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Demonstration albums on the cheap!

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Demonstration albums on the cheap!

Postby vinyl master » 02 Aug 2017 20:20

While this list is not the be-all and end-all of lists, it's a good list of albums that can help showcase your system at it's finest, and they don't have to cost an arm and a leg...I'm proud to say I have every one of them, and I didn't pay more than $5.00 for any of them! See if you agree...



...And I remember where I got each of them!

1. THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT I Robot (Bought that one and "Eve" at my local record shop back in the day for a couple dollars each!)
2. CAT STEVENS Tea For The Tillerman (Got this one in a deal with a former co-worker of mine to buy his 250-LP classic and prog-rock collection for under $200...)
3. SADE Smooth Operator (Bought the tape back in the day, and found the record cheaply in my library's bookstore for $1.00)
4. DIRE STRAITS Brothers In Arms (Bought another copy at my local antique fair, along with "Love Over Gold"...$2.00 each!)
5. TRACY CHAPMAN Tracy Chapman (Another record store purchase for $3.00)
6. SUPERTRAMP Crime Of The Century ($5.00 at my local antique mall)
7. FLEETWOOD MAC Rumours (Bought at my local summer flea market for a couple of bucks on one of the tables...Second or third copy, too!)
8. STEELY DAN Aja (Got this also in my co-worker's stash!)
9. PAUL SIMON Graceland (Bought the tape first cheap at the thrift store and got another copy for probably $1.00 in a pile of records I bought my local record store!)
10. ROXY MUSIC Avalon (Discovered 10,000 Maniacs' version of "More than this" and hunted down the original at my record shop, along with Bryan Ferry's "These Foolish Things" for $3.00 each!)

A good list, although I would also include Sade's "Promise", Michael Franks' "The Art Of Tea", Frank Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim" and Wes Montgomery's "Bumpin'" or "Tequila", both from 1965 and 1966 respectively, on Verve...Regarding "Tequila", too, I have a couple of better copies I paid $8.00-$10.00 for, but I bought this for $2.00 from my basement guru, due to the trashed cover...

33035

Vinyl is excellent, though, and just needed a good cleaning! :wink:

So, do you guys have any dirt cheap recommendations for good-to-great-sounding albums for all the beginners out there?
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Re: Demonstration albums on the cheap!

Postby billshurv » 02 Aug 2017 23:51

Brothers in Arms was digitally recorded so I would knock that on the head.

I mainly use jazz or classical to test the system as I don't feel the need to 'demonstrate' it to anyone. But for testing my go to non classical are

-talk talk colour of spring
-dire straights love over gold
-motorhead 'killed by death' 12"

The last of which is a serious test of resolving power, if not everyone's taste.

Eurythmics 'touch' is also good as a good system peels the mix apart so it looks like a patchwork quilt with each overdub in a seperate space.
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Re: Demonstration albums on the cheap!

Postby Japi Roelofs » 03 Aug 2017 02:16

Vinyl master, I have two of the albums on the list (Rumours and Avalon) and they do sound great. But a lot of the music I have in my collection is poorly recorded, sloppy punk rock that won't sound good on any system :D

I would like to add Cheap Trick's 'Dream Police' to the list, sounds fabulous in my opinion, and can be found dirt cheap...

PS did you receive the STD stylus?
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Re: Demonstration albums on the cheap!

Postby vinyl master » 03 Aug 2017 04:48

Japi Roelofs wrote:
PS did you receive the STD stylus?


Yes, I did, Japi! Thanks again!!! =D>

I wrote about it here...

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=97244&start=30
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Re: Demonstration albums on the cheap!

Postby Peter Galbavy » 03 Aug 2017 10:13

There is a huge assumption in that list about the style of music you listen too and appreciate. Unless the actual music moves you somehow then no matter how good the reproduction quality you'll just shrug and say "meh!".

I have 8 or the 10 in the original list and very much say "meh!" to about half of them, having bought them at random. They just aren't me.

There is no contemporary electronica, classical, metal, etc. in that list, and boy can that give your kit an exercise from the stylus (and how well the whole cart/arm alignment is) all the way through to dynamic range (not everything is a casualty of the loudness war) through to room acoustics etc.
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Re: Demonstration albums on the cheap!

Postby Tinkaroo » 03 Aug 2017 10:34

I picked the following up for a couple of bucks each in mint condition recently and both sound excellent. Last summer I picked up a lot of similar albums for a dollar apiece.

Of the 11 albums that you listed V-M I have 8 if we count the two Alan Parsons Project albums.

Linda Ronstadt-For Sentimental Reasons.jpg


Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66-Greatest Hits.jpg
Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66-Greatest Hits.jpg (209.16 KiB) Viewed 325 times
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Re: Demonstration albums on the cheap!

Postby vinyl master » 03 Aug 2017 10:36

Peter Galbavy wrote:
There is no contemporary electronica, classical, metal, etc. in that list, and boy can that give your kit an exercise from the stylus (and how well the whole cart/arm alignment is) all the way through to dynamic range (not everything is a casualty of the loudness war) through to room acoustics etc.


