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Bitten by the vinyl collecting bug -- Any tips ?

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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-21-11 05:15 PM
Original message
Bitten by the vinyl collecting bug -- Any tips ?
I found a case of vinyl records on the sidewalk 2 months ago and recently got a turntable to play them on. Like it. Then I bought some lots on eBay and got a (Buddy Holly) Crickets record and a nice jukebox reissue.

Bought about $200 worth in the last 2 weeks but I have little idea what I am doing. What I have learned so far:

- any record graded with terms like "excellent" instead of the Good/ VG / NM / Mint scale, are likely to be generously graded
- sellers who don't usually sell records on eBay grade generously
- collectible vinyl should be NM or better unless the record is very rare
- you can buy certain LPs including Beatles in new, sealed condition on Amazon or through private sellers. New vinyl, recently issued is $15 (same as it ever was).
- vinyl graded below NM is worthless from a long term value stand point. You can still love it, you just won't get any money for it if you stop loving it.
- stuff seems to sell for more money at night (8pm to 11pm eastern) than during the day but the more serious stuff comes up during the day
- having a tough time getting a decent copy of Magical Mystery Tour. Bought 3 copies and none is above a VG with skipping and popping.

Any tips on storage or how to collect?
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hifiguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-21-11 06:12 PM
Response to Original message
1. Use high quality lined inner sleeves - not the plain paper things
that come with LPs. The best are rice paper poly lined, the next best are poly lined conventional white paper. Either is good and the latter are cheaper. I also use a poly sleeve for the jacket, so it's outer sleeve, LP cover, good inner sleeve from the outside in.

Bags Unlimited is probably as good a resource for these as any.

A record cleaning machine is a nice extra. Places like Needle Doctor, Acoustic Sounds and The Elusive Disc sell these as well as the machinery of analog - turntables, pickup arms and cartridges. They all have significant online presences. On these you can spend anything from a few hundred bucks for a perfectly nice plug 'n' play from Rega (i.e., it comss as one package, ready to go, with 'table, arm and cartridge) to as much money as you can imagine. $5-10K cartridges are not unheard of in the High End, nor are $20-30K turntables, and you can spend multiples of that. There actually are turntables that cost $50-135K out there.

I have a collection of some 5000-6000 LPs built up over 40 years and have tried everything.

Once you're hooked on vinyl, you're hooked for life.

If you'd like any more info please PM me.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-21-11 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I have a question.
Used to be a real lp freak, still have a lot of my records plus others acquired along the way.

Used to be fanatical about proper usage of my old discwasher hand cleaning system. What do you recommend for regular cleaning - I ordered some fluid (always suspecting it was just expensive distilled water) for it a few years ago but the pad is damaged and since I usually only listen to the radio, the records don't get played much. This thread reminded me.

and now we know the why of your username :D
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hifiguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Check out the stores I mentioned upthread.
They will all turn up on teh Google and all sell record cleaning products of various kinds, everything from brushes to multi-kilobuck cleaning machines. Distilled water is the basis of most cleaning fluids, but most add some sort of mild detergent and surfectants to get crud off the record.
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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-21-11 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Thanks
that's helpful
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HopeHoops Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:16 AM
Response to Original message
4. Storage: ALWAYS store in the vertical position.
The U-Haul "small" box is perfect for records (and laserdiscs). If you leave a couple of inches of space, you can still shuffle through them to look for something. For best record life, get a fresh needle for the turntable. I got mine online (store, not eBay) for my Technics table (the kind with the strobe for adjusting speed).

A lot of albums never advanced beyond the turntable. I've got a shitload of them, including all of my old ones going back to the early 70s at least and a bunch of even older ones I got from the library sale. That's something to keep in mind. Our library has a tent at an annual festival that they use to unload stuff. Near the end of the second day, they switch from individual pricing to "$1/bag" and you can just pack the stuff into bags. LPs are heavy, but at that cost it is worth it. CDs, DVDs, and VHS tapes are also available. Then, of course, there are books out the wazoo.

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Amerigo Vespucci Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
5. It's always better, if possible, to buy vinyl in person
I know there are places in the country where "record stores" don't exist.

Here, in Silicon Valley, we have "Big Al's Record Barn" ("Big Al" is a thief who loves to slap "out of print collectors otem" stickers on virtually EVERY album, overcharge EVERYTHING, and pay CRAP to sellers). We also have "The Record Man" in Redwood City. Gary, the proprietor of the store, is in it for the bucks...no mistaking that. He combs eBay for prices and charges competitively. But he is also in it because he loves music. Walking into his store...a converted house...is like walking into a music museum. Everything is meticulously filed away.

If you buy in person, you build a relationship with the store owner. You'll get recommendations, and you can say "I want a copy of album "X" in very good condition," and he/she will scan their stock and find exactly what you want.

