📜 Feature Duplicates, Groove Burn, and my Sanity

Feature article
Yep, we've all done it.

Either intentionally, or forgetfully, we've purchased duplicates.

I just did it again. I had done needledrops of a double LP set which were a reissue of a Canadian Sweethearts and Lucille Starr album. (And that set is in sad shape--too worn to be of any use to me.) But French Song? Better get that one. Don't have it. It's on the way to me via a Discogs order.

Then I went to one of my shelves, put the 2-LP set away, aaaaaand...there's French Song. 😐

Do I really need two? I only listen to one of them maybe once a decade! I know she has appeal in some circles, but it sounds like she recorded the entire album from one of those 25-cent vibrating beds in a cheap motel. So I've had my fix for the next ten years.

And another one goes to the reject pile.

I almost caught myself doing this with a couple of other records. My recent John Klemmer cataloging had me guessing there were a couple of records I didn't yet have. They were even in my Discogs cart. But again, I found them among my collection. Even a couple of decades ago with the Finesse album, I'd mistakenly bought another when I already had one at home.

I think this will only get worse as I get older. Shuffling my collection around recently, I had many cases of "I forgot I bought this one!" as I sorted them on the shelves.

Deliberate duplicates are another story. I have a few of the A&M Something Festive LP here so I can be sure to have clean copies for a new needledrop in the near future. (Time to redo the outdated version I've had for years.) Yet three of my five copies are clean, and two were sealed. I really need to stop buying them. 😁 For Henry Mancini's big band album, Uniquely Mancini, I think I'm up to four--maybe five?--copies, again on a quest to find the best copy. My most recent (purchased sealed late last year) was a later pressing and like the copy my parents had (which was the same pressing), they sound the same, except the sealed one is clean. The others are early pressings--a bit brighter, but none of the two (or three?) copies are perfect. (And I think the distortion I'm hearing is the "pre-distortion" that the early DynagrooVe records were cursed with.)

My recent frustrations have to do with the overall condition of used records I've purchased in recent years. So much so, that I avoid used records but instead, will find sealed new old stock records. The problem? Groove burn. AKA record wear. By my last count, about 50-60% of used records I purchased went straight to the reject pile. Groove burn can't be seen with a visual inspection, and only a play grading can detect it. (And even there, I think most sellers are tone deaf to what it sounds like, since the records sound fine to them.) I remember finding visually nice pressings that ended up having too much wear. In some cases, I was buying one (or more!) additional copies to find one that was at a bare minumum acceptable. Add it up, though, and I found I paid far more in rejects than I would have paid for buying sealed new old stock copies. Just about all my recent purchases of vinyl have been sealed new old stock, and all but two were good. (One, sadly, was broken at some point--can't blame the seller since he would not know what the condition is of an unopened record. The other one was pressed off-center, and another sealed copy purchased immediately after was flawless.)

So I do have a reject pile. Many are the used record rejects, but others are otherwise fairly good duplicates that I really don't need anymore. Jury's still out on what I do with those, as I'm not fond of selling, shipping, waiting for payment, etc. I'll probably just donate the entire lot to the record store up on the corner. They're good folks who can use the money.

I've "duplicated" other things in life lately, a little too often for my own good. But nobody needs to hear about my grocery store or Harbor Freight habits this evening.

Tell us about any of your duplicates, intentional or otherwise!
 

Harry

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Oh yeah - those forgotten duplicates.

I'll relay an example of mine. In my spare time in retirement, I love taking an old record and attempting to digitize it. I've done many over the years, and about three years or so ago, I'd had my interest piqued in the first WB album by The Roches, probably when one of them had passed away. I remember grabbing a promo copy of that album and hardly played it - maybe once or twice, liking some of the tracks a lot.

So I dug out THE ROCHES and did the needledrop and did the best I could to clean up the noise. It must have gotten dirty or was just a bad pressing because the darned thing didn't sound all that good. So, as sometimes happens, I opted to replace this whole project with a CD of the album. I'm sure it was fairly cheap, so I ordered it and filed it away.

Another year or so goes by and once again I'm reminded of THE ROCHES, but had forgotten my earlier solution - and went ahead and ordered another copy of that album on CD. So, while we all know how roaches multiply, I didn't think these ROCHES would do the same, but darned if there aren't two copies on my shelf.
 

Rudy

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There might be a couple of CDs I bought in duplicate, although I can't remember the titles. They were often purchases made on trips to used record stores where, as always, I'd forgotten what I owned at home.

Intentional duplicates were times I bought newer masterings to replace the horrible sounding first CD reissues, and there were probably dozens of those. Although I guess those aren't quite exact duplicates. I did have a few that were damaged, where I did intentionally buy replacements (like the old 4-CD Led Zeppelin set--the label side started peeling on all the discs which made them unplayable).
 

