How many LPs is enough?

Right-- the answer is "Just a few more..." However, here is where I am and what I'm thinking: The last three times I was in my local used/thrift shops, I came across a few that I was not quite sure if I already had, or whether I had that pressing. I wondered if I need to carry a Blackberry (anathema to my analog way of life) with my collection downloaded so that I could avoid this kind of dilemma.
I only own about 700 or so titles, spanning classical box sets to recent limited-release albums. I realize that this is nothing compared to most of you, but I donate what I upgrade and I sell what I do not enjoy listening to. I maintain an Excel database of what I have, and enter each upon cleaning and test-listening; I don't just buy 'em and throw 'em in a bin. While it is rather engaging to compare, say, six versions of Bolero or Beethoven's symphonies 1-9 to determine which sounds best, am I really going to listen to the other five once this is determined? Likewise, while I own a stereo and mono version, and often an audiophile reissue, of most of my favorite late '50's through '60's jazz, surf, folk, and psych, it usually turns out that one or the other sounds significantly better. My overriding rationale is that I don't really need more than a one-year supply of one title per day. While building my collection, I have enjoyed making the comparisons or searching out the missing performance when it comes to classical, but nobody who I expose to this stuff is interested in making these comparisons-- they want to hear the vinyl magic, so I always pull the superior recording.
Maybe I only need about 300-400 titles of what I consider best of the best. Even when and if I retire and have more free time, I'm not sure that I would listen to more than one LP per day, and this gives me a year of no-repeats. Of course, my husk can still haunt the local thrifts and resale shops for that fifty-cent, mint six-eye Kind of Blue, so long as I immediately sell my two-eye... Has anyone else come to this conclusion? Am I to be immediately and henceforth banished from the Brotherhood of Crusty Vinyl Seekers after having my stylus bent?
After a similar frustration buying a few too many duplicates, I also started entering my LPs into a database/spreadsheet. Before the PDA era, I'd keep printouts of the list in a 3-ring binder to haul along with me. For many years now, I've kept everything downloaded onto a PDA (MS Access on the PC, downloaded to HandBase on the Palm). Since my collection is classical, and since I enter by individual work and not just LP, I have over 17,000 data entries (data records) at this point coming from 6-7,000 LPs: far too many lines to print out. The big advantage of carrying the list electronically is that it's searchable.

As to "how many records" - I can't bring myself to part with very many (except for the identical duplicates in different pressings). I figure I never know when I may want to go back to a piece of music after a few years and re-listen with "different ears". Also, I consider my LPs a library of music allowing me to pull out whatever I, or a guest, may in the mood to hear. There can never be too many records for that. ;-)

FWIW, until the newest Blackberry models arrived, the BB had limited data storage capability. The newest ones finally support a removable memory chip for added storage.
the more you buy, the fewer you play, the more you need.
Try using the Music version of software. Great product. You enter a title and it searches for cover art, year, studio, artists, length, genre, producer...etc. It exports an report extract as text
Great tip on the software.
You strike me as the kind of person for whom the thrill of the hunt is as enjoyable as sitting down to eat what you've killed. (Sorry for the gory analogy but my son has been killing zombies all day on his X-Box so I'm in that bloody state of mind from watching what he has been doing) So I think that you will always be looking for more. As to the question as to how many is enough as your search continues, you've already seemed to have solved that problem. You've noted that you cull the ones that are no longer important to you as time passes. As a result, you'll probably reach some equilibrium point in terms of quantity, if you're not already there. So just carry on and enjouy your hobby, you're doing fine.
I think it's different for every person. You mentioned you only listen to about 1 lp per day. I consider myself a moderate listener and easily listen to 3-4 a day. I bet there are plenty of people here that listen for 5-6 hours or more.

Also I think it depends what genre's of music one is interested in, and how and if thier tastes are developing. I had amassed probably 2500 or more rock LP's and then became more interested in Jazz. It was as if I had to start collecting all over again. I have a small collection of classical, but who knows, I may someday feel the need to fill that out as well.

At this point I probably have 4000 LP's. I am out of room to store them though, or I would be buying considerably more. Looking at the catalogs of new pressings and releases, my mouth simply waters. We are clearly living through the LP's renaissance. The pressings (new releases and some rereleases), cartridges, tuntables and phono stages are the best they have ever been, even when the LP was a mainstream format.

LP playback is simply so good, I hardly ever listen to digital anymore, and can often get new releases on LP rather than CD. I probably should follow your lead and pair down my collection from duplicates, and LP's I won't listen to anymore. That would give me the space for new acquisitions.
Yes, finding them and cleaning them is at least half the fun. I have attempted to harness this energy in accumulating LPs "worth having," regardless of musical genre. This way, when I hear a Schoenberg piece on public radio, or a Johnny Mathis Christmas tune in a store, or a Klaatu tune on late-night car ride, I can go back and further explore that artist through the LP release or set. Since I am into avant-garde or "free" jazz, I have no alternative but to find the originals or reissues if I want to hear it! An Emailists, I agree that I don't really bother with CDs any more-- as mentioned in another post, I have a few excellent CD players, but none are even connected at the moment.
I bought 14,000 in about 2 years...
Mostly at $0.10 or so.
Then I sorted them out and tossed about 4,000.
Then I had to move and discarded another 4,000 LPs.
So now I have a nice collection of 6,000 or so.
The answer is, when my current rack is full. I have had clear guidance from my wife, that the system has encroached enough. It makes it simple really, no more aquisitive pressure.
There was a recent link on Pink Fish to a report from Robert Harley on the king of audiophiles, a Chines gent with a 5 story warehouse full of kit, new and old. It included top of the range amps speakers, turntables. What the point is, escapes me. A last remark was that he had just bought a collection of 200,000 LPs, yes thats not a typo. Someone worked out, it would take 28years to listen to them once.
I'm a classical buff and when CDs were fist introduced I decided that I did not like the sound. My friends were switching to CDs and discarding their Lps, stores were selling LPs at give away prices so I just sucked them up and added to my collection. What I had saved in paying for CDs I upgraded my hard ware. One of the best decisions I ever made.

