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November 2006 editorial

Vinyl galore on national FM

Writer: Lucio Cadeddu - TNT Italy

[Good old vinyl!]
Ten Tons of TNT...!!!

You know we are die-hard vinyl lovers and unstoppable LP and Real Stereo supporters. We still believe LPs are here to stay, despite the digital crowd declared them dead 30 years ago or so. Against all odds, vinyl seems to be living a new youth as new analogue products (TTs, arms and carts) are everywhere and many artists are publishing LP releases of their new albums again.
We have also to admit vinyl is becoming quite "trendy" nowadays and many youngsters who didn't live in the vinyl era are starting buying LPs and turntables because these seem the ultimate in fashion, much better than MP3's and iPod's.
Just have a look at various TV serials and spots (ads) where it is not rare to see good turntables displayed with non-chalance, for example like in House MD episodes...if I remind well, I've spotted a SOTA Sapphire turntable there (or was it the SOTA Star we reviewed some year ago?)!
And imagine which piece of my HiFi system generates more interest in non-audiophiles? The turntable! ...and I have plenty of other fancy things to see :-)

This is good news for all of us, isn't it? As vinyl becomes more "fashionable" it will be easier to find (and buy).

[Dispenser RAI radio program]

This "interest" notwithstanding, it has been a surprise when the national Italian FM network (RAI RADIO 2) contacted me for an interview about...vinyl! Yes, they wanted an expert's opinion on what was going on around the vinyl world: tips, tricks, popularity increase and so on. The whole thing turned out to became an interview where the journalist Matteo Bordone asked me about new releases in vinyl, the reasons for this new interest in LPs and he even wanted to know whether vinyl sounds better than CD or not (go figure!!!). I'm old enough to remember how much - in the early Eighties - TVs and radio stations "pushed" people towards digital audio (perfect sound forever).
The radio programme - a daily high-target "container" named Dispenser - went on air on October 5, 2006, broadcasted on RAI Radio2 FM frequencies nationwide.
I have the MP3 version of that interview (funny, an MP3 about LPs, a cute contradiction!!!) and I'm planning to put it on this site for everyone to download. I'm still struggling to get the necessary copyright permissions.

What does this mean? That vinyl is starting to become "visible" and "interesting" even for mass-media like radio and TV. And while the vast majority of commercial FM stations rely on MP3 computerized hardware and automated players, there are good examples of FM programmes that are using vinyl and turntables again. The Italian RAI FM network, for example, was well known for its vast collection of precious and fine EMT turntables. There's hope some of these analogue jewels has been saved (and cherished) and will be used to broadcast the sweet sound of black grooves again!
Who knows? Perhaps record Companies and majors will understand that vinyl was the one and only audio format that couldn't be copied as easily as digital. Hence, instead of adding copy control to CDs...give us the good old vinyl back!
I sincerely hope this radio interview is the first "episode" of a flourishing interest towards vinyl on mass-media. In any case, I've offered my (limited) knowledge in the field to that journalist...one never knows ;-)

Copyright 2006 Lucio Cadeddu - www.tnt-audio.com

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