Sound Quality of Music Club CD's vs. Non Music club CD's

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by CD Heaven West, Jul 17, 2009.

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  1. CD Heaven West

    CD Heaven West Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tamarac, Florida
    Hey Everyone, Here's a question that I know has been debated before but I'd like to ask it again and a little bit later I will explain why I'm asking this. I have always believed that whether or not a CD is manufacturered for a music club like BMG as opposed to the same CD being issued for regular distribution, etc., that said CD does in fact sound the same. I have never heard a difference between NON music club discs and Music club discs. I'm curious as to what everyone thinks and if they have actual proof that they DEFINITELY sound different. Please post your comments here and then later today or when I see a few comments on this subject, I will explain why I'm asking this which could even add more fuel to this on going fire (question). Thanks!
    Bruce
     
  2. Horace Wimp

    Horace Wimp Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Henderson, NV
    My ears tell me absolutely no difference.
     
  3. bluesbro

    bluesbro Forum Hall of Shame

    Location:
    DC
    No difference at all. Dont drink the kool-aid.
     
  4. TSmithPage

    TSmithPage Ex Post Facto Member

    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    Well, even if you wanted to engage in the "bits ain't bits" debate of CDs vs. CDRs, there's no reason that I can see that there would be a difference between the 2 types of CDs here. I think I even read that they are often pressed at the same time and the only difference is in the packaging.
     
  5. ivan_wemple

    ivan_wemple Forum Resident

    Ditto.
     
  6. CD Heaven West

    CD Heaven West Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tamarac, Florida
    So far we're all in agreement but I know there are folks here who disagree.
    Bruce
     
  7. evanft

    evanft Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Taylor, MI, USA
    This has been discussed before. No difference.
     
  8. Rapid Fire

    Rapid Fire Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mansfield, TX, USA
    I can't tell any difference.
     
  9. Shawn

    Shawn Forum Resident

    No difference on the discs that I've compared.
     
  10. CD Heaven West

    CD Heaven West Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tamarac, Florida
    Ok so that means that any CD that's issued through BMG or RCA for direct marketing sounds the same as those that are not. So that "should" mean that there should be no difference in the value either, correct?
    Bruce
     
  11. Shawn

    Shawn Forum Resident

    That depends... you need to enter "collector" mentality here. Some people try and collect all pressings of a given title and/or artist... in some cases, the record club issue may be more scarce (even if digitally identical).

    Likewise, some may prefer record club discs as they don't include a bar code. Or vice-versa.

    Look at it this way... a promo pressing of Elvis Presley's "Such A Night" 45 single is worth $5,000 in nm, yet a commercial, stock copy in near mint is worth what, $10? The songs are identical but the collector will pay a premium for the promo. Don't ask me why.
     
  12. CD Heaven West

    CD Heaven West Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tamarac, Florida
    When you compare PROMOS (white labels, etc.) to commercial copies, I understand and get all that and always have. I NEVER understood "club discs" vs. non club discs though. I hear all the time from customers in my shop how they sound different and the people that say that, can NOT be swayed to think otherwise.

    The reason I posed this question is because I'm curious if anyone would put a different value on a Steve Hoffman mastered disc that was MFD. for the RCA club as opposed to the same disc mastered by Steve that was a regular commercial copy.

    Bruce
     
  13. RoyalScam

    RoyalScam Luckless Pedestrian

    Whether or not a pressing is a CRC or BMG Club pressing doesn't factor into whether or not I buy a used CD. UPC codes mean nothing to me. Far as I can tell, the masters are identical.

    That said, I did hear a difference once. I bought the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Blood Sugar Sex Magik at a B&M store in 1991, and made the mistake of lending it to a friend years later who either used it as a frisbee or his personal ashtray. This was around 1997 or so. I purchased a replacement through one of the clubs (can't recall at the moment), and I swear it didn't sound as good. More veiled than I remembered. I was never able to prove it for sure, though.
     
  14. jh901

    jh901 Forum Resident

    I'll try to do a search, but I could have sworn that there were folks on another forum that had found a problem with certain club CDs at one time or another. In any event, I've always been biased against them.
     
