If you are after the best reproduction of sound quality in recorded music for any performance you will want to collect direct copies of the original master tape. That’s true for everything recorded up to about 1985. After that most music was recorded digitally.

Of course, direct copies on tape are very hard to find or very expensive, or both. So most serious audiophiles spring for the original all analog LP record created the years the album was first released in the country where the music was recorded, mastered, and cut to vinyl.

To play back your records properly, you will need a good turntable, cartidge, and phono stage to mate to your receiver or pre-amp/amplifier and well set-up speakers. Sorry, Crosley doesn’t count.

Of course there are SACD and LP reissues that sound as good or better than originals in several instances. Don’t get me wrong, digital processing on CDs and LPs can sound good, but more often that not it sounds flat next to an all analog LP on a high end system with great speakers set up properly in a good room. Don’t believe me?. It’s OK. Most people don’t care about sound quality anyway, so this post is just for those who do. If you want to read more, check this out:

EXTREME RECORD COLLECTING: Confessions of an analog vinyl snob

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