New pressings of Vinyl vs used

joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 281
edited July 24 in 2 Channel Audio
As I am sure some of you are, as I am, increasing my stock of LP’s I enjoy going on date night with the wife and trying to combine it with record shopping after dinner. I have quite a few spots around me to acquire both new and used. More stores are carrying new records now. I see some that note “made from master tapes” but most do not say anything. Some even have the “digitally mastered” on them which must be a slip up, but maybe it’s just transparency. My question is how many of these new pressings are just larger plastic CD’s ? Meaning they were only mastered from the digital recordings.
Any of you familiar with any of the rereleases and know they are of high quality even though they may not state as such? The Barnes and Noble near me had a HUGE selection of new records. I have purchased some classical with good results. And a couple Yes albums, but still wonder if they are not really true to the art.
Thoughts?
TV - Sony XBR 75X900E
Amps - Marantz SR5003 , 2 x Linn Lk240’s , NAD 2400 THX, Denon 1804
Speakers - POlk Lsim705’s ,Totem Acoustic Rainmaker's, Sonus Faber Piccolo, Definitive Technology SM350's , Sonos Play 5, 2 play 1's, Mirage Oasis MKii's
Subwoofers - SVS SB16 Ultra, Jamo D4SUB
Sources - Denon 2910, Sony CDP-CX355, JVC XM448BK, Sonos Connect,
Vinyl - Project Debut III, Nagaoka MP-110, Cambridge Audio Solo, Okki Nokki RCM
Cables - Zu Audio power cables, AudioQuest Type 4 speaker cables, Linn Interconnects

Comments

  • mlistens03mlistens03 Posts: 1,412
    My friend bought a copy of Abbey Road on vinyl at Target (claimed to be “made from the digital recordings of the original master tapes) and he let me borrow to compare to my earlier pressing, which was made from the original tapes. The one from Target actually sounded the same (other than some minor differences, because it is of course a different mastering, but it was all very similar SQ wise). I don’t think it is the way that the music has been stored in the past, I think what matters is how it is being played back.
    That’s my guess anyway
    Micah
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  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 281
    That’s a good point
    Have not done any A/B comparisons yet as I don’t want to duplicate inventory. But that good to know.
    I was just listening to a new one I picked up on Prime day- Nirvana Unplugged. It’s a new pressing by pallas on 180g our of Germany. It’s sounds really good. But there’s a chance I guess it could be from digital vs master tapes. Again, it sounds great so I should just enjoy. But I digress.
    TV - Sony XBR 75X900E
    Amps - Marantz SR5003 , 2 x Linn Lk240’s , NAD 2400 THX, Denon 1804
    Speakers - POlk Lsim705’s ,Totem Acoustic Rainmaker's, Sonus Faber Piccolo, Definitive Technology SM350's , Sonos Play 5, 2 play 1's, Mirage Oasis MKii's
    Subwoofers - SVS SB16 Ultra, Jamo D4SUB
    Sources - Denon 2910, Sony CDP-CX355, JVC XM448BK, Sonos Connect,
    Vinyl - Project Debut III, Nagaoka MP-110, Cambridge Audio Solo, Okki Nokki RCM
    Cables - Zu Audio power cables, AudioQuest Type 4 speaker cables, Linn Interconnects
  • zuulzuul Posts: 255
    edited July 25
    so i'm out of the vinyl game officially... but i had almost 40 years in before i quit.. i've easily got my 10,000 hours in crate digging... i've handled a lot of wax...

    when i was collecting... unless it was an audiophile 180g release (sundazed is one of my favorite re-issue labels and their wax is always super high quality) i almost always went for the original pressings when possible. the records were made better back in the day. on heavier and more durable stock usually.

    i started to notice in the late 90's and early 00's as pressing plants around the world were closing that the quality of vinyl had definitely and noticeably degraded. i had encountered all kinds of bad pressings in that time period... once i got a brand new sealed record... got it home... opened it up... there were no grooves. none. the record had actually never been pressed. i have 50 stories like that.

    from what i've read... and heard anecdotally the quality of vinyl pressings has gone up over the past ten years... but compared to what?

    don't forget... there used to be vinyl pressing plants all over the world... that's not the case today. plus a lot of institutional knowledge has been lost between the transition from tapes and cd's to digital and now back to vinyl again...

