Vinyl record information for a newb

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by ClawHammer, Jun 23, 2022.

  1. ClawHammer

    ClawHammer Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    UK
    I'm new to the world of vinyl records since my wife and I were given a load of old ones by a couple of family members. They're mainly from 70's and 80's and things like Abba, Beatles, Dire Straits, Fleetwood Mac, etc. We've also found a few more in second hand shops. I plan to have them all wet cleaned at the local hi-fi dealership before playing them.

    So I'm wondering about the value of old records in particular are they ever worth big money to the point that I should consider not playing them and adding them onto insurance as a named item? My research suggests so far suggests that old records don't sell for ridiculous amounts which bodes well from both the perspective of being able to play all my records without fear of devaluing something rare and also being able to purchase more old records for a reasonable price.

    That brings me to my next question. I'd like to buy original pressed records rather than new ones but I'm struggling to understand how to identify them. It seems to me that it's not really a case of finding original pressings but finding ones that have been pressed by certain companies, in certain countries and by certain people?

    I was trying to find an original UK copy of Fleetwood Mac - Rumours but unable to know for sure that's what I'm buying. Is there a sure fire way to do this?
    TIA,
    CH
     
  2. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Transient

    Location:
    new york city
    Discogs - Dashboard


    You will need a bright source of light - and a magnifying glass doesn't hurt, either.
     
  3. nosliw

    nosliw It's a hairstyle, not real cat ears :P

    Location:
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    If you need to ID what pressing you own, I'd start with Discogs to catalogue your collection. Start with the catalogue number and then look at the matrix runout information (letters and numbers on the dead wax near the centre label) accordingly and with that, you'd be able to get a more precise pressing.

    Regarding insurance, you might need a rider insurance added on top of renter/home insurance that you use. Depending on the total value of your records, it'd be a good idea to get additional insurance but I'd have to warn you that some companies may not take Discogs information and will need an approved appraiser, followed by photos, details, etc.
     
    Lars Medley, ClawHammer and Garson like this.
  4. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    Just a tip...learn how to clean your records, then play your records, then enjoy your records.

    Check Discogs to get their value, then smile, then play your records.
     
  5. hoytis

    hoytis PDX Cratedigger

    Location:
    Oregon
    =
    My thoughts exactly! :)
     
  6. NorthNY Mark

    NorthNY Mark Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canton, NY, USA
    Just a couple very general replies to some of the questions you've raised. First, it's pretty unlikely that you would have much that would be super valuable from the '70s and '80s, though there may be an exception or two. But in any case, it all depends on condition--only albums in mint or close to mint condition will get top dollar, and even then only if the albums are rare and in high demand. If all or most of your albums are in top condition, you may have enough first or early pressings from some popular groups that they could add up to something substantial and worth insuring, but we can't know without more detailed info.

    As others have pointed out, your best resource for getting a sense of the value of your records is Discogs--you can see on there the history of what each individual pressing has sold for. Though that sales history will probably include albums in various states of condition (from sealed to barely playable), you can also take a look at what current sellers are charging (or at least hoping to charge) at different condition levels for the actual pressings you have.
     
  7. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    As you’ve already made the decision to buy a high quality turntable, you should feel comfortable playing and enjoying your records regardless of their “value.” You’re not going to hurt them.
     
    Buddybud, Telemark, wes4usc and 2 others like this.
  8. marcb

    marcb Senior Member

    Location:
    DC area
    The best thing to do is ask your specific questions as a search here. Most of them have likely been asked and answered by forum members many times - and asking them again won’t elicit better info.

    By and large, common LPs from the 70s and 80s aren’t worth much - particularly repressings. A good overarching rule of thumb is original cuts from the country of origin (or where the record was cut) for many bands are going to be the best (or, at least, quite good). But unfortunately it’s just a rule of thumb and it can takes years and decades to acquire the knowledge about the exceptions.
     
    Cronverc and ClawHammer like this.
  9. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Katy, TX
    If this means they put in a Spin Clean, I would suggest you just buy one. What are they charging? Something like a vacuum based system like a Record Doctor is about $220 with lower priced options that use a shop vacuum like the Vinyl Bug which are 3D printed.

    I love records, but I honestly wouldn't suggest you fall into the trap of buying expensive used records. There are thousands of affordable albums that the new generation of buyer have yet to discover. Just buy more affordable records. Listen and enjoy them. Collecting records can be a very expensive "hobby." Most of us here posting to the Music Corner don't really think of listening to music as a hobby. We just listen to music. But we want to hear our favorite music with the better pressings. But we share when new reissues are worth picking up before the prices increases after they become harder to find. The hardware guy are the real hobbyist.