Well, then...Got any good electronica, classical or metal albums you'd like to add? :-k I think all genres are just as important and can offer something! Which albums in those genres give your system a total workout and yet are still completely accessible/available to most people? By the way, that list was just one man's opinion from his video...I know you guys have plenty more cheap recommendations of your own, so bring 'em on! :D

Keep in mind that although paying an arm and a leg for a particular or rare pressing is all well and good (and I have many of those, too!), we're not talking about those types of albums per se...What good ones can you still find in the dollar bins that you would recommend to a vinyl newbie on a budget? :-k
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Re: Demonstration albums on the cheap!

Postby vinyl master » 03 Aug 2017 10:41

Tinkaroo wrote:I picked the following up for a couple of bucks each in mint condition recently and both sound excellent. Last summer I picked up a lot of similar albums for a dollar apiece.

Of the 11 albums that you listed V-M I have 8 if we count the two Alan Parsons Project albums.

Linda Ronstadt-For Sentimental Reasons.jpg


Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66-Greatest Hits.jpg


Yes, Tink...Those are excellent..."What's New?" from Linda and Sergio's "Equinox" are two of my favorites, as well...And you can find copies in just about ANY thrift store in the world! =D>

I might also want to add Herb Alpert's "Rise" to the list! 8)
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Re: Demonstration albums on the cheap!

Postby mickb69 » 03 Aug 2017 11:21

Yonks ago I got bowie's "ziggy stardust" album for £2.50 (from the well-stocked "£3 each or two for a fiver" box at my then-facourier record shop.

It's nowt special, just a basic reissue but does sound fantastic.

R.e the "you should knock brothers in arms on the head because it was digitally recorded" post:
It still sounds great, they were one of the first major bands to pioneer digital recording, but it was well recored, well mastered, FOR vinyl.
Digital becomes a problem because either analogue recordings were shifted onto digital, then chucked back onto vinyl, poorly.
Or simply were never meant to be anything other than CDs and MP3S before companies decided to cash in on the vinyl boom and just chucked the recordings onto vinyl without mastering them accordingly.
Of course, we'd all prefer analogue methods, but most everyone uses digital, fact is, done sympathetically, and correctly, it works fine, as you can hardly with the brilliant "brothers in arms"
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Re: Demonstration albums on the cheap!

Postby johnnywalker » 03 Aug 2017 12:26

Of course, we'd all prefer analogue methods, but most everyone uses digital, fact is, done sympathetically, and correctly, it works fine


As further proof of mickb69's point, there are:

Donald Fagen's The Nightfly (Warner Brothers 23696-1)

Frederick Fennell & The Cleveland Symphonic Winds, Holst, Handel, Bach (Telarc 5038)

Both digitally recorded, both sound great. It's not impossible to make a digital recording that sounds good, even on vinyl, but it's unusual.
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Re: Demonstration albums on the cheap!

Postby Slavikcc » 03 Aug 2017 13:45

audiophilelaws' YouTube videos are great! His videos related to jazz really helped me find some good albums out there!

Unfortunately, the ten albums in his video have gone up in price by at least twice or more over the past five to ten years or so around my area... Most of the albums that are at $5 or less are generally horrible in music, audio quality (badly mastered and/or sustained significant groove damage), or the combination of both...
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Re: Demonstration albums on the cheap!

Postby Veggie Boy » 03 Aug 2017 14:20

I have a pair of Polk Audio speakers that sound real nice. Alan Parson's I Robot is recommended in the owners manual.
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Re: Demonstration albums on the cheap!

Postby billshurv » 03 Aug 2017 14:29

I have to say I find pretty much everyone who posts on youtube on vinyl matters to be not worth my time to watch. They are full of opinions but low on facts.

For synthesized music I still have my original new order blue monday with the floppy disk cover and the 12" of relax by frankie goes to hollywood which is another great test of resolving power and cut fairly hot.

I should admit I have a fairly good collection of 80s audiophile specials as well bought when I didn't know better.
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Re: Demonstration albums on the cheap!

Postby Tonybro » 03 Aug 2017 14:56

Rumours was also an early digital recording too!
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Re: Demonstration albums on the cheap!

Postby billshurv » 03 Aug 2017 15:32

Cite for that? Everything I have read says 24 track analog for rumours.

Note on brothers in Arms from Bob Ludwig, who loves a soundbyte
"The Dire Straits Brothers in Arms CD I mastered in 1985, one of the very first albums recorded on the Sony 24-track digital machine, was the first CD I mastered that was totally mastered for the CD medium. It was also longer than the vinyl version. That original version had to be mastered in the analog domain, in spite of how great Neil Dorfsman's mixes were. Please re-buy my latest all-digital remastering of it; it's how I always wanted it to be."

I should note that brothers in arms was mastered for vinyl seperately in uk and USA. They spent weeks arguing over it on steve hoffman forums.
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