Are CD clubs a good deal?

I have never joined a CD/Record club. Anyone belong to one and is there a catch?
If you don't subscribe to the theory that BMG discs sound worse than regular discs, BMG is a great disc club. (I've read some articles where people confirm with precise measurement equipment that the BMG disc is identical to a store bought disc, but still claim they hear a difference when played through their system).

You get 12 discs for the price of one. You can sign up online at You pick 7, then buy 1 at regular price ($17 or so), then you get 4 more free. They have popular CD's as well as classical. They will charge you $2-3 dollar in shipping and handling for each disc. When all's said and done, it ends up being an average of a little over $3 a disc. What a deal!

Just make sure to send in the card or go online and say you don't want the featured selection, or else they will send you discs you didn't ask for. Also, they will never give you their phone number, but it's (317) 692-9200. This is useful if you don't feel like waiting to do everything through the mail...they actually have very good customer service by phone.

Once you've completed your enrollment agreement (7+1+4), just call and say you wish to cancel (you can even cancel in the same phone call as you order your last 1+4). If you feel like it, you can then go back online and sign up for the same deal again! I've signed up at BMG about 15 times in my life, many times at the same address. They don't care because they're still making money, and there's enough suckers that stick around after their enrollment agreement and start buying discs for $10-$15.
Matt8268- Actually there are more benefits to sticking it out then signing up time and time again. For example the music points program which allows you to get more free music based on your previous purchases. And many sales that come your way- buy one at regular price(17.99) and get unlimited for 1.99ea. etc... still a great deal! and you get music points to boot! Also the program I am in with BMG there are NO unsoliceted cd offerings, for a long time it was free shipping as well but like most good things that ended long ago :( All being said I enjoy my BMG membership an aweful lot, and due to the lower cost I have bought a lot of music I wouldn't have tried other wise.
The CD clubs are great, IMO, especially for new popular music and backfilling your collection. I agree with Tireguy, there's a lot to be had for staying around in the club as well. At the end of the day, the selection isn't fabulous (though checking fairly often widens the selection), but your avg delivered price will be less than $8 a CD. If you can resist buying the new releases you want when they first come out, you can buy them for $8 new from the club 4-6 months later.

And I don't subscribe to the notion that the club discs sound worse either
Yes, BMG is great. I started with their classical LP club in college back when they called it the "International Preview Society".

To get me to switch to the CD club when they were phasing out LP's they offered me 2 free CD's per year for life, as long as I remained a member in good standing. It has been over 13 years since then, and I still get my 2 free CD's from them every year. (My choice of any 2 regular single disc CD's)
Hello Sugarbrie, is there a website for Musical Heritage? Thanks.
BMG is a nice club

but stay away from Columbia House
there you must buy 4 disc, not 1 or 2 and they have a shorter fuse on those selections of the month
They used to be, before the days of the internet. Now, you are induced to join by the free offerings, that you must choose from their list. Yes, it's cheaper than buying them from a store, but you are limited in your selection by what they offer at any given time. Also, the shipping is downright theft. Buy 10 cd's, you get charged $20. Check what it actually costs to send 10 cd's all at once. Just IMHO
I plan on enrolling in BMG, but the last time I went online to make my selections I was really dissapointed with the interface. It was very poorly organized for exploring. I'll have to check to see if it's improved at all.
I was once a member of BMG, and there are some price benefits of "sticking with", as opposed to "hitting and running". Given the selection they offer in the initial "take 12 for 99 cents", or whatever the current deal, I can't imagine anyone finding that many recordings they liked to have done so more than a time or two. I had trouble finding 12 good ones the first time!

I have mostly older CD's that I bought from BMG, some sound alright, others lousy. But then, such is the case with all recordings. I have never done an A/B between a BMG and one bought "from the store" to see if there was much difference. Has anyone else?

One thing, though. If you do quit, they will hound ceaselessly for two years, or more, to rejoin.
Never did a comparision but a number of years ago, they send out a customer service survey and I told them that I bought enough CDs each year and that I hated getting the reply card. When I forgot to reply, I would call them up and get a free shipping label to send the CD back to them and get a credit for the cost. They no longer require me to send back the reply card. I thought that was simply great and have kept with them for years. I find the sound of the CDs I have purchased sound very good on my system.
It's OK to be a BMG member for great quantity deals, but in reality their product is sold for what it's worth + shipping(nearly$2.50 for each).

