180g new vs. NM used

Hi all, 

Following up on my previous post on vinyl repair.  So assuming I want to replace the record, am I better off going with used in VG+/NM or just some sort of new 180g pressing?  If this has been previously discussed feel free to direct me to that thread.  





NM is very loosely used at Ebay and Discogs. Occasionally a record will be NM, but in most cases not.  I prefer to buy a new 180 gm copy unless I know for sure that the used pressing is the one I want and that the seller is reputable and stands by his products.

It's a toss up Imo. New is safe. And the remaster may be better. It depends on the album and if the used one is correctly graded.. Likewise it depends on who mastered the new one


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I would figure out which issue I wanted, then find a very darn good used copy from a reliable seller. Mint, new sealed old stock, only if price is right, but that’s just by availability luck.

New: Open it, play it once, now it is the same condition of a lot of used LP’s, perhaps played only once.

I agree with whoever recently said the new 180 g issues seem/feel like quality, but are nothing special, and I also have received a few 180 g warped, had to return a few.

I am very successful buying used music on Discogs and eBay. Discogs: I sort by condition, then check price while glancing at seller rating.

So far, only one Discogs LP was not as good as described, wasn’t expensive but still disappointing to be sure.

I sold LP’s on eBay, I avoided critical distinctions by selling only 2 categories:

darn good, visible but inaudible scuffs

very darn good, no scuffs.

never had anything but happy customers.

I buy both originals and reissues, and on some titles have both. The statement above that reads "Most new reissues are made from digital files" is one you hear often, and the people saying it never divulge the source of the information upon which they base that statement. Just ’cause some people say it doesn’t necessarily make it so. "Most" new reissues? What percentage? From what companies? Which titles?

Yes, the major labels (WEA, Sony, Universal) master some new reissues from digital, but the good purely-reissue labels (Mobile Fidelity, Analogue Productions, Speakers Corner, Intervention, Tone Poet, Vinyl Me Please, a dozen or so more) go to great lengths to get the original 2" multi-track analog master tapes or the 1/4"-1/2" 2-track final mix tape from which they make their new lacquers. The hype sticker on the front of the LP’s state exactly that, and it’s true.

Some albums are currently available as reissues from more than one company, so if you’re going to buy one, just get the pure-analogue version from one of the good reissue labels that specialize in audiophile quality mastering, plating, and pressing. The Beatles 2014 mono boxset used the multi-track analog masters as the source for that fantastic reissue. The box was originally selling for $300-$400, and now that it’s out-of-print goes for up to $2,000.

For good information on whether a new reissue was made using an analogue, or a digital, source, head over to the Analog Planet website. I guarantee you, the person above making his sweeping generalization doesn’t read Michael Fremer’s exhaustive coverage of this important subject.

By the way: The estates of both Miles Davis and Prince have entrusted Analogue Productions to do all their LP reissues, and they are pure Analog. Neil Young’s Archive series is all analog, and the list goes on and on. Anyone who claims "most" new reissues are made form digital files needs to offer some proof. I’m guessing some people just say it ’cause they heard someone else say it. Talk is cheap.

I tend to agree with @bdp24, having reissues and originals, though depending on genre and era I would prefer to look for original presses in nm or ex+ from ebay sellers, or check locally at stores selling used ones.

Always have a list of wanted, with notes including labels, matrixes,...(great help from discogs)

A good cleaning after and set to go.




It depends. 

The Steve Hoffman forums are a good resource, for the most part. 

You can also look up the pressing on Discogs and see what kind of rating a particular pressing has and if there are any comments about it.  This can be less helpful, as you don't know what it is exactly they are "rating" - the sound quality of the pressing, whether they like the album itself, or something else. 

It's also not uncommon to see a mixture of feedback on the quality in comments/reviews with one person thinking it's the best ever and others complaining about surface noise or other issues.  

NM used original from good dealer if possible. New vinyl is likely noisy. Older records might have the odd pop but I find a lot of new vinyl is just continuously noisy.

A Charity thrift store I've stopped at for years, I'd find Classical for 25 cents ea. even Box-Sets. Now they've wised-up and charge 50 cents and charge for each disc in Sets. Originals are easily found of records we desired in our more youthful days. Great bargains compared to when we'd have to pay new prices which we couldn't afford.

Thanks everyone for the insights.  I'm trying to figure out how to get to the details on discogs like "best pressing" of a certain record (think LZ II RL pressing, if such anomalies exist for other records) and can't seem to figure out what everyone is looking at.  Is it "user reviews" of the record?  

Using the Tusk as example-

Reference deadwax info for early press(barcode and other identifiers section) since it’s the closet to the original tape. NOT a guarantee it will sound "better" which is completely subjective and can be another argument like digital vs LP. It is however, a sign of an unmolested recording.


Speaking of Led Zeppelin: Avoid the LP reissues Jimmy Page did recently; in this case the source WAS digital. Also The 2010 (I think it was) Beatles stereo boxset used digitized sources. The mono boxset was originally set to be released in 2012, but the blow back EMI received for going digital---which they were also going to do for the mono box---forced them to reconsider that decision. Part of that was due directly to Michael Fremer, who talked to the principles involved, and set them straight.

