I prefer musicdirect for price, but both seem to offer good service.
Both are actively involved in their own reissue efforts (musicdirect
owns Mobile Fidelity, if I remember correctly). Tom, you know I'm one
of those guys with the $5,000 vinyl front end and $500 CD setup. I'm
guilty of not giving equal effort to the format, but since I have WAY
more records and don't want to spend that much converting to digital,
I'd rather max out my record listening experience. That, and I can't
afford to spend any more money on equipment. I prefer vinyl for the
very high frequencies (I wish SACD and DVDA had made it). I don't like
Classic Records reissues most of the time. They're too bright for my
tastes and usually brighter than the original. I prefer the mastering
approach by Stan Ricker and Steve Hoffman--better bass, better surfaces,
better maintained and alligned equipment, upgraded amps and mastering
chain, but a record that still sounds like a much better version of the
original. Kind of like those great sounding white label promos and test
pressings--first stampers, better vinyl, the best mastering engineer
available to the label.
Tom Fine wrote:
> Hi Dave:
> Here are a couple, both charge list or near list and both will send
> you a nice catalog full of eye candy:
> Beware the "racks and racks" of audiophoolery but I've found both
> quick and reliable with shipping and returns/exchanges. Any returns
> I've had to make have been QC problems, mainly the fault of Classic
> Records. None of it has been the fault of the retailers but they
> handled customer care exactly as promised.
> One of my fave used LP stores, the Bop Shop in Rochester NY, has some
> new LPs for sale, generally at or near list price.
> As for reissue labels, I haven't had one bad experience with Analogue
> Productions. Their stuff is consistently great. The Classic Records
> mastering is usually first rate but as I've said, their manufacturing
> is not always (but I have always gotten un-gouged or scuffed copies in
> exchange, so apparently their manufacturer is capable of excellent
> work). Speakers Corner has an interesting and growing catalog. I was
> thrilled to see this record back out, from a new player in the UK,
> my original LP was unplayable, a garage sale purchase.
> Reviews have been good for Warner Music's recent LPs, but I must say
> that I have a hard time with the main reviewers of LPs these days, as
> they seem caught up in audiophoolery and myths.
> My usual caveat -- there's no reason an LP should sound better than a
> CD except for bad or primative/early CD mastering. Almost every LP
> I've bought new in the last 5 years was not out on CD (either out of
> print or never issued) or was done horribly on CD.
> -- Tom Fine