A slice of nostalgia: vinyl records are experiencing a renaissance, and with them record players in all price ranges.
Image: Frank Röth
It was considered a discontinued model, but the vinyl record is and remains popular. The same applies to their playback devices. Three new turntables show why this is so.
Sought it to be the fateful year of the black record? That’s what it looked like at first. In 1988, the digital CD overtook the old sound carrier with sales figures that rose sharply, and the end of the analogue era seemed sealed. But the music from winding grooves is still popular today, the market data even show a real vinyl trend with steadily growing sales figures. Streaming services, which are now gradually eroding the revenue streams from the CD, have not changed this either. Record player manufacturers, still in crisis mode 30 years ago, are happy about the stable economy in their manageable niche. Some even rose from oblivion with a restart.
The Japanese group Panasonic, for example, decided to revive its traditional HiFi brand Technics in 2014 in order to have new, even finer models follow its legendary turntables. Thorens, the company with Swiss roots, took off again after difficult times. In 2018, a small, committed team in Bergisch Gladbach took over the brand and has been building on proven models with its developments ever since. For Pro-Ject, the large record player manufacturer from Austria, countercyclical thinking has proven to be a sustainable recipe for success. The company started in 1991, when everyone was singing swan songs for the analog era.