Collectors Help Keep Vinyl, Charlottesville Store Relevant - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Collectors Help Keep Vinyl, Charlottesville Store Relevant

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Records, Vinyl, 45s, 33s - Some call it retro, others call it old school, but for one Charlottesville store it means business. For the last few decades vinyl has been kept alive by club DJs, but they are making a comeback thanks to collectors.

With iPods and MP3's dominating the music scene, records seem like a forgotten entity. However, as the collector trend grows, vinyl still holds on.

Even with the digital music takeover, tucked away record stores all over, like Plan 9 in Charlottesville, are still in business.

"Vinyl now is actually doing well because the people still interested in buying things physically, that's mostly what they want is vinyl more than CDs," said Mike Casey, a Plan 9 employee.

The novelty of records keeps them in such high demand.

"Vinyl is something that you just can't get anymore. The sound quality, there's a texture to the vinyl that you really lose in CDs or an iPod," said Jason Irizarry, a Plan 9 customer and self-proclaimed lover of vinyl.

While other mediums have had their fifteen minutes of fame, records are here to stay, especially for collectors.

"There's just something to that, grabbing that record and making sure that it's ever just right because any little scratch can just throw it off," said Irizarry.  

The Richmond-based Plan 9 opened in the 1980's and had seven stores - now only two exist. But the fascination with vinyl, from classic to soul and rap is what keeps these stores alive. For some it's the collecting, and for others it's the trip down memory lane.

"I remember when I was a kid and would have to play the record my father was like be very careful and you have to slide it out of the sleeve and you have the little vinyl brush that you had and you'd just sweep the dust off and then you'd put that needle down and hear that first crackle of the needle touching the vinyl," said Irizarry.

Although it's not what it used to be, there's still a market for vinyl.  

Plan 9 also sells products online, but credits most of its business to in store purchases.

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