Really, this is about fetishizing objects - it's not that different from a
collector paying an obscene amount of money for an original rare blues 78
in mediocre shape simply because it's the original disc issued at the time
the artist was alive when the track is available in much cleaner sound on
an lp or cd reissue. There's a collector value placed on "hot stampers"
simply because they're relics of a particular time and place that resonates
with the audience the dealer is going for.
I've seen 16mm film collectors cling to their prints, paying $1,000 or more
for a classic movie they've seen dozens of times and that's available with
better visual and audio quality on a blu-ray, just because they're snobs
about seeing films on film.
Collectors have many motivations for collecting. Some are interested in
music or films and try to get the material in the best quality they can, no
matter what the format. Others are more attracted to the medium itself -
perhaps it brings back some memories of their past, gives them a certain
status or cachet to own a particular item, or they just enjoy messing
around with old media and equipment.
I think that archives will have to deal with this eventually, holding
representative examples of "first pressings" of significant lps or early cd
issues, for example. Of course, the audio on them might be common as dirt,
but having examples of the original items from the period to get an idea of
how they were manufactured compared to other issues can be valuable.
Personally, I wouldn't pay a few hundred bucks for a classic rock album
I've heard hundreds of times even if the pressing is so good that I can
hear someone in the background in the studio snorting cocaine. But show me
some original 30s transcriptions of the lost radio series, "Og, Son of
Fire", and maybe we can talk.
On Fri, Mar 6, 2015 at 5:37 PM, Lou Judson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I agree on this.
> Though people who can afford it do so with joy, I feel the chumps part is
> the audiophile merchants’ stock in trade…
> $600 for Rumours? I’d like to hear an ABX comparison with the HDTracks
> version. But that is not going to happen. It sounded fantastic on my VW Bus
> cassette stereo…
> Guess I better duck now and find a flame suit!
> On Mar 6, 2015, at 2:00 PM, Chris Bishop <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Also, none of these records are scarce, even in their first pressings. To
> > charge hundreds of dollars for a Bad Company LP or the B-52s, albeit a
> > 'white hot stamper' in top condition, is to make chumps out of one's
> > customers.