  15. ivan_wemple

    ivan_wemple Forum Resident

    Contrarily, there are lots of "collector" types who eschew club pressings, not because of sound quality differences, but because they don't want mass-marketed club pressings, or they don't like the club "markings", etc.

    I fall into this category... to a degree.

    Everything else being equal, I am willing to pay a premium for non-club pressings of desirable titles. It's not a mountain to die on, though.
     
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  16. CD Heaven West

    CD Heaven West Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tamarac, Florida
    Ok, then please tell me why you think there is a difference between the 2 issues. If they are mastered, pressed and are identical why would you be biased against either issue?????? People that produce these even say there is no difference. I'm not trying to be rude or funny, but what's the reason?
    Bruce
     
  17. Yeah, this question goes back to the Usenet days on rec.music.bluenote. The debate got so heated several people came up missing. The "DO" sound different group may have won by a body or two.

    Collectors and audiophiles can be some anal-retentive m.f. Hair splitting to the nth degree if you know what I mean.
     
  18. CD Heaven West

    CD Heaven West Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tamarac, Florida
    Oh I definitely know what you mean and I'm totally amazed. I'd like to know what folks like Steve, etc. think.

    Bruce
     
  19. Shawn

    Shawn Forum Resident

    At least in the vinyl world, there occasionally were different masterings for record club editions (some of the Led Zep record club editions come to mind). Maybe this mentality is a carry-over from the vinyl days?
     
  20. Turnaround

    Turnaround Inventor of the Fast Forward

    Location:
    USA
    Record clubs sometimes continue to use an older mastering than the store version. For example, see past threads on Bob Marley CDs. (In some cases, the record club will continue to press a title that has gone out of print in stores.) When you ask whether a record club CD sounds identical to a store version CD, people are responding like the question is about copies of off the same mastering.

    Some record club titles are missing artwork that the store version would have. The most common example I've seen mentioned are classical titles where the store version's booklet has liner notes in English and other languages; the record club edition's booklet only has the English portion. For some specially packaged CDs (like certain digipaks), I've seen the record club edition do its version as a regular jewel case.

    "Value" is not a quality inherent in the item. "Value" is what people are willing to pay for that item. You could have a larger house than your friend's. If people do not like your neighborhood as much as your friend's neighborhood, even for irrational reasons, then your house may have less value than your friend's. (Example, two identical houses across the street in Beverly Hills -- one bears a 90210 zip code, the other does not.)

    I am aware that many people are biased against record club CDs. If I were buying CDs with an eye towards "value", I would distinguish the record club edition as less valuable because I am not able to resell it for the same price as regular store version.
     
  21. rock76

    rock76 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Northwest MEX
    I also don't like record club pressings and their markings on cds. But if the price is ok, I don't mind.
     
  22. seed_drill

    seed_drill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tryon, NC, USA
    In the vinyl days, record clubs pressed their own lps from a higher generation tape, which is why they are often avoided.

    There are, of course, exceptions, like club only real stereo pressings, or club only vinyl pressings from the early 90s, or Steve's statement that record club Steppenwolf (don't remember if it was RCA or Capitol) was superior to Dunhill.
     
  23. mplund

    mplund Member

    My bias against record club pressings is based on several factors: crude looking catalog numbers "pasted" over the original catalog number and/or barcode, lower quality paper stock on inserts/booklets, metallic inks used on retail issues are often replaced by cheaper "flat" inks on packaging, embossed lettering often omitted, etc. Of course, not all record club CDs suffer from these shortcomings. However, as a collector, I tend to prefer retail issues simply because I view them as the "official" version of the album.
     
  24. tootull

    tootull John Norman

    Location:
    Canada
    I have two original Jethro Tull Roots to Branches CD's.
    Inner ring of store bought is "35418 mastered by EMI CA 11 4" & BMG direct is "35418 mastered by EMI CA 11 5". They sound the same.

    * I also have the remaster.
     
  25. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Forum Resident

    Location:
    Greater St. Louis
    I can't really hear a difference, but I do prefer to have the original label CD, and not from a club, or whatever.
     
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