Acoustic Sounds Snags a 50,000+ LP Record Collection

This video was produced by Acoustic Sounds. It skirts the "advertisement/useful information" divide but AnalogPlanet editor Michael Fremer felt it was worth posting for a few reasons.

It's an incredible 50,000+ record collection assembled by a serious music lover and audiophile in Texas who had reached a point in his life where he realized he was better off selling it rather than leaving the responsibility to his heirs, though at the time of the sale he was in fine health.

It's worth posting because you will see an absolutely incredible collection but what makes it more worthy of posting is the terrific job done by the Acoustic Sounds' employee who walks you through this incredible haul.

Acoustic Sounds founder Chad Kassem said he often gets calls about big collections where the owner says "25,000 records" but it usually turns out to be a much smaller collection. Here the collection turned out to be way larger than "advertised". In this case he knew the seller because he's been a long-time Acoustic Sounds customer who kept the collection well-organized including sections devoted to recommendations made over the years by various audio writers including AnalogPlanet editor Michael Fremer, whose recommendations will probably be for sale on the AS website in a separate webpage.

The picture at the top was from the 1996 Stereophile show at The New York Hilton back when few people thought vinyl had a chance of surviving the CD onslaught.

JUAN E. WARD's picture

AS believes in its own audio project and business, took a risk and bet strongly for a higher resolution format.

Ortofan's picture

... is it known what sort of equipment on which they were played?
The video briefly showed a Thorens box.

Michael Fremer's picture
Serious audio gear...
Ortofan's picture

More often than not, when I go to estate sales looking for records, it turns out that they've been played on the turntable in an old compact or console stereo that may as well have had a nail through a 2x4 for a tonearm and cartridge.

foxhall's picture

Appreciated the disclaimer. Maybe crossing the line but not sure I care.

stewart0722's picture

Poor guy got doinked on the sale of his records......he probably got a buck a piece, and now Acoustic Sounds is gonna run the hose over em, and put em on that vault page for an average of 50 bucks a piece!!!! JEEZ US!!!! I'm glad they got a ticket for being overweight.......greedy sons a bi+ches!!!! LOL

isaacrivera's picture

It is a given that the purchase is a business transaction, not charity, so that is clearly not a moral issue, right? Anybody who has 50K LPs, well stored, kept and catalogued is not hurting for cash. Add to the per-record cost, 3 18-wheelers across states, fuel and drivers plus fines. Weeks of cataloging and the huge majority of those LPs will sit on shelves they are paying rent for for months. Some will be scratched or damaged in various ways. The profit will pay taxes. The man wanted to sell them, he got an offer, he accepted it. The accounting is not as simple as you suggest.

stewart0722's picture

The fact that you took my post seriously, is literally the funniest thing EVER!!!!!!!

Michael Fremer's picture
You fantasize that this early and excellent Acoustic Sounds customer was "doinked" on the sale of his records to Acoustic Sounds, without knowing the facts, and now you're glad AS got a ticket for being overweight? Really? Is that how your mind works?
stewart0722's picture

Yes, that's how it works.....and I find it increasingly hysterical that you thought I was serious.....

Mark Evans's picture

The aging baby boomers have reached a critical mass and getting rid of their LP collections much to the benefit of the younger listeners. There is a treasure trove of used LPs hitting the streets these days.

tketcham's picture

I really enjoyed watching this video. What a gold mine for Acoustic Sounds! Good for them.

I agree with Mark Evans, the next generation is going to see a whole lot of used records coming onto the market in the next 10 years. Wonder how that will affect new record sales?


larson manor's picture

Michael, who's the strange person who keeps posting bizarre comments? It's obvious the person is a bit unstable & needs therapy.

Anton D's picture

50,000 records.

Say, 45 minutes per record = 37,501 hours of music.

Listening 8 hours per day would equal 4,688 days.

That's almost 13 years if you listened to 11 albums per day, both side.

I like this kind of obsessive thing we audiophiles can get into.

Our joke in our local Hi Fi club is that after the first half of the first cut of an LP, the average record owned by an audiophile is in unplayed condition! ;_D

Cal, it 200 grams per record, including the jacket and you get 22,000 pounds of records - 11 tons!

Also, say a stylus lasts 1,500 hours. You'd need 25 styluses/cartridges.

Using a Lyra Atlas, that would cost you 300,000 dollars just to play each record one time!

Anton D's picture

I was simply pondering the purchase.

I don't think I'd have the energy to catalog it!

Heck, if someone gave me those for free, I don't know how I'd be able to even keep/store them!

Plus, it would kill my Nitty Gritty and Audio Desk cleaners.

At 100 records per tank of Audio Desk cleaner fluid...500 bottles of fluid. At 28 bucks per bottle, I'm looking at almost 3,000 bucks just to clean 'em!

