LP Vinyl: Quality, Pressing, Label, Weight, Where to Buy ???

Getting back into LP vinyl...its been a long time = mid 70s?  Searching for an educational review on the forum for buying decent quality vinyl LPs...an overview of quality, weight, pressing, label, and best source/location to purchasing (prefer to stay away from ebay as it seems to be hit/miss on what you get). Does anyone have suggestions for an educational review on the subject? 

As a discussion point...I was looking at buying an older LP (vinyl only); I did an internet search = "Faces" - The First Step Album. Online search produces numerous results with prices from $18 to $120...older, used, remakes/repressed, various quality ratings (is there a uniform rating scale), unopened...list goes on. 

Greatly appreciate the forums experience and insight!


A useful tool for any music purchase is to know what you are looking for when it comes to who released it, where it was made and when it was released.

This site allows you to target certain albums or CDs to get the ones with the greatest dynamic range.



I call it analog hell. IF you get everything just right, you still have to find albums that are even available. Not all are. Then when you get them, it can be a real disappointment. Hey, just like some the digital hell we went through with CD. Almost forgot. 

 Now on the other hand, things may go your way and it is a beautiful thing. 

  Where to buy? Well, just like the first reply says, it's crap shoot.

I usually stock up at book fairs, but it's been slim pickings the last couple of years.  Maybe once covid restrictions get lifted, selections might improve.  

I've also selectively purchased from ebay with some good results.  But availability is down and the prices are stupid.  

So for the time being, I'm enjoying the records I have.  

I like online vendors Music Direct, Elusive Disk and Acoustic Sounds, and a couple local record stores. Amazon has been hit & miss, I’ve had to return about half the LPs but if you’re near a UPS or Kohl’s returns are an easy drop off, unpackaged.
Original pressings usually sound better than reissues but surface noise can be an issue. Reissues from Analogue Productions, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MoFi), Sundazed, Acoustic Sounds and Blue Note labels are good. 45rpm’s are a pain (double albums, twice the chance of getting a defect) but can sound better than 33 1/3. As for weight, 180g and 200g are rarely warped but imo I don’t think a heavier record affects the sound.

Good luck, welcome back!