    And for many of the more popular albums, there are excellent reissues that are worth buying over original releases. Search this site for more information. But there are bargain for some albums with original pressings. For these, again search here to find the pressing then go to Discogs to find the pressings. This is will avoid the sorting of hundreds of release listing to find the better pressing there.

    It's usually best to stick to the country of origin for most albums and by the time Fleetwood Mac released Rumours, they were a USA based band signed Warner. And most here aren't going to disparage the reissued cut by our host with Kevin Gray in either 45 or 33 rpm.
     
    ClawHammer likes this.
  10. ClawHammer

    ClawHammer Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    UK
    Thank you for your response.
    I’ve honestly no idea what the hifi shop uses to clean them. They’re charging £1 for each one but will give discount on bulk. I have almost 50.

    I definitely don’t intend to buy expensive old records. I’m enjoying looking in second hand shops (not second hand record shops) and searching for stuff. Cost is about £5 per record. I also purchased a brand new record that is limited to 2,000 copies for £25 for wifey’s birthday. I’d say buying new won’t be our usual route.
     
  11. ClawHammer

    ClawHammer Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    UK
    Thanks Mark. I checked all the records last night and found one that is being sold by an online record store for £350. I’m only interested as I will now be able to take extra care with that one. It’s a band my wife likes so for certain it won’t be sold.

    The condition of them really does vary but I’m talking about the outer and inner sleeves rather than the actual records which I would describe as mint in all cases. I just need to figure out how to clean them all up (outers). I’m buying a pack of inner sleeves to replace the old ones once the record shop have cleaned them all.
     
    NorthNY Mark likes this.
  12. ClawHammer

    ClawHammer Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    UK
    Thank you. I’ll try Discogs again but it seemed overly complicated and difficult to use. I’ll be photographing them over the weekend so will have that as a record, especially the one that appears to be of some value.
     
  13. Telemark

    Telemark Forum Resident

    Location:
    Calgary
    A few notes:

    First and foremost, I would absolutely recommend only buying music you love and will play regularly. And, of course, stuff you’ve never heard that you want to take a chance on for a fiver or less! (One of my favourite things about this hobby is digging - I still learn something nearly every time I get my hands in a crate.) Getting hung up on value can quickly suck the joy out of a fun hobby — especially for your wife!

    A note about condition: When someone says “all” their records are “mint,” I can almost guarantee that most of them aren’t even close to that (especially if the condition of the outer and inner sleeves is variable). Most collectors won’t accept Mint as a grade for any vinyl that’s been outside its inner sleeve since it left the factory, but even allowing for a bit of hyperbole it’s been my experience that most collectors are overly optimistic about their collections’ condition (and value).

    Re: building a collection buying used records: As you gain experience, you’ll get a good sense of which blemishes are likely to cause audio issues and which are probably only cosmetic. (And you’ll run into the vexing problem of the odd record that looks near mint but plays with crackles and pops despite the most assiduous cleaning.) And you’ll figure out how much tolerance you have for the quirks of vinyl listening — depending on my mood, the environment, the type of music and so on I find I can tolerate more or less vinyl noise — my dealbreakers are scratches that cause repeating clicks, non-fill, and heavy groove wear. YMMV. Nowadays I find myself less willing to shell out for a record that has any audible flaws, but that wasn’t the same when I was first building my collection. I would suggest at least being very conscious of condition — and the condition-price ratio — when buying.

    A reason that Discogs can seem overly complicated is that many common and popular albums have been issued and reissued multiple times, often with variations ranging from slight to drastic between issues. Determining exactly which of the roughly 500 vinyl versions of Dark Side of the Moon you have can try the patience of a saint. (I personally get around this problem by being a little lax about it — if I have the country and a rough match in the deadwax, I figure that’s close enough. Obviously this doesn’t apply to potentially valuable items.) Navigating between the “master” release and the various “releases” of that master is something you’ll get used to very quickly. As a database, Discogs doesn’t have any close competitors; although it’s not immune to error by any means, it is by far the best source both for information about pressing variations and about current, real-life pricing on each. eBay “sold” listings and archival prices on popsike are another useful set of data, especially for scarce items that don’t have a lot of Discogs history.

