I was born in the ‘70s, which means the ability to write a strong clickbait-y headline is way outside of my skill set. But the question I’m posing here is one I’ve been asked and I think it’s a good idea to discuss.
I fully understand taking one look at many of the listings here and being overwhelmed by info that most people don’t need to know. “I just like this album!” you may think. “I don’t need to know where it was pressed, what’s in the dead wax, or how strong the bottom end is.” And that’s totally fair! I collected records for decades before I started worrying about such details. But boy did things change for me once I stared paying closer attention.
Records are more than a song delivery system. They are certainly not the easiest way to hear music. We’re all in this hobby for our own different reasons, but at the heart of it is usually a desire to take something deeper from the experience. If I just want background music, there are easier ways to get there. When I want to *feel* something—when I’m going to sit down and really pay attention—that’s when it’s worth the trouble to turn to vinyl. I am by nature a somewhat sappy guy who can enjoy being overwhelmed by emotion. I don’t think I’ve ever choked up listening to something streaming. But when playing records? That happens more often than I probably should admit.
Long before I had a dedicated listening room or a fancy stereo, I found myself trying to upgrade copies of my favorites to get more from them. I’d start to hear areas where I felt my copy could do better, things that were inserting themselves between me and the music. A copy that was clearly made from a poor dub tape, maybe something mastered too bright, or even just a plain old noisy record that became hard to enjoy. You don’t have to be an audiophile to recognize bad sound, nor must you be one for it to affect your enjoyment. I’m no expert on coffee, but I know when I’ve had a bad cup. Once you start thinking about sound in similar terms, it’s pretty fun to see where good sound can take you.
So no, the records on this site are not just for audiophiles. They are certainly suitable for those who have put considerable effort and expense into their audio adventures, but also great for anyone who wants their music delivered in a way that provides high levels of enjoyment (and low levels of frustration).
I’ve received wonderful feedback from hardcore audiophile clients since starting the site who have been impressed with the way our records sound, but I’m equally thrilled to hear from those who are just starting to dip a toe into the world of hi-fi and can’t believe how much different the experience of listening to one of our great sounding pressings can be.
I continue to work hard to keep a stream of more affordable records coming to the site, even though the pricier stuff tends to sell much quicker. I do this in large part so that those newer to this crazy world can check something out at a price not too different from what many modern day reissues go for. I think most people will prefer the experience from a great vintage pressing, and I’d love to help you figure out if you fall in that group. Remember: if any of the records here don’t do it for you, I’ll take them back and give you a full refund. I won’t tell you you’re wrong, I won’t say your stereo’s busted, I’ll just thank you for giving us a shot and keep on doing the thing.
Would a carefully selected, professionally cleaned, critically evaluated pressing enhance your enjoyment of the music you love? We make it pretty easy for you to find out. I don’t sell records to get rich; I do it because I’m absolutely crazy about the experience and love to share what has worked for me. Helping people raise their vinyl game is a true joy for me and the greatest privilege of this line of work, though I will admit that hearing all of these fun records in the process comes a pretty close second!