SOUNDFILES ARE FROM THE ACTUAL RECORD. Many are Recorded in Hi-Fi quality via our Valve Phono stage, if 64kb compression limits it a bit. Look at our Listings pages & play each track direct from the >PLAY MP3< link. Cool!
OCT 2015... we're going through these to check each track as there are errors & a few sound awful. These are NOT supposed to be Hifi recordings showing how good the Vinyl is, if plenty are now recorded in much better quality than some that are done using any amp we had to hand that worked. Some weren't so great playing them now: they can sound too dull, too bassy & accentuate noise too much. They were offered in 32kb/s MP3 constant if we've upped it to 64kb/s now & have the original .wav versions to redo all. The error ones & ones redone will have NEW MP3 put on the listing & we'll add MP3 links to Browse pages too. The ones from October 2015 are actually recorded from our upgraded valve amp so the fidelity is much sweeter. See Phono stages page on our Hifi pages for more.
ALL our MP3 Soundfiles are from the Actual Record for sale
They run for at least 60 seconds per track, many play 2 songs, one after the other, or longer if the track needs to build & 60 seconds isn't quite enough. These aren't the full songs for Copyright reasons, though 60-90 seconds gives you a good sample to see if it's your thing or not. Some songs do take a few plays if they are a little different to the usual type & these you can play or save to your computer as you wish. They are only playable from our site pages & we make use of certain features to keep it that way to stop hotlinking.
We've done tight edits on all tracks: no sitting waiting 10 secs+ for the music to start. The quality is compressed to MP3 & is not meant to sound as good as the record. All are normalised to the same volume, there is no EQ or noise reduction. Record, Edit & Convert is how we do it. MP3s are in Constant bit rate to avoid digital noises & sea sick effects of Variable bit rate.
NOTE: The Soundfiles are offered as a SAMPLE OF THE MUSIC on the record. They are certainly not intended to be audiophile-quality, played with the best stylus, or recorded in CD quality, they are here simply to generally let buyers hear TRACKS THEY DON'T KNOW.
To offer each record in stock in the best sound as the MP3 would not be a worthwhile effort: we do a final quality check before sending records out, though all stock gets washed & a quick play to test it before listing, to see what the music is & that there are no nasties to catch grading out. The amount of time it takes to do 3000 quick Soundfiles & then edit them for quick play should be considered too.
We use a serviced Technics SL-1500 turntable, Goldring Elektra tracking
at 2g & one of the Vintage amps we have around for the Phono stage.
Before recording the MP3, we may not have fully washed them to our high standards yet & played them more to be sure they are what we are happy sending out! You can read eBayers are delighted with the records we send out & how nice they sound. In the rare chance a record falls below our high standards on checking & we'd rather not just 'post it & hope' as others do, we'll let you know & allow you to decide. You might hear the odd crackle & this is because some records need a few plays to get to their best after years of storage, the recording & MP3 processing accentuates noises you won't hear on your hifi & also playing music on the computer means speakers are inches away, not feet away as hifi systems. To merely judge a record by how the quickly made MP3 sounds, beyond hearing what those under EX or noted with faults, therefore isn't a good idea, though some will always think it is.
Most records were played with a well-used but good quality 1.1 thou
mono stylus and it may bring up more noise than it'd play with a
£200 new Stereo stylus. All of the ''Play Large Stylus'' ones (look
elsewhere) are recorded with the right size stylus to get their best
sound, ie 1.5 or 1.8 thou. What they sound like played with a standard
0.7 thou one will be disappointing, explaining the ''Play Large Stylus''
some records have been in stock longer, some were edited from our
own recorded CD versions.
We're not using expensive styli to record Soundfiles & have set the MP3 quality to sound OK, if not hifi as what sounds great on an all-valve setup thru 15" speakers can sound rough thru a cheap op-amp amplifier & cheap computer speakers! The MP3 quality of our MP3s aims therefore at the Computer user, as this is what you'll be heearing it on playing our MP3s. Most transistor amps have poor voltage headroom for peaks making peaks get clipped sounding harsh & that includes record noise. A loud click if allowed full voltage to resolve itself \/ sounds less harsh than a transistor amp with crappy 5v op-amps leaving anything louder, including music peaks & sibilants looking like \_/ which sound bad. Every stage of a proper & ££££ hifi should be able to resolve every loud transient without clipping and limiting. In reality, no manufacturer would dare design such an amp, as it'd be too powerful & 'dangerous' for how some use hi-fi but it's possible to do yourself, we did.
The purpose of offering MP3 Soundfiles is to help you find something you like that you'd never have bought otherwise, which shows it's serving it's purpose. The increased sales on our Soundfile items proves this true. Others may go find these items cheaper elsewhere, as human nature provides, but some time later they are wanted items better known valued by others at our initial price (or higher), so we've forwarded collecting with our free MP3s!
Buyers over 40 may unfairly sniff at the fact we've put lots of 'known' records as Soundfiles too. It's because younger buyers, eg more inquisitive under 25s who are the future record collectors aren't as aware of these great tunes as those who grew up with them around. Years ago, a lot of music from the 50s-60s was still played on the radio, as in Capital Radio 194 in the 70s used to mix old with new with little worry, but 30+ years on, music is not mixed freely. Today you rarely hear anything pre 1970 & even 1970s-80s tracks are just the same old hits played ad nauseum, but when a lesser known track gets featured in Film, TV or Ad, new listeners enjoy them more than the cover versions. Dobie Gray 'The In Crowd' may be one of the best classic Northern ever, but if you've never heard it & if it's not on YouTube, i-tunes or Napster you're left unaware. Any song that's used on an advert becomes popular regardless of it's age if the music still sounds good, recent 'cool' TV ads aimed at trendy teens use 30-40 year+ old tracks as their soundtrack. This just proves the best music has already been made & perhaps also those who grew up with the music are some of the ad execs of today.