Given enough time, almost everything old becomes new again. Today, August 12th, is National Vinyl Record Day and for music fans around the nation, that's a really cool thing.

Sure, you can listen to your favorite music on the radio (And we certainly hope that you do!), stream your favorite stations online, or listen via the mobile app on your phone, but there's a special feeling about pulling a vinyl album out of it's jacket, placing it onto your turntable, and gently dropping the tonearm down to the playing surface.

If the record has been cared for and cleaned there should be almost no pops or scratches. Just the sweet, sweet music of your favorite artist or band.

Turntables almost disappeared from the home entertainment landscape for a while. They were eclipsed by cassettes, then compact discs, then digital downloads. But even with all of those options there were still those who were finding ways to plug their vintage units into their home entertainment system. For many that involved a special inline amplifier to get the audio signal from the turntable up to the same output levels as more modern devices. Eventually turntable manufacturers realized what was going on and began to add a built in preamp to their new units. These preamps were switchable so if you're plugging your new turntable into a system without a dedicated phonograph input you could turn it on, but if you're using a vintage receiver you can switch it off and use the preamp built into the receiver.

Wired Tech recently did a video of some of the top new turntables available.

I've also noticed that many of the new home theater receivers have dedicated phono inputs with preamps built in.

If you've already got a turntable you've also probably got a few sources to add albums to your collection but if you're just getting started some good places to look would be the vintage resale shops downtown. I know they have a huge selection of albums upstairs at Alley Cat Vintage Mercantile. Just be careful when you're buying them as occasionally the wrong album gets slipped into the wrong jacket and not all of them have been cared for as carefully as some. Another great place to shop for vintage albums is the EntertainMART store where Hastings used to be. You can also find brand new albums wherever you purchase your blu-ray movies or CDs.

Whether you're enjoying a collection you've been working on for years or just getting started, today is a great day to give one of your favorites a spin.

Dave Diamond