I used to be a BMG and Columbia House club member and as soon as I received the package deal and complete my club duty to buy one or two CDs I immediately quit that club and waited for another inivtation back with 12CDs. Also you can benefit signing up friends and relatives(your mom, dad, daughter, girlfriend, wife yeah, including members of your family) in order to get even larger bundles of CDs at once and so maintain them as well as a customers as soon as "they" complete their club duties etc...etc...etc... I even signed up guests that came to me to pay a short visit from overseas and maintained their accounts and accepted the phone calls from BMG for them! Imagine if you signed up 4...5 family members or relatives you'll get 12 cds from each 4 CDs as a gift for each member signed at once! If you're at the same time in both clubs than add another bundle! And everything with average price arround $4. For illiterate overseas customer with morst-often cheap or pocket CD-players and moreover sealed it seems a great deal for overall price arround $10 per piece.

Business is business. Personal collection is personal collection. I have there originals only
Whenever I bid on CD I'd always ask if it's not from BMG or Columbia House.

If you compare the original CD and BMG remanufactured you will realize where the truth lies.
Has anyone had experience with the Musical Heritage Society? I just got an offer for all Beethoven's 9 symphonies, Berlin Philharmonic/von Karajan, for 99 cents each, no further buying requirements.
I found it interesting the threads about signing up over and over. Columbia House has been trying to get me to cancel my membership and start all over. They know that the only time I ever buy any are when they have one of their "Buy one, get 2 free, take unlimited CD's at 2.99 sale". That's when I load up. Even with s&h, the average cost drops below $7. And this is before the ones I earn with freebie points. I have not had to return a card in years.

As far as sound quality, I personally don't hear much of a difference any more.
10 yrs ago, my girlfriend got me a Bjork CD which she got from BMG not knowing I already have a store purchased copy of the exact same CD. There are 2 main differences that I still remember til today which are the reasons why I don't go for cd clubs other than they never have anythign I want.

1) The BMG CD sounds tinny and shrill compared to the store bought copy.
2) The CD cover on the BMG is made of a cheaper thinner paper material than the store bought copy.

Ofcourse, I only care about the first reason. And, for a time, I people thought I was crazy to point out this difference. But, I felt very validated when I found a few articles that stated the same observations. One of which is the article mentioned by Matt.
I actually prefer Columbia house. They have a much better selection and after you have met your commitment, you can ask and they will make it so you never have to send in any of the monthly selection cards and they won't send anything automatically.
Another point about Columbia House is that they are owned by Warner and Sony and their CD's are not copies but the same as the ones you buy in a store.
BMG charges so much shipping and handling charges you could just go out and by used CD's.
CD clubs are a good way to build a basic CD collection of popular titles at a pretty reasonable cost IMO. In years past I've belonged to both BMG and Columbia clubs and purchased a lot of CDs from them. As to sound quality, I've not noticed a consistent difference between "club" CDs and those from typical music stores. Cheers. Craig
I even heard the difference in mobile stereo between the club and store versions no $hit!

As to Columbia House they realy cary an original versions compared to BMG.
IF you guys are into classical its a great place to get it from, some(read some not most or all) of the stuff they get is the real deal. All Telarc CD's I have gotten over the years from BMG do NOT have the little Mfg. For BMG... on the UPC code- and every now and again you get a regular type cd that doesn't have it, it seems very label dependent. On my last order(15 cd's) I had 6 that had the Mfg for BMG... marking on it- not bad odds seeing as even with shipping the average price of a cd was 6.87- though even I will admit your NOT going to find XRCD quality cd's at BMG- when you want the really special stuff you gotta pay for it :(
BMG is using the same master digital source code as the original manufacturer. I've never heard anyone say the store bought BMG CDs are of lesser quality than other lables, so how can these be worse? BMG does not have a special factory that makes the club CD's. They come out of the same factories as their own store lables. Manufacturing them under license in their own factory is just cheaper for them, and easier to control supply.

It is interesting that a Sterophile article discusses CD's made specifically for the Columbia Club, so it is not true they only sell store CD's. It may be possible Columbia doesn't mark their "club CD's" like BMG does.

Stereophile and others have done laboratory tests of club and store CD's of BMG and Columbia, measuring them every way imaginable, and they could not find any differences. They actually did find variances between the quality of some Sony/Columbia factories, (amount of jitter) but not connected to clubs releases. So if there is some difference it can even be among different store copies (for Sony/Columbia anyway).

See this link for more information....