CD Central provides the real deal

“In today’s digital age, a lot of people aren’t buying CDs anymore,” said Steve Baron, owner of local music store CD Central.

Nowadays, a musical collection consists of the number of gigabytes you can use without crashing your computer. It used to be how many albums you could zip up in your CD case. Before that, it was an assortment of your parents’ cassette tapes, eight-tracks and vinyl records.

Many, myself included, would agree that having your musical library available at your fingertips is particularly convenient, yet I can’t help but miss holding the physical artifact. Or how it felt to rip that annoying tape off the side of a new CD just so you could scramble to read the insert.

CD Central, located downtown on South Limestone Street, has a remedy for all those who miss this touch-sensitive relationship with their music. This is one factor that sets it apart.

“We cater more so to the hard-core music collector, rather than the casual buyer,” Baron said.

CD Central has also become somewhat of a music venue, having hosted artists like The Avett Brothers and The Black Keys to play in the back of the store.

According to its website, CD Central is “Lexington’s oldest and largest independent new and used music store, specializing in indie rock, alternative, R & B (rhythm and blues), metal, country, jazz, blues, bluegrass and musical alternatives of all kinds.”

With its collection of new, used and collectable LPs, as well as turntables and accessories, CD Central hopes to “help you get the most out of your vinyl collection,” according to the website.

Oddly enough, vinyl records have been increasing in sales, while CDs have taken the backseat — one of the reasons for CD Central’s current success.

“Buyers today like vinyl because they enjoy the sound, as well as for collectability,” said Baron. “Some people just like the analog, and putting the needle in the groove.”

Records at CD Central also come at a reasonable price, most under $5. Oftentimes I can find a pretty good steal. Just last week I bought an Aretha Franklin vinyl for $1, and my personal favorite is an Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong album that I bought in the jazz section for $8. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to find it as easily anywhere else.

Artists today have started to recognize the recent increase in vinyl sales, so it is likely that your new favorite album has a vinyl copy.

But why would you want a vinyl copy of your album, when you can have it hands-free on your iPod?

The aesthetic is completely different. Within the album you may get a cool poster, and if it’s a newer album, a code for a digital copy of the music. Most importantly, you have a collectable item that you can devote your musical love to and cherish for years to come.

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