What should my heirs do to dispose of my vinyl and CDs?

I am typing up a document with all details of my system components and cables with approximate values.  No one else in the family knows anything about high end audio.  I suggested they sell the gear at US Audiomart.  What should I suggest they do with the vinyl and digital discs in my reasonably large collection?  I want them to get to others who can enjoy them when I no longer can. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.



This is not the first thread I have read lately on what the family should do with a great stereo rig and music collection when the owner is gone.  Two thoughts come to mind.

1.  Find someone in your family you can get interested in your system.  For most, it is a lack of understanding.  As music is a lifelong journey, is their no one that can be started on the path?

2. Sell it off yourself and get a modest system for your final years.  Then give the money to your heirs while you can still watch them enjoy it.  That could bring more joy then the system?


@bigtwin Your solution would be my favorite way to go I just don't know if any family member would want my system and software.  My solitary passion.

@rhg3 Two great sources for selling off vinyl and CDs!  Thank you

OP, you might consider cataloging your collection in Discogs.com It's very satisfying and you can export the data in a spreadsheet. 

I understand your situation in that mine mimics yours.

They want to lay claim to my faster cars and prettier firearms, but no interest in anything in my listening room.

That said, a couple of weeks ago, my sixteen year old daughter asked me if she could listen to the album Rumours. I almost fainted. She is a big K-pop fan. So, maybe there is hope.

I don’t think that there’s any way around the fact that this hobby mostly consist of old men. My father died a few years ago and in the last few years of his life he bought over $100,000 of woodworking equipment. None of us had any interest in woodworking. We ended up having someone come in and buy the whole thing for pennies on the dollar. I suspect that’s what will happen unless you sell it off yourself.

Identify a college that has a major in voice or instruments.  They may also have an orchestra and other performance groups.  Speak to an administrator and share your ideas.  Something good will come of this!

Too all of the old men of this site, take comfort is the words of the great Bob Dylan, "I ain't dead yet, my bell still rings" 🤣

My audio guy has instructions to sell my system and my vinyl collection upon my death. I already have given away most of my CDs… they are nearly worthless, or will be soon. My 2,000 pristine albums… with hundreds of audiophile versions my dealer wants to sell as a set.


We are kindred spirits! I had a McCormack DNA-1 Deluxe that I ran for almost 20 years until it died. I had considered upgrading it just prior, and ended up selling the chassis to SMc Audio and now regret it. Not long after, they came out with their Gravity Base upgrade (which gets rave reviews), and I wish I had kept the dead DNA to use for that. I can’t find an old one at a decent price.

I have the latest Vandersteen 2CE Sig III speakers, but have been considering moving up to the Treo CT, which is a special speaker (as you know) and great match with the DNA-1. I used to live in San Diego and got to know Steve McCormack a bit, and it was he who steered me to Vandersteens. He still uses the 3A Signature as one of his reference speakers, iirc.

You have a lovely system—it would be great if a loved one got it and appreciated it, but I hope you have the health and hearing to enjoy it for MANY more years!

I am actively seeking to find good bargain used CDs, which I rip to my server. I like owning the source material...great when the internet goes down or the grid gets knocked out from an EMP attack! I will power the system with a generator.

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My heirs would probably throw them in the trash, or sell them for maybe 50 cents a piece in bulk.  It would be too much work for them to do some research and find out what they are worth.

Ear buds are all they know.

I also have a decent collection of fishing gear.  None of my relatives know which end the hooks go on.

They will be much more interested in the gun safe and ammo pile.

Doesn't matter.  My will says it all gets sold at auction and proceeds go to two specific charities.


@hifiman5 so eloquently and succinctly stated “My solitary passion”. Completely feel you my friend. Same same here…

Carolina Soul in Durham, NC. They do consignments. Have weekly auctions and EBay and Discogs presense.

Your heirs should send all their vinyl to me.  They can sell the CDs as coffee cup coasters.

If you use the dicogs app to catalog your vinyl and cd collection, a successor can list those items for sale within the app after you die (assuming you share your login information), the app will provide pricing information as well.

One of the main things you can do to help your heirs sort through the remains of your music hobby is to separate out and list the the more valuable titles in your collection - both CD and vinyl. Here are a few specific tips:

Sort and group any vinyl records from audiophile labels. Sub group them by label and any other special characteristic such as half speed mastering. All records with audiophile labels hold their value if they are in good condition. Some can be worth big bucks.

Figure out if you have any early pressings of old albums from famous rock artists such as the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, etc. Same thing with jazz. Again, group them together.

Create another sub group for anything that you think is unusual or has additional value over the typical popular album. This could include out of print box sets, collectible artists, etc.

If you collect SACDs then obviously sub group them out of your CD collection.

