Is a BMG CD as good as a Retail CD?
Jan 11, 2006 at 11:13 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 44

909

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I’ve been considering purchasing some CDs from yourmusic.com since they only charge $5.99 for a CD, which also includes shipping. But the price sounded somewhat too good to be true so I shot them an email inquiring about the quality of the CDs they sell. And here is an excerpt of their reply:

“There is no difference in quality between the CDs you receive through
yourmusic.com and those purchased in a retail outlet. Our recordings
are manufactured under the same rigid specifications, are warranted free
from defects and meet or exceed "Red Book" specifications. The "Red
Book" is the industry standard for mastering and manufacturing Compact
Discs.

yourmusic.com is an operating unit of BMG Direct, Inc. Since the
selections are manufactured under license specifically for BMG Direct,
Inc., the packaging may differ slightly from those purchased from a
store.”

Has anyone purchased CDs from yourmusic.com or BMG and noticed any differences between their CDs and the retail outlet CDs? Are BMG CDs thinner? Do they scratch easier? Will they last as long? Is the sound quality the same?

I am hesitant and skeptical. Does anyone have any firsthand experience with BMG CDs?
 
Jan 11, 2006 at 11:24 AM Post #2 of 44

fewtch

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I've noticed no difference except in the packaging (which has a label that reads "Mfd. for BMG Direct Marketing, Inc. under License" on the back). I suspect the same company makes them in either case, and the rear label is the only detectable difference.

Realize that most of the price of a CD comes down to marketing... it costs them pennies to make CDs in the sheer quantities that are pressed.
 
Jan 11, 2006 at 1:45 PM Post #3 of 44

Elec

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I had a BMG membership in the mid 90s and have several CDs from that period (which I guess are now 10 years old, yikes!). They've held up as well as any of my other CDs, all still work ok as far as I know. There are a couple that are scratched up decently from overuse
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but I figure that'd be the case with any CD.

It is a little weird that they press their own discs or however that works, but they seemed ok to me.
 
Jan 11, 2006 at 2:25 PM Post #4 of 44

BPRJam

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I've been a member of BMG for quite some time (since the early 90's), and still get most of my music from them.

I'll second Elec's experience, in that every CD I've gotten from them has held up just fine, and sounds like I would think it should. (For instance, I got the Maroon 5 album from BMG, and noticed tons of cliping and distortion. I tried a friends copy that he bought at Best Buy, and it had the exact same problem. Some bands just have poor mastering.) There are some differences in the packaging, however.

For instance, the CD cases are the same size, but tend to be a little more flimsy than store bought CDs. Almost all of my broken jewel cases are from BMG. The back cover of the CD is different, and frequently doesn't include the "see-through" CD holder that is popular these days. Additionally, I've found that the label on the CD itself is sometimes different. For instance, on the "Bat Out of Hell II" CD from Meatloaf (which, BTW, is a very well mastered CD), the BMG version has a cheap, but effective, plastic CD label with a picture of the giant bat that is on the cover of the album booklet. The store-bought version, however, has the same picture, but it is a really cool looking velvet-like CD label. They look different when you hold them in your hand, but sound no different in my CD player.

Hope this helps.

BPRJam
 
Jan 11, 2006 at 5:04 PM Post #5 of 44

Rock&Roll Ninja

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In every case I know of, the CD itself and the CD booklet are the same as in a regular priced CD. The only difference is the back of the album has the "Made for BMG" printed on it near, or sometimes in place of the UPC barcode. And all of my Yourmusic disk's have had broken covers? (I honestly think yourmusic.com is how BMG gets rid of its damaged cases).

I repeat: the disk & music is indistinguishable from a store copy. Right down to the rootkit (certain albums only).
 
Jan 11, 2006 at 5:21 PM Post #6 of 44

NiceCans

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I hooked up with yourmusic.com about a year ago and have found no issues with the quality of the discs.
I love the price, especially since there is no purchase committment as there was in the old Columbia and BMG music 'clubs'.
 
Jan 11, 2006 at 5:46 PM Post #7 of 44

soundboy

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I have been with BMG since the mid 80s, when it was the RCA Music Service. I currently maintain 2 memberships with them....one at yourmusic.com and another at BMG Music Service. I haven't come across one CD that's musically or sonically different than the store-purchased version. Yes, you will get that "Manufactured for BMG under license" label plus BMG's own catalog number on the packaging, but it's a fair tradeoff in light of the price. And the BMG label doesn't even show up on some titles.
 
Jan 11, 2006 at 7:24 PM Post #8 of 44

hciman77

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I joined yourmusic.com last year. All the CDs I have received so far have been fine - with some Box sets i.e The Doors "The Complete studio recordings" you may miss out on booklets but at that price it is no biggy. For Opera recordings (what few they have) it is great value as this stuff is normally quite pricey.
 
Jan 11, 2006 at 7:26 PM Post #9 of 44

redshifter

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i can always tell a bmg cd when i pick it up. the case + cd feel lighter somehow than a regular cd.

i've read that all cd plants are not the same. some claim that cd's pressed in certain japanese plants sound better than the same cd's pressing elsewhere.
 
Jan 11, 2006 at 8:16 PM Post #10 of 44

Jahn

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I just a HDCD - "The Best of Dire Straits" from the BMG club and it sounds amazing and it doesn't look shoddy at all. Plus, the SACD hybrids I got from the club are all top notch. You just have to know which discs to get from them to get the quality stuff.
 
Jan 11, 2006 at 11:31 PM Post #12 of 44

LFF

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I am a subscriber to yourmusic.com and I find the actual CD's to be exactly ike the retail ones you buy in the store except that they are far cheaper.
 
Jan 11, 2006 at 11:53 PM Post #14 of 44

Jeff Wong

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For some reason, I seem to recall reading some article in a magazine years ago that mentioned some record club CDs were made from Exabyte masters that were duplicated at 8x speed and not 1:1, implying some jitter might be encoded onto these masters. After reading this, I avoided bothering with any record club discs I came across (the collector in me prefers the commercial releases anyway from an aesthetic standpoint.) I'd be curious to do a comparison and really listen for myself. Maybe someday. Or not.
 
Jan 12, 2006 at 1:05 AM Post #15 of 44

Elec

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Echo_
for those who have used www.bmgmusic.com
is that legit 12 cds for the price of one??? thats insane



At least in the past, the way this worked was that "full price" for one CD was higher than at Best Buy, so maybe you'd pay $18-23 for it. Then you might pay $1.50 for S&H per "free" CD. The intro deal was good, after that you might get deals like buy 2, get 3 free. So you could pay $40 for the 2 full price CDs and then another $7.50 for S&H on all of 'em. That ~$50 for 5 CDs was still better than buying from a store but not quite as good as the deal sounds either.

I think they used to make it back on the music category CDs. You'd specify a preference (like Jazz), and then every month they would send you the featured CD at full $23 price unless you specifically told them not to (every month). Hopefully they've stopped doing that.
 

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