    also keeping in mind that a lot of the records were mastered specifically for vinyl... and then remastered for digital formats. i would always buy an original copy of beggars banquet for example and i would stay away from anything that was "new" and/or "remastered" version of beggars banquet on vinyl... unless of course it came from a reputable reissue company like sundazed. all the "new" neil young reissues are actually mastered from the ponos HD files... and not from the original analog masters... in that case i would also want the original records for my vinyl collection and save the remastered versions for my digital sources... due diligence required methinks as nowadays there are so many different versions of albums...

    i said all that to say this... i would think if you can find an original pressing or something pressed concurrently with the time it was released that would always be my preference... high quality reissues would be my 2nd choice and just random "new" records would be my 3rd choice...

    obviously if you listen to a lot of "new" music your choices will be limited to recent pressings but anything recorded before say 2000 you should be able to find original copies of...

    if you can find a first edition of the rolling stone record guide that edition has the original catalog number of all the albums in the book.... catalog numbers were dropped in subsequent publishings... anyway... knowing the original catalog # of the album is invaluable if you're going to get serious about collecting and finding original pressings...

    lastly... in terms of older records... imports are almost always better. especially japanese and german imports. i had german pressings of a bunch of bowie and zappa and peter gabriel records and they were all higher quality sonically and materially compared to the original u.s. pressings. but you're gonna pay a premium for imports unless you frequent a record store that's not into price gouging... there are still some left... but they are becoming farther and further between... some record stores should be ashamed of what they're asking for used records.

    just my $0.02

    happy hunting!
    Post edited by zuul on
    speakers:
    bowers & wilkins 685 S2
    polk psw-10
    components:
    sonic frontiers line 1 preamp
    sonic frontiers anthem amp 1
    mac mini w/ audioquest jitterbug
    teac ud-501 digital to analog converter
    oppo dv-980h dvd/cd
    interconnects:
    guzi rca
    monoprice onix series digital coaxial
    transparent performance USB
    transparent perfect image HDMI
    speaker wire
    audioquest type 4
    power:
    rhino-tek 1000w 15amp voltage regulator
    vansevers 211 power cord
    pangea ac-14 power cord
    tubes:
    amplifier: (2) NOS 1960 philco/lansdale 12AU7 (super rare!), (1) NOS 1967 mullard 12AX7, (4) 2016 svetlana hard blue EL-34
    pre-amp: (6) E88CC/6922 ??? (haven't cracked the case yet to see what previous owner was running...) so for now they are mystery tubes.
    misc:
    JRiver Media Center 24
    sanus 24" speaker stands
    auralex acoustics subdude II
    DeMoude Audio cylindrical bass traps
    rf/emi/noise reduction caps for empty rca inputs.
    Hall of Fame: [retired/sold]
    polk monitor series 5jr+ w/ RDO194-1 upgraded tweeters
    polk monitor series RTA 8T
    kenwood kd-550 w/ SME 3009 Series III tonearm grado gold cartridge
    adcom gfp-555II
    marantz 2238b
    luxman M-120A
    technics sl-b10
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 281
    Great info. Thank You.
    TV - Sony XBR 75X900E
    Amps - Marantz SR5003 , 2 x Linn Lk240’s , NAD 2400 THX, Denon 1804
    Speakers - POlk Lsim705’s ,Totem Acoustic Rainmaker's, Sonus Faber Piccolo, Definitive Technology SM350's , Sonos Play 5, 2 play 1's, Mirage Oasis MKii's
    Subwoofers - SVS SB16 Ultra, Jamo D4SUB
    Sources - Denon 2910, Sony CDP-CX355, JVC XM448BK, Sonos Connect,
    Vinyl - Project Debut III, Nagaoka MP-110, Cambridge Audio Solo, Okki Nokki RCM
    Cables - Zu Audio power cables, AudioQuest Type 4 speaker cables, Linn Interconnects
  • zuulzuul Posts: 255
    edited July 25
    a few more thoughts about original pressings...

    in their heyday... similar artistic creativity went into the packaging of records... and sometimes in the physical disc itself...

    today they aren't sending original art out to be color separated and printed on high quality printing presses... i would bet most album covers... especially reissues... are laser printed pictures of an image downloaded from the internet...

    then there's actual records... on original pressings of minutemen's double nickels on the dime there are messages etched into the runout groove on all 4 sides of the album... later pressings don't have that... the original u.s. pressing of get happy by elvis costello had a label error... so the label side a and b didn't match what was printed on the album... this was corrected in later versions... the original pressings of stevie wonder's talking book has the titles and credits in braille... reissues don't have braille. some albums had posters... some albums had lyric sheets... some had coupons or label order forms... on the original pressings of sonic youth's evol there's an infinite runout groove... ie. it doesn't end until you pull the needle off the record... of course the most famous of these examples is the original butcher covers of yesterday and today that made it out in the world... in some cases such anomalies have significant exponential impact on the value of the record... google "butcher cover" and see how much they are selling for nowadays. also... so many fakes out there now... a lot of my motivation in seeking out originals when i was collecting was that it's just cool to have an intact complete version of something... the way the artist intended for you to receive it.