Sort out any discs from audiophile labels or have audiophile formats such as XRCD. Segregate any gold CDs.

If you collect any unusual genres that are hard to find you should separate out those too. For example, I have a pretty good collection of Ska CDs that are mostly out of print. Much of this stuff is not available on the streaming services. People still collect this music and there are some record stores that specialize in this genre.

Do you have a player that decodes HDCD discs? If so, you probably, have an idea of which titles you own that are HDCD (there is a logo on the case and the CD). There are people like me who collect this format and a potential buyer will appreciate having them sorted out.

The point here is to use your experience to separate the wheat from the chaff in your collection so that your heirs realize a better value. If you have collected audiophile records and discs over the decades you probably have more than you think. When your kids call the record buyer they can tell them about the audiophile titles and any other valuable records which will definitely spark their interest. The buyer will want to buy only the good stuff but your kids can tell them that they have to take it all of they want any of it.

Good suggestion above about cataloging your titles on Discogs but doing the whole works will probably be a daunting task. If you just do your most desirable titles that will take an additional burden from your family. They can steer a potential buyer to the list so the buyer can see the cream of your collection.

I don't have to tell you that dying is a huge hassle for your surviving family which is why you should avoid it. You are a good Dad to be thinking through this stuff while you are still cutting your own meat.

I had / have the same concern.  I don't want my system or records winding up in a garage sale.  I have a specific 'codicil' added to our last will and testament that spells out what is to be done if no one (in the family) wants our music system and records.  One of those requirements is placing the items on this site for sale or auction, after careful research.  I have verbally warned my 2 daughters, who have no interest, against dumping my stuff as quickly as possible.  This was followed up with a verbal warning that I would come back and haunt them if they did.....time will tell.

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I've been sorting through gobs of paperwork lately (life insurance policies and money accounts that I never got around to updating since getting married 31 years ago).

Maybe once this is all straightened out I may think about the HiFi music stuff, but probably not.

Anyway, this story about Bob Hope pretty much sums up my take on life/death.

  • According to one of his daughters, when on his death bed, Bob Hope was asked where he would like to be buried. The comedian raised an eyebrow and answered, “Surprise me.”



Aliens plan to visit soon to offer immortal life. So just hang on a little longer.

Great news, your omega mats should protect you should things not go as planned.

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  Once again I am shown another reason to be grateful my daughter shares my passion for music and appreciation for my modest gear. It all goes to her when I'm gone. I know she'll keep and love it as much as I have, maybe more. 

   I wish I had a useful suggestion for the OP, but thank you for reminding me how lucky I am.

@alaric62 same here. My son and daughter will be at odds over my gear and collections. 

Thank you for all the well thought-out suggestions. Those of you with family who value owning a nice music system and the music to go along with it are very fortunate!  Hopefully I have quite a few good years left in me, it's just that I have put so much of myself into optimizing my system and collecting quality recordings over the last five decades that while all is well I should search other like minded folks on this forum for ideas on how to proceed. Thank you to all who have responded.  Any further ideas are very welcome.  All the best!

hifiman5, I can understand your intent, but I wonder if they'll even bother to read it, particularly if it's lengthy and detailed. Instead, they'll probably just get rid of everything as a job lot.

I have a friend who took his collection to a shooting range and use all his records and CD’s as skeet! I saw the pictures and couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry.

A resonant post.  While I think my son will assume ownership of my hardware (while perhaps not being as passionate about it as I've been ;-), my main concern is the appropriate disposition of collector sets I've accumulated.  As a long-time Deadhead, most of what needs deliberate effort are box sets of Dead releases that are worth 3x - 5x what I paid for them (based on what I see on ebay these days).    I'm talking about a strong 5-digit amount of dough.  From this thread, I picked up the valuable advice to catalog the most resellable pieces to facilitate the process of monetizing them for my heirs.  Great advice.  We ain't getting any younger!

Some posts here discuss the timing of such disposals.  Fact is we don't know when we're going to go.  This is really elegant.  Science fiction has discussed the horror that arises in a system when we do know.

There must be Discogs merchants who would be interested in extensive LP and CD collections (regardless of the cynicism of some elitist LP owners!)

I'm wondering if there are affordable barcode scanners and software for the purpose of cataloging. 

For your relatives without experience with vinyl, eBay or Discogs will take too long and be too much of a hassle, especially going through each record one-by-one grading.

Depending on where you live, the easiest/quickest thing for your heirs to do with you LP and CD collection would be for them to call up an area record store or three and ask for an offer on the whole collection (maybe let your heirs know the rough value). Assuming you have a worthwhile # of collectible LPs any record store owner will travel far to make a house call to pick up a valuable collection.  Depending on the number of rare/collectible records, they'll probably only get 25-35 cents on the dollar, but will be quick and easy.


