Posts tagged: rare vinyl records

Vinyl Records Value

By , January 21, 2010 8:28 am

Vinyl records are an awesome piece of history. Not only do they have the extra cool points due to being a vintage item, they also sound much better than CDs and other digital media. Whether you are into listening to your vinyls or just building a collection, you are probably interested in their value. With so many vinyl records for sale globally, and from so many suppliers who make varying claims of value, it can be quite difficult to determinework out just how much each one is worth. There are a few primary factors in determining the value of a record.

As a starting point, most best selling records from any point in the last century were produced in the millions. This usually means they are no longer very valuable and you are best off enjoying them how they were meant to be – by playing them! Rare records on the other hand, can be valued at anywhere between $50 to over $10,000. You have probably already realised that there are so many variables in determining the value of vinyls, so lets get into it.

Complete Products

Like most collectibles, vinyl records retain the most value as a complete product. Vinyl records all originally shipped with a paper or picture sleeve, and having these adds to their value. Picture sleeves are easily the most valuable, often being more valuable then the actual record. Keeping these are incredibly important for your records value. Similarly, EPs (7 inch records) were often sold with a hard cardboard sleeve. In good condition, these records and sleeves together can fetch a mint! Without the sleeve, do not expect much.

Condition

This is something you probably already know. It is fairly common knowledge that better condition equals higher value. This applies to almost everything. If your surface or label is scratched, is noisy while playing, has writing on the label or sleeve or just looks worn, it is going to have less value. You can usually find records of this condition for very cheap, indicating just how worthless they are. These are much better used by enjoying them properly by listening to them.

Rarity

Of all the records produced in the 1960’s and 70’s, about 4% of them made it to the top of the charts. This meant they were produced in very high volumes, and therefore worth less now. LP’s by artists with popular singles are often quite rare, as people only wanted the singles. This makes these records of quite high value. These were mostly found in the 50’s and 60’s. Even rarer are Rhythm and Blues LP’s from the 1950s. In good condition, these are worth a mint.

Fans Mean Demand

This is a simple supply versus demand formula. A huge number of fans chasing a record will always drive prices up. It is crucial that these artists have modern day fans, as artists no longer in demand will mean a reduced value.

Other Factors

There are many more factors, and to keep this a bit shorter, I will simply list them out. Vinyl record value is further influenced by true stereo copies (versus the traditional mono), historical meaningful value, the era it was produced and pressing order.

As you can see, there are so many factors which make up the value of a vinyl record. It is advisable to have your collection valued by a local professional will provide a much more accurate figure than any online method, so this is definitely the place to start.

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Why Vinyl Sounds Better Than CD

By , January 9, 2010 6:00 am

Some people will never even have the joy of listening to a vinyl record in their life and will only ever know the digital equivalents. What is the difference between vinyl, CD, DVD and mp3 recordings anyway?
It basically comes down the analog versus digital signals. Analog, be definition, is a continuous variable. This means that changes in frequency are produced by a smooth wave, accurately sounding out every tiny change. This is shown by the top picture in the graph below.

analog vs digital

In order to encode a similar signal onto digital media such as a CD or DVD, there needs to be an analog to digital conversion. It does not matter how good the conversion is, there is ALWAYS a loss that occurs during this process. Even though technology gets better and better and these losses are continually reduced, it is effectively impossible (at least in the current day and age), to reproduce an analog signal exactly with digital data. The second graph in the graph above illustrates a typical digital signal. Improved technology effective allows the horizontal gaps in the signal to become shorter, as each change means more data which needs to be processed. At faster speeds and higher storage levels, these horizontal gaps are reduced. However, the signal will still not be quite the same.

Given that the human ear works at a higher resolution then our current technology, a trained ear can easily hear the difference between an analog and even a high resolution digital signal. This is exactly the reason why so many people prefer vinyl records to their digital equivalents. And we haven’t even got to the point of software level encoding. MP3’s and the like incur yet another layer of losses which further reduces the quality in audio. Listen to a vinyl record after an equivalent mp3 and if you can’t tell the difference, there might be something wrong with you! Just kidding, but there is a very clear difference. There are certain audio formats such as FLAC, which are higher resolution digital encodings, but this is when compared with a CD track. In other words, it is still digital, and still does not replicate the sound in the same way as a live performance or a vinyl record.

Now you know why a vinyl record is that much better then any digital equivalent from a scientific front. We didn’t even mention their inherited greatness just for being a vintage item, but you already knew that. We hope we help you to find some awesome vinyl records for sale to add to your collection.

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