When it comes to sound quality, money talks.
And for Huddersfield businessman David Brook, the combination of traditional vinyl and state-of-the-art audio equipment costing tens of thousands of pounds is what appeals to the 21st century music fan.
Among the kit available to buy is a top-of-the-line record turntable costing an eye-watering £30,000! At the bottom end of the scale is a turntable costing just £200.
The 54-year-old music buff is so convinced by the ongoing vinyl revival that he has opened a shop geared towards giving aficionados the best possible sound experience.
What’s more, whilst many businesses are leaving the town centre, David and wife Joanne have moved in. Their shop, Brook Audio, is located in what was previously Chad’s Bar – and, before that, The Dog & Gun – on Brook Street close to Huddersfield Open Market.
“We are nervous and excited,” he said about the new venture.
“It’s a massive gamble. Music retailing in general has been killed by companies like Amazon but I am confident that we can make it work.”
David says much of the appeal of his shop is down to customers being able to try before they buy. He caters for all budgets – new listeners can get set up with an amplifier, turntable and loudspeakers for less than £1,000 – but the real business is done with people around the globe.
“We are already doing a substantial amount of business online. The only place we have never sold anything to is North Korea!” he laughs.
“We have audiophiles coming through the door wanting to buy vinyl records and we have a demonstration room with equipment in it where they can listen to what they like. Creating the experience of a live concert in your front room is what we are about. Someone is not going to spend £5,000 on equipment without hearing it first.”
It’s that level of spend that many music lovers expect to pay for perfect sound. David is even encouraging part-exchange on equipment for those just starting out to help soften the cost. And as far as he is concerned, vinyl is, was and ever shall be king.
“It’s about nostalgia. With vinyl you have something tangible that you can touch and feel. You don’t get that with a download. In fact downloads have killed the music industry because you never actually own anything.
“There’s also a ‘cool’ factor about vinyl. People are waking up to that. Students – and there are 33,000 of them in Huddersfield – are buying turntables for £100 to play vinyl they buy from Oxfam because it’s cool. That’s where the resurgence has come from.”
“And I don’t care what anyone says about CDs; vinyl is where it’s at. The sound quality is better than anything.”