happy when I come home and my son is spinning some Tame Impala or my wife is spinning the Greatest Showman soundtrack when I walk in 😎

Edited by Tommy

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On ‎8‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 1:27 PM, KingTacoMunster said:

ive been struggling with this too. My 2 biggest factors about stopping/selling is the cost as I got 2 girls who are expensive with dance/gymnastics and stuff and the other is my time. I picked up a second job and my time to listen between work and family is almost non existent. Its been a solid month or 2 since I've spun a record. I have cut my collection in half to favorite albums/bands but I'm at the place now, do I sell all or really cut it down. Glad I'm not the only one with these thoughts. I do love buying, listening, admiring the packaging so its tough.

The kids thing can't be understated, not just from a $ standpoint, but from a "when will I be able to actually sit and listen to a record" standpoint.  And it cuts both ways.  I'm not considering giving up THE  HOBBY because I still genuinely enjoy it, but I have two kids, ages six and two.  My oldest really enjoys music, has her own cheap record player and a handful of records (maybe 25 or so) that she genuinely enjoys playing in her room, which is cool to experience and watch her get into different things and look at the records, read the lyrics, follow along, etc.  And I'll put on my own quieter music when we are eating or catchier stuff if we are just hanging out on a Saturday morning or the kids want music to dance to in the living room.  But there's a very limited amount of time per week that I could listen to anything of my own that would probably be too aggressive/inaccessible for her to enjoy and/or has swearing/suggestive language on it, unless you want to put something on after the kids go to bed, which isn't ideal from a volume perspective.  I have a backlog of record albums I've purchased in the last four months that I haven't been able to listen to on my system yet.  I can listen to most new albums in the car and at work thanks to download codes, but the actual record listening experience has certainly changed.

Edited by dawhizz

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2 hours ago, dawhizz said:

The kids thing can't be understated, not just from a $ standpoint, but from a "when will I be able to actually sit and listen to a record" standpoint.  And it cuts both ways.  I'm not considering giving up THE  HOBBY because I still genuinely enjoy it, but I have two kids, ages six and two.  My oldest really enjoys music, has her own cheap record player and a handful of records (maybe 25 or so) that she genuinely enjoys playing in her room, which is cool to experience and watch her get into different things and look at the records, read the lyrics, follow along, etc.  And I'll put on my own quieter music when we are eating or catchier stuff if we are just hanging out on a Saturday morning or the kids want music to dance to in the living room.  But there's a very limited amount of time per week that I could listen to anything of my own that would probably be too aggressive/inaccessible for her to enjoy and/or has swearing/suggestive language on it, unless you want to put something on after the kids go to bed, which isn't ideal from a volume perspective.  I have a backlog of record albums I've purchased in the last four months that I haven't been able to listen to on my system yet.  I can listen to most new albums in the car and at work thanks to download codes, but the actual record listening experience has certainly changed.

I have 4 year old twins and a lot of this resonates with me.  For my own sake, I had to keep my turntable and records in a spot where they could still be enjoyed, but I made sure the table was out of reach of little hands.  My purchases have slowed drastically (mostly to vinyl bought from a show or something), but I still try to listen whenever possible.  We try to have family "dance parties" and I enjoy seeing what music they get attached to.  That being said, there is still plenty of music that I like which isn't quite appropriate for the little ears.  So I invested in a decent pair of headphones with a 20' extension cable.  So after they go to bed I can still turn up the volume and sit on the couch while looking over the album/inserts/etc.  I get excited to sit down and experience a new album (uninterrupted) that way.

 

In regards to the original post, having less money to blow on records has allowed me to really streamline current purchases to things I REALLY want in my collection.  In the past where I would have more easily succumbed to impulse buys (that eventually just take up shelf space), now I feel more tuned in to just purchasing the "good stuff" and downloading everything else.

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On 8/23/2019 at 10:40 AM, cside said:

I just turned 40. There was a time (around 2011) that I almost quit. A lot of the same reasons. Burn out, cost, moving, portability.  Glad I didn't. I would honestly miss it and would probably be buying it all back now that money is not as tight.

I did make a few changes though:

1. No variants - I only need one copy of a record

2. Sell the items I don't listen to 

3. Only buy new releases I have already heard and believe they belong in my collection long term

4. No 7"s, singles, novelty items, etc. Just download that stuff.

5. Record player is in between my kitchen/dining room. Not sure of your layout but I would remove the player out of a small "listening: room if that is where you keep it. I play it while cooking meals, friends over, etc. I use a portable bluetooth speaker outside with phone, digital in the car. 

This is a really good list.  I'm already doing #1 and #2, though if I'm realistic about #2 I'll be cutting my collection in half pretty quick here.  If I keep buying records #3 will definitely be part of it, I may end up paying more on the odd record since I didn't pre-order it but I know I'll save way more in the end by buying less. #4, I'll definitely be selling nearly all of that.

