I have been a music lover, audiophile and a record collector for 35 years. I started collecting vinyl in the late 1970’s, buying records from radio stations who were clearing out their vinyl collections to make way for the emerging new digital format. My relationship with music has led to a personal collection of more than 15,000 records and CD's. My first love is Classical and Jazz recordings but I also have many scarce recordings across all music genres. I have been casually buying and selling vintage vinyl and analogue audio on Ebay since 1999. I have decided to create Voice of Vinyl Records and Audio and pass on these recordings.
Voice of Vinyl Records and Audio- Your source for carefully PLAY-GRADED VINYL
Voice of Vinyl Records and Audio is dedicated to providing the kind of buyer experience I have always wanted but could not find; a seller who is more than a used record broker- someone who is very knowledgeable about a category and committed to providing high quality recordings and an outstanding buyer experience.
I play grade all my records. My approach takes time and adds a little more cost to the overall purchase however; I am serious about providing a more satisfying buyer experience. If finding the lowest price for an issue is your absolute priority and you are willing to take risks with your time returning poorly graded material, then Voice of Vinyl Records and Audio is not your seller. If you simply want to enjoy owning and listening to high grade records then buy from Voice of Vinyl Records and Audio because I am committed to building a relationship with a more discriminating buyer.
Here's some of the causes of music distortion that only play-grading can reveal:
Some record re-sellers think they can visually spot a worn out or poor sounding record by only looking for "whitish" groove lines or a general "grayish" appearance to the record. This is not always a good indicator of groove wear, and not the only problem that can degrade the sonics of an otherwise high quality recording and pressing. A perfect looking record (without discoloration) can play miserably. Conversely, a record with surface scratches and/or a "whitish" or "grayish" appearance can be very quiet and clean sounding. As an audiophile, here is what I have found:
POOR TRACKING FORCE: Too light a tracking force can cause the needle to oscillate between groove walls and damage the groove. Too much tracking force can wear a record out prematurely.
POOR STYLUS and TONEARMS: There is a high likelihood that older records from the 50's and 60's were played on turntables with a ceramic stylus, a worn stylus or a turntable whose tonearm used a tracking force between 5-9 grams. All these conditions can lead to premature groove wear.
DUST and SMOKE: These impurities are very damaging to record grooves. Dust is by far the worst offender- it gets down into the groove walls and gets dragged around with the stylus, abrading the groove.
DJ STYLE CARTRIDGES: DJ's have different needs than audiophiles and record collectors. They need a stylus to stay put in a groove wall under extreme record playing conditions such as scratching, back-cueing and general earthquake level vibration. The DJ cartridges designed for this type of rugged use have a larger diameter stylus tip radii and require greater tracking force for more powerful "house level" reproduction. This usually causes premature groove wear. This is not to say that DJ records are all worn- some DJ's only play their records once and record them, saving the record as a master.
RECYCLED VINYL FILLERS: Continuous surface noise (hiss) due to recycled vinyl having been added into the original vinyl compound. Adding used vinyl was a known cost-cutting/ profit boosting practice.
SCRATCHES and SCUFFS: The appearance of needle scratches, "hairline" scratches and "paper scuffs" do not mean a record will play with noise. I have been surprised many times by records that I would visually grade at VG/VG+ and they played very quiet. As a general rule; on a heavy pressing (160gm +) light scratches and scuffs will sometimes not affect the sonics but, on a thin record with a shallow groove cut, they usually can be heard.