I don't care for eBay...I don't trust it. That's just me.

So rather than eBay, I'd do some Googling and find a shop that ships across the US, or find a local store if you're lucky enough.
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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. I wish I was closer to some record stores
I'm in a small upstate town and there is a guy who sells vinyl but he doesn't seem to have anything good. I like going through grab bags and finding stuff but don't know what to do with the stuff which is worthless (to me) like bad disco from the early 1980s. I have put some stuff back on eBay but it is a pain to list it and grade it and it is worth $2 to $5.

I think my next step will be to buy some brand new vinyl from Amazon and dealers. The condition is assured and most brand new vinyl seems to be $10 to $17 per album. So build a solid core with the best vinyl available and then go for the stuff I really want to own and play on vinyl in the best condition I can find.
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hifiguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Check out Mobile Fidelity
and Acoustic Sounds. They reissue a lot of stuff - classic rock, top-shelf jazz and classical, and are pressing the best records I have ever heard in 40 years in the hobby.
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Amerigo Vespucci Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Amazon is a smart move, and...
...NEW vinyl albums are of a much higher quality than they were when CDs took over as the format of choice.

The last vinyl album I purchased, as the format was dying out, was the Grateful Dead's "Without A Net" (1990). The pressing was high wuality, but MANY other albums I bought in 1989-1990 were warped, had defects in the vinyl, had pops during playback, etc.

I haven't purchased vinyl in a long time, but the local Fry's Electronics and Rasputin Music stores carry a limited, but tasty, selection. Many of these are "audiophile" pressings on heavy-weight vinyl, and the average price is $20 or under.

So if you can find music you like in a new pressing, that's going to be your best bet in terms of quality control. Used LPs from the 50s-90s may have had quality issues the minute they came out of the shrink wrap.

I see things like "from the original master tapes" audiophile pressings of Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew" and think "I would LOVE to own this." I have the CD releases of both the "Bitches Brew Sessions" and "40th Anniversary" box sets, but the warmth of vinyl, coupled with 12 x 12 artwork instead of a little 4.75" x 4.75" paper booklet, makes it a REAL temptation.

:toast:
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guitar man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
10. Flea Markets
There is a flea market in Tulsa and a guy has a space there full of all kinds of old junk, but in the back of his space there must be, and I'm not exaggerating, around 20-25k LPs. They arent sorted or organized, you just have to go through them and look. Condition ranges from tragic to near-mint , but anything you find back there is $1 no matter what it is.

I found a near-mint copy of Nat King Cole's Unforgettable" album there a couple weeks ago :)
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hifiguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Estate sales, too.
They will practically pay you to haul away LPs, which are the most miserable thing in the world to move large quantities of. Once at an estate sale I got a 12-record complete set of the Mozart piano concertos on Deutsche Grammphon for five bucks, and the records were all in perfect shape.
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guitar man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Indeed
Yard sales too, I picked up a bunch of old funk and soul records and a nice fisher turntable for a $20 bill a while back.
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
12. There's a place here that'll make you head spin.
Edited on Tue Nov-22-11 12:58 PM by progressoid
Big old brick building with two floors of used vinyl. It looks like a mess but it actually is sort of organized.

____________________________________________________________


EDIT: Here a virtual tour. http://kanesville.tripod.com/kanesville/tour.html

From THE CITY WEEKLY, 11/30-12/06 2005

Stepping into Tim Behrens Kanesville Used Records store in Council Bluffs is a little overwhelming at first the walls are plastered with posters, T-shirts and comics. After your eyes adjust you see that the main floor is full of endless amounts of racks stuffed with LPs.

But a customer asks about a particular record, and Behrens immediately points him in the right direction. Another calls and Behrens picks out their request within twenty seconds.

Unorganized, it is not.

It is hard to imagine a store containing three-fourths of a million of anything. Much less keep track of and organize that much inventory.


But Behrens does, with around 750,000 rare and out of print records in its store, plus a ton and when I say a ton, I mean tens of thousands of other collectibles such as comics, old magazines and movies.

Its probably the largest collection of records in the Midwest, owner Tim Behrens said. Weve had people sifting through the collection from open to close, for an entire week.

Behrens opened his store in 1978 and moved to his current location in 1985. The current building has a main floor full of LPs and 45s, plus an upstairs and downstairs full of more records and 78s.

Thats 10,000 square ft. of collectibles but dont be intimidated.

Despite the insanely large collection of vinyl in his store, it is incredibly well organized alphabetically.

We just have more volume than other places, Behrens said. Therefore we have more to choose from. We have a full time employee on hand to organize it.

Kanesville also sells cassette tapes, 8-track tapes, VHS movies and DVDs.


Image

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