Starting a Classical Vinyl Music Collection

Don't have much so I'm wondering where to begin.



I mostly collect CD’s and file downloads but also mono vinyl. Roughly 97% of my collection is classical/art music. Arkiv Produktion is a favorite of mine. They are a historical performance practice focused label and division of Deutsche Gramophone. They started with quality mono pressings in the 1950’s and then began pressing stereo recordings up into the 2010’s. Also, Analogue Productions remastered much of the RCA Living Stereo recordings which I believe are a vast improvement over the originals. Other remaster and reissue labels I like are Analogphonic and Speakers Corner. If you want to spend insane money on reissued limited edition classical pressings then take a look at The Electric Recording Company but their runs are extremely short and they sell out fast. It’s best to get onto their email mailing list. Otherwise, I would just visit your local brick and mortar record stores but in my experience, that is very hit and miss. Another recommendation; it sometimes helps to look for composers based on the time periods from which they lived. In other words, Gregorian Chant, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, etc… This way, you’ll know the period or style of music your interested in and can discover works by composers that you’ve never heard of. This is how I found works by Zelenka. And lastly, you may benefit by getting a periodical subscription like ‘Gramophone Magazine’, or if you read French, ‘Diapson’. And, they of course they have websites.

Anyone who says a higher end ultrasonic cleaner did nothing for them was doing something wrong.  The vast majority of my vinyl sounds nearly as quiet as a CD.  As stated, you can't fix physical damage with one, but if you're using a good cart with a good cleaner, the results can be amazing.  Keep in mind, the higher end machines operate at a higher frequency than the lower end machines and those designed for purposes other than vinyl, which means they have smaller bubbles which penetrate deeper into the grooves.  The best cartridge you can afford/justify also can make a huge difference.  I learned that lesson when I upgraded from a Hana ML to a Hana Umami Red.  The difference was more than I ever dreamed possible, and the ML is no slouch!


The vast majority of my vinyl sounds nearly as quiet as a CD

You are right. Anyone who talks about pops & clicks are not cleaning properly or have a bad setup. The higher end cartridges sound much better. Part of that is the line contact style stylus that digs deeper into the grooves. Of course that's not the whole story