Music aficionados have long touted the virtues of vinyl, arguing that CD's and MP'3s are no match for the depth and warmth of sound offered by the grooves inside an LP.
Now, as the popularity of vinyl soars, companies that cater to the medium are tapping into the fastest-growing music sales format by offering everything from battery-powered record players that come in a rainbow of colors to sleek mahogany turntables with LED displays and iPod jacks,
"We've seen sales of turntables rise right along with record sales," says Liz Braun, vice president of sales and marketing at Crosley, the Louisville, Kentucky based manufacturer of a broad array of turntables. The company, which also sells jukeboxes, radios and headphones, has seen double-digit sales growth in its turntable sector the past several years, says Ms. Braun. "Just about every model is seeing a surge in popularity and that mirrors the rise in popularity of vinyl records."
Deer Park Distributors, an exclusive distributor of Crosley products, including Crosley turntables, told the New York Times that six years ago, his company had accounts with just 25 independent record stores, but now the firm works with more than 500. A company executive estimates that turntable sales at those stores will reach $2 million this year.
The broad array of innovative turntable designs arrive as sales of vinyl have shot up 32% from 2012 to 2013 to more than six million, according to sales tracking system Nielsen SoundScan. Some of that rise can be attributed to D.J's, who have always seen vinyl as the medium of choice. But the surge underscores how vinyl has now moved into the mainstream with newly minted teens who were born after CDs were introduced in the 1980s and adults who are older enough to remember vinyl's heyday joining the ranks of avid collectors.
Record companies are also releasing more music on vinyl, including major releases that have CD, MP3 and vinyl versions. French electronica duo Daft Punk released "Random Access Memories" with 19,000 of its first-week sales of 339,000 on vinyl, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Indie rockers The National sold 7,000 vinyl copies of its latest album, "Trouble Will Find Me," and 10,000 Vampire Weekend LP's were sold for the band's latest album "Modern Vampires of the City."
"As more record labels release popular music on vinyl and turntable designs become even more accessible the marketplace will only grow," adds Ms Braun of Crosley. "We see the sector only gaining strength."
One of the most sought-after items at Crosley is the Crosley x Peanuts turntable. The limited edition item features exclusive Peanuts artwork printed on the cover. The belt-driven turntable has a three speed play, manual return tone arm, and built-in speakers. It includes RCA and headphone output and NP6 needle and power supply.