    if you care about such things... as mentioned above... first you have to do the research to see what exactly comprised an "original" and then 2nd find it.

    it can pay to know what you're looking at when you're flipping through the bins. To wit: I once found an original mono british pressing of the who sell out in the dollar bin of a record store in atlanta... i knew what it was and how much it was worth and a few years later sold it for $120.00 bucks at a record show. Another time I found a columbia white label pressing of The River by Bruce Springsteen that also was resold at a substantial profit. White labels were never released to the public via retail or any other method... mostly they were promotional copies that went to radio stations and VIP's before the official release of the album... rare and worth big $ if you can find them today. white label test pressings are even more rare and valuable and usually came in a plain 12" sleeve with no art and just a sticker on the outside with the album title and track names...

    Obviously there are books about such things... but I thought I would take a minute to just mention it so anyone who's interested in such things can have this bug in their head the next time they are out on the hunt.

    speakers:
    bowers & wilkins 685 S2
    polk psw-10
    components:
    sonic frontiers line 1 preamp
    sonic frontiers anthem amp 1
    mac mini w/ audioquest jitterbug
    teac ud-501 digital to analog converter
    oppo dv-980h dvd/cd
    interconnects:
    guzi rca
    monoprice onix series digital coaxial
    transparent performance USB
    transparent perfect image HDMI
    speaker wire
    audioquest type 4
    power:
    rhino-tek 1000w 15amp voltage regulator
    vansevers 211 power cord
    pangea ac-14 power cord
    tubes:
    amplifier: (2) NOS 1960 philco/lansdale 12AU7 (super rare!), (1) NOS 1967 mullard 12AX7, (4) 2016 svetlana hard blue EL-34
    pre-amp: (6) E88CC/6922 ??? (haven't cracked the case yet to see what previous owner was running...) so for now they are mystery tubes.
    misc:
    JRiver Media Center 24
    sanus 24" speaker stands
    auralex acoustics subdude II
    DeMoude Audio cylindrical bass traps
    rf/emi/noise reduction caps for empty rca inputs.
    Hall of Fame: [retired/sold]
    polk monitor series 5jr+ w/ RDO194-1 upgraded tweeters
    polk monitor series RTA 8T
    kenwood kd-550 w/ SME 3009 Series III tonearm grado gold cartridge
    adcom gfp-555II
    marantz 2238b
    luxman M-120A
    technics sl-b10
  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 7,529
    Personally, I'm all about buying new sealed records. They haven't been mistreated, played on a Crosley, etc. Even if a used record looks to be in good shape the damage may be in the grooves. I guess a lot of record shops have turntables setup so you can listen to them first but man, that would take a lot of time. A trip to the record store would take all day.
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 18,423
    Empirically, the incidence of noticeably warped new records is quite high, IME (and FWIW).
    "It's like watching a roomful of people who couldn't get through college algebra discussing the flaws of quantum physics theory. I guess it could be fun, but it's ultimately a waste of time." -- seen on audiokarma

    "Some amps run on self bias, some amps run on fixed bias. But his amps run on confirmation bias." -- seen on audioasylum

    "Writing about hifi is like dancing about architecture" -- paraphrasing some wag (possibly Frank Zappa)
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 281
    I will say that some of the newer pressings have been done very well. With inserts, folding covers, artwork etc. and then some are very stripped. Obvious digital master, cover poorly printed. Etc.
    that company Pallas I mentioned earlier out of Germany is the best new pressing I have seen to date. Beautiful sound.
    TV - Sony XBR 75X900E
    Amps - Marantz SR5003 , 2 x Linn Lk240’s , NAD 2400 THX, Denon 1804
    Speakers - POlk Lsim705’s ,Totem Acoustic Rainmaker's, Sonus Faber Piccolo, Definitive Technology SM350's , Sonos Play 5, 2 play 1's, Mirage Oasis MKii's
    Subwoofers - SVS SB16 Ultra, Jamo D4SUB
    Sources - Denon 2910, Sony CDP-CX355, JVC XM448BK, Sonos Connect,
    Vinyl - Project Debut III, Nagaoka MP-110, Cambridge Audio Solo, Okki Nokki RCM
    Cables - Zu Audio power cables, AudioQuest Type 4 speaker cables, Linn Interconnects
  • tratlifftratliff Posts: 627
    I am also into unopened LP's. I have purchased a few used, for myself, and have not been very happy with the results. Now, my wife has her own setup and purchases 90% used.

