Buying Vinyl - tips on making the right purchase


New member
Username: Signat

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jun-07
Thought I would start this thread because I am in need of some advice.

I like most genres of music, but I find that especially with classical music, there really is some bad recordings out there.

How do I know what to look for? Are there some that have a consistent reputation, or should I be looking out for a period in which the recordings were made? Or the conductor/orchestra?

New member
Username: Berkleebassist

Boston, MA USA

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jun-07
I can say in my limited experience that Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs (MFSL) is top flight stuff. While sometimes their choice of music leaves something to be desired, the quality of the recordings themselves is definitely spectacular. I've got a copy of Coleman Hawkins' The Hawk Flies High by them, and it's just amazing.

As for the regular labels & such, it's all about reading reviews on the album itself, and being sure of just what pressing you're buying (sometimes the original recording has been degraded by the fact that you're buying a later pressing, which was, in fact, not pressed from a tape master, but from a test pressing or a first pressing of the album or some other duplication of the original master tapes.)

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 5051
Registered: Feb-05
There are plenty of web sites that discuss classical music performances the most reliable guide I use is the Penguin Guide. The most recent vintages discuss important performances on CD but a used bookstore should have older versions that were closer the era when vinyl dominated and will discuss comparisons in the sound of the cd vs the lp. Even the most recent Penguin will discuss classic performances that were once available on lp.

As far as records go there are a lot of great places to buy used vinyl online and probably in your community. Just plug in used records on Google and off you go. Also watch Goodwill and any other thrift stores you have in your community. Good luck.

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 7713
Registered: Dec-04
Check with Mike Wodek, the recent King of volume vinyl.
One of his best was running into a seller at a vinyl store and offering a better price than the store.
This was unintended by him, but worked out well.

Although a bit questionable in the eyes of the storekeeper, it seems to be a source of killing time in a parking lot.

Or place 'wanted to buy' in a local publication, and take lots at a good price.

Silver Member
Username: Mike3

Wiley, Tx USA

Post Number: 479
Registered: May-06
Jeff and Art both provided you and the rest of us some good input. As to where to buy?

Half Price Books $0.50 to $150.00. The good deals will require sprawling on the floor rifling through the clearance $0.50 to $1.00 section. I just bought 68 records at my local HPBS tonight for a total of $42.00 and one more album for $50. Pink Floyd Ummagumma with the un-copyrighted album cover in near perfect condition. However I would normally advocate not spending more than $6-7 on a single LP. If you are patient you will find it in that price range. Another source would be estate sales. Don't go through what they have onesey twosey, go through a few of them to verify that they were well cared for then just ask what they want for all of them. I have yet to find where they weren't more than happy to be rid of them as a large box of LPs weighs a lot and is difficult to keep shuffling around.
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