Singapore Pressings

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Buyers who have bought Singapore EPs have generally been pleased with the items. This is mainly due to the thicker and glossier laminates on such EPs as compared to UK, Australia, Germany, USA etc. They are less susceptible to normal wear and generally look good even though they are more than 30 years old. However, I have also seen beaten up copies. This was more due to the previous owners not taking care of them. Most with a protective plastic cover can take such punishment but if the previous owner didnt place them in such covers, the combination of the careless handling together with the high humidity can, and does, create havoc.

A point lesser mentioned usually is the sonics. I too have been guilty in the past of avoiding Singapore pressed items in favour of UK, German or US pressings. However, some years ago, I bought some Cliff Richard and Shadows records which were pressed in Singapore. When compared to their UK counterparts, I was rather surprised at how good they sounded eg a Singapore print of Cliff's Me And My Shadows not had a different cover but sounded rather good. It only lost out on sonics to the very first UK  pressings and that too, rather marginally. Curious as to how this came about, I talked to record company executives, retailers etc and they all said that the Singapore pressings were from original UK masters, has very limited runs(most times using only one stamper) and were pressed on virgin vinyl and no recycled vinyl were used. However, this applies only to EMI/Decca pressings from here. Records from other maunfacturers from this prt of the world would need to be auditioned as sample variations can be rather huge. I suppose EMI(who I believe pressed for Decca to here) had a more stringent quality control.

This point was also highlighted by a collector from UK featured sometime last year as part of Record Collector's ongoing features on collectors. He said that he used to avoid Far East and Canadian pressings but changed his mind after trying some and finding them to be quite good sonically.

I would like to reiterate that this is only an opinion based on collecting records for decades and, at the end of it, would still prefer to have the original pressing from the country of origin but would not keep my mind closed if I wanted to hear the music and wouldnt mind alternatives if the item is impossible to find. Well, I might even consider the digital alternative if need be!

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