 

#5 is unfortunately just unrealistic for my situation. I do use digital with bluetooth for around the house.

 

 

 

On 8/24/2019 at 7:04 AM, Tidal Wave said:

Solid advice. 

 

There really is no need to quit enjoying music and records. You can leave the hobby part behind and just listen to records. 

For me the hobby part IS the records.  I listen to and enjoy music without records quite a bit.

 

 

 

21 hours ago, scottheisel said:

I rarely pre-order records anymore, and I do most of my record buying in person at record stores or from bands at gigs — that's one way you can limit your environmental impact.

That's definitely something I've considered doing going forward.

 

 

 

19 hours ago, Shitty Rambo said:

A few years ago I sold 30-40 records I wasn't really listening to to clear up shelf space, and although I got a good amount for each of them I kind of regret it. At some point I wanted each of those records, so it's kind wack to break up a collection I built just for the hell of it.

See, in the last year I've probably sold around the same number and I don't regret it at all.  I even have several records where I had a limited version and I sold them with the idea that I could buy back basic black for a fraction of the price AND pocket a bunch of money in the process.  I've never felt inclined to rebuy those albums.

 

 

 

10 hours ago, Tommy said:

Everything he said and yes, Marie Kondo the rest you don't listen to. My son is now 13 and my wife is starting to enjoy spinning records now that the table is out in the living room/kitchen area. It's become more of a family activity now that I have less time to spin. That makes me happy when I come home and my son is spinning some Tame Impala or my wife is spinning the Greatest Showman soundtrack when I walk in 😎

I do like the idea of my son getting into records on one hand, but on the other hand there is the health issues.  Something that no one has really spoken to here.

 

Sorry if I'm ruining anyone's day with this video: 

 

 

(fast forward to https://youtu.be/aZ2czFuIYmQ?t=437 if you just want to watch the bit about the health issues)

 

This is stuff I've been aware of to some degree in the past, but this video really brings the issue home (and lots of other issues).

 

I'm definitely curious what you guys think about this particular point.

 

 

Edited by daegor

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For a little while last year I thought about fading away from vinyl. I do most of my listening on headphones, and I have a nice hi-res digital collection as well as a Tidal membership, plus a very nice headphone setup (ZMF Eikon, Schiit Gungnir Multibit DAC and Auralic Taurus headphone amp). My music generally sounds better via digital mostly because my turntable is in the living room kitchen, and I can rarely listen critically the same way I can with headphones.

 

I've never collected variants, and while I've sold records on Discogs for years, I have a general approach to buying/collecting:

 

-the second anything becomes rare or valuable, sell it as long as its moderately available digitally [I don't think I have very many records worth more than $40 in my collection]

-don't buy anything purely for nostalgia's sake

-resist the urge to have every album by bands you generally like. Many great bands have lousy albums

-anticipate buying records that are worth listening to at least an entire side, not just for one or two tracks

-seek out interesting things that have not been digitally released (I've started collecting 70s and 80s Canadian Inuit and First Nation music on vinyl - it's a fun adventure and very little of it has been rereleased)

 

The other thing I might suggest is upgrading your turntable (maybe with some of the money from selling). It might feel more worth it to play records if you have a really nice setup and they really do sound better than digital or any other approach. I made a few slight upgrade to my setup, but it's still not at a point where it's better than my headphones, but getting closer.

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On 8/25/2019 at 9:22 PM, scottheisel said:

I rarely pre-order records anymore, and I do most of my record buying in person at record stores or from bands at gigs — that's one way you can limit your environmental impact.

This is 100% me.   The only few albums i've ordered via mail were ones that are small/weird independent artists that I know my local shop can't or won't be bringing in.   Honestly, unless it's my favorite band putting something out (The Murder City Devils), I'm over having "the most limited" variant.   Also enjoying waiting a few months after a band drops something and seeing used copies pop-up for a decent price at my local spot.   My friend since high-school owns the shop, so he hits me up when he sees something come through that he knows I like.  Found that last Converge LP at his spot and he sold it to me for $10....it's in perfect shape.   My shelves are overflowing and in need of an expansion again even though I've mostly been buys only older used stuff.   I've been spending far more time with older classic shit than newer/current bands.

 

The only real "Hobbies" i have are collecting and spinning records and Musical equipment/gear, so I don't foresee myself completely selling off my LPs, but I have severely dialed back my consumption.

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19 minutes ago, daegor said:

While I realize this is a sarcastic response (which I welcome), do you have anything to refute what buddy is claiming? I did a little digging myself and could find much on either side of the argument.

I'm not about to watch a YouTube video that is likely a bunch of unsubstantiated garbage.

What is he claiming that after however many years no one else has ever claimed about the health hazards of vinyl?

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