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GOOD READ.... Japanese Pressed Vinyl Records - Why are they being sought after by audiophiles
Japanese vinyl releases are premium quality pressings, much sought after by audiophiles and collectors alike. In the 1960s Toshiba pioneered top quality red vinyl pressings using their trademark ‘Ever-Clean’ process this utilized a special ingredient intended to prevent the build-up of static electricity on the vinyl. Japanese pressings are synonymous with quality - the vinyl shines like no other vinyl everything about their releases feels special. When US audiophile label Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab first released their series of high quality pressings the records were manufactured in Japan. The sonic quality of Japanese pressings is considered to be among the best in the world and, in addition, they are beautifully presented, their covers usually printed on better quality heavy stock paper and often including a bonus lyric insert with dual language Japanese & English text. As with most other countries, Japan produced promotional LPs in advance of the commercial release for marketing purposes. There are numerous different forms of promotional LP; these vary from plain white labels simply bearing a catalogue number to customized white labels similar in design to the finished label copy but without any of the colour or artwork - basically just a white label with black print. The most common forms of promotional LP are those that appear to be finished stock albums, but on closer inspection are designated promotional on the label. Whilst some actually state ‘Promo or Sample’ in English, most of these simply display the Japanese Kanji character set equivalent
Nearly all Japanese LPs were issued with an ‘obi’ - literally translated this means ‘sash’ and is derived from the obi (sash) worn around the traditional kimono dress. This delicate paper strip, usually wrapped around the left side of the album cover, often contains marketing information and album content details, all printed in Japanese kanji and ~kana script. Obi designs can be as varied as the LPs they adorn, and some series’ of obi designs can be as collectable as the artists’ albums they decorate. However, not all promotional LPs were issued with the obi - the LP was often distributed before the obi was produced - it is rarer to find a promo with an obi than it is without one, especially on first pressings. They are more common on promo copies of reissue albums as the timing is not quite so important as for a brand new release so there was more time to put the whole package together. The rarest Japanese promotional LPs are those designed with exclusive custom picture sleeves, often compilations of previously released tracks issued to the media as a reminder of back catalogue success prior to the launch of new material, or an impending Japanese tour. These retrospective LPs can be the crowning glory of any collection and they rarely come up for sale. They are often some of the most expensive LPs to obtain, with prices ranging from $80 to $2000 for the extreme rarities...!
Re: Japanese Vintage Vinyl -Humble Pie-Steely Dan-Dylan-ARGENT-The Band - STYX
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