Vinyl Lovers

After a marathon session of ultrasonically cleaning some of my vinyl treasures, I discovered that a few of them had what I'll call "skip-scratches" on various cuts. I have many more to clean (i.e.  somewhere around 5 to 6 hundred, mostly original 60s & 70s LPs) and fully expect to encounter more bruised babies along the way, not all of which I'll probably replace with vinyl re-issues or re-pressings. Some of my all-time favorites, however, I definitely will want to replace, providing I can find good quality re-issues/re-pressings. I know there is much to learn about this, and I am just beginning to scratch the surface (no pun intended). For example, there are issues of so called "virgin vinyl", quality of the vinyl mix, thickness of vinyl, recording from original master tapes, if still in existence and in good condition, quality of the actual pressing process, etc., etc., etc.

So, I guess my question for you all who know much more about this than I, is where the best places are to buy the best quality vinyl re-issues or re-pressings. Local record shops are few and far between and most of them don't have much in the way of variety or stock in anything other than used records. I'm familiar with Discogs but, frankly, am reluctant to buy used records on-line because I don't entirely trust the purveyors' ratings and the endemic hassles of possible returns. Most of the re-issues/re-pressings I've purchased, thus far, have been from or through Music Direct. I've noticed that some of their offerings actually come from companies like:  Island Records; Impex; RHINO and other sources.

So, what are some of your go-to, solid, reputable standbys?

Thanks Much!


I went through a similar process in 2006, when used vinyl was far cheaper than it is today. If you are talking classic rock, one of the best sources for info on better sounding pressings is the Hoffman forum- but you have to dig- many will be older postings, by members who have done the comparisons. While dead wax alone is not altogether determinative (the inscriptions on the play out space after the last groove of music), it is instructive. 

In terms of sources, I used Discogs a lot simply b/c what I've been buying in the last decade or more is not something you'd find at a local store- early heavy rock from the UK; so-called spiritual jazz (typically US pressings in the '70s during a low point in vinyl manufacture). 

Jazz- Tone Poets and Ume/Verve series are good and relatively cheap. One of my favs on Tone Poet is Katanga! which is currently out of print but hopefully, for those who don't have it, they will do another run.

I developed a taste for oddball stuff- thus, Abdul Wadid's By Myself was reissued (with some help from a DSD copy of the tape) and reissued for 30 bucks. An OG costs 4 figures, so there really isn't much choice, unless you have unlimited funds.

EIL was a go to for me for a while- they aren't cheap but grade conservatively. Good source for English rock from the Island pink label era.

If you are buying used, from a platform like Discogs, enter into a dialog with the seller -- their response will give you better insight into how careful they are on grading and minimize grief. I've had very few sour transactions that way. 

I posted about Woody Shaw's Blackstone Legacy here a week or so ago- not "rare" but hard to find a clean copy- took me a few years. And now, even more expensive. Craft is reissuing, allegedly from the tape, cut by K. Gray and it isn't expensive. 

In some cases, the reissue or a later issue may make sense only because the desirable copies are now so expensive. When I was buying up Dark Sides, A3/B3s were commonly 50 bucks a pop for M-. I'm sure they are 5X that now.

Do your due diligence both in terms of sonics of particular pressing and the seller. 

Sorry I did not make this shorter. 


@whart , you ghostly double, I love Kantaga! too! Bought it totally on a whim. Amazing, all the great music that slides under the radar.

Thanks for the heads up on Katanga.  Just went down the rabbit hole on Curtis Amy.  Wonderful 

Congratulations on where you are.

What is your system? There is a place to put photos. Very helpful. What turntable?


I started collecting in the 60’s as well and continued through present. I was shocked that when cleaned and with an audiophile turntable most of my early albums sounded spectacular… maybe one in a hundred with a skip on them. I attribute their spectacular sound to my stylist going much deeper into the grooves than my Sears portable and cheap junk Garrard at college.

I buy from a local used record store where I can carefully examine the record and typically after clearing they are flawless. Also, for classics I was shocked over the last twenty years how audiophile pressings have come out on my very favorite albums of the time. Music Direct is my normal place to buy those. But read reviews… not all audiophile pressing sound great. Some are terrible… 10% - 15% maybe.

I have not had great luck with Amazon and misc used through the mail suppliers.

Acoustic Sounds and Analog Productions are two of the best. I also use Elusive Disc. There are many online record stores and they all sell the same records. Acoustic Sounds and Analog Productions are one and the same. Music Direct and MoFi are one and the same.