My solution is to divide the systems between my three children. Once they have the components, which will be split so that each child has a nice functioning systems they can either get excited and keep their system or they can sell it on their own and make a little bit of money. I will even out the value the best I can by identifying some of the extra components should go to the children with a lesser value complete system. I am lucky that my children will not bicker over a tiny bit of money difference, so I believe.

One of my children is totally into music so that is an easy decision who gets my main system. They also have the space for a larger system while the others will be very content with the smaller systems, all being nice system capable of producing a great sound. I am going to go over the entire process well ahead of the time they will be split up. Should be an interesting discussion.

Concerning the CDs I still own, my son in-law loves music and is an avid collector so he is the logical choice to hand this collection down to. Any discs he does not want can be sold off and the money split evenly. He buys and sells CDs and Vinyl regularly.

I say melt it all down in the form of a casket, then you really can take it with you!😁

I don't worry about what my family will do with my stuff. My wife and kid hate music (yes, it is true). I will, as time passes, watch for a younger man who has genuine interest in this type of stuff. Yes, they ARE out there. I will make sure he gets it, lock, stock and barrel at zero cost. Same with my prodigious watch collection.  Of course if I get run over by a bus tomorrow, I am sure my 3,000 CD collection will be on the curb before I am even cold. 

Point is, I am indifferent if my family makes any money on my stuff. I am more interested in somebody younger who might not be able to afford what I have and would be pleased to have it and maybe think about me from time to time. 

I imagine guys with big ham radio rigs wonder about these things too.  


In your specific case @timintexas, what a great offering that would be. Wonderful post by the way.  

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Sadly I will say that there is probably NO ONE in my family that will benefit form my 2100 album collection and similarly NO ONE in my family would have any clue how to reconnect my equipment so that it could produce any kind of quality sound. Even my neighbors! I had one neighbor a few months back that when I asked about DONATING some speaker cables when upgrading, she said that she didn’t know that ANYONE even made stereos that had separate speakers anymore. This is the society which we have created.


I like several others here have a family that have zero interest in my audio and to go a step further neither of my kids want basically anything in the house.  Hard to believe my son who is a car guy doesn't even want his choice of several Corvettes! The most baffling part to me is that he doesn't even want some of his grandfather's (who he is named after) things.  Not crappy stuff either. 

My daughter will get some beautiful heirloom jewelry.

In my kids defense I will say they are very busy with big-time jobs. Good for them.  

So, I'm going to start selling guns (not all mind you), tools, tool boxes, car parts and motorcycles. The Corvettes stay 'till the end as well the stereo. I probably have ten good years left in me (69 now).

My solution to the stereo "problem" is I have identified two audiophiles close by...one will take the speakers and the other the electronics and keep what they want, sell what they don't.

So, possibly find an Audio Society near you, make some new friends and see if they are willing to help. 




A while ago I worked on my Music Collector software and cataloged my vinyl collection according to genre. I have been keeping track of my records on this software for quite a long time but I decided that the time had come to add ratings and subjective value to each album. I am doing this for my two sons who I am leaving the collection with when the time comes. Naturally I have added comments to some of the records in the data base explaining why this particular album has more value than others. Things like that. Both the boys love music and have been listening to my rantings all of their lives. I know they probably don't want or need these things of mine but if they end up with them I am pretty sure they will use and keep as it goes. For this reason I have also thought of selling the whole mess. I know they wouldn't care. They will be fine if they get them and fine if they don't. 

My system worth over $100k and not easy just to pack up and sell. At least for my family. I would tell my family to have my dealer to pick up everything, I don’t care how much less my family would get. At least they don’t need to deal with it. 

as my vinyl & CD collection, they are precious to me and worthless to most ppl. Even I have a lot of special editions and collectibles, I would give them to charity. 

@richardmathes there are cheap bar code scanners that can be used with different software products.  I used a $20 one for a program called Readerware Music.  I found it much easier to scan into a queue and then let the program go find the listing on discogs or amazon, rather than manually enter them in discogs, which still has no bulk upload function as far as I have seen.  This program can export as well.  This does not guarantee a match though, as imported albums or cds will not always match upc codes and older records ('50's-'70s) generally don't have one but a publisher/label id instead.

I like the idea of selling to a dealer.  There are a couple channels on youtube that are store owners that sometimes report "good hauls" and actively buy and sell off collections.  But it would still be worth it to leave someone a rough estimate of value if we are talking collections with a built in value, limited audiophile releases and the like or rare pressings that were or became investments.  cheers

Easy pathway here. Enjoy it as long as you can. "Don't worry, be happy." Your kids don't want it. Fine. You can't keep it. So, fine again. Be useful with it after you can no longer use it your self.

