Advice about CDs, LPs

For consumers wondering how to make sense of the changes in the recording industry, music industry analysts have this advice: Now is a good time to buy obscure or lesser-known LPs, because entire catalogues will begin to disappear. One benefit is that LP prices have dropped dramatically.

There's no need to rush out and sell your turntable, particularly if you have a large collection of LPs. There's a good chance that many of them won't be duplicated on CD. And if you enjoy music from independent labels, those will not be joining the CD bandwagon for a while.

Some experts advise not to invest in a new turntable unless you're going to go to the high end ($1,000 and up) for a laser turntable that ``reads'' the grooves and doesn't wear out albums.

If your taste runs to trendy music of interest for just a few months, you probably don't need a CD player.

Those who love classical music or jazz will be particularly happy with a CD. But for funkier jazz and blues, the ``dirtier'' analog sound might work better.

For those considering buying a CD player, now is a good time. Between now and Christmas there will be great bargains, (good quality, moderately priced CD players run between $200 and $500), partly because this is inventory bought before the dollar was devalued against the yen. Later, prices are expected to go up.

However, next year the ``compact disc interactive'' will be part of the hardware. That will enable a user to hook a CD player up to one's home computer, enabling the user to get high-resolution sound as well as graphics. Those who have players now and will want that device will be able to upgrade their systems with a special box.

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