What do you look for in a vinyl record purchase?

These days I am purchasing less is more. Once, I thought $90 AUD was a good price for a vinyl album, and you do pay a premium for 45s. Now, I am paying $120 AUD and considering some MOFI One Steps at outrageous (to me) prices.

I look for Decca recordings or Deutsche Grammophon or MOFI. Though my beer budget can not sustain my fine wine tastes.

This post was going to be part of

Though I thought it should be a separate post.

Warm regards,

Mitch in Oz.

1 Like

I don’t know the classical market well. But for other kind of genres, I buy mostly pressings from the year of production from Discogs. Great site.
NM or Mint copies only.


Deutsche Grammophon’s ‘The Original Source’ limited re-release LP series are exemplary: great artists and performances, silent (German) pressings, and informative gatefold sleeves.

But they are being issued as limited worldwide releases of (up to) 1,600 copies, and there are reports that some have sold out already.

So don’t hang about!

I have also bought a brand new DGG 2LP release of Yuja Wang playing solo piano pieces, which is just as good.

Q: What do I look for in a vinyl record purchase?

A: a clean, silent, flat pressing, without non-fill in an anti-static inner sleeve. And if it wasn’t 180g that would be even better.

This is why I end up buying more CDs.


Oh yeah. Preach.

Don’t forget the lack of inner groove distortion and absence of pre- and post-echo too.

Let me show my ignorance here - what is that, please, and is this something you need a really high end record player to hear?

I feel like an LP12 has been calling me for decades but am increasingly wondering if I really should. I don’t have super hearing I’m afraid- slap in the middle of the decay curve for people my age!


The Hoffman forum has this discussion which saves me a lot of typing:

(If that link has to go the way of all flesh to conform to forum AUP, just google ‘Hoffman pre echo vinyl’ or similar)

If you’ve never noticed it before, you’re probably fine - unless, now I’ve pointed it out, you won’t be able to not hear it from now on!


Thanks. I took a look through that thread. I hadn’t even heard of the concept but it seems to be quite prevalent. I almost daren’t listen to vinyl again!

1 Like

I may have just saved you the price of an LP12. You’re… welcome?!

1 Like

Even NM/Mint still buyers beware. Once I bought some LPs from a seller in Italy through Discogs with Mint category on both media & cover (and priced decently as “mint”, instead of some suspiciously cheap price), but arrived with shabby cover and the vinyl plates have some deep scratches that make it impossible even to decently listening to some songs. Those LPs ended up in trash bin.

1 Like

Sorry to hear that. I am buying by Discogs for maybe twenty years now and have no problems. I returned perhaps 3 and kept 250 . I am not a huge buyer but can’t complain on Discogs so far.


Actually, I also have more good experience with Discogs. I guess what I wrote before is the 3 that you had, and I have like the other 50s good ones from other sellers. The only difference is that my buyer was recalcitrant on it, and I don’t feel like prolonging the pain anyway, just lick my wound and be mindful not ever deal with that seller anymore, and focus on the other good experiences.


My limited collection (shouldn’t have got rid of most of it) is from the mid 70s and 80s, with about 10/12 (new) albums brought recently.

I have had the odd browse in shops of all types and those used albums that I have seen that I thought might be worth buying, have either been very expensive or dirty/scratched and occassionally both.

It has put me off buying two items on Discogs because I don’t fancy the hassle if something is not up to scratch!!!

I don’t know where you live, but ring a dealer who specialises in LP12s - say, Grahams HiFi in London, Cymbiosis in Leicestershire, or a local branch of Audio T, to ask if they have any ‘pre-loved’ LP12s in stock.

The LP12 is a pretty robust design, and can easily be repaired/upgraded, but you need to be careful with the tonearm, to ensure that the bearings are in good shape.

Most S/H LP12s will be sold without a cartridge, so remember to allow for that additional cost when you’re making a purchase.


Thanks - I was thinking about it again earlier tonight. My local dealer for such things is Ripcaster in Checkendon (Oxon).

By all means try your local dealer, you may get lucky. But you probably stand a better chance of success by going to a specialist, such as I mentioned above.

1 Like

I have a friend in that area whose dealer is Ripcaster. Bought his LP12 there and he was very happy with the service he received.


At the risk of opening myself up to ridicule (more than usual that is):

  • Second hand.
  • Must be under $40. Preferably from a bargain bin under $15.
  • A kick ass cover image.
  • If my music app tells me what I’m holding was only ever released on vinyl, I’m even more likely to roll the dice and snap it up.

For me vinyl is all about new music discovery. Things I’m generally unfamiliar with.

These days, a typical record purchase for me is either:

  • Something old, rare and obscure that was never released on CD or streaming, but is not especially valued by the market
  • A brand new release that I’ve had a chance to check out via streaming
  • Something that was released during the CD era on CD only and is only now being released on vinyl.

Were I to purchase vinyl, my criteria would be as they were when I did, in this order:

  1. Music that I like and want.
  2. Not longer than 25 min on a side, preferably no more than 20
  3. Check disk is free from visible damage/defect (e.g. scuffs, warp, eccentric hole) and is clean.
  4. Sleeve in good condition.
    Immediately after purchase play and check for (and return immediately if present) excessive surface noise (eggs and bacon, clicks and pops) or other significant sound quality problem such as distortion.