My kid listens from his phone through cheap earbuds. He's happy with his apple music and spotify - and I'm happy to see him happy with it. And grateful when he wants to share a tune or two. He has other ways to spend his time for fun beyond fretting over what wire might sound better....that's MY kind of fun!

"It" (your collected goodies) can still be useful when it's no longer useful for your enjoyment even if transformed into something else.....like cash. Sounds like you probably have an estate executor (I'm guessing here). I've seen gear auctions as part of an estate plenty of times. Just leave directions in your will and have your lawyer or audiopal or whoever take care of it for whatever cut they want if you're in some other environment. Make a list of what you think they're worth - should be pretty quick and easy. Especially if you keep in mind it doesn't matter since you'll be dead and your kids don't care.

It seems pretty solvable and definitely not worth fretting over. It's just stuff afterall - BUT, it's stuff that can benefit somebody or organization.

Keep it simple - what's the beef here? Why not donate the music to a a school or library? Or a nursing home? They can keep what they believe others will enjoy and sell or discard the rest. Same with your 100K system - have the executor auction or sell it off and give the money to an organization or entity that is in need an desire and wants to (and will) make use of your unwanted things.

For crying out loud.

And, if nobody wants your guns, break them into little useless pieces. You never know, you might save a life.


One idea is to search your area for donation options.  Check out what a collection sparked here in Memphis.  They continue to accept donations. They keep new additions that are in good condition and have sales of the rest to help fund their operations.  Egglestonworks has their speakers in a dedicated listening room and the stations all have VPI turntables.  



@hifiman5 I’m intrigued by the fact that you are seeking some of the source material.  I part because I’ve been contemplating selling much of my cd collection because so much of it is accessible via streaming services. Even hiRes services (I use Qobuzz). There are, however a number of CDs that I can’t find on streaming services, such as Pale Fountains - Pacific Street or other parts of their catalog.  Therefore I have been ripping them onto my HiFi Rose streamer (and computer).  I love the accessibility and ability to create digital “mixed tapes”. 

Once ripped, other than perhaps a few collectibles I’m left staring at a wall full of discs that just gather dust.  

I had read that CDs are beginning to see a small uptick in sales as they are becoming nostalgic to a generation born in the mid to late 80s.  I just don’t see the demand for them becoming anything like early-print vinyl.  

Does anyone have first hand experience selling a CD collection and what people are getting on a avg price per disc?

I'm an audiophile and retired CFP(r), financial advisor.  I worked in an office that was mainly a trust and estate law.  Saw way too many families fight over inheritances, especially valuable collections/items.

My suggestion is to simplify as much as possible.  Being an executor of a will or successor trustee of a trust is a lot of work (and aggravation).  Give away or sell stuff now and give the money to your beneficiaries, family, friends, charities.  The benefit to you?  Seeing the joy it brings to others (See the book Happy Money).  

Idea.  Write your instructions out yourself and have it notarize.  

Another idea.  If you have teenage grandchildren who work part-time/summers.  Fund a Roth IRA for them.  

Years ago my daughters told me that they did not want my collection of Grateful Dead bootlegs.  And my wife won't touch my stereo.

Finally, talk to a lawyer with lots of experience administering estates.  It is worth the money.

If you're in the SF Bay Area, you could contact the San Francisco Audiophile Foundation.  I don't know if they're actively soliciting donations, but they are a 501c3 organization, so it would be deductible.  I haven't been to a meeting in a while, but they always had boxes of donated CDs & LPs for sale.  I don't recall any w/o the original packaging, though.  They may also accept equipment.

At least you'd know that the first people to get a crack at them would be card-carrying audiophiles!

Also, with respect to the public library, I think they need special licensing from the publishers, and can't use items that were privately purchased.  However, there may be an affiliated "friends of the library"  group that can accept donations and holds periodic sales locally.

@ross6860 -- Amen on the fishing gear.  One son will go with me if I ask, the other son couldn't catch a cold.  The son that will fish only knows how to use a spinning reel....kind of.  I've left my wife written instructions on what to do with my beloved Lews Speed Spool baitcasting reels (many from the 1970's), Falcon Custom rods, antique lures (many MY grandfather used), and boats.


As far as the high end stereo gear, vinyl, and CD's, expect what I see with the valuable riverfront farm land I grew up around in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia -- your body will barely be in the ground before your children are selling it.  With an acre selling for $20,000 or more, a family farm with 100 to 200 acres on a river is a goldmine today.  I see it every year around my farm -- doctors wanting to live in "the country" buying 2 or 3 acres and building million dollar plus estates with river views.  Real Estate developers descend on the heirs even before the "old man or Ma" die. 


All your heirs care about is cash.  Sad, but true.