    A friend of mine was convinced his copy of Led Zeppelin III was worth big bucks because he searched it on eBay and found a seller asking $300 for a copy. But bear in mind that asking prices can often be described as … aspirational. There’s someone asking $20k for a Japanese test pressing of Dark Side of the Moon right now on Discogs. There’s no sales history on that specific pressing, but given that the highest “sold” prices on the UHQR box set and the 1st UK are in the $3-4k range, you’d be pretty hard pressed to claim with a straight face that your copy of the Japanese promo is “worth” $20k just because that’s the only asking price you can find. It’s a subtle art!

    But again, I advise not to get too hung up on some theoretical value; most records are worth next to nothing, and even most “good” records in top condition are worth between $5-25. Most people would be well advised to look at them as something they personally enjoy listening to instead of as precious objects to be obsessed over and hoarded. Store them well, keep them clean, and enjoy the music!
     
  14. ClawHammer

    ClawHammer Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    UK
    Thanks @Telemark. I spent some time yesterday watching a tutorial on how to use Diskogs in order to properly identify the record that I thought was valuable. In the end, it turns out to be a 3rd pressing with a value of £30-50 rather than a 1st pressing worth £350. Only want to know the worth for insurance and so it can be cared for properly i.e. cleaned, etc. so as not to devalue it. No intention of selling anything.

    During the process I discovered enough information to conclude that I’m probably going to stick to buying new records only... at least for now. I’ll still look in second hand shops and record stores and if I come across a record I love that’s in mint condition then maybe I will purchase it.

    I don’t want to risk damaging the new TT or my ears by playing damaged old records on it. I have ordered quite a few new records this last week. Stuff that I imagine will sound really great on vinyl. There are a few limited edition copies and a few coloured vinyls in there (I heard they aren't as good as black vinyl?). Looking forward to listening to it all and comparing sound quality of old, new, black and coloured vinyls. Just less than 2 weeks to go until I gift the TT to wifey and we can get it all set up.
     
  15. TheHutt

    TheHutt Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    UK is a bit of an unthankful country for vintage vinyl shopping. From what I remember from my pre-Covid shopping trips, vintage vinyl is often in somewhat poor condition, while still overpriced.
     
    ClawHammer likes this.
  16. Eiszeit

    Eiszeit Forum Resident

    Location:
    Gloucestershire UK
    @ClawHammer, do you have a link to the tutorial you looked at, I'd be interested in looking at that, thanks.
     
    ClawHammer likes this.
  17. ClawHammer

    ClawHammer Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    UK
  18. TheHutt

    TheHutt Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    This video isn't really helpful, as it is about using the severely limited Discogs app, which is only of any use when cataloguing new vinyl reissues (or at least, records released after 1985).
     
    ClawHammer and nosliw like this.
  19. nosliw

    nosliw It's a hairstyle, not real cat ears :P

    Location:
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    I prefer to use Discogs on a laptop or regular PC. I find the app on Android/Apple to be unintuitive for my liking due to general instability and inability to properly sort search results.
     
    fndrblndr and ClawHammer like this.
  20. ClawHammer

    ClawHammer Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    UK
    It was helpful to me and I don't use the app. I just needed to know how to find the exact record I had on Diskogs to ascertain value. This part, at least, works the same in the app as the web based version.
     
  21. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek I’m a ray of sunshine & bastion of positivity

    This seems like way too much effort for a stack of Abba and Dire Straits…insurance, really? I have 10K records, many worth well over $100 each and I have zero insurance. Just play the records.
     
    GimiSomeTruth and ClawHammer like this.
  22. Eiszeit

    Eiszeit Forum Resident

    Location:
    Gloucestershire UK
    ClawHammer likes this.
  23. abzach

    abzach Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sweden
    I used to spent time and effort cleaning my records, nowadays I don't bother much, but before I just used tap water and dish washing, then hang then up to dry on a nail in the centre hole, on some records it made wonders.
     
    ClawHammer likes this.
  24. ClawHammer

    ClawHammer Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    UK
    Lol, yes, I only did this for the one record that I thought was worth something. I won't be doing it for all. I will keep receipts for new stuff though in case they're needed for an insurance claim.

    10,000 records and no insurance..... I guess you have enough money to replace them all if they're stolen or destroyed in a fire then?
     
  25. wavethatflag

    wavethatflag Srsly?

    Location:
    Pacifica, CA
    This is great advice I got from someone else, except for the fiver part. I've taken chances with 20-30 dollar records. Oh well. :D
     
    Telemark and ClawHammer like this.

Share This Page

molar-endocrine