by Alison Houston
WHO would have thought that not only is vinyl back in style, but these days cassettes are the trendy thing to collect.
Certainly no one who remembers sticking their pen through the spool to wind the tape back after it got caught in the machine!
But apparently what goes around comes around, and according to Toowoomba Record Fair organiser and Butter Beats record stores owner Jason Woodward "there are collectors for everything".
Jason started his Butter Beats stores in 1998, for the past 10 years also organising fairs from the Gold Coast to Brisbane, Ipswich and, for the past six years, Toowoomba.
He's back in town on February 17 with over 200 boxes (each containing up to 80 records) of new and pre-loved vinyl for sale, as well as magazines, cassettes and CDs.
Records go from just $3 for more common offerings (like Johnny Farnham), with Jason saying his biggest sale was a rare Australian record by The Missing Links, a 1960s garage punk rock band, which went for $1500.
So, is vinyl really better than CDs?
"Vinyl records to me are magical - how all those bumps can produce the sounds they do," Jason said.
"CDs cut out the highs and lows to compress the information, so you miss all those musical and vocal nuances.
"If you close your eyes when you listen to vinyl you can physically feel the musicians in the room. You don't get that with CDs."
But be warned, for those of you who have sold your old stereos, the new cheap generation (available under $100) don't give the sound of the old players.
Jason says you are better to hunt around for an old 1970s or '80s player at garage sales than to put your money into the cheapies - and the '70s model will last longer!
Country and Australian records are most in demand in Toowoomba, but you'll find everything from that to punk, funk, reggae, jazz and classics, and from the common to the collector's delight.
If you have records for sale, bring them along for a no-obligation quote.
Jason said he doesn't sell scratched records, but if you have scratches on your records, run your finger over them.
If you can feel the scratch, you can hear it.
Toowoomba Record Fair is at St Thomas More Hall, 71 Ramsay Street, Centenary Heights from 9am-2pm on Saturday, February 17.
For more information, phone Jason on 0424 371 720.