Poaching vinyl in thrift shops

A while back I shuffled the turntable back into the system along with a new cartridge- man what a difference the cartridge made. So now I find myself hunting our local thrift shops for vinyl. Really nothing new, but it has been a while since I last purchased loads of albums.

What a great bit of fun it is to slog thru five hundred or so albums looking for the jewels amongst the rubble. In the last few months I have developed a system that seems to work well.

Fan through the stacks and if a cover looks to be in decent shape, and it is a genre that holds even minimal interest look further. If there is no inner sleeve, move on. If there is a sleeve, pull the album. Any scratches at all and it gets shoveled back into the debris. No scratches? cool, then how good is the pressing? Look near the label to see if the vinyl is mirror smooth or looks orange peeled. The smoother the better.

What do the grooves look like? I have nixed albums for having too much compression in the grooves. Might as well have some dynamic range, eh?

Price? Around here it goes from 25c to $1 an album. I recently walked out with ten great finds for $10. Amazing good stuff. I'd never heard a group called 'The Nylons', a very cool a capela group out of Canada ca 1980 or so. Some Grace Jones. Some mint Columbia masterworks Wagner. Even an Alice Cooper picture disc. The lovely lass pictured was worth the price paid, even if it never gets played...

I find that lately I've had to lower my standards in order to find something to listen to. Else it seems like I don't end up with much each month the other way. Either that or someone else is poaching all the vinyl before I get to the store!
Refreshing post!

I enjoy that experience also. In fact, most of my vinyl collection is from second hand shops.

It's hard in the bay area (CA) to find the $1 albums because there are audiophiles that usually beat me to it, I think.

But at Ameoba music, and Streetlight I can usually find good recordings that are worth listening too. Sometimes, I'll find a true gem - (good performance, great sounding recording).

at places like Goodwill, I usually get about 1 or 2 out of 8 that are worth listening to. I toss the rest. That's the thing about vinyl; its either good or bad - not much in between.

Fortunately, I like classical music. There is still a lot of that available. Jazz I think would come in second. I don't even try to look for Rock.

Classical does seem easier to come by. There are literally tons of it moldering about.
The occasional gold nugget found is worth the search. I found my criteria for vinyl inspection have gone a long way to greater the odds on the 'good find'. In fact (I got lucky) of the ten I walked out with the other day, I would say about six of them are really nice finds and two of them are 'gold' indeed. The remaining two I may not listen to again, but at least we tried ;-)
But they can make things that look like garbage playable and almost tick free. Scratches cannont be overcome. Dirt can.

Keith Monks is the single biggest tweak I have encountered yet. Cables, cryo' silver, gold platinum, what ever, Bah!!!

But the Monks is amazing.