No, this item isn’t about coal, but instead LP records. They are making an amazing comeback. With the advent of the compact disc in 1982 with its “perfect” sound, many audio enthusiasts thought the era of polyvinyl chloride records (usually black) had come to an end.
It’s true that sales of LPs declined in the following years, but during the last decade it looks like they are coming back in force. What's more, CD sales have dropped dramatically in recent years due to the streaming of pop music, but the demand for LPs is so strong that they are often out of stock. Die-hard audiophiles were the first to rediscover the pleasure of listening to their treasured LPs with expensive turntables and pickups, but now it looks like everyone is on the vinyl bandwagon. New releases from well-known artists sometimes appear earlier on LP than on CD. That says a lot.
Many electronics enthusiasts probably have an old record player stored away somewhere. Take it out and connect it to your audio system, and then treat yourself to the special sound of that black gold! If you find it addictive, we can recommend the new high-end Supra 2.0 MC/MD phono preamp, which was developed in the Elektor Labs and will be published in the upcoming July & August 2016 edition of Elektor Magazine.
By the way, did you know that the world’s biggest vinyl record cutting and pressing plant is located in the Netherlands in Haarlem? To learn more about how vinyl records are made and related matters, have a look at the Record Industry website.