Record Buying Tips

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Michael Fremer  |  Mar 21, 2017  |  47 comments
You can find a great deal of information online about matrix codes and their meaning. Unfortunately some of it is incorrect.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 22, 2015  |  51 comments
After reading analogplanet's Bruce Springsteen box set coverage a well-known audio designer excitedly came up to me at last December's L.A. and Orange County Audiophile Society Gala.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  30 comments
CES coverage will continue, but first this: the daughter of a west coast record producer who had amassed a large vinyl collection she'd inherited and wished to sell contacted me last year asking how best to do it.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 19, 2014  |  8 comments
I first visited this store in 1986 when LPs were "going away". Now they are back but Platter World is closing. The owner passed away, his daughter is running it and liquidating. All single LPs are $3.00. Most of what I saw was the usual usual and not in particularly great condition but there are always gems to be had in such an enormous stash of records and if you're looking to try some new music $3.00 will get it for you in whatever condition.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 13, 2014  |  24 comments
The Princeton Record Exchange isn't what it used to be but it's still better than it once was. Of course "back in the day" the store was records and nothing but records. Then came CDs and DVDs and the emphasis shifted. After all, it's in a college town.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 25, 2014  |  8 comments
You say you don't want to spend hundreds on an original LSC-1806 "Living Stereo" or LSC-1817 or $1500 on the Soria box set LDS-6065? That's understandable. By the numbers: LSC-1806 is the 1954 stereo spectacular "Also Sprach Zarathustra" with Fritz Reiner conducting the Chicago Symphony. Of course RCA couldn't issue it on vinyl in 1954, though it did issue it in stereo on reel to reel tape well before the vinyl, which didn't get released until 1960.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 18, 2013  |  6 comments
An email arrived in my inbox a few days ago from Bob Ludwig who had heard from a friend about a 6000 classical LP collection that had recently arrived at Melanie Nelson's Little Red Book Shack in the small Columbia County, New York town of Livingston. How it got there is less important than that it was there.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 23, 2013  |  25 comments
Do you own a copy of Buckingham Nicks? It was Stevi Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham's pre-Fleetwood Mac pairing featuring an icky cover both probably regret. Issued on Polydor in 1973 it's credits show that the duo and producer/engineer Keith Olsen knew what they were doing!

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 07, 2013  |  14 comments
Last Record Store Day Sony/Legacy released four mono LPs: Miles Davis's Miles Ahead and Porgy and Bess, The Fabulous Johnny Cash (released by IMPEX last year in stereo) and Cheap Thrills by Big Brother and The Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin.
Michael Fremer  |  Mar 04, 2013  |  37 comments
A reader alerted me to the fact that some online sites are selling a variety of "Pink Moon" reissues including one from the aptly named "Phantom" label. Be careful!
Michael Fremer  |  Mar 02, 2013  |  7 comments
It's time to put to bed a long standing record myth: that UK Decca and UK-pressed London records are different pressings, even if they have the same matrix numbers, mother numbers and stamper numbers. This myth has persisted for a very long time, fed by people who claim to hear differences between such records even when the information in the lead-out groove area is identical.
Michael Fremer  |  Aug 28, 2012  |  14 comments
The stereo mix of Pet Sounds issued on SACD by Mobile Fidelity and on vinyl by Capitol a few years ago is interesting and was well done, but Brian mixed it and intended it to be listened to in mono, which is how it was originally released back in 1966.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 02, 2012  |  24 comments
"Non-fill" refers to a pressing defect that occurs when the molten vinyl does not flow fully to produce a well-formed groove. It occurs most often on a 180g record's outer edge and is caused by the vinyl's beginning to harden prematurely.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 28, 2012  |  84 comments
Call me crazy (and you wouldn't be the first!) but when I spend $25 or $50 on a 180 gram reissue, I want to know the source used and who did the cutting, plating and pressing. Don't you? But we don't get that vital information as often as we'd like, do we?