We buy, clean, play and grade hundreds of vintage rock albums per month. The majority are sold at various locations in San Francisco. Occasionally we find really good sounding records among the average ones. Out of those few good ones, once in a great while there is one that is flat-out amazing. Clarity, definition, richness of tone, sweet high frequencies and deep lows are all off the charts. You put it on the turntable and it sounds like angels on a Saturday night.
I remember when I discovered that records like that existed. I had recently managed to get my sound system to the point where I could hear the space between instruments on a record. (Audiophile equipment is nice, but a basic pair of transparent speakers, warm receiver, and a good vintage turntable with a clean stylus on a well balanced tonearm will give you a great listening experience. I was comparing a stack of 360 Sound copies of Bookends by Simon and Garfunkel. On maybe the 8th record, I was expecting to hear something slightly better or worse than the others, and instead I heard sound like a window opening up to the stars. It wasn't just better than the other copies, it was better than the remastered CD - way better - and it even sounded better than what I imagined the master tape would sound like. Clearly my expectations had been lowered by years of exposure to mediocre vinyl (on a sub par system) and compressed digital.
I searched for more records like that one, acquiring and trying multiple copies of favorite albums. I found that they do exist - they are just greatly outnumbered by poor copies. And they often defy conventional assumptions about early and later pressings. Even multiple copies of the same general pressing (often with similar or even matching matrix numbers) can sound very different played back to back.
Over the past year, we've been holding on to the truly exceptional sounding copies of classic albums as I find them. These are the records that I couldn't bring myself to sell. Now we are selling a few of them (with a money back guarantee as detailed below).
There are websites out there that specialize in finding and selling (at what may seem like high prices) the best sounding copies of beloved albums, and the question of their worth is a controversial one. Anyone who has listened to many copies of an album over time can tell you it's true that sonic quality will vary significantly, and that rarely you find one that will surpass all expectations.
Most sellers only grade records based on condition, often with just a visual inspection. The marketplace is in many ways designed to consider title, pressing, and condition as the only factors in assessing the value of a record - just as it would a book. Records are different in that their intrinsic purpose - faithful reproduction of the music - can range somewhat randomly from flat and lifeless to fantastic. I've paid for top condition copies of early pressings, only to be disappointed in how they sound.
I've also bought records on the basis of rarity or for the cover, and that kind of collecting can be fun too. I have records that I like to look at more than I like to play. For really experiencing the music though, that once-in-a-blue-moon spectacular vintage pressing delivers like nothing else.
14-day money back guarantee
If you are not completely happy with this record and the way it sounds, send it back within 14 days and we will promptly issue a full refund, no questions asked. Records may be returned USPS Media Mail in original shipping box, and must be in the same condition as originally received.
We ship fast and insure for full value
Orders will be shipped next business day (or same day if possible) and tracking information provided. Albums with be packaged with clear plastic sleeves in a record mailing box marked as fragile and shipped either USPS Priority or Media Mail. For either shipping method, we will add the necessary insurance to cover the item for full purchase value.
We will combine shipping
We can ship 1-4 albums in one box for the same shipping price. So if you are ordering 1 album, you can order up to 3 more and pay no additional shipping. Double albums are 2.