What to buy a vinyl nut this Christmas
3rd December 2019
Have you got a vinyl nut in the family or a vinyl lover as a friend and not sure what to get them? Whether you buy your gifts months in advance or love a last-minute Christmas Eve dash, we’ve got your back.
It’s often hard to know what to get for your loved one who knows much more about vinyl than you. So, we’ve scoured the internet and brainstormed some of our personal favourites that are easy, thoughtful and affordable. We then rounded up the best vinyl Christmas gift ideas this festive season. Without further ado, let’s get cracking and start filling those vinyl inspired stockings –
If you really want to impress your vinyl nut this Christmas then get them a sought after record. The Voyager Golden Record is near-mythical. In 1977, NASA launched two spacecrafts: Voyager 1 and 2. Their mission was to journey into deep space and carry out a grand tour of the solar system, discovering the mysteries of interstellar space. The orchestrators of Voyager 1 and 2 wanted to attach a message and a window into our planet’s culture, which could be found billions of years from now by extra-terrestrial intelligence. NASA created The Voyager Golden Record and flung out it out into space. The record might end up being the last vestige of our civilisation once we are gone forever – pretty mind-blowing stuff.
Omza records initially launched a Kickstarter only project to recreate the record currently shuttling through space and the copy was then released in 2018. The box set includes all the original audio (including songs and greetings from Earth), a hardback photobook, slipmats, pin badges and other spacey stuff. It costs £76 and is one of the more expensive gifts on our list but a straight-up bargain when you are giving your vinyl obsessive a copy of an actual interstellar artefact.
A vinyl hunting mini break
Treat your vinyl collector to a weekend exploring in one of Europe’s many vinyl obsessed hotspots. There is a treasure trove of record stores and fairs in many, under the radar vinyl stopping grounds that also double up as great city breaks. Here are some the best ones to visit –
The city of love is a well-trodden tourist mecca, but it’s also a secret Pandora’s box for vinyl, with many experts touting it as the best European city for vinyl hunting. The many vintage stores, second-hand fairs and backs street vinyl shops mean that any record fan can rifle through forgotten boxes down cobbled streets and come back home with some great finds. And while you are there, you could convince your vinyl nut to see the sights too.
The Danish capital is one of the most popular city breaks in Europe. It’s got everything you need for a few days looking around its many shops – great food, history and a thriving arts and hipster scene.
Another Scandinavian city on the list. Stockholm has more than 20 record stores dotted around the city and is living proof that vinyl is not dead. It’s also got a great music scene and many cultural hotspots you can visit between vinyl pit stops.
Holland is especially great for vinyl hunting. If you are short on time, the capital is the best place to start. If you’ve decided to stay longer and fancy a road trip, try Rotterdam and Eindhoven. While you are in Amsterdam, do like the locals and bike from vinyl shop to vinyl shop while stopping off at museums, restaurants and bars.
A well-known music and vinyl hub, but also a great all-round city to explore. Move from east to west and discover the city’s underground music hubs, vibrant food and café scene while taking in the city’s history and beautiful architecture.
We love a good read about all things vinyl and so will your vinyl lover. We especially like the Haynes vinyl manual. In 2017, they released a new edition in their series, which focuses on different records, tips on collecting, the history of turntables as well as interviews and DJ techniques – basically a magazine that will get any vinyl nut’s heart pumping. What’s more, the magazine is a festive bargain, coming in at an affordable £17.24.
If you want your Christmas gift to last all year, a subscription might be a good bet. Vinyl Me is one of the best out there. You can choose a 3-6 month or a one-year subscription and your vinyl lover will be sent a carefully selected vinyl every month. Once you gift the membership, Vinyl Me will ask a series of questions about music tastes to curate the perfect vinyl gift package each month. What’s more, your loved one has access to Vinyl Me titles in the online store. You can also swap any vinyl for another one if its isn’t quite hitting the mark. The 3 month subscription is $133.
And if Vinyl Me is a bit of a stretch, then Flying Vinyl is quite a bit cheaper and you get more for your buck, 5 exclusive 7” vinyl per month to be exact. The 3-month membership is a bargain at £57.
London record shop Phonica has started to sell roll-top bags that can carry up to thirty 12″ records. If you’re buying for a DJ, cyclist or someone who is always on the move, then this festive gift is perfect. The bag has a padded back, straps and base and even a 15.6″ padded laptop compartment and handle. It also looks great and is pretty cheap, currently selling for £40.
If you are looking for a portable deck for your on-the-go vinyl listener, then look no further than Rappcats, J Dilla suitcase deck. The 3-speed turntable (33 RPM, 45 RPM, 78 RPM) includes USB and RCA outputs, a 1.8″ headphone jack and built-in, full-range stereo speakers. The portable deck can also be used as a standalone record player and comes with a replacement stylus and a 45 adaptor. What makes this portable deck special is it was produced in collaboration with record producer and rapper J Dilla and was uniquely designed by freelance illustrator and animator Mason London.
The suitcase deck costs £86.49, which is about average for the market.
Officially making storage more fun. FlipBin is especially affordable, at £34.83, and well designed. The FlipBin has a minimalist but also retro feel and comes in 9 different colours. As well as a standard 12” ‘bin, this storage design solves that awkward problem of how to store your 7” vinyl more stylishly than in an upcycled shoebox. It also makes it a breeze to sift through your most listened to tracks.
And finally, one of the most important things all vinyl fans should have is the right equipment to look after and clean their prized collections so that they last long after Christmas. Covers 33 specialises in vinyl covers, cleaning kits and storage equipment that gives collectors the help they need to look after their vinyl properly. We’ve everything a vinyl novice, or even the most hardened record fans, would need to keep their vinyl playing quality music all year long.
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