LP Vinyl: Quality, Pressing, Label, Weight, Where to Buy ???

Getting back into LP vinyl...its been a long time = mid 70s?  Searching for an educational review on the forum for buying decent quality vinyl LPs...an overview of quality, weight, pressing, label, and best source/location to purchasing (prefer to stay away from ebay as it seems to be hit/miss on what you get). Does anyone have suggestions for an educational review on the subject? 

As a discussion point...I was looking at buying an older LP (vinyl only); I did an internet search = "Faces" - The First Step Album. Online search produces numerous results with prices from $18 to $120...older, used, remakes/repressed, various quality ratings (is there a uniform rating scale), unopened...list goes on. 

Greatly appreciate the forums experience and insight!


I purchase most of my new albums from Acoustic Sounds and Music Direct but before buying will look for reviews from their customers and will also look at Discogs for the label and pressing release date and their reviews.

I will also buy from eBay but will also do the research on the release and record company

I generally listen to 60’s, 70’s, and early 80’s on vinyl.

I have received a number of very good new pressings but have to say that more than half the time I prefer the SQ of my early original pressings from that era. That’s not to say the new pressings don’t sound good but there is a difference. 

I buy from a range of vendors all over the world. Much of what I enjoy is interesting jazz from the period right after the ’60s. There developed more spoken word (Gil Scott-Heron), soul jazz (The Visitors- a/k/a the Grubbs outta Philly) and so-called spiritual jazz. I buy mostly used records because many of these have not been reissued and/or I prefer an earlier pressing.

There is an initial huge learning curve, both in terms of fluency of the works of a given performer or composer, but then being exposed to different performances, some by the same artist, at different times. Layer on layer of knowledge if that intrigues you.

To me, the quest is always for more, interesting music that sounds good. I have lots of notable or rare pressings, but the quest is always for new to me things.

In terms of how best to buy, that’s a whole other subject.....



I agree that some audiophile pressings are real stinkers. I started buying them a few decades ago I would get three or four good ones… and the a really bad one. I remember getting Who’s Next… probably my favorite album from my youth… and there was no treble and the bass was flat… no dynamics… simply terrible. If I had read reviews I could probably have avoided.

No, there is no universal rating system. The key is only buy from dealers that will take returns.