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  • What are your future plans? Multiple locations?
    “At the moment I don’t have plans to realize a franchise. I think I'm just too much of a perfectionist for that. In addition, I think the cool thing about a smaller business is that it reflects the good old days: small but cute, cozy and personal. I wouldn't want to miss that personal bond you built with regular customers either. If the business were to become too big, I think you would take on more of a management role, and that does not appeal to me as much. I do hope to expand online. At the beginning of May 2023 our website was published after months of very hard work. I hope that I can provide even more people with personal service and the feeling of the past with a modern twist.”
  • How did 'Artistic Recordstore' came to be?
    “In the summer of 2022 I moved back to Friesland, where I grew up. A few days later the store-space became available for rent and I immediately thought of a record store. How cool would it be to combine your hobby and work. I immediately drew up a business plan and presented it to family members asking if I could borrow funds to start my business. Luckily that worked out. Instead of a student debt, I now pay off a loan for my own company. I am very grateful for that opportunity. It's crazy how things can turn out sometimes, but maybe it was ment to be, because I feel happier than ever."
  • Does 'Artistic Recordstore' celebrate RSD?
    “Yes…we are an official participant, so you are very welcome to visit Grou next Black Friday or RSD (Only a 1,5 hour train ride from Amsterdam). For my business the 2023 edition was our first...and it was absolutely amazing! It was not as crazy as at some other stores in NL - with lines filling the length of entire streets - but very busy nonetheless. Everyone managed to get what they wanted with ease and customers were considered towards eachother, so the atmosphere was very helpful and relaxed. It was definitely a huge succes, and we look forward to next year! We still have some exclusive releases left, which can be bought on our RSD2023 page.
  • Vinyl has made a huge comeback... How come?
    “The simple answer to that question is: It is the most beautiful way to listen to music. Analog music touches you much more than streaming services - where you can mindlessly click ahead to the next song. Not only does vinyl sound better, but in a generation and society of speed and many stimuli, people need something slow and relaxing. To enjoy vinyl you have to sit down consciously…You listens to the album as it was intended by the artist. In addition, it’s of course a beautiful and luxurious product. The album covers are true works of art, and the vinyl itself…is a piece of vintage culture that gives you a feeling as warm as the warmth of the sound it produces.”
  • What kinds of products and genres do you offer at the store?
    “We really focus on vinyl, and do not sell CD's except for K-Pop albums. In terms of music styles, we have all the genres you can imagine. Everything but classical. We currently have around 800 new titles and about 500 “second hand” records in stock. Second-hand with air-quotes, because Sophie is a really a perfectionist when it comes to the quality of the records. She cleans them and visually check them for scratches. When customers take them out of the sleeves for review, we regularly hear a surprised or satisfied comment: "it looks like it’s new" ... for us, that translates to: "Mission accomplished".
  • Are you the youngest record store owner in the Netherlands?
    “Yes, I was twenty years old when I first started out in October 2022. Opening a recordstore wasn't in my plans at all...but it came on my path and I'm so grateful it did. I remember the opening day... I was so nervous… but the reactions were very positive and supportive. That has remained the case. However, people are often still surprised… Customers just don't expect a young women to run the place…that's not the stereotype in everyone's mind… One advantage of being this young is that I literally have less experience in the industry, so I'm forgiven if I don't know a certain artist yet. In addition, most enthusiasts like to share their knowledge, so it’s never a problem that I am not a music encyclopedia yet .”
  • Which records have you played the most lately? Any recommendations?
    "The first on my list is quite obvious…as a true Michael Jackson fangirl I can't avoid putting his music on number one, closely followed by Amy Winehouse…her voice and talents remain…unique. An interesting newcomer to my list this month is Samara Joy with her second album 'Linger Awhile'. Samara won an award for 'Best New Artist' at the last Grammys...I personally didn't expect a jazz singer to win this category...but really…it’ so deserved! She is so good! Very nice how she sings so effortless with a fun and fresh interpretation of the classics."
  • Are you a collector of the ‘black gold' yourself? How would you describe your collection?
