What started as an idea turned into almost an entire store full of vinyl records for a local father and son business team. Aaron Stone (centre) and his son Tyson Stone began selling records at their store Uforik Computers. Massimo Dagostini (left) holds one of his favourite albums beside them. (Duck Paterson photo)

What started as an idea turned into almost an entire store full of vinyl records for a local father and son business team. Aaron Stone (centre) and his son Tyson Stone began selling records at their store Uforik Computers. Massimo Dagostini (left) holds one of his favourite albums beside them. (Duck Paterson photo)

Ladysmith computer store delves into vinyl records

‘The analog sound you get from vinyl is more sophisticated,’ said store owner Aaron Stone

Vinyl records are on the way back and on First Avenue it’s quite evident. The owners of Uforik Computers have found a new market to suit their musical passion.

Aaron Stone and his son Tyson began selling new and used vinyl records partially because of the effect COVID-19 had on their computer business. “With Covid affecting the supply chain and getting stock in a timely manner, or even getting some of it at all, it made me start thinking of finding alternatives,” Aaron said.

Uforik still sells and services computers. “We had all this space, in the store and when we brought the first couple of crates of records in, they sold quickly, so we decided that there was a way we could keep going and have product to fill the empty space,” Aaron said.

Aaron said he remembers having a stereo since before he was 14 and continually upgrading. Having a subscription to various music magazines was also a passion for many years. Tyson said he saw vinyl records being sold online and after seeing the prices that were being asked, he thought there could be a future business in them.

The pair have gone to secondhand stores and searched online and said they have managed to find many good quality vinyl records in great condition. “We check them all out and make sure the ones we put on our shelves are good,” Aaron said.

The store has bins where some of the used records are sold at bargain prices. It also has a wall where rare records are featured.

“Some of these are first presses,” Aaron said. Pressing is the production of the record — each time a record was produced multiple times, there was a special label or marking that was stamped into it. “These special markings or labels help to determine the market value of the record,” Aaron said. “The earlier the pressing, as well as the condition of the record, determine the value of each piece of vinyl.”

He said sound quality has been a large part of record resurgence as well.

“The analog sound you get from vinyl is more sophisticated than the digital used by the new age sources, especially the lossy or compressed digital formats that are more common today.”

As far as the matching of a computer store and a vinyl record store, Aaron said “It seems to be a combination that is different, but also both compliment each other as it’s a difference in technology, but each one is unique.”

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