stuff of dreams....3000 classical records inbound.

Mike Lavigne

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Apr 25, 2010
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this past Sunday morning i was seriously contemplating trying to win an ebay auction for an ERC (Electric Recording Company) 7 disc box set of Lili Kraus (ERC065). the bid was over $1900 and i almost hit "submit" to raise the bid (turned out i would have won the auction). what stopped me was my dream of finding a quality classical collection i could buy. i presently have around 2500 stereo classical pressings, and 300-400 classical mono pressings now. i've had another 1500 classical pressings in the past, but i gave them away as they were the fou-fou club and third party filler stuff. i do buy new and used classical as i go along but that is a slow process and i'm lacking knowledge. but not enthusiasm.

i listen to 60-70% classical, both vinyl and digital, and really enjoy it. 10+ years ago i bought another 1500 pressing collection and ended up with about 800 keepers. the 6 months it took to go through those and learn about the music and clean them and listen was as much fun as i have had in the hobby. it was so fulfilling.

i've kept my eyes out for a classical collection to buy to flesh out my collection, told my friends i am looking, tried to bid a few times, but have not yet scored. so Sunday morning i look and see this 3000 record classical collection listed. i'll make a long story short, today my shipper picked up 41 boxes, 44 feet of Lps, 3000 classical records. my shipper weighed it, 1792 pounds. i'll have them in a week to 10 days.

- The collection was acquired from the estate of a musicologist and
Gramophone Magazine contributor about 25 years ago.
- Approximately 3,000 LPs (44 feet). None 'cherry-picked'. Many are rare and
valuable.
- Records are NM (many have been played once), Covers/Boxes are NM- (some
boxes rate VG due to age).
- 95% Stereo recordings from the 1960's and 1970's.
- The records are 80/20% USA/Europe sourced.
- Large Scale Orchestral/Concertos (30%), Chamber/Solo Instrumental (50%),
Choral/Opera (20%)
- Labels include EMI, Philips, Eratos, RCA, Argo, L'Oiseau-Lyre, Decca, etc.
- All periods of Classical Music well represented.
- Works by a wide range of composers.
- Collection is boxed/numbered and alphabetically arranged by composer.
- No sorting required. Simply open the numbered boxes and place on your
shelves.
- There are 41 boxes measuring 13x13x13" and weighing approximately 45
pounds each.
- The boxes are in my garage and ready for easy pickup or shipping.

None of these records are from a record club or similar releases (no
Beethoven Centennial, Light Classics, Franklin Mint, etc.). All are from the
original labels only. That being said there will occasionally be a "2nd
Pressing" from a label (Decca Jubilee, RCA Victrola, Columbia Odyssey). But
for the most part all are original pressings. If you are looking for 20
different versions of Beethoven Symphonies you will not find it here. The
collection focuses mainly on definitive performances of a particular work.
If someone is looking at the records from a strictly audiophile standpoint,
there are some fabulous sounding recordings usually the result of a
particular engineering or hall where it was recorded. There are no
"audiophile" marketed releases here.

Regarding your question about the labels represented here. There are
certainly several (and often many) of the labels listed. Of course plenty of
London, Deutsche Grammophon, Columbia as these were the major releases in
the states.

As mentioned, the condition is mostly excellent. But understand some of the
boxsets have shown wear due to aging (edges splitting, some of the inner
form falling apart).

I have used higher quality turntables and cartridges to play the records:
Linn LP12, a customized Thorens, a large VPI (big mistake, stay from these)
and for the past several years a Technics SL-1200GAE (a tremendous bargain).

turns out the seller knew me, although i did not know him. but that did play a part. i got lucky.

is there risk? sure. but worst case is still where i wanted to be. i'm super excited, and this is the kind of thing that i can enjoy for years and years. i've spent the last day or so trying to figure out how i can add 60 feet of Lp storage to the barn since i already had 500+ Lps not put away (no space).

i paid a fair price, and was not hesitant to do so. in 6 months i will know how i did. there is no hurry; i have a lifetime to enjoy the discovery process. below is one of the 2 pallets of boxes.

1637191873948.png
 
Last edited:

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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That is awesome Mike. Congratulations.
 
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Addicted to hifi

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this past Sunday morning i was seriously contemplating trying to win an ebay auction for an ERC (Electric Recording Company) 7 disc box set of Lili Kraus (ERC065). the bid was over $1900 and i almost hit "submit" to raise the bid (turned out i would have won the auction). what stopped me was my dream of finding a quality classical collection i could buy. i presently have around 2000 stereo classical pressings, and 300-400 classical mono pressings now. i've had another 1500 classical pressings in the past, but i gave them away as they were the fou-fou club and third party filler stuff. i do buy new and used classical as i go along but that is a slow process and i'm lacking knowledge. but not enthusiasm.

i listen to 60-70% classical, both vinyl and digital, and really enjoy it. 10+ years ago i bought another 1500 pressing collection and ended up with about 800 keepers. the 6 months it took to go through those and learn about the music and clean them and listen was as much fun as i have had in the hobby. it was so fulfilling.

i've kept my eyes out for a classical collection to buy to flesh out my collection, told my friends i am looking, tried to bid a few times, but have not yet scored. so Sunday morning i look and see this 3000 record classical collection listed. i'll make a long story short, today my shipper picked up 41 boxes, 44 feet of Lps, 3000 classical records. i'll have then in a week to 10 days.





turns out the seller knew me, although i did not know him. but that did play a part. i got lucky.

is there risk? sure. but worst case is still where i wanted to be. i'm super excited, and this is the kind of thing that i can enjoy for years and years. i've spent the last day or so trying to figure out how i can add 60 feet of Lp storage to the barn since i already had 500+ Lps not put away (no space).

there is no hurry; i have a lifetime to enjoy the discovery process. below is one of the 2 pallets of boxes.