    “I remember well how my passion for vinyl started… My grandfather had a small but nice collection, and when I was about nine or ten years old, I couldn't resist it anymore and decided to take a look. He must have noticed that I showed interest, because when he decided to clean up the apartment and get rid of stuff, I was allowed to take a large part of his collection. Shortly afterwards, my parents gave me their old record player, including records from the past… and then, of course… I was sold! When we had an outing to the city, were on a school trip, on vacation… you name it, I always tried to go thrifting for records of “Frank Sinatra,” “Ella Fitzgerald,” and “Amy Winehouse.”... A lot of easy listening jazz and soul. At the time I'm focussing more on the 70ties to 90ties. I sold a large part of my personal collection to earn some extra money to support the growth of the store…sometimes you have to sacrifice something for your dreams…but the store is just as much an expression of my passion for vinyl , so I'm not sad. Now, there is once again room to expand my collection...and I have to limit myself not to reserve items that come in for myself. What is very special is that I occasionally receive records as a present from regular customers… I recently received a beautiful record in celebration of my 21st birthday…that really moves me…regular customers become friends... and those records will never leave my collection.”
  • Did this kind of entrepreneurship always flow through your veins?
    “Well…my father has his own business and I think I inherited his entrepreneurial spirit. I remember it well, when I was little… I took singing lessons and when I was ten years old, there was an interview at the singing school by Omrop Fryslan. The interviewer asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Of course he expected me to say that I wanted to “be famous” or be a “professional singer”…but I didn’t. I said I wanted to become the “Businesswoman of the Year!” So yes, the ambition has always been there.”
  • What are the most rewarding sides of owning a record store?
    "Owning my own store is very educational for me as a young person. Not only am I learning a lot more about music, and listening to music a lot more… I am also being educated on what it’s like to run your own business. You build people skills and I can use a lot of my own creativity in the development of my store. It's hard work, that is often underestimated, but it makes me very happy to see that my efforts are appreciated by the customer. That's always the goal! When regular customers say "I feel so at ease here, its really like I'm welcomed into your living room" or a seven year old boy comes in just to tell you that "the record he bought with his dad is played at home every day"...I feel so proud, that is what it's all about!
  • Does 180 gram vinyl sound better?
    Most vintage records weight somewhere between 120 and 150 grams...nowadays however, most records are much heavier, around 180 gram. They are often labeled as 'Audiophile Quality'...but what is the actual difference? Regarding sound quality...not much. The technical standard for cutting grooves is exactly the same for all records regardless of their weight. Also, a stylus tip is only capable of reading a limited depth in the groove, thus anything below a certain point is missed and not audible. Therefore, the weight of a vinyl record has little to no impact on sound quality. The quality of the sound is mostly determined by the quality of the source material and the mastering process...and of course the quality of the pressing plant. However, a thicker and heavier pressing does have its advantages. Firstly, the record is more durable. It won't easily break or warp. Secondly... it just feels more premium in its handling. It gives the record collector a reassuring feeling. On top of that, a heavier record improves isolation to protect your stylus from vibrations and enables the platter to move at a more constant speed by reducing flutter. This could improve the sound you experience...but it will mainly help protect your records against scratches.
  • Are picture discs worth my money?
    Picture discs are awesome to look at, that is for sure. However, the picture discs do lack the audio quality of regular black or coloured vinyl, this due to the completely different production process and multiple layers. You can think of it as a record-sandwich: The first layer is usually a thin layer of polyethylene plastic. On top of this sits the actual picture-disc-image, which is usually printed on paper. The third layer is the actual vinyl. This is repeated in reverse on the other side of the record with another picture printed on paper, and a plastic layer to seal the image off. When all the layers are placed on top of each other, the record-sandwich is then pressed together in the factory using a vinyl stamp. The grooves are transferred onto the outer layers, being the plastic layer...and these layers are very thin...this is also the main reason why picture disks lack audio quality when you compare it to a standard (coloured) record. So why do people buy picture disks? Well...for the looks! They are an attractive buy for collectors wanting to display their favorite album on the wall, or complete their collection of a particular artist. Some people do play them, and sure...it is hypnotizing to look at...but if you are looking to play your favorite album regularly, we recommend a normal or coloured version.
