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Classic Records 200 gram vinyl problems - Page 4

post #46 of 67
Golly, just played the samples. Utter crap.

Thank god I've kept my original vinyl 'library' - a few hundred I guess, 60s to 80s pressings, getting steadily worse thru two decades I may add - if any of those had what the samples have, straight back to the shop!
post #47 of 67
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by memepool View Post
On the basis of those samples you posted I'd say they sound like well played 2nd hand records although the music itself sounds great which is a real shame. I've never heard new records, audiophile or otherwise, sound as bad as that and I have thousands. I'd definitely return them as they have to be a duff batch.
I agree with your comment about the music. I don't recall ever having an issue with the mastering and sound quality of the music itself on any audiophile record; it's one of the reasons I repeatedly turn to these labels for content. For instance, go try to find yourself a pristine copy of Oscar Peterson Meets Louis Armstrong on Verve for anything less than a king's ransom. Oh, you can find a number of worn out, beat up samples on eBay for about $15 to $20. Or for $35 you can snag a Speakers Corner copy on 180 gram audiophile vinyl. I have it, and the sound quality is extraordinary.

The reason you have such a high percentage of duds can only be explained by the fact you are buying so many from the same label at once, probably from the same run. This is just bad luck that it's a poor run but it would certainly make me think twice about ordering records by web from these guys and I don't think much of their quality control especially being an audiophile label.
I have thought about this a great deal and I reached the same conclusion as you. I would even go so far as to say I have been buying most of my new vinyl from the same dealer and perhaps that's an issue. I am going to change that. Recently I have put in a few orders with Acoustic Sounds and have been very impressed with the way they pack and ship vinyl. I haven't ordered much from them but the one time I had a problem they were very nice about it and gave me an RMA number over the phone. I had a replacement in about 10 days and it was fine. There are other sources that I have not ordered from yet, such as Music Direct and Exclusive Disc. I think it's time to give them a try.

Do the records look damaged? could it be they are getting damaged in the post? I remember my records from Classic benig well packed.
The records look great right out of the sleeve. So there is nothing on visual inspection under a strong light that would make me say, "Hey! There's a problem." It seems to me that these are micro defects in the pressing.

post #48 of 67
Originally Posted by jsaliga View Post
but do you seriously think the samples I posted in this thread are acceptable?
No I don't think they are acceptable and if you read back to my earlier response you would already have known that. What I am saying is either the overall quality of the rest of your "duds" is likely not as bad, or - if they are just as bad - then you are incredibly unlucky and that your experience is completey and utterly different to mine (and we have both been buying large numbers of the same records from exactly the same labels at the same point in time and most likely from exactly the same distributer).
post #49 of 67
Thread Starter 
I get your point and mean no disrespect, but unless you are buying a lot of jazz (perhaps you are but I thought your main interest was in classical music) and the same titles I am then it's very doubtful that we are buying records from the same job at the pressing plant, let alone from the same batch pressed from the same set of stampers. Stampers get changed out every 500 or so pressings for 200 gram vinyl according to RTI, if I recall correctly.

I suppose we can get into a conversation about how bad is truely bad and at what point one should draw the line. I just think the very thought of that sort of discussion -- where people who love music have to dissect defective records to arrive at some sort of calculus that says we have to be tolerant of a certain amount of physical defects -- does not bode very well for the vinylphile. As for the rest of the bad apples sitting here waiting to go back...I am reasonably confident that if I took one minute captures and posted them that you would agree that none of them were acceptable. I don't get bent out of shape over the occasional click or pop, nor am I expecially sensitive to surface noise (up to a point). It is only a problem for me when the defects subvert the music and destroy my listening pleasure.

Maybe my experience is unique. I am going to take some steps to not have all of my eggs in one basket as it were. I'll start by spreading my orders around to different dealers and I will buy fewer records per order and per unit of time. That is probably the best I can do to take random chance out of the equation. If after that the situation fails to improve then I'll stop buying new vinyl from the labels that have been giving me problems.

post #50 of 67
In my experience, Classic's reissues have definitely been hit or miss; either pristine, non-existant background noise or lots of groove noise with way more pops than that expected from an audiophile pressing. I've also had some problems with Acoustic's (Analogue Productions), though not nearly as often and more problems with warps than anything else.

I got tired of all the disappointment and quit buying "audiophile" records altogether. Got tired of dishing out the 30 to 50 bucks, along with the time, money and effort of returning the records, which were generally on "my" dime.
post #51 of 67
Originally Posted by jsaliga View Post
I am going to take some steps to not have all of my eggs in one basket as it were. I'll start by spreading my orders around to different dealers and I will buy fewer records per order and per unit of time.
Well as I mentioned earlier I had always had terrible problems with Classic Records as well. Thus far, what is working for me is this: I maintain a spreadsheet of all the Classic titles I am still after. I have columns indicating the stock levels at Classic Records themselves, Elusive Disk and Acoustic sounds. When all three columns for a particular title indicate it is out of stock, then I will buy that LP when it finally comes into stock again (from either Acoustic or Elusive). so far I have bought about 10 LPs this way with 100% success rate. Beforehand, about 7 of them would have been beyond listenable. I really do think that in the last few months the problems that have plagued Classic are starting go away, but that means buying ultra fresh stock and avoiding anything pressed last year and maybe even early this year.
post #52 of 67
Thread Starter 
You have a private message.

post #53 of 67
Thread Starter 
Just a mini-update.

