Is There Any Point To Entry Level Vinyl?

They are possible on the RP2, but the added brace on the RP3 along with the better RB330 tonearm will get you a lot more out of the upgrades.

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Where online are reliable places for quality LP’s? I see Analogue Productions costs a fortune. Music Direct seems more affordable, but they don’t easily ship to Hawaii.

What about Amazon? How can one know if a particular selection is of good quality?

Are there other reliable places?

Just trying to gauge how all this works. Living on Maui, there are no local places to buy LP’s.

For me (quite new into vinyl) I started collecting really when I was bought the record deck in 2016, but I’ve had some amazing advice from a few vinyl centric forums.

The series / companies that I search for in high end pressings are:

MoFi - the epitomy is the Ultradisc One Step or UD1S pressings. They cost $125 which may sound a lot but when you hear it, you’ll totally understand why, they are absolutely phenominal SQ that I’ve never experienced ever before on any format.

Analogue Productions

Speakers Corner

Blue Note

A pressing plant that ALWAYS do phenominal releases are Pallas in Germany

If I find something on Amazon I like the look of I usually reference it with Discogs to find out review on there. You get to know the series that fit with your expectations.

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Just furthermore, a very reliable source for vinyl I’ve found in the UK, but they do have a US store also is The Sound Of Vinyl:

Another source for very good pressings in their “Half Speed Mastered” series is Abbey Road, but this is UK only, so shipping would likely be pricey, but extremely good pressings:

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A couple of things. This is easy for me to say, as I am spending your money. The advice for the P3 with an Ortofon Blue is solid. More importantly it is coming from some one with experience with it. The additional expenditure will pay dividends in the long term. My recommendation is go for the Rega P3 Ortofon Blue.
Regarding vinyl, Amazon is probably the best reasonable source. If you have a strong interest in jazz of the 50’s and 60’s I’d go for the Tone Poet Releases. Amazon has them available shipping included, mainland for certain Hawaii IDK. The Tone Poet Series can and do sell out, so if you are leaning this way go for a few of the LPs in anticipation of acquiring a turntable. Amazon had stock at $24 to $27 for BN Tone Poets listing at $34. Blue Note also has an 80th anniversary series that I can highly recommend These also are available on Amazon. For specific ideas on jazz of the 50’s and 60’s I suggest tapping into the Strictly Jazz Sounds Thread within the PS Audio Forum. Here is a link to the BN Tone Poet Website, and BTW BN can get expensive, as shown by the Music Matters reissues that go for $75 and up.

Friends of mine hesitated on picking these up as they were released and are kicking themselves because of it.

Then there’s Music Matters:

Having looked at the BN Tone Poet website the Dexter Gordon One Flight UP is a no brainer. My hunch is it will sell out.


I have added a post recommending some 50’s and 60’s jazz LPs on the Strictly Jazz Thread, and asked others to provide their recommendations as well.

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I love rega (belt) and technics (direct drive), etc. but I’ll say this again: the Fluance RT85 (belt) is one hell of a great entry level turnable. It’s my #2.


…I would go for this one…the X2, if it fits into Your budget:

X1 – Pro-Ject Audio Systems

Here’s a video of the two items I suggested.

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When you start buying vinyl, remember, although colored pressings are hip, they are noisier than the black ones of the same mastering.


…but there is a difference between a “picture disc” and the ones with only one colour. The latter can be pretty good in my experience.

A well constructed album, in the sense it was created as an album and not a ‘greatest hits’ compilation, is best enjoyed start to finish. It adds a whole other dimension, IMO.

I speak of one color or multicolor music LP‘s.
There are really quiet ones and most are ok, but in case of doubt they are mostly noisier than black ones in my experience. It seems to be a fact that the colored vinyl quality is worse.

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If so, yes.
Not sure if there are many really meaningfully constructed albums. Not in jazz I’d say.

Otherwise simply the act of listening more continuously is the karma as such :wink:

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…“in case of doubt”: clearly as You say - but the real “devils” are the “picture discs” in my opinion. Better only to look at them, than to play them :sweat_smile:.

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There are some jazz LPs that I have played through so much that it’s jarring if the next song doesn’t follow. The age of the concept rock LP is long gone, but there are a few still doing them (e.g., The Decemberists ‘Hazards of Love’). Aside from that, the deeper cuts on LPs can often be very rewarding after several listens, but may not discovered if you tend to hop around.

Of course if you are into classical or opera, it’s a different story.

I like your slow food analogy.

Yeah, the thing in jazz is, that you later read what was the original recording sequence instead of what’s on the record. It often rather has a rehearsal character than a concept one. Different in Pop/Rock/Classicsl.

Labels like Mosaic released whole label discographies of artists in their original recording sequence with all outtakes and false starts etc. If anything than this has a kind of merit for the deeper interested folks…but the track itself plays more of a role than the album sequence in most cases I’d say.

Thanks again to you and everyone for the excellent advice.

I last bought a vinyl record in 1978, as a kid. It was Billy Joel’s “The Stranger”. Do I understand correctly that the key to getting a quality record/ pressing/ SQ is to have a list of blessed labels like Blue Note, Analogue Productions etc, and when shopping on Amazon, look for records from those labels?

And is there a complete list of blessed labels I can refer to?

For instance, I love the Tidal version of Kenny Burrell’s “Midnight Blue”. The Rudy Van Gelder remaster. Analogue Productions seems to be out of their version, like for years. Music Direct (Blue Note version) is out currently, but seems they will get it back in. Amazon has some Russian label that the reviews say sounds poor.

It’s been so long since I even bought physical CD’s. Do records come out in limited pressings and you have to scoop them up right away?

In my digital audiophile journey I’ve been searching for DACs and gear that sound analog. But I realize that I don’t really know what analog sounds like! I last listened to analog in the form of cassette tapes in the 1980’s. This is part of my interest in vinyl, to hear what the heck analog sounds like.

Thanks for the intriguing suggestion. Andrew Robinson has a review of the Fluance. It comes with the Orton Blue cartridge and a 3lb platter. He says it sounds nearly as good as a $1500 Technics. Rega the company looks more appealing to me as a company, and I know nothing of Fluance, but $499 for the RT85 that has the Orton Blue is mighty attractive.

My current thinking is come in with a $500 turntable and live with it for awhile, just to see if vinyl is my thing. Then once the kool aid has kicked in, I can go nuts and buy a more expensive turntable in a year or so. I’m a bit leery of audiophile stuff that gets too detailed. I like warm, big, bold and more of a feeling than precision. Thus entry level might be for me anyway.


So I’m going to open Pandora’s box. Take a look at Discogs, it will list everything available. I’m sure there are exceptions, but IME it is very complete. Labels to avoid are DOL,DOXY, and in general anything out of Europe where the label was released post 2010. Not hard and fast but many of these labels would be similar to the Pirate Labels of the 1970’s. Some of them source there vinyl from CDs. Caveat Emptor.

Here is a Kenny Burrell Midnight Blue I have as shown in my Discogs database:

Here is a Discogs Data base search for NM-/NM- Kenny Burrell Midnight Blue in the range of $20-$40.
The first listing is a US/UMe 80th anniversary release at $20 or Make an Offer. Bingo, fair price, and an original 2014 75th anniversary Blue Note reissue. The 80th anniversary reissues are supposedly better, but I’m not aware of an official Blue Note Release, doubtful as Music Matters released it in 2020, I have a copy as an SRX pressing. The value is crazy at $280…

Now you know. So ya still want a vinyl collection representative of jazz from the 50s and 60s.??
:exploding_head: :exploding_head: