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. mplund

    mplund Member

    This is true only if you are approaching it purely from a music listening standpoint (and that's just fine if you do). But, as a music-lover AND a collector, I take packaging into account as well. Why would I pay the same price for a CD with ugly, cheaper packaging as I would pay for attractive, premium packaging. It's not like I have to compromise and buy the record club pressing the very first time it pops up in the bins. I have more than enough CDs on my want list to be able to pick and choose from my preferred versions whenever I walk into a store.
     
  2. bldg blok

    bldg blok Forum Resident

    Location:
    Elmira, NY
    Just take a green magic marker to the rim of the Music Club CD. All will be well.
     
  3. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    What? Usually the only difference is the bar code and maybe the catalog number on the spine.
     
  4. mplund

    mplund Member

    Take a look at U2 "The Best of 1980-1990". Retail version has metallic gold ink. Record club version has a gross rusty-orange color. Same thig with the Lionel Richie "Back to Front" collection from the early 90s. Also, many of the 80s and early 90s BMG issues had very crude catalog numbers on the spine.
     
  5. CD Heaven West

    CD Heaven West Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tamarac, Florida

    That's interesting. 99% of the time, I sell both versions for the same price in my shop and have been for years.
     
  6. CD Heaven West

    CD Heaven West Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tamarac, Florida
    Hi Barry, Thanks for chiming in here. I appreciate what you have to say.
    Bruce
     
  7. CD Heaven West

    CD Heaven West Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tamarac, Florida

    Then you've never been to stores here in South Florida. I've never seen club versions sold in the USED CD stores here cheaper than regular issue versions if they were identical (covers, track lists, etc.) I'm not saying buying and selling them for less isn't done, I have just never seen it in all my years here.

    As to your first comment: If I personally have been searching for a CD for quite awhile and suddenly saw it in the USED bin for $6.99 in the condition I'm looking for, why would I care how much I "thought" the original owner paid for it. Sorry, but I don't understand that.

    Bruce
     
  8. Gems-A-Bems

    Gems-A-Bems Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Duke City
    Good point! For all anyone knows, the CD could have been repurchased and resold multiple times anyway.

    The "original" price does not necessarily have any bearing on current value.
     
  9. Well there are always exceptions to be sure. Most of them that I've come across sound and look identical.
     
  10. billnunan

    billnunan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Generally, the used club CDs are easily available. We are not talking about hard-to-find stuff. The clubs only carried limited titles of common stuff. (I know that there are some exceptions to this.)

    So, why not just buy the CD new for the same price or cheaper directly from the club.

    Also, there a basic emotional aspect in play here as well. I just don't like paying more for something that was cheaper new when the CD is just so easily available anyway.

    I've always considered Amoeba to be the major leagues of CD retailing. They pay less for club versions. My experience has been that they even offer so little for them as to discourage you from selling them in the first place.

    Now that I'm in Cleveland, I've noticed that certain club versions of discs just sit and sit in the used bins forever if they are not discounted.
     
  11. Brian81

    Brian81 Active Member

    Location:
    Ohio
    Discs I have from clubs are pressed at same plants, DADC, EDC, etc... I vote SAME.
     
  12. Brian81

    Brian81 Active Member

    Location:
    Ohio
    Also, I'd take a record club issue in minty shape over a retail version with some wear on it.
     
  13. houston

    houston Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas, Texas, USA
    I try to avoid record club editions, but they are often in better condition...I guess because the original owner never wanted it (perhaps it was the monthly automatic send-to-you cd?), so it was never/seldom played...I've seen stores that will place the store sticker over the record-club sticker, to try and hide the fact that a cd is a record club copy....I'm never fooled :wave:
     
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  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Forget Record Club CDs. All the clubs used to request DCC stuff all the time (Leon Russell, etc.) Their master request? At the beginning it was a clone of the 1610 or 1630. After 1988 or so it was for a new copy of the commercially released CD. That was their "master". Forget it.

    Sorry to ruin your night.
     
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  15. jlc76

    jlc76 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin, TX, U.S.A.
    Back when I was in jr. high and did the cassette thing, I ordered some record club tapes and they were generally of lower quality. I have numerous record club CDs that I have bought used but can't tell the difference. If given the choice I don't buy them if a non-club release is there (even if it's a buck or two more), don't know why but I guess it's just the stigma. When I worked in a record store, we paid less for them per the boss's orders so I guess his bias rubbed off on me.
     
  16. If it's an older mastering I'm 100% supportive of this idea.
    Brings out the best in your player.

    Waitaminit - you were JOKING, weren't you??? I'm NOT.
     
  17. Vivaldinization

    Vivaldinization Active Member

    Location:
    .
    Why is this a problem? Isn't the whole point that the club discs are identical to the commercial releases?
     
    tmtomh likes this.
  18. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    +1.
     
    tmtomh likes this.
  19. David R. Modny

    David R. Modny Forum Resident

    I think it would be interesting for someone to actually do a series of bit comparisons between several club and stock pressings. Purpose being: To get a rough idea of what kind of digital anomalies *might* exist, as well as a random sample percentage of discs that are different.

    That is, if we're going to talk about pressing plant differences and the sort, we first must confirm that they are indeed *identical* (and if there's even a valid percentage of them that might be different). For the ones that *are* different (e.g. The Left Banke disc I mentioned, etc.), I'd also love to know just why this happened if they're being sent masters, clones or even actual CD's as Steve pointed out? For example, was there an analog stage introduced? Was there some sort of digital manipulation? Etc., Etc.


    Furthermore, has anyone ever done anything, comprehensive, beyond a listening test to confirm that most titles are *exactly* the same, digitally? Unfortunately, I only currently have a couple of respective ones, or I'd do it myself! :)

    (Perhaps coincidentally, the only two pairs that I have at this date *are* different in some way...lol).
     
  20. David R. Modny

    David R. Modny Forum Resident


    I'll also add as an addendum to my previous post that there are also clear differentiations where a club pressing may take an *existing* run of stock pressings and simply stamp on their catalog number to the disc/bar code to the artwork (e.g. in the case of BMG, perhaps BMG-label titles in their catalog), versus doing an entirely new "proprietary" run of pressings for a title.

    This could also go a long way in helping to separate which pressings *might* be different or have been manipulated - for whatever reason.
     
  21. imagnrywar

    imagnrywar Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    I've been ripping my CDs with dbpoweramp, and I've noticed that a lot of club pressings are either not in the Accuraterip database or come back with a very low number of identical rips (sometimes just 1). Since this is happening for titles that are really common, it seems that at least some of these pressings are not bit for bit identical with the standard pressings.

    I don't think this necessarily means that they contain different masterings or inferior sound quality, but it does raise some questions about how the club discs were produced, or what they were sourced from.
     
  22. David R. Modny

    David R. Modny Forum Resident


    Oh, absolutely! I just think that if we're going to refer to these discs as "clones," then we have to be damned sure that they are indeed clones (or just how many of them, roughly, are or aren't). :)

    Or, in other words, just *how* much "same" is same.
     
  23. Gems-A-Bems

    Gems-A-Bems Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Duke City
    It could also mean that those who participate in the database choose for the most part to rip club discs infrequently - and perhaps because of the (possibly mistaken) belief that they are inferior.
     
  24. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I don't know how useful Accuraterip is. My experience is that a different offset can cause it to report "not found" even when the data is the same...
     
  25. David R. Modny

    David R. Modny Forum Resident

    I'd be satisfied (for starters) to just have someone do a series of EAC peak level comparisons between some paired random titles.

    Or, if someone wants to put up the numbers for the clubs, I'm sure we could oblige for the stocks.
     
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