Spin City

Vinyl LPs are enjoying a record resurgence, and in Roseburg The Record Loft is well-equipped to meet the increased demand.

Story by Brandon Johns, Photos by Thomas Boyd

Once considered obsolete in an age of digital technology, vinyl records have made a comeback. 

And in Roseburg, John Hooper,  a longtime collector of LPs, is helping fuel the medium’s resurgence. Owner of Good Vibrations, a Roseburg TV, home electronics and car stereo store on Northeast Stephens Street, Hooper has also been running The Record Loft above his shop for the last three years. 

 John Hooper uses a standard rating system to indicate to customers the quality of every LP he sells.

John Hooper uses a standard rating system to indicate to customers the quality of every LP he sells.

“I’ve always collected records over the years, just never gave it up,” Hooper says. “Slowly my collection outgrew the house and morphed into this. And my wife, Dana, may have suggested it was time to sell some of  my inventory.” 

Many mainstream bands are now cutting records on vinyl, and standards, both old and newly pressed by The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones and others have become more in demand. 

The Record Loft is there to meet the need. Its walls are lined with both vintage and new vinyl recordings by rock, jazz, country and blues artists. 

Vinyl records have been outselling digital downloads recently, as evidenced by Sony’s decision to again start pressing LPs after a 28-year hiatus, while equipment manufacturers have returned to designing and building turntables.

Audiophiles rate vinyl’s fidelity and fullness of sound superior to compact discs or digital downloads. In addition, record sleeves have a pleasing aesthetic appeal. People often buy an album because they like the artwork the music is wrapped in, providing a visual component to the audio experience. The Record Loft also provides its clientele with the tactile experience of browsing through actual records, instead of just looking at online photos of album covers. 

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“We don’t sell online because Roseburg needs a record store,” Hooper says. “People enjoy the experience of going to a record store, and we want to provide that for the community. Plus it’s fun to see someone get excited finding an oddball record they have been searching for, like they found the needle in the haystack.” 

If customers lack  the  equipment  to  play the records, Hooper has that covered, too — selling an assortment of audio equipment from such quality brands as Yamaha, Denon and Thorens. 

Whether customers are old audiophiles or millennials hearing analog stereo for the  first time, The Record Loft offers a rich listening experience. The result will be the unique sound that comes only from a vinyl LP spinning on a turntable.