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There are many ways to buy and hear recorded music now, but the old way may be making a comeback

DAVID F. ASHTON - At his new store, Dig Vinyl, Scott Thayer shows a recording by the Ramsey Lewis Trio that hed have passed by as a collector, but now cherishes as a listener. Young people of the last generation or two may have seen vinyl Long Playing (LP) records displayed at a garage sale – but probably not many have played one on a turntable.

Long-time LP enthusiast and collector Scott Thayer talked about his romance with music, as recorded on these flat polyvinyl chloride discs with inscribed modulated spiral grooves.

"I got back in vinyl about twenty years ago and started becoming a collector and a listener; I was like 80% collector and 20% listener," Thayer told THE BEE. "Then I was offered the opportunity play some of my records on Thursday evenings over KMHD, the jazz radio station, and came up with a show called 'The Deep Dig', having dug through bins, basements, and closets all over town to come up with rare, out-of-print, and hard-to-find records to play on the air."

This project "flipped" his view of records, he said. "Now it's 80% listening to the music, and 20% collecting the records." While he still listens to music in digital formats, Thayer said, many believe that vinyl offers a warmer, richer, less tinny sound.

"I think with vinyl, it's more about the experience of the record, where you got it, and how you got it. Sometimes a little tiny bit of imperfection reminds us that this is something that I actually own – not a sound that's been downloaded off of the Internet," Thayer reflected.

With an ever-expanding record library, Thayer decided to sell some of his collection, but he didn't want be an online vendor.

He and his wife, Kristine, have operated a children's and women's consignment store in Sellwood called 'Sweetpea's' for eight years, and now have turned what was a back room into a retail outlet they've named "Dig Vinyl".

"It operates on consignment. If I can have recordings coming in, and am pricing them to sell, it becomes more about sharing the music instead of holding it and collecting it," said Thayer.

Unlike Internet sellers, a customer who visits the small shop can pick out a record, put it on a turntable, and actually listen to it before purchasing it.

By the way, you don't need an expensive stereo system to enjoy records, Thayer said. "For a good turntable, I recommend something from the 1970s, because they are better built, sound better, and they are easier to repair."

"Dig Vinyl" can be found at 8235 S.E. 13th Avenue, and is open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily – noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

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