    I visit Barnes and Noble regularly. Have purchased well over 100 albums from them. They can be hit or miss. I don't think it is Barnes and Noble specifically. I think it is new albums in general. Some have good recordings and others do not.

    I have really slowed down on the number of LP's I purchase lately. I have moved from getting the newest releases to originals and Mobile Fidelity's/DCC/Quiex (both new and from the 70's/80's unopened). Even with my decrease in quantity my overall monthly LP cost has increased considerably. But, what I have learned is the majority of these originals and high quality pressings are worth the extra cost for me.

    Example.
    I have the latest pressing of Beatles Abbey Road and also the Mobile Fidelity from the late 70's. The latest went for $30 and the Mobile Fidelity went for $125. Sounds crazy but I promise you can tell the difference on my system. I think this is system dependent but higher quality systems beg for higher quality well taken care of clean media.

    Seems that its like everything else for our systems. The more things cost, the more all things cost.
    2 Channel
    Legacy Focus SE, McIntosh C50, McIntosh MC601's, VPI Prime w/SoundSmith Zephyr MIMC, Parasound Halo JC3, Marantz SA-14s1, Oppo BDP-105, Technics RS-1500, Furman Elite 15PFi, Douglas Connection Alpha Interconnects, Douglas Connection Alpha Speaker Cables, Pangea Power Cables

    Theater
    Yamaha RX-Z9, Legacy Focus SE (same as 2 Channel system), Def Tech C/L/R 2500, Def Tech BP-2X, Def Tech Pro-Monitors, Vizio M-75

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    Bed Room
    Yamaha YSP-5100 digital sound projector, Sharp Aquos 70"

  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 7,046
    If you aren't comfortable or skilled at grading then buy used from establishments or individuals whose grades can be trusted. There are quite a few record stores around that have qualified graders, individuals not so much, but there are still guys around like our own George Grand used to be (R.I.P.) who was pretty good and consistent at grading vinyl as well as the album covers. I wish George was still with us, I bought a ton of vinyl from him. I only buy used vinyl that grades out, I usually prefer the original pressings. I buy new also. And as ZUUL said above, sometimes the older imports have superior sound quality. Some labels also have superior sound quality consistently. Some artists also use better recording equipment/techniques than others.
  • skrolskrol Posts: 2,628
    I've primarily been buying used LP's or listening to my old collection. The only new LP that I have purchased in recent years is Sgt Pepper's on 180g. This isn't the anniversary but I think it is the same mastering. I am completely impressed. This recording really brings out the complexity of this album.

    I suspect that new vs old varies from album to album, version to version; just like CD's.
    Stan

    Main 2ch:
    Polk LSi15 (DB840 upgrade), Parasound: P/LD-1100, HCA-1000A; Denon: DVD-2910, DRM-800A; Monster HTS3600-MKII, Grado SR-225i

    HT:
    Denon AVR-888, Polk: RTA11TL (RDO198-1, XO and Damping Upgrades), S4, CS250, PSW10, Marantz UD5005, Panasonic TC-P42S60

    Other stuff:
    Denon: DRA-835R, DCD-660, DRM-700A, DRR-780; Polk: S8, Monitor 5A, TSi100; Pioneer: CT-6R, PL-530; Onkyo CP-1046F; Ortofon OM5E, Marantz: PM5004, CD5004, Polk: RM7, Parasound C/PT-600, HCA-800ii
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 281
    Revisiting this after cleaning records, it is my opinion now that older pressings just seem to average higher quality than the newer ones. See post on Okki Nokki in 2 Channel setups.
    TV - Sony XBR 75X900E
    Amps - Marantz SR5003 , 2 x Linn Lk240’s , NAD 2400 THX, Denon 1804
    Speakers - POlk Lsim705’s ,Totem Acoustic Rainmaker's, Sonus Faber Piccolo, Definitive Technology SM350's , Sonos Play 5, 2 play 1's, Mirage Oasis MKii's
    Subwoofers - SVS SB16 Ultra, Jamo D4SUB
    Sources - Denon 2910, Sony CDP-CX355, JVC XM448BK, Sonos Connect,
    Vinyl - Project Debut III, Nagaoka MP-110, Cambridge Audio Solo, Okki Nokki RCM
    Cables - Zu Audio power cables, AudioQuest Type 4 speaker cables, Linn Interconnects
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