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My turntables are done, I have the tables, arms, cartridges, SUT, and phono stages I want. Two tables, three arms, and two phono stages that can accommodate all my cartridges.
So what really needs to be paid attention to is the vinyl collection. Somewhere in the mid 2000s I left vinyl for 6 or 7 years, sold off my collection, and then around 2016 or so decided to return. I bought a lot of used vinyl at that time from some people I knew.
Fast forward to today, I am less then enthusiastic about the entire collection. Have roughly 1100 pieces, maybe a bit more. But there is stuff in there that has limited interest to me, Adam Ant or Scorpions, or the pressings of AC/DC. Actually like the Aussie bad boys but these are terrible pressings. Over the past 5 years bought new releases and always take advantage of the big sales from AP or Universal, or whoever. Oh have a US tank, Vinyl Stack, and a Record Doctor for cleaning vinyl.
So yes I have to sort and decide what I really want to keep. I could envision cleaning out 30 percent or even more of my rock/pop albums.
What I wonder though is I am a fan of Windham Hill label. Don't judge! LOL. Like artists and similar types of labels. Problem is Windham Hill has been out of production for many years, they are never reissued. It is hard to find clean copies of the piano based artists. Seems like the vinyl does not age well. There are other labels like NARADA that are interesting also.
So the question is this. Have you ever rebuilt a vinyl collection? If so what was your strategic plan to do this? Were you happy with the results? Got any insights you can share?
I own quite a lot of early Windham Hill and contrary to your experience I have found that my own WH LPs have not degraded in audio quality over the years. Of course, they have not improved with age like fine wine. Maybe your expectations based on years of digital have affected your opinion?
But also, I think your experience with obtaining NM or even VG+ LPs of rock, pop, jazz, and New Age is pretty chancy. The most popular of those LPs have been played into the ground.
That said, there are (I think) lots of WH and Neruda and other New Age LPs that are out there in very acceptable condition. And I can attest that my own WH LPs, which have been well cared for over the decades, still sound pretty damned good.
"Life without music is a mistake" (Nietzsche)
I was an enthusiastic supporter of SACD simply because I had found that CD technology was just not as satisfying. I had downsized by vinyl collection substantially anyway in the 90s when I moved from SF to Miami. (I am back in the Bay Area now). Anyway, I owned a Rega P3 for the few records I had, and one day, playing something not available on SACD nor CD, heard sounds coming from that P3 that I just didn't hear from my digital system. I started to experiment, and the next thing you know, was hooked on vinyl.
Initially I worked to replace the vinyl that I had discarded, but ultimately it became much bigger than that. Today I own far more LPs than I ever did before, and I currently also own a Garrard 301.
I get into certain collecting kicks - so for example, I once wanted to acquire all of Verdi's operas on LP (and yes, I was successful). My collection is a combination of used LPs, purchased partially on eBay and partially at record stores, and new vinyl, some of which are reissues, of course, and some that are new, like the stuff that Hilary Hahn is doing for DG. I listen to quite a few genres of music, so besides classical there is also a lot of classic rock, jazz, folk, and even a few new artists that I like. When my stepkids lived here, there were requests for things like Katy Perry, Adele, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, stuff like that. It is amazing how much is now available, and by and large quality is better than it was in the 70s.
In the old days you needed to have everything you even occasionally listened to on album or CD. Streaming has changed all that. $20 a month or so and you have access to pretty much anything you might ever want to listen to.
Honestly, about 1000 albums or even a few hundred less is all you really need nowadays . You can use streaming to fill in the rest for occasional listening. If you find yourself streaming something regularly and wish you had it on vinyl, you can always pick up that album.
I used to spend about a thousand or more a year on albums. Haven't bought one in years...-.
I would like to have a collection, but what I have is more of an assemblage . The one unifying thread among all my records is that somewhere amongst the tracks is a song I would like to learn to play. Once I go into the long good buy , the purpose evaporates, and it is just a lot of obsolete format random vinyl, some better than others.
Collections, to my understanding, have a theme and are organized in support of that reason for the collection. I suppose there are published guides.
the rest of this is not relevant .
My only real experience with collections are public museums , where quality and taste define the curation, which seems to inescapably incorporate rareness.
One bad example is Hurst castle, where he sent buyers out and secured a lot of rare and expensive stuff, but assembled without taste, it is just piles of old rare stuff, good for the curiosity .
I contrast that with the endeavors of another cost is no object collector, who also did the collecting in his lifetime , Huntington, of the Huntington library and museum. He also has fine objects, but collected with design, with scholars and researchers still utilizing his collection .
His taste is exemplified when one visits the grounds, he has quite a mansion and grounds, in addition to the library, and used to own, all the land between his house and Huntington Beach. But he didn't build a castle on a hill and stock it with wild animals. Huntington went with gardens and exotic plants.
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