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May 09, 2012, 09:16:32 PM
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Once in a while, I come across sealed copies of LP's at the record shop that are branded 'CRC', 'Columbia House' or 'RCA Music Service' and I always wondered whether the sound quality is equal to the original pressings, or if they are inferior, mass produced junk.

So far, my luck with them has been mixed, but mostly positive. I picked a sealed copy of AC/DC Flick the Switch for $1, which was marked 'Manufactured by Columbia House Under License' and the sound quality was not so good. I also picked up a sealed copy of The Cars - Panorama for $3, which was manufactured by RCA Music Service and the sound quality is excellent.

I also picked up a mint copy of Led Zepplin's Houses of the Holy for $10 - manufactured by Columbia House and the sound quality is fantastic. It's so good in fact, it puts the recently released Zepplin 'Mothership' box set to shame.

Flipping through my records, I'm actually surprised how many record club LP's I own. The majority of them are marked Columbia House or CRC.

Do you have any record club LP's in your collection? How would you rate the sound quality?
« Last Edit: September 17, 2014, 06:04:27 AM by Admin »
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May 12, 2012, 05:44:26 PM
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May 13, 2012, 11:19:31 AM
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"...and remember: it's our secret" LOL!!

They took their time in advertising, nowadays it's not the same  :-\ I wish I could live back those years for awhile  ;D I can hardly remember, as I was born in the mid seventies. But I do remember my aunt playing records at any day time during the late seventies. These videos bring me back those memories and make giggle too  ::) Those were magical moments with my aunt and it represents my break into the vinyl world.

Thanks for the videos ;)

RIP Dick Clark  :'(
« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 03:00:21 PM by GoodVinylLover »
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May 13, 2012, 04:24:26 PM
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I added some print ads for record clubs to the Media Gallery.

I was born in 1969, so I grew up during the 70's and 80's. My brothers and sister were members of various record clubs and I remember seeing the brown cardboard mailers arrive and I couldn't wait to help them open them up.  ;D

[attach=1]
The house I grew up in actually came with a Lafayette 236A stereo tube amp with matching 2-way speakers (8" woofer, 2" tweeter) plus a Garrard turntable. The turntable was a Garrard AT-60 with a Pickering V15 cartridge. The speakers were on shelves in the living room with the wires hidden inside the wall, leading to a closet where the amp and turntable was. The previous owners just left it there. I still have the turntable and tube amp in my collection.  8)

Growing up, we played the heck out of that stereo - especially when my parents were not home.  ;)  Eventually, we each got our own turntables and 8-track players. My sister bought an 8-track recorder and I still remember recording her vinyl records to tapes so she can listen to them in her 1970 Olds Delta 88.  :)

I didn't buy much vinyl growing up - I just inherited records from my siblings as they grew tired of them. It's a shame we didn't take better care of them. By the time I got them, they were pretty much toast. Most of those records didn't survive. They were either thrown away, given to the Salvation Army, or shattered in a million pieces by me and my mischievous brother in the field and basketball court across the street from my house. Incidentally, records travel for long distances when thrown with a bit of spin on them. My brother use to throw 45's from our back yard and they would land on a school roof, two blocks away! :o

One of my biggest regrets growing up, was that some of the records we destroyed belonged to my mom. She had a vast collection of 45's from the 50's and 60's that would be priceless today. At the time, I couldn't stand 50's music (I've long since grown to appreciate music from that period) and, well, they made excellent Frisbees.  :-[

My parents still have a decent size collection since my mom stashed away some of her more prized records (like her Elvis records) so I wouldn't destroy them. My dad was mostly into Polka music, so his records were fair game.  ;)

[attach=2]
My first real turntable was a Fisher 'Studio Standard' which featured a Shure (M91ED?) moving magnet cartridge. I picked it up from a local farmers market/outdoor auction for $10 in the early 80's. At this time, I also acquired a German made, tube based reel to reel tape deck (Sabafon TK220) and a Pioneer cassette deck. All through my childhood, I was always buying everything I could find that was related to audio - turntables, tape decks, receivers, amps, speakers, etc. The local farmers market was a treasure trove of unwanted audio gear. If I found something I wanted, I would beg my parents for an advance on my allowance so I could buy it. During the mid 80's, it wasn't uncommon  to find a Technics SL-1700 turntable at a garage sale for $5 or $10. Or one of those fold down, GE stereo turntables with built-in speakers for $3. By the time I was in my mid teens, I amassed a huge collection of used stereo gear. Nothing high-end or fancy, but at that time, people seemed to be dumping consumer grade audio gear left and right for cheap.