  • The quality of coloured VS black vinyl.
    Coloured vinyl has become extremely popular over the last decade. We regularly have people coming in our store searching for that one collectible coloured edition...From solid primary colors to transparent opaque designs and multi-colored splatter records...its demand is blowing up. Musicians can now not only express themselves through their music and cover-art but also through the vinyl itself. How cool! THE COMEBACK OF COLOR Although colored vinyl has been around for decades, in the past it was quickly avoided by most. Listeners unanimously agreed it sounded a lot worse than black vinyl and most music fans steered towards better audio quality. These days, however, colored vinyl has made a huge comeback with many audiophiles admitting they can rarely hear a difference between black and coloured vinyl on recent pressings. Why a comeback?Since the comeback of vinyl records, being (re)introduced to a younger audience, a more niche market was created then in the past. People deliberately buy records nowadays to be more in touch with the music and the product, rather than streaming it on Spotify in a whim...and the more interesting the physical product becomes, the more the needs of vinyl-addicts are fulfilled. Colors certainly sweeten that deal and attract many collectors. ABOUT BLACK VINYL RECORDS To start off with a common misconception: black vinyl records are not originally black, but a kind of translucent white color. The material used in production is PVC mixed with black carbon. The carbon not only gives record that old-school look, but it also strengthens the material, which will give your record a longer life-span. Other advantages of black vinyl are that most pressing plants are very experienced in processing this black PVC mix and because they buy the materials in bulk, production is cheaper. Lastly, quality control on black vinyl is much easier: faults, filth or scratches on a black surface can be seen much quicker. ABOUT COLOURED VINYL RECORDS Quality matters...and it is debatable if coloured records have slightly worse audio quality, with most sounding just fine. Coloured records are produced by using PVC and mixing it with one or more color dyes. Adding more colors would affect the sound quality more...but a bigger influence on the sound quality is the quality of the manufacturer. Logically, now that the demand is bigger, more pressing plants are evolving in their abilities to handle colors, and with that growing experience come better outcomes and quality controls. Only because of that reason one can argue correctly that coloured records pressed in recent years indeed sound much better than the older generation. The argument that coloured records don't have the same strength and longevity due to it missing the carbon ingredient is true, but if you take care of your records and clean them regularly, coloured pressings will last a lifetime with ease.
  • What is half-speed-mastering?
    To understand the benefits of half-speed mastering, it's good to first have an understanding about the basics on how a master disk is cut when mastering. Put into simple words: to produce a master record, a lacquer disc is placed onto the cuttin machine. The source is then engraved in a wave-form into the lacquer. Important to note is that high frequencies (high sounds) are more difficult to cut than low frequencies (low sounds) due to those high sound having shorter waves. The lacquer disc is effentually used to create the stamper that will be used to manufacture your vinyl records. In case of half-speed-mastering the process is slowed down to half of the original speed, or in other words: a record normally cut at 33 1/3 RPM, is now cut at 16 2/3. When you half the speed of high frequencies notes, they are much easier to cut, because the cutting head also has twice the amount of time to cut the groove, now presenting as a mid range sound. This results in a higher quality, more detailed representation of the original sound source. Mastering in half speed, also reduces the sound of the record getting compressed when getting closer to the end of the album side (inner groove distortion). Lastly, cutting heads opperating at half their speed allows them to draw less power and respond more promtly to sudden power demands. This can be heard audibly as a more dynamic reaction and better instrumental separation. To sum it all up, half speed mastering, actually makes a difference in the audio quality of your record! It defines itself as a superior and richer sound and it supports smoother and more engaging high frequency tones.
  • What are the costs of shipping?
    Shipping costs within the Netherlands are €8,90. Our shipping always includes insurance - to cover any damage or loss that might occur during transit. We send out all our orders in sturdy ecological packaging to be as green as possible. Of course, shipping costs depend on your location. Shipping costs to other countries will be automatically calculated at the check-out-page. We offer free shipping on all EU & UK orders above €250 and try to keep other international shipping costs as low as possible.
  • When can I expect my order?
