What Is The VJQC Score?
VJQC = Vinyl Junkies Quality Control Score. It is a system of scoring new vinyl pressings. VJQC testers use this scoring system to grade their personal new vinyl purchases. Quality records matter!
Why The VJQC Score?
Vinyl Junkies spend a lot of money on their record collections. They love music enough to buy it. I got fed up of being disappointed by the quality of the new records I was purchasing and wanted to see if there was a method to determine which were the biggest issues, where they were coming from and what was causing them. I wanted to learn, so that I could then avoid buying bad records.
I wanted to know about which pressing plants and labels were having the issues that I wanted to avoid, when purchasing my records. The point of the VJQC score is to help me make a more informed, personal decision about which records to buy and which to avoid.
The most common complaint among the VJ audience was the inconsistent quality of new vinyl pressings. I want to be able to provide my community with the benefit of my personal experience. I've been a hardcore collector of every music format, for over 40 years. Similarly, the other VJQC testers own very large record collections and buy a lot of new records. We get it.
As an independent online record store, we wanted to provide some kind of guideline which can help point our patrons towards the "safe bets". No one likes to gamble with their vinyl budget, we get it.
I didn’t feel like enough people in the record industry took this issue seriously; it’s the elephant in the room that no one seemed willing to address. So we decided to address it for ourselves.
The VJQC Score is an attempt to do something about the quality of new vinyl pressings, independently of an industry which seems resistant to it. No one can stop me from buying my own records, scoring them and sharing my findings with my audience, right? That's the point.
So What’s the Point? This scoring system can’t be implemented on a larger scale and it’s impossible to score every record.
The VJQC Score basically guarantees nothing, it's impossible to know the quality of every single new record ever pressed. Ask an industry person, they'll tell you every reason why this is a useless endeavor. However,
Like televisions, every single record manufactured is going to be different. But as a consumer, I like to do my research before spending my hard earned discretionary income. I like to know whether to buy Samsung or Panasonic or Technics, and what the common issues are for each. Remember when everyone knew that buying a Jaguar meant you were gonna have constant mechanical problems? Like that.
The VJQC Score is research which is based on a consistent scoring structure, for each record, a “‘Consumer Reports” for the record buying public which includes the shop owners who stock new releases. The VJ Community is made up of 125k+ members who buy records. We share our experiences. The VJQC Score is an attempt to provide a consistent scoring template, with which to qualitatively assess an inconsistent consumer product.
It’s a method to identify the issues with new vinyl pressings, in a quantifiable method. It’s not science, nor is it meant to be. It is meant as a general guide to help the consumer avoid disappointment.
How will the VJQC Score be used?
We launched vinyljunkies.store last July with a mission statement to focus on quality vinyl. Our shop will eventually have a VJQC section which will include the scores of all the records that have been scored to date . We will continue to score these records and update that section. We will also eventually make the entire contents of the report available to anyone who wishes to view it, and an active conversation about quality control will be one area which will differentiate us from Amazon.
The VJQC Score is an assurance that we actually played a copy of that particular vinyl pressing. We listened to it, we scored it. Your copy might not be the same but it came from the same pressing plant as ours did, and reached us using the same channels. Is that information worth anything to the consumer, will it influence their buying decisions? The consumer can decide that for themselves.
Questions/Comments? Please feel free to share them! Have we missed anything important? The discussion is necessary, we're trying to make a difference!