All the high end LP reissue labels are analog purists, and in some cases analog fanatics. Before starting Analogue Productions, Chad Kassem was a rare/collectible LP dealer, and he really knows his stuff. Michael Hobson and Ying Tan started Classic Records in the early-90’s, and before that Ying was himself a rare records dealer, working out his apartment just around the corner from the Capitol Records building in Hollywood. You shoulda seen his apartment! Stuffed to the gills with LP’s, every square inch. I got some great old LP’s from Ting, who is a swell fella.

Chad Kassem bought all the rights to the Classic Records catalog when Hobson shut down the label, and his Analogue Productions LP’s are the highest quality records I own. When he set about reissuing the Miles Davis Kind Of Blue recently, he used the lacquer Bernie Grundman cut for Classic Records in the mid-90’s, That lacquer was made from the original 3-track analog multi-track, and rather than mixing the three tracks down to two and making a new 2-track "working" master tape, he sent the 2-track mix straight to the cutter head, avoiding the extra step and tape generation. There are comparisons between an original "2-eye" Columbia pressing of the album, the Classic Records mid-90’s reissue, a contemporary Columbia (Sony) pressing, and the new Analogue Production version. A search on YouTube will lead you to them.

One consideration in choosing between an original pressing and a modern reissue is price. An audiophile reissue---even the most expensive ($125, if you ignore the very limited edition LP’s of The Electric Recording Company, who presses only 100-300 copies of every release, mastered on an all-tube system!)---can be far cheaper than the price of a Mint Condition original, which in some instances runs into four figures. Luckily the titles I am looking for are not amongst those rarities! The price of MoFi, Analogue Productions, Speakers Corner, Intervention, etc., LP’s is currently about $45 per disc.

And we haven’t mentioned the "hot stamper" LP’s offered by Better Records ;-)  I also visited the Sherman Oaks, California apartment (located two blocks away from mine) of the owner in the early-90's. Got a copy of the German pressing of Magical Mystery Tour from him, and at a reasonable price.

Speaking of Led Zeppelin: Avoid the LP reissues Jimmy Page did recently; in this case the source WAS digital.

According to an interview with Jimmy Page, the original analogue tapes were used. Each was digitized and the mix and mastering were done in the digital domain. I'll try and find the interview. I think one of the main points was to clarify Jimmy's remastering process.

I prefer the LZ originals, although these remasters sound pretty darn good. I’m disappointed to find out the sources went straight to digital but there's a lot of wear on those tapes.

Something that can be said for these remasters is the reversed channels and polarity issues were corrected.

LZ is a very good example as original vs remaster. I had most of LZ remasters and sold all of them. But it's not 100% true in all cases - some remasters are awful some are good ones. I am always looking into price difference in Discogs if remasters aren't good ones original first press usually cost a fortune.

Also if to speak about originals - they differ as usually exist US, JP, UK, FR, NL, DE first press and all of them has own sound profile. 

Classic Records reissued the Led Zeppelin albums in the first decade of this century (all analogue of course, on 200g "flat-profile"---no raised outer "lip"---discs I believe), and in a couple of different configurations, including single-sided 45 RPM discs. There was a boxset offered that contained all the single-sided discs, and that boxset now sells for over $20,000!


I have all the original LZ albums and 96/24 files of all of them. With LZ 1 the digital file is so much better than the original it is hard to even make fun of it. With LZ 2 the situation mysteriously reverses and the original album is marginally better than the file. It all comes down to the mastering and the system the version was mastered and not on analog vs digital. None of us would be able to reliably identify an original vs a 192/24 copy of same. I have the Pure Vinyl program Michael Fremer uses nobody has been able to reliably identify the original. I certainly can not. When comparing different versions of the same album it comes down to which mastering job you prefer. I personally do not understand this digital phobia so many of us have. I have thousands of wonderful digital files many of them superior to their original analog versions. But, for some odd reason I still also buy records. Go figure. 

I’ve heard Chad demo his before and after records in New York on Robin Wyatt’s system. I preferred the originals. Yeah, they were quieter and there was good work done. But, to my ears, the remastered ones had a grey smoothed over coloration and the soul was gone.

Chad Kassem bought all the rights to the Classic Records catalog when Hobson shut down the label, and his Analogue Productions LP’s are the highest quality records I own.

I have all the albums on CD, 1st and early pressings from W. Germany. This is before CD plants were up and running in US. These have incredible sound quality; low noise, dynamic, spacious soundstaging some have a 3D image. I’m sure the mastering played a major role in these releases.



CDs mastered by Barry Diament (has a CD credit). LZ 4 by Joe Sidore.

I agree with @rdk777 and have gotten burned on "NM" or other ratings on both discogs and Amazon used records. So for the last year have only purchased new. 

That said, it kills me what they charge these days... I don't need the $200 boxed set of all the out takes, just gimme the original songs on 1 record for $25. Sorry for the rant in the last part, but does that annoy anyone else too? It drives me nuts.