Harry

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For sure, I have many duplicates, some that just came to me as part of other purchases. A number of the duplicates also occurred when I was looking for versions of things from other countries, or just supposedly upgraded sound. The Corrs and The Beatles are two examples of those. I went crazy and bought all sorts of Corrs CDs from Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Singapore, Mexico, UK, etc.. Some had an extra track or bonus track, some included videos on "Enhanced CDs", and some were just exotic packaging.

Beatles I have the old original Capitol albums, the CDs from the 80s, the CDs from 2009, and various remix CDs since then. I think I'm about done with them though.

And of course Carpenters fall into that too, as I've ended up with a number of YESTERDAY ONCE MORE and/or GOLD packages.

In LPs, I have on occasion purchased a better pressing than one I had that was either bad or hopelessly banged up from radio use. But again, those are all intentional. It's the ones that you didn't intentionally buy and find duplicates that have you doubting your sanity.
 

Rudy

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It's the ones that you didn't intentionally buy and find duplicates that have you doubting your sanity.
For me, that goes along with all the times throughout the day I'll walk over to the record shelves and forget what I wanted to play... 😐
 

GDBY2LV

Well-Known Member
That’s the sign of a true record, music collector, or music junkie. Having such an extensive library of vinyl, CDs and downloads to choose from. Sometimes I just can’t decide what to play, and give up for awhile, or just put on Carpenters, or whatever I might have new at that moment. I go through fazes. Sometimes Boney M or ABBA. Maybe Carole King, or Chris Rea. Maybe the Roches or Elton John, among 100’s of choices. Again the result of working in a Music Store for 30 years. One of the last was Wherehouse, and we bought and sold used CDs. I usually had 1st choice of anything new that came in since I was the boss. It had its perks; also very expensive habit to have, but getting a cd for $3-7 in the 90’s and early 2000’s was a bargain. Now it’s mainly Amazon. Just picked up Led Zeppelin Mothership and the new Spencer Day CDs last week.
I’ll never stop buying music, old or new. Lots of duplicates, some on purpose, and some cause I just forgot I had it already.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Good topic, Rudy.

I've previously shared my similar frustrations with visual grading from the amateur "vinyl" vendors (mostly on E-Bay) -- which is why I buy SS if possible (where I've been burnt with warped LPs, off-center pressings, and fungus-riddled LPs that are essentially worthless -- the latter for the LP jacket).

Regarding the world of unknowingly re-purchasing a recording, there have been 3 instances -- all within the last three years -- so I blame it only a combination of age and, in two cases, dealing with competing CDs, including E-Bay bidding, during assembling simultaneous multi-vendor orders. All cases were imports, so I paid the price and felt like a #$&@ idiot. The first two cases I realized after-the-fact but it was too late to change the order, while the last case I actually received the CD, played it (and liked it -- some of it sounded familiar...it was a s/t, so not something I would frequently play), and then while entering onto my spreadsheet...I saw it was already listed! I walked over to the shelf where it was going to be flied and voila' I already had it! 😵.

I always tell everyone: the day I can't "adequately" identify any of my CDs or LPs is the day I have too many...so, having failed my own test, I'm increasingly careful regarding purchases.
 

Rudy

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I've cut back on many purchases myself--a few years ago I would buy something that "might be nice to have on vinyl" when putting an order together, because shipping was included. It's not like the $5 would break me, but storage space is at a premium and I'm trying to downsize. So now if it's something not available digitally and I get a sealed copy at a fair price, I'll buy it.

The digital side is easier with all the CDs ripped to a server--I can open up Roon Player and see what I have before I blindly purchase something. I used to keep spreadsheets decades ago but it got to be too cumbersome. These days, I'd probably attempt to do this through Discogs (and export it as a backup) just for the vinyl, so it's easier to keep track of. With Discogs also showing a flag of whether I have a copy or not, that would prevent me from doing any more duplicate purchases.
 

Rudy

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Then I went to one of my shelves, put the 2-LP set away, aaaaaand...there's French Song. 😐
If it's any consolation, this new copy of French Song is a first for me--I finally snagged an A&M tan label with the logo at 12 o'clock. But I won't be keeping it if my existing copy is a better player.
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
If it's any consolation, this new copy of French Song is a first for me--I finally snagged an A&M tan label with the logo at 12 o'clock. But I won't be keeping it if my existing copy is a better player.
Wow Lucky you Rudy I remember trying to order the CD reissue when it came out and it was backordered several times over a couple months until it was deleted so I had to wait a few more years until i found it digitally well worth the wait but my gosh it should've been much easier to get much sooner but better late than never
 

Rudy

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My problem at the moment is finding copies of records that aren't too worn to be of any use to me. And some of those are obscure enough that they'll probably never get a digital reissue, like the Canadian Sweethearts, or even some of the newer records from the 70s or 80s. (There are a few titles on IRS Records that I'll probably never find.) And with A&M, we will never know exactly what was lost in 2008, so the odds are even slimmer, unless some shady company in the EU does a lousy transfer from vinyl and pawns it off on unsuspecting buyers.
 
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