    We strive to ship all records and K-pop albums - available in stock - within 48 hours following the order. Pre-order records are shipped out on Mondays following the original release date. The delivery time is usually somewhere between 1-4 days when shipped to a destination inside the Nederlands. When shipped to a country of destination inside the EU, delivery generally takes 3-10 days. Please note: When ordering multiple items, we will ship the entire order out when all products are available. For example: If you order one record that is in stock, and one pre-order record that is not to be released for another month. The entire package will ship after the release date of that pre-order record. If you prefer to have the items shipped separately, please continue to order those items as separate orders, so we can ship out the 'in stock' item to you within 48 hours.
  • How do 'pre-orders' work exactly?
    Pre-orders are albums soon to be released. The release date and shipping date are mentioned on the product page of a pre-order item. Ordering a pre-order item is the customers chance to reserve and secure a (limited) record before it is broadly available in recordstores. Please note: When ordering multiple items, we will ship the entire order out when all products are available. For example: If you order one record that is in stock, and one pre-order record that is not to be released for another month. The entire package will ship after the release date of that pre-order record. If you prefer to have the items shipped separately, please continue to order those items as separate orders, so we can ship out the 'in stock' item to you within 48 hours.
  • I received the wrong product
    We are sad to hear you received the wrong product. We always try to be as precise as possible when packing order, but very rarely something does go wrong. We understand this is frustrating and disappointing, and will try to resolve this issue promptly. Please send us a customer service request within 14 days of delivery. You will receive a return-label from us to return the wrong product free of charge. As soon as this record arrives back at our store, we will send you a substitute order free of charge. If the record is not available at our distributor anymore, we will refund you in full (including the initial shipping costs).
  • How can I return my order?
    As long as the products are still sealed and in mint (unworn and unused) condition you can report your products as a return within 14 days after receiving your order. You can obtain a return-label in your personal account or by sending us an email with your request. The return of delivered products is entirely at the expense and risk of the customer. In order words: Items are your responsibility until they reach us, so make sure they're packed up properly (in their original packaging) and can't get damaged on the way! Always ensure that you obtain proof of postage in case you need to contact us about your return. All items are inspected on return before being processed. Any damages will be documented and shared with you, these may influence the amount you get refunded. When your order is processed and deemed to be in the same condition as when we send it out to you, we will refund your order in full within 30 days. Please note: If you send the package to us without our knowledge and return-label, we are not obliged to refund.
  • My record got damaged during transit.
    We are sad to hear your record got damaged during transit. We always try to package our orders in very sturdy boxes and do so with a lot of attention to detail, but sadly the transit system is not always as careful with our records as we are. We understand this can be frustrating and disappointing and we will try to resolve this issue for you. Please send us a customer service request within 14 days of delivery. In this email please include a description of the damage to your record and include some photo's. When the damage is substantial and the record is still available, we will send you a substitute order free of charge. If the record is not available at our distributor anymore, we will refund you in full (including the initial shipping costs). In case of little bummed corners or tiny seem splits we will look together for a suitable solution and / or compensation.
  • My record has a factory defect.
    In very rare cases records have factory defects, such like chipped sides or lots and lots of inexplicable pops. If pops are the problem you face, please first try to clean the record carefully using a very smooth cleaning cloth (such as an eyeglass whipping cloth) and some record cleaning fluid and / or a record cleaning machine. Sometimes pops can be caused by factory residue and dust stuck in the grooves. Please also take into your consideration that cheaper record players can cause problems in playback as well. If the problem can not be resolved, please send us a customer service request within 14 days of delivery. In this email please include a description of the damage to your record and include some photo's. When the damage is substantial and the record is still available, we will send you a substitute order free of charge. If the record is not available at our distributor anymore, we will refund you in full (including the initial shipping costs).
  • My package got lost during transit
    Sadly - in rare cases - packages can get lost during transit. If this is the case, please contact our customer service promptly, so we can start an investigation with our shipping partners into the whereabouts of the package. Hopefully it can be located and redirected to you. An investigation can take up to a maximum of 30 working days. If the package is indeed lost, you will receive a substitute order free of charge. If the record is not available at our distributor anymore, we will refund you in full (including the initial shipping costs).
Please Note: Our store location in Grou is closed between 25 feb - 3 apr.
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