Battle of the beats: Experts reveal whether Norwich prefers vinyl or CD

Record shop owners Paul Mills and Andy Tillett are both backing vinyl, but say CDs still have their place.

Record shop owners Paul Mills and Andy Tillett are both backing vinyl, but say CDs still have their place. - Credit: Archant

Streaming is the latest trend city music lovers are kicking to the kerb, with the bosses of Norwich record shops saying the physical format is top of the charts. 

However amid a boom in CD and vinyl sales music lovers are divided on which form is better.

The return to the compact disc was backed by city record stores last week after Discogs, reported a 37pc rise in CD sales during 2020.

But how does this compare against the hallowed vinyl?

Paul Mills, owner of Soundclash Records on St Benedicts Street, Norwich.

Paul Mills, owner of Soundclash Records in St Benedicts Street, Norwich - Credit: Sophie Wyllie

Paul Mills, owner of Soundclash in St Benedicts Street, said both were "good choices". 

He said: "CDs never went away, they're a good choice because you can get bag loads of music for little money.

"They're a great way to support artists too.

"I believe in choice but the record industry has the power to make everyone change, years ago everyone had CDs."

Dedicated vinyl lovers in Soundclash during Record Store Day

Dedicated vinyl lovers in Soundclash during Record Store Day - Credit: Archant

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However, he would still take wax over plastic in most instances.

Mr Mills added: "I've never owned a CD player, at home I've always played LPs.

"They're the best. They sound great, they're warm, they feel real.

Famous artist's names on the vinyls at the Press to Play record shop in St Benedicts Street. Picture

Famous artist's names on the vinyls at the Press to Play record shop in St Benedicts Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

"But if you're listening to classical you don't want vinyl, CD is better where you can hear the whole piece.

"Live albums also make more sense on CD where you can hear the whole concert and the encore."

He added: "There's even a place for tapes, mixtapes are a big thing missing from our lives."

Andy Tillett at Press to Play record shop in St Benedicts Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Andy Tillett at Press to Play record shop in St Benedicts Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Down the road at Press to Play, owner Andy Tillett also preferred vinyl.

He said: "You can pick out instruments which you just can't hear on CDs - even with a decent system.

Andy Tillett at Press to Play record shop in St Benedicts Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Andy Tillett at Press to Play record shop in St Benedicts Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

"You also get big album artwork, you get a book with CDs but only flick through it a couple of times."

But an online expert Rob Trebor, who tweets reviews of his 3,000 albums at @ohseer, backed CDs.

He said: "I absolutely prefer CDs.

The CD racks of Beatniks on Magdalen Street.

The CD racks of Beatniks on Magdalen Street. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

"I started collecting in the mid-90s, I remember Orbital 'Snivilisation' and Portishead 'Dummy' being part of my first purchase and I never looked back. 

"I spent many years with CDs and developed a soft spot for them.

"I still want the physical product as you give an album more time when you own it."