View attachment 84891
Wow congrats.a lot of fun to be had.
 
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Uk Paul

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Sep 27, 2012
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Fingers crossed but it all sounds very promising Mike..
 
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Mike Lavigne

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Apr 25, 2010
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Super fun project Mike, you have to document your progress cleaning and cataloging these!
i owned a Loricraft PRR4 Delux back in the day when i got my last collection. the last 6-7 years been using my KLaudio RCM for touch up but no heavy lifting required.

might have to re-think that once i get a good look at these beauties.
 
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jazdoc

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Awesome story! Congratulations.
 
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Barry2013

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So pleased for you Mike.
From the description it looks a very good buy and all the indications suggest they should all be in very good condition and well chosen recordings.
Will look forward to hearing more once they arrive and you get the opportunity to play them
 
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microstrip

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Congratulations, Mike. Great to read that "No sorting required. Simply open the numbered boxes and place on your shelves" . I once bought a large collection of LPs and spent a few weeks just sorting it!
 
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jeffrey_t

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i owned a Loricraft PRR4 Delux back in the day when i got my last collection. the last 6-7 years been using my KLaudio RCM for touch up but no heavy lifting required.

might have to re-think that once i get a good look at these beauties.
Well the KL is made for this, just get a pallet of distilled water for your records. Remember the General will run records 2 or 3 times through the KL to get them perfect.
 

tima

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Mar 4, 2014
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i've kept my eyes out for a classical collection to buy to flesh out my collection, told my friends i am looking, tried to bid a few times, but have not yet scored. so Sunday morning i look and see this 3000 record classical collection listed.

Congratulations! Here's hoping you bought a genuine LP goldmine. And already sorted - making it so much easier. I'd love to read the catalog list.

i owned a Loricraft PRR4 Delux back in the day when i got my last collection. the last 6-7 years been using my KLaudio RCM for touch up but no heavy lifting required.

might have to re-think that once i get a good look at these beauties.

Well the KL is made for this, just get a pallet of distilled water for your records. Remember the General will run records 2 or 3 times through the KL to get them perfect.

3000 - 9000 albums cleaned one record at a time? Through a Klaudio machine that uses only water? (That's where your multiple cleanings of the same record come from.)

Unless you're a "Zen and the Art of Cleaning Thousands of Records" kind of guy, there are better alternamtives
 

MikeHorns

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Jul 6, 2014
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Congratulations on the bulk classical LP purchase, Mike.

During the 90s and early 2000s, I used to go around town buying record collections, cherry-pick the ones I want, and sell off the rest to the local record stores. I generally either make a few bucks or break even.

Do share with us as you go through them.
 
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Chop

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Aug 9, 2020
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That's a great story, congratulations Mike. You'll have a great time. Cleaning them isn't that daunting - just clean the ones you want to play on the day you want to play them! :)

I bought the majority of my classical records in the early to mid 1980's, when people had stopped buying classical LP's in favour of the "superiority" of CD's. I was friends with Len Gregory, AKA The Cartridge Man, and he knew where to go to buy used LP's. In particular there was a place in Salisbury England we would go to as a road trip. I'd come out with boxes / 50 or 60 at a time, Deccas & EMI's mostly £1 a go, and the really expensive ones might have been £3.00. At that time I had no idea what I was buying but under Len's tutelage I very quickly got a collection of a couple of thousand, some of which I still discover to this day. Some people you stay grateful to all your life.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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thank you everybody for the kind words, and i wish everyone luck in finding their own treasure trove of whatever tickles your ear. the more i think about this, the better i feel about it. it will keep me grounded in the musical journey side of the hobby.

my last collection toe dipping process was to grab 5-7 records, clean them and play them simultaneously, listening to about half a side each during the clean/dry cycle to get a feel (the RCM is outside my room; i can hear it from my listening position but it's not intrusive with the door ajar). then over a week slowly listen to each record all the way through, lingering with the more interesting records.....reading the notes, looking up data on the web. i found if i had too many records in play i would not really learn them.....it would get to be too much a chore and the fun factor dropped. so i'll start out doing that again. for me, with classical, there was a lot to learn. still is.

there is a 'ritual' 'zen' sort of mind set i enter when i'm in the used Lp discovery mode. the world drops away and some cool shit happens. you just don't know what you will hear.
 
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zerostargeneral

Well-Known Member
Apr 14, 2018
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Half of the pieces are chamber and or solo performances. This is the ideal ratio in a genuine collection.

Westminster WL, Vox, London LL and CS, Capitol SP and P.

These will be the most obvious gems.

Kindest regards,G.
 

Ron Resnick

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Congratulations, Mike!
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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Wow...you are building the Smithsonian at home! Congrats. Sounds like a very promising acquisition for the collection...enjoy!
 
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