It got to the point where I was picking up stuff and couldn't remember which Haydn string quartet I had or if I had a particular Corelli concerto grosso so I did what Rushton did. I set up a database file in Microsoft works 3.0 DOS. It was a labour of love at the beginning and I still do it now up to 5,600 entries. Whenever I go "shopping" I print out the works of the composers I am interested in purchasing recordings of and consult it when I see something I am interested in.

The data base is also useful in being able to manipulate the data and I can arrange my collection by when the music was written and then listen to a development of the composers work.

Given that I(we) live in a technology time capsule I have had to purchase a back up hard drive to protect my DOS data base. But I have to say that we have to thank the hard ware technology of today as perhaps 25 years after the cessation of whole scale production of vinyl, it has never sounded better.

But to the answer to how many is enough? I think every body is right. As you pick up esoteric or rare recordings you go chasing down another composer, style,era and it all begins again. I tell my wife that this collection thing is a male passion not totally removed from the hunt. I'm lucky enough to work out of my home so I will probably listen to about 3 to 4 records a day.

I hope I made acontribution, thanks for reading.

I'm also lucky enough to work at home. My work desk is at the back of my listening room, so I get great sound all day long. I used to listen all day to my digital music collection from my computer hooked up to my stereo, so I would'nt have to get up so often. But then I developed a bad back from sitting too long in one place.

My doctor just told me I need to get up every 20-30 minutes to stretch in order to prevent future back issues. So I've switched back to vinyl while I work, which forces me to take those stretch breaks. Now I listen to around 10 LPs per day...Doctor's Orders!!!
I am more for quality than quantity myself. I started collecting jazz about 5 years ago and have about 1500 now (about 1/2 original issies, 1/4 early reissues and 1/4 newer (post danalog age)"audiophile" reissues). Average cost about $50/record but many are in the $75 to $300 range for a very nice early Blue note for example. I find that you very rarely find anything of quality in jazz at most used record stores, let alone the thrift shops so I dont bother with these. I have a few key sources (which I will not disclose), that have "the really good stuff" but at a price that is commensurate with the quality. You just cant expect to get a record from the early 50's in near mint condition for a cheap price I have found,(not very often anyhow. To avoid buying duplicates, I carefully catalog each record in Excel making special note of things like address on label, issue info, marks in the deadwax etc. All of this is critical to properly identifying the issue of jazz records which, unlike rock, were issued and reissued many times with varying quality in the heydays of vinyl.
I have met collectors,over the years who have told me they had to take out storage space to house their collections.
Take a look at the AVguide website.There is an article entitled "The World's Greatest Audiophile".In it you meet a collector who not only has a four story Equipment collection,BUT 260,000 LP's!!God only knows how many CD's the guy has got!
Suddenly my 2500LP,and 350CD collection seems small!
Too many is never enough!
Good vinyl recordings are great, but many are inferior by today's standards.

I recently bought a lot of ~ 40-50 albums of interest for ~ $2.00 each, a very good deal.

All were in good condition. A few recordings were top notch (Alan Parsons Pyramid for example). Many were just good or OK.

I suspect many sound better professionally remastered on CD these days, but CDs would cost a lot more and I only have so much time to listen (unfortunately).

I use my Denon CD recorder to transfer cuts or whole albums to CD for flexibility and ease of listening, including in the car when needed.

The Denon-mastered CDs sound as good as the originals to my ears even on my reference vinyl transfered to digital should when done right.

My only concern transferring LPs to CD (other than the time required) is whether the recorded CDs will still work 20-30 years from now. Vinyl lasts and does not seem to deteriorate much or at all under normal conditions. I don't know that the same is true with CD media available for mass home recording.
Many many more as far as I'm concerned.

I started collecting records in the 80's. Mostly current regular releases, MFSL & D-D, R&R and the like. Then the CD revolution started and people I know started giving me there collections and still do today. Most of it is rock & roll or disco. Disco ends up at record stores unless I really like the song, few and far between.

Now here’s the problem. Like I said I am mainly into rock but over the past few years I am finding my tastes are changing. I'm starting to like Jazz, Blues and some classical. I have some but did have a lot of this kind of music. Now that I am older and travel in different circles some of the people I now meet have Jazz & Blues & Classical and they learn I listen to records they offer me their collections. Some want money but most just want the room they get when I take them away. I'm hoping I get some real nice items. I just got a bunch of CTI recording & some Blue Note originals.

After trying to get some of the above mentioned used, I realized it will cost quite a lot of money to secure them from stores etc, 100's if not 1000's of dollars if they can even be found. I start looking at reissues, the prices are more reasonable but still on the high side. I look further into it and realized that even the reissues once out of print can also cost almost as much as the originals.

I have been collecting reissues even if I do not like the music, Jazz etc. just in case I like it later. This is the only way to afford them. I do leave them sealed unless I like the music now or later, as an investment.

I figure when I retire I can sell some off as I get older or my wife can live off them when I am gone. I know she will out live me her mother is 92 and her grandmother lived to 105, my family average is 72. I just hope she doesn't sell them at a yard sale for .50 cent each. My current collection, around 6000 and counting.

Enjoy your music,
I saw the article Sirspeedy refers to in TAS. Talk about dying and going to audio/musicophile heaven!! I had the same reaction as Sirspeedy did, as my collection is 2500 LP's and about 500 cd's.--Mrmitch