[attach=3]
One of the reasons why my family moved from New Jersey to Pennsylvania was because my dad worked for 'Two Guys' department store as a manager and they were relocating him to a new store location in PA. My dad was the manager of the electronics and small appliance area, so every time my mom and I went to the store to visit him, I spent all of my time browsing through the records and messing with the latest audio gear on display. It was a fun time to grow up.  ;D   The store eventually closed down and Two Guys went out of business. I remember buying stacks of records at the 'going out of business' sale, from the ABBA to ZZ-Top, I grabbed everything I could since they were only 4 for $1.  8)

Most of those records are gone too, I have maybe 15 or so original records left from that time period.  :'(

RECORD CLUBS
My experience with record clubs came later in life and was mostly with CD's.

Actually, you could say CD clubs (and the CD format itself) was destroying my love for music during that time in my life. I moved away from vinyl and was trying so hard to embrace the new digital audio format without success. The sound quality was all over the place and I just felt there was something missing. All through the late 80's and 90's, I spend a fortune buying thousands of CD's, only to unwrap the CD, pop it in my Sony CD player, skip through the tracks and think 'Meh, whatever' and put the CD back in it's case.

I was a member of a few music clubs back in the late 80's and 90's, but at that point, I was buying CD's instead of vinyl. I didn't have a decent turntable anymore and most of the records I had left were in rough shape since they were 'hand me downs' from my brothers and sister. I hate to admit it, but the majority of my childhood and teenage record collection was either given away, used for target practice with my BB gun or used as a Frisbee.   :'(

I remember getting the ads in the mail for '11 albums for a penny!', as long as you promised to buy 5 or 10 more at 'regular club prices' in the next year or two. In the beginning, you had a choice of vinyl records, cassettes or 8-tracks. CD's were added late in the late 80's or early 90's. Columbia House and BMG were the biggest distributors of club CD's and it was always fun deciding which albums to get by placing the little stamps on the order form. They weren't technically free, since you did have to pay postage and handing, which I usually checked the 'bill me later' box. Weeks later, a box would show up with your selections along with a bill, which most people just threw away.  ;)

After a month or so, they would send a new bill and it was a running joke among friends to see how long they will hound you for payment before giving up. Better still, is when they send you a bill for records you promised to buy in a years time, even though you never sent an order in. Those bills would get tossed too.  :P

Sometimes, a year or two later, the same ad would show up in the mailbox for another 10 or 15 free CD's for a penny. They were very poor at tracking the previous club members - even the delinquent ones, so you could basically sign up again for more free CD's.

I never really like CD's. Growing up with vinyl, I always felt something was missing in the CD listening experience. It wasn't until 2008 that I decided to pickup a used Technics turntable and give vinyl records another listen. As soon as the needle hit the record, I knew I found what was missing in my life. I was hooked all over again.  ;D
« Last Edit: February 05, 2016, 03:14:46 AM by BSD2000 »


May 14, 2012, 04:02:39 PM
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Thanks for sharing your story!  ;D

I was born in the mid seventies and I started to buy my own records and cassettes in the early eighties. At that time I had already a handful of vinyl records that were given to me as a gift by my aunt. All of them were hits compilations that we used to listen to together in her room 4/5 years back. BTW, I don't know the exact model but the turntable where my aunt used to play her records looked like this one:

[attach=1]

I still have 6 of those records, in fact I am lucky to have kept the majority of the records I collected throughout my life  8) Here's a picture of the 6 I mentioned:

[attach=2]

I think it was in 1983 when my father bought an Amstrad Tower System TS-33 like this one:

[attach=3]

God, I must confess that turntable was awful  ;D But I managed to persuade my parents to buy a portable cassette player so I could listen to my cassettes (commercial and vinyl transfer) in my room  :P From 9 to 15 years of age I collected about 150 records. It was in 1987 when I bought my first CD and soon I could afford to buy my own Sony Hi-Fi system  8) That represented a BIG change  ;)

You know what? I feel like you do: CDs lack something. I don't really know what it is, but I feel It's true. Or should I say: vinyl records have something extra that CDs can't deliver. Generally speaking, of course.

During the 90s I bought a lot of CDs and a few records...CDs were very easy to find and vinyl records were starting to disappear. A few years ago I decided not to buy CDs anymore because I was fed up of paying for something that sounded so dynamically compressed=crap  >:( and I unpacked my records, cleaned them, played them... WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!!!!!


My brother use to throw 45's from our back yard and they would land on a school roof, two blocks away! :o
Dangerous sport



 :D
« Last Edit: January 08, 2015, 05:42:41 AM by GoodVinylLover »



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