5 minutes to clean...almost 4,200 hours of straight up cleaning time.

Two years of a full time employee just to clean them!

Everything about this is mind boggling!

Ortofan's picture

... that they played the same dozen records over and over again, but each time it was using the latest piece of equipment that they had just bought.

Anton D's picture

I'm gonna steal that.

CD's picture

A male in the U.S. has an average life expectancy of about 28,000 days. If at age 8, they started listening to two full albums a day, and never play them again, it would take the rest of their life to listen to this whole collection once.

xtcfan80's picture

Agreed ....So many LPs waiting for new owners to enjoy them....One of the MANY great things about vinyl is that if they are stored and played carefully they will give enjoyment to several generations of listeners....

mobileholmes's picture

He lives near me. I got the tip to go by there from Stelly, to help him out. I was so bewildered by everything, I was paralyzed. Wall to wall equipment and records. A FULL TIME JOB, for a year? Maybe more? Anyway, the people that "dream" about finding a collection like this would QUICKLY get over their wonder when they figured out how much of an ass-beating it is to move, sort, blah blah, yadda yadda, 50,000 of anything. I'm glad AS took care of him. Just. Too. Much. For a mere mortal.

McDonalds or Steak's picture

Wasn't the 96 show at the Waldorf? I spent a lot of money on records at that one.

jkingtut's picture

Every time MF does a review from his listening room I can only focus on all of those records. As we see from all of the comments any kind of math skills overwhelms any thought of the pure enjoyment of listening, and how little time we actually have to do it. I have hundreds of records I've yet to listen to from previous buying sprees, and even my paltry collection contains mostly records I'll never listen to again. Tinnitus alas makes it more fun to be outside. But it also makes me really enjoy those moments of pure harmony with the universe that still can happen from time to time-- the whole reason i began listening in the first place,to WHFS radio (RIP) in Bethesda MD circa 1970. Best station on the planet. " I want to live with a cinnamon girl, I can be happy with the rest of my life with a cinnamon girl...." OW!

M3 lover's picture

out of roughly 50,000?!? I'd be surprised if that was the case, so suspect it will be a lot higher. Even in 40 years of collecting how much time does anyone have for listening? And this guy seemed careful so he wasn't just tossing on a few LPs evenings after work.

Not that that matters. The real point is that none of them were likely played multiple times, so condition should be very good to excellent.

dcbingaman's picture

Collecting is an obsessive-compulsive behavior all of its own....chances are that most of this collection was never played.

One human can't reasonably listen to 50,000 LP's in one lifetime and remember much of the experience. Too much. I know people with 5000 LP collections who haven't listened to half of what they own.

es347's picture

..that’s how many albums/cds I have on my NAS drive that shakes hands with my LUMIN S1. I am into vinyl but on a very small scale...a decent TT and phono stage but no way could I deal with 7000 LPs...nowhere to store them. I love the sound of my vinyl rig but much prefer my collection of FLAC files...many hi res and DSD. Long live both formats!

elliotdrum's picture


decio lopes do couto's picture

Hi folks, in 1988/99 when I was living in Madrid I used to buy records from Chad directly by phone. I still have one of his earliest printed used LP catalog that I paid US$5.00 to send it to Spain. Will we have some similar catalog for this new collection? It's a joke!!! Congratulations to Mr. Kassem for the acquisition and hope to see the available items on the net soon. Decio, from São Paulo/Brasil.-

rdh79730's picture

Several have commented about how many collections are about to become available as baby boomers unload their vinyl. I have seen this happen, but it's not the windfall you might think. I am the child of a baby boomer. My parents donated their record collection years ago to Baylor University music school, who I'm sure dumped them at the local Goodwill. I have some good friends that are baby boomers and have large record collections that they haven't touched in years. None of them will part with them. So, the next thing that happens is they die. Then it is left up to their Generation X kids (like me) to deal with them. What do Gen Xer's do? Look for the best deal. I've had a few Gen Xer's referred to me. Thinking I was about to score a cheap collection, my hopes were dashed when the person wanted me to pick through them and then sell them individually at prices they found on Ebay for mint, rare versions that weren't even the same as what they had. Do they continue with this tactic and make money off of it? I have no idea. Do they give up and then dump them at a local record store? I have no idea. Judging by what I see in the used bins at various record stores along the front range of Colorado, I'd say no. So where are these collections ending up? In the age of the internet with research at your fingertips, everyone thinks what they have is worth something. It ain't.

bent river music's picture

on still sealed albums, even from AS. I bought an SS Chet Baker album (Polka Dots and Moonbeams) from AS and when I finally opened it I found spindle marks on the label. The sticker that said 77 cents on the overwrap made it seem authentic. I had since lost the receipt so I did not pursue it but I do not buy SS anymore! By the way the Baker performance on that record was definitely not up to snuff so it wasn't worth it anyway.