What Are LPs Really Worth?

Posted by V.B., May 25, 2011 10:13am | Post a Comment
To check out extensive LP label and price guides, head to the Vinyl Beat website!

The easy answer is, whatever the market bears. The real answer is that it depends on how you choose to sell them. There are about four or five ways to value a collection.

Let’s say Bob has a collection of 4000 LPs, and he specializes in ‘70s soul and funk, but also has some other related genres. He’s made an effort to buy minty records, upgrade the lesser copies, keep his records in plastic sleeves, and has a decent turntable. In other words, he has a quality collection.  Bob is a realistic guy and thinks he knows what records are worth. In his mind, his collection prices out at around $100,000. He’s figured this out because he did a random price sampling on eBay and Popsike of 200 of his albums and the average price per record was $25. He then multiplied this times his 4000 and voila, $100,000. And you know what? On the surface he’s right. 

If Bob sold his entire collection piecemeal on eBay he would net that amount. However, it would take him at least twenty hours per week over a year’s time to photograph, list, process, pack and mail his records out. Then he’d have to pay eBay and Paypal fees (10%?), and pay income tax on his earnings (20%?). So his target number is shrinking. Plus, you have to figure that Bob’s time is easily worth $10 per hour, so subtract another $10,000. Now he’s really made $60,000. It doesn’t mean that his collection isn’t worth $100,000, it’s just that even taking the best monetizing trail, you end up with a 3/5 payout. He might also have to factor in a therapist, because what condition is Bob going to be in after spending a year selling his prize collection?

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How Records Are Made

Posted by V.B., May 4, 2011 10:59am | Post a Comment
To check out extensive LP label and price guides, head to the Vinyl Beat website!

As you may have heard, vinyl is in the midst of a major comeback and is threatening to become more than just a niche phenomenon. took a virtual field trip to a pressing plant. We found that manufacturing records is a labor intensive, antiquated process that reached its zenith forty years ago.  However, since vinyl is still the best medium to hear music, the pressing plant lives on.

Watch a wonderful 1942 documentary here: Part 1 and Part 2.

How vinyl records are made - Part 1:

How vinyl records are made - Part 2:

Rainbo Records from Canoga Park:

The Chambers Brothers - The First Great Black Rock Band

Posted by V.B., April 1, 2011 05:17pm | Post a Comment

chambers brothers the time has come

Also known as the founders of “Rock Gospel,” the Chambers Brothers always went for feeling and excitement in their songs. It didn’t hurt that Lester Chambers has one of the most soulful voices ever.  While Sly is rightly lauded for combining funk and psychedelic sounds, it was still soul music, not rock. The unheralded Chambers Brothers put gospel soul into their unique brand of rock music.

The Brothers had been kicking around L.A. for ten years before they finally landed a slot at the Newport Folk Festival. They brought the house down, landed a deal with Columbia, went electric, and eventually had a top 10 album with The Time Has Come!

"Time Has Come Today"

"Going Uptown"

Early "People Get Ready" on Shindig with washtub bass!

"Time Has Come Today" covered by The Ramones

The Spotnicks, The Shadows & The Ventures - When Instrumental Bands Ruled the World

Posted by V.B., March 8, 2011 03:55pm | Post a Comment
To check out extensive LP label and price guides, head to the Vinyl Beat website!


It looks like the Spotnicks must have influenced DEVO! This wacky early ‘60s Swedish band was the number two instrumental band in Europe behind the Shadows.


The Shadows were originally Cliff Richards’ backing band. John Lennon said, “before Cliff and the Shadows, there had been nothing worth listening to in British music.” Their instrumental career began with “Apache.”


Since we’re playing “Apache,” here are some other famous versions. Below is the 1961 hit version in the U.S. by Jorgen Ingmann, a Danish guitar player.

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Grading and Other Rants

Posted by V.B., February 8, 2011 05:01pm | Post a Comment
To check out extensive LP label and price guides, head to the Vinyl Beat website!
gilberto lopez
“When some yahoo says his album is V++, what the hell does that mean?”

Grading is a record collector’s biggest pet peeve, as it’s rarely accurate or biased in our favor. There are two types of grading -- aural and visual -- and since probably 90% of all used purchases are made without listening to the record, collectors have come to rely on the seller’s visual grading, which leads to many problems. Nobody uses the same lighting system for inspection, there’s no standardization as to what that condition translates to in written grades, and then there’s absolutely no guarantee that an album that looks to be in a certain condition will actually sound that way. Aural grading is a much more accurate barometer of a record’s condition, but there’s still variation between stereo systems, the quality of the styli, and how different ears tolerate varying degrees of ambient noise. It’s unrealistic to expect sellers to play grade their vinyl, becernest tubbause it takes a lot of time. And then, even if a record sounds good but looks awful, like some ‘50s albums I’ve encountered, most people don’t want them because there’s very little resale value.

I do some shopping on eBay, and the worst problem is that half the sellers don’t even define their grading criteria. So when some yahoo says his album is V++, what the hell does that mean? For some sellers, that’s their second highest grade and only befits a near perfect album, but for others, it’s only the fourth highest grade behind M, NM, and E. I would lobby for some kind of standardization, but how would you define the gradations? I like a 10 point system (with 10 being the highest), but the reality is that only the top five numbers matter; nobody lists an album as a 4. So, maybe a 5 point system… Speaking of grading, Neil Umphred, who curated the early Goldmine price guides, used to define the VG (Very Good) grade as Very God Awful! The point is that if sellers don’t include their grading criteria in their listings, their gradernest tubbes are meaningless.

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