As a collector of LP's, I have several sealed LP's. It occured to me that the real reason one has a sealed LP is to try and improve it's resale value. Now, I really think this practise is crazy... why, because I never get to listen to the music on the LP,or enjoy it for what it was meant to be; the next 'investor' never gets to do the same ( if he supposedly wants to keep his investment) and so the piece sits on the shelf collecting dust for who to finally enjoy? Are you keeping sealed LP's for the next investor?
The secret would be to initially buy at least 2 of copies that have great potential for higher resale value. In the future, you'd have the option of opening one for replacing the older copy or for resale to get money to expand your collection or invest in new hardware. I've done this with MOFI and other gold cd,s. I can sell several of them for 5-10 times what I paid. I can then take this extra cash and invest in my hobby down the road. I agree if you just buy 1 copy and keep it sealed, you could be missing hours of enjoyment.
When I can get only 1 copy, I open it and play it! I'm not sure what the next owner would do; he could save it hoping the value increases or open and play. If I'm in that position, I'd open and add it to my active collection. I guess the bottom line is that some money can be made.
A problem I've had in purchasing still sealed records say, 20 or more years old is that when you open them, clean them, put them on the turntable and drop the needle you suddenly discover they are badly WARPED. Although this does not happen with MFSL. I have no LP's sitting just sealed, never played.
I have many sealed audiophile albums and what I do is look for a back up copy in mint to mint - and purchase that to play. I can then keep the original sealed to sell. I personaly don't care what people do with it when they buy it they paid for it. I have invested in Blue Note japanese pressing for pure investment never to listen to them ,just hold on to sell at a later date. In some case I don't open the sealed copy because I felt how much better could it be to the original pressing. A couple like that are The Pretenders first album. I have a sealed natilus Super Disc but the original pressing i have is as good as it gets.
Xiekitchen: Good point. I received a Classic Records Led Zep that, while not warped, was obviously "dished". It played alright (when clamped) but for this kind of money, I returned it for a clean copy.
When I got back into vynil a few years ago , I bought unopened copies of Dark Side of the Moon , Supertramp Crime of the Century , Bob Segars Night Moves and The Beatles Abbey Road and Rubber Soul all Mobile Fidelity Master Copies from a two fer collector. My intent was to keep them unopened . Lasted ten minutes till I was spinning libations and dropping the needle . Buy it, play it, enjoy it . But thats just me , I won,t knock the guys that buy em and keep em ..... without them where would I find excellant virgin vynil !!!!
It seems like a strange dichotomy to be vinyl "collector" for value and a true vinyl appreciator at the same time. My first impression is that they are two different camps.
I can totally understand someone collecting vinyl for the sake of collecting just as I can understand a stamp collector who collects stamps that he never intends to use, but rather to look at and enjoy owning with the possibility of reselling at a higher price.
A vinyl appreciator obviously realizes that there can be financial value in keeping the LP sealed for later resale, but there is more value to an appreciator in actually listening to the music on the album. It's a quick cost/benefit analysis with the cost being the lost financial value of the LP versus the level of benefit that the individual would get from enjoying the musical qualities of a pristine record.
So there are 3 drivers in place here: the enjoyment from having a collection of things (sealed or unsealed records), the enjoyment in the possible financial gain of collecting "physically perfect" things (sealed records), and the enjoyment of listening to great quality music. I would say that most audiophiles fall into the first and third categories, with the people in the second category supplying the goods for us. ;)
I have a couple of records i'll never open. One is Muddy Waters "Folk Singer" on MFSL Vinyl. Another is "Fresh Cream" by Cream on the DCC label. My vinyl copy has additional bonus tracks that aren't supposed to be on the album. Very few were sold.