Record collecting versus hoarding

At what point does "collecting" records become hoarding? Unless you are in the business of selling records either primarily or even secondarily, why do so many people here talk about having 2,3,4,6,10,000 records and CDs? It's not stamps or coins.

Let's say you listen to records 15 hours a week (a good estimate for me) that equates to about 750 hours a year or 1000 records a year. I like to listen to mine at least once every three months - I have 300 records and change. In the rare instance when I replace one for a better sounding one (I've done it maybe 4-5 times), I immediately sell the old one - with only one exception. The Sgt Pepper UHQR. I already had it on the Beatles Collection and do occasionally listen to it when I want a treat. It does sound better than the regular Mofi one, which sounds great to me.

Why would you have multiple copies of the same record and not just listen to the best sounding one and sell the rest?

Why would you want records you listen to less than once a year?

Maybe some people listen a lot more than me (and replace cartridges/styli pretty ofter or have a bunch of them)?

The reason I bring this up is because Acoustic Sounds is releasing Steely Dan's studio albums from the 1970s on their UHQR brand (not sure how they now own the name and not Mofi, but that is not the point), I am a huge fan and will be getting a few of these overpriced (IMHO) records, which will replace a few of my non-audiophile (except the Aja Mofi) records. I plan to sell the Aja Mofi immediately after getting the UHQR, which I am sure will sound much better. That is worth a few bucks, but the others I sell should be worth $10-15 in trade at a record store.

Anyone with records they play less than once a year or keep multiple pressings of a single album, please let me know your rationale.

Are you a hoarder? Too lazy to get rid of them? Like the way they decorate your room?


I’ve been buying records since the ’60s. As my tastes changed, so did my acquisition habits. I’m not a completist but caught the bug on more than a few labels- at one point early Island pink labels (mainly because I liked the bands Chris Blackwell signed, from Traffic and Tull to King Crimson, Spooky Tooth and beyond). Vertigo Swirl was another label that caught my fancy-- though best known for the first four Sabbath albums, the imprint had a deep catalog of fairly obscure psych, prog rock and other oddities that appealed.

When record stores were dumping vinyl in the late ’80s, it was easy to buy good quality LPs on the cheap, from "audiophile dreck" (Direct to Disc Flamenco Fever, anyone?) to classical, like EMI ASD, Lyrita, Decca, etc.

In around 2005, I started to comb through what I had, replaced some copies with better pressings and continued to buy even though the market for vinyl was still pretty bleak. Most of it was older pressings. I got bit by the post-bop jazz bug and started buying Strata-East and a lot of so-called "spiritual jazz" records before prices went bonkers. I also surfed artists- Cecil McBee is one of the great jazz bassists from the era and I bought pretty much whatever I could find with him appearing as a sideman or featured artist.

There are so many strands to this, it’s hard to say that there is any one motive for getting these records under one roof other than to listen to them, which I do. I know lots of folks are now turning to hi-rez streaming, but in my limited experience with Qobuz, they simply don’t have the depth of catalog. Many of these records were never released as CDs or reissued in any form.

I culled by getting rid of around 12,000 records before I left NY. That left me with a little over 5k LPs, to which I’ve added maybe another 1,000 in the years I’ve been living in Texas. I don’t listen to the "audiophile" records any more, and except for when the occasional mood strikes me, rarely listen to classical. Even most of the classic rock (which is fairly extensive including many multiple of things like the various Zeps) doesn’t get played much. Yet I am still emotionally attached to those records and I am a pretty good curator. Eventually, all will get disposed of through my estate when the time comes.

In the meantime, I continue to buy, but it is usually older stuff, soul or spiritual jazz, some "proto-metal" (i.e., precursor bands that anticipated Zep or Sabbath but never made a commercial dent). I also like the Tone Poets- Katanga! is a "must buy" in my estimation. I will fill in some empty niches with the occasional Chad jazz recut (though his older reissues are now getting expensive).

There’s a lot beyond the physical artifact and the playing of it- the history behind the record, the players, the label and the backstories of how some of these records got made, so it can be an intellectual pursuit as well.

PS: on multiples, I like to do my own shoot-outs and often there isn’t one "best"- different shadings. The Zeps- the RL is different than the UK plum; on Zep 1, there are many exceptional copies I’ve discovered over the years, not all of them expensive (yes, I have the 45 rpm Classics of a few, but those aren’t my "go to"). You can buy a record from Tom Port more easily at a price (I did buy one, a Free Tons of Sobs and it does trounce the other early copies I have here, but I’m not in the habit of paying big dollars for more common records-- that one was not a normal Tom offering according to his taste).



Yet I am still emotionally attached to those records and I am a pretty good curator. Eventually, all will get disposed of through my estate when the time comes.

Same here.

I will share, that having been through a house move, after many years in the previous house. If you have a lot of on multiple floors, and a pending House Close Date; then you will have had a "Come to Jesus" moment, and determined already which of your records fall into the

1) Essential - you are taking - they define you, 
2) Collectibles - nice to have, unique maybe rare records, so worth it to make the effort, and 
3) All the Others - you are calling around to see who will take them. 
I came up with some decent Techniques for unloading records in category 3. 
In the end I still took too many, but I did probably a 35-40% cull.  

So everything in Category 3 is probably hoarding. 


As always, @whart said it all. Well, almost all ;-) .

By the time I reached my mid-60’s, a lot of guys I had known had croaked, and my own mortality started staring me in the face (ever looked into a mirror whilst on LSD? If not, don’t ;-). I started thinking about how many hours I had left in which I could be listening to recorded music, and how many of the approximately 5,000 LP’s and 5,000 CD’s in my library would I be able to listen to again, even once? So I went ahead and did a cull, getting rid of about 1500 of each.

Which I now regret! I sometimes find myself jonesing to hear one of those titles I got rid of, and have even bought replacement copies of some of them. And I continue to learn of music I had missed at the time of its initial release. Plus, good new music keeps getting recorded; what am I gonna do, not add any more discs to my racks, just out of spite? ;-)