I placed two smallish orders with different dealers than I have been using. One went to Acoustic Sounds and another with Music Direct. Both orders were for five records: two Classic Records 200g vinyl (a pair of Duke Ellington albums), one Speakers Corner 180g release of Music From Peter Gunn by Henry Mancini, and several Blue Note and OJC resissues.

The good news is that all the albums were fine and I had no problems (I can't tell you how refreshing that experience was!). So I am somewhat encouraged by this. I just put in two more orders: one for 6 albums with Acoustic Sounds and another for 5 albums with Elusive Disc.

post #54 of 67
good news. let us know how the new order works out for you
post #55 of 67
Who does Classic have cutting the records? A great lacquer cutting job on 120 gram sounds better than a terrible one on 200(of course).
post #56 of 67
Can I ask why people are interested in buying reissues rather than seeking out original copies? OK, it's easier to just pay than to spend time looking for an old LP, but back when I was buying records hand over fist, I found that it was way more fun to try to find old records. I used to make excuses to travel to the UK to hunt down old Deccas and EMIs.

I always thought that the sound of the original LPs far exceeded that of any reissue (no matter how thick).
post #57 of 67
Thread Starter 
I suppose it depends on the music, but I disagree with you for a number of reasons. First, if you're a jazz vocal fan for instance, there was this annoying habbit in the 1960s where tons of reverb was added to female vocal tracks that absolutely ruined the sound. A lot of Sarah Vaughan's Roulette output, for example, sounds horrible as originally issued because of it, and none of those records are worth one thin dime to me. If the original records are no good and the music is important to me then the CD will do. I could probably name a hundred albums right off the top of my head that are like that, and in some cases that problem has been fixed in later vinyl remasters.

Then there's the cost factor. Not good if you're a big fan of harb bop on Blue Note. Just try to find a playable copy of any Stanley Turrentine record on Blue Note that doesn't cost a fortune (the last copy of Ballads that I saw was only selling for $250 in VG+ condition). I can fill an entire shelf with quality 180 or 200g reissues for the price of a couple of original records, and the originals don't sound that much better to make the investment worthwhile for me, and in most cases if done right the reissues will sound great and have far less surface noise (not even a constest there). Companies like Classic Records, Analogue Productions, and Speakers Corner know this, and also know there is a market for quality reissues on heavy vinyl of certain jazz and classical recordings.

post #58 of 67
I should have mentioned that my emphasis is classical records, and I never had a problem finding lots of great old records in fine shape, in fact, enough that I've given up buying any more. And I still think that the golden age classical recordings are as good as it gets.

As you point out, the same isn't true for jazz. I'm sorry to hear this because I hate to see people dependent on Classic Records. My limited experience with Speakers Corner and Testament has been far better.
post #59 of 67
Thread Starter 
Well, it was probably too much to hope for. I had an order of eight albums come in from Acoustic Sounds and three of them were bad and will be going back. All were Blue Note standard reissues. I continue to have very good luck with Speakers Corner, though I did have one that had some minor issues on the first 15 seconds of the first track on side 1. I was able to record it to 24/96 digital audio and clean those glitches out of the recording, and made a great sounding DVD-A from it.

I also got a call from another dealer that I sent about 7 records back to because of defects and he tried to tell me that I should expect standard pressings to have a lot of pops and clicks, and to generally sound bad. Now, I've been buying jazz reissues from him for about a year or so and I tried to explain to him that last year I didn't have any of these problems. Now I seem to be having nothing but problems. He even went so far as to say that he played a few of the records I sent back and they were fine. I just can't accept that unless he believes that standard reissues should sound like the samples I posted earlier in the thread.

I'm not sure where this all leaves me, but I am fairly certain that I am just going cut my losses and will stop buying new vinyl altogether. I understand that Speakers Corner titles will be going up in price to about $40 a pop. It was my feeling that the label's titles were just barely worth buying at $35 each. So if the conventional wisdom is that in order to get a decent new vinyl pressing one must spend $40 to $50, then it just isn't worth the money for what you are getting in return.

I have about 1,000 or so vinyl records in my library that play just fine, sound wonderful, and that I can truly enjoy. If I never added another single record to my collection I really don't think it would bother me. I'd like to buy more vinyl, to be sure. But the hit or miss nature of new vinyl, both standard and audiophile pressings, just doesn't pass muster with me. I will occasionally buy vintage vinyl if the price is right (and the risk is low), but I am also done with buying pricey vintage records as well. The magic number for me is $10 or less.

I have been doing very well lately with buying certain jazz titles on CD (from Verve and Columbia specifically), XRCD, and SACD. I picked up a couple of boxed sets from Mosaic Records recently (The Columbia Small Group Swing Sessions and The Bobby Hackett Complete Capitol Sessions) and the sound quality was superb on both. I have a few additional Mosaic sets on order. Similarly, I bought several jazz SACDs from Analogue Productions that really sounded terrific, such as 5 By Monk By 5 and Moonbeams by the Bill Evans Trio. The good news is that Analogue Productions will also be releasing many Blue Note titles on SACD, and I intend to try a few of them to see if the sound quality measures up.

I think this thread has run its course so I doubt I will be posting in it again.

post #60 of 67
well just to add
i got a 200g pressing of Kind of Blue today
and it's heaven.
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