Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by MilesSmiles, Jun 13, 2014.
If this thread was specifically for praising Music Matters I might be thread crapping, but it isn't.
Mailman just dropped off my 2-LP MM package and Wahoo! is NP. I was on the fence about this one for months but glad I took the plunge. Sounds sooo fine...
Night Dreamer on deck.
My copies of Green Street (Grant Green), On The Spur Of The Moment (Horace Parlan) and Takin' Off (Herbie Hancock) just landed. The only one I've never owned in any format is the GG so it's going on first!
I'll be curious to hear your reaction. I had very low expectations for my first listen, and it completely blew me away. I would never have expected one of my favorite renditions of "'Round Midnight" to come from a guitar/bass/drum trio. And the dynamics on the opening track are unreal. [Edit: just to be clear, I'm not referring to the MM 33, but the AP SACD redbook layer--but my reaction was mainly to the music itself in this case].
So, the Night Dreamer has just blown my doors off. My only previous copy was a worn blue label/black note that a friend had given me. It was like listening to a 4 on a 1-10 scale and the MM 33 is an 11.
It’s my favorite Wayne Shorter album and I love the sound of the MM too. Great choice
It's not bad.
On my first spin I found myself missing another chordal instrument, like a keyboard. Second spin late last night I missed it less. Don't get me wrong, I like the album but I prefer my other GG albums and the sound is great as usual from Music Matters. I love Grant's playing so I'm confident that it will grow on me over time. Two spins is hardly enough for me to fully appreciate a recording. While it's not my favorite version of the song, 'Round About Midnight is very good as is the other standard Alone Together. Both have been played by just about every straight ahead jazz musician on the planet so Grant has some competition. His originals are very good, particularly Green With Envy.
I'll probably have more to say after more spins.
"Wasting your money" seems a bit harsh imo. Music Matters is simply doing the same thing other stores do, both on line and brick & mortar, when titles get down to the last few copies. Other stores do that same thing with other labels as well so it is a fairly standard practice. They gave everyone ample opportunity to buy them at the original price. Other stores sell a lot of other stuff while allows them to sometimes sell a product below retail, sometimes at a loss just to get you in the door and hopefully buy something else they can recoop their loss. It's a pretty standard business practice. That's why I have bought titles around release time instead of waiting until they are almost gone.
I only meant wasting your money by spending more than if you ordered from somewhere else. I wasn't trying to imply a deeper meaning.
Fwiw, I also think that is bad business practice, when anyone does it. I think businesses should price appropriately as they see fit and keep the price there. If manufacturing costs change mid production, obviously, adjustments are reasonable. However, frequently fluctuating speculative pricing, in my opinion, is exploiting the customer. I realize not everyone feels this way.
I wish they would set the price and leave it alone, but these are collectibles and the market’s going to account for that. I think the big problem is a lack of transparency to the consumer. We have no idea how many copies of Grant Green’s Solid is sitting on the shelves of Music Matters, Elusive Disc, etc. Inversely, the transparency of the marketplace is exactly what I love about Discogs, where we can see how many titles are for sale, and the previous sales history. Is Solid worth $80? Maybe not if Elusive Disc has a crate full of their “warehouse finds” waiting to be discovered, but maybe so if that’s the going rate at Discogs and copies there are scarce (note I haven’t looked at either, this is just a for example).
I realize that and can't disagree with it. You just don't see collectibles usually marked up to inflated price at the first step in the process. That's why people hate flippers so much. So when it seems like a manufacturer has initially decided how much they need to make a profit and then suddenly starts matching the price of flippers, it smacks of greed at worst and poor initial price calculations at best.
It is not standard practice for manufacturers to change prices to meet flippers because most, in my opinion rightly so, are afraid of angering customers by jacking up prices when they are already making the amount that they calculated in their business plan.
Obviously these guys weren't in this to make a ton of money, or hardly any at first, who knows, but that is why I was able to respect the well rolled out across the board price hikes but not the hypocritical manner in which they began their current pricing model.
Because of this, even though I love the MM pressings that I did purchase, if I purchase any more, they will be good deals from third parties. I respect the difference of opinion that those have on here who would happily pay $200 for these, but I do not understand nor share it.
Sorry to go on because I know it makes some in this thread upset.
You can see how many copies are available in Elusive Disc, just add a high number like 100 to your cart. For example there are only five copies in stock of Grant Green's Street of Dreams for 89.99 each
Music Matters has no other product to make money from unlike Music Direct, Elusive Disc, etc. How would you feel if you were them and watched these other companies raise prices on your product and reaping the rewards? Where is the fairness in that? It's just how business operates whether we like it or not. I don't buy these albums when the prices are raised but I'd rather give my money to the people who made the lps. They did it partly out of love for Blue Note, not to get rich. The reason these other people sell them is because they are just another product in their stable. Music Matters raised the bar on what quality reissues means. These other guys are just riding the gravy train.
I would be perfectly happy that I was meeting my business plan. I will say again, it is not a customer friendly business model for a manufacturer to price to match flippers or stores selling above MSRP.
Do they have the right to make more than anyone else, including flippers on their product? Sure. Does it make them seem greedy instead of happy with the price point they developed based on cost? Yes.
We'll have to agree to disagree. I don't want to derail the thread anymore.
Music Matters lied when they pulled the distribution to in-house. What they posted on their web site about pricing back then was flat out false. We didn't know it at the time but they were changing from being a manufacturer to a flipper. Now they are being supported by those that don't mind the sliding price scale and gladly fork over a large part of the future value of their future collectors item before it's even left the warehouse. And are grateful. Others like me stopped buying. I used to be upset but now? So what. I have about 20 MM titles but there's plenty of great jazz out there to discover that sounds darn good. Hell, plenty in my collection I still have to absorb.
I wish we could have a moratorium on this topic. It’s not that it’s not germane, it’s just that we’ve said all there is to say, repeatedly, for three years. Maybe the thread should just be closed.
I would love the thread to stay open for discussion about the music and sound and quality of the products for sure. As a newcomer, the thread is awesome. But yeah, this discussion on pricing is like discussing politics or religion, no one is changing their mind, it's all been said.
It's a shame, because the titles are so amazing and sound so good, but there are a few that just won't let the pricing issue go.
I just want to know who’s going to repress high quality blue note lps now. I want high quality 33s pure analog and some not recently reissued titles. Give me some pronto! My thanks to MM for all they did, but I got a habit to support. They are now old news. Jeff
I’m going to start bugging Don Was and Chad Kassem!!!!!!!
Speaking of spending money, here's my latest MM order as received today!
Well we certainly agree here.
So what would we do if MM announced a new series?
Would we boycott MM over their established pricing policy? Or would we become subscribers or early adopters to get all releases at the lowest possible price, with the option of selling those titles ourselves we are less interested in, and likely depending on timing at a profit?
I agree that the topic of flex pricing will never be solved or resolved. As much as I love MM, flex pricing, as justified as it may be to MM, is disappointing speaking as a consumer. But it is absolutely true, if MM did not engage in flex pricing, everyone else still would. So instead of MM getting incremental money for their initiative, innovation, quality, hard work and commercial risk, only flippers would profit. That, unfortunately, is the world we live in. Profit over people.
No matter how much we debate this issue in regard to MM, we will never coalesce to consensus.
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