Dmitry

Has the bottom fallen out of the Mosaic market?

206 posts in this topic

Hello gang,

Last Mosaics I sold on eBay were about 9 years ago. Since then I haven't bought or sold much in a way of music. Was gearing up to sell a few other Mosaic sets, and I am surprised to see that the prices have not only stayed the same as a decade ago for some then oop sets [for example Byrd/Adams, Ellington Capitol, Giuffre, Tristano CD sets, Jacquet LP set], but have actually dropped in a significant way, like 1/2 to 2/3 of what they went for 10 years back [Quebec/Hardee LPs, Blue Mitchell, H.R.S., Classic Capitol, Mulligan Concert Band, O'Day, J.J. Johnson CDs].

These are just some examples of the sets that I bought or sold in the past. I haven't done an in-depth search on the Mosaics in general, but it seems that its the LP sets that are holding their own, while many if not most cd sets have either stagnated, or outright went down since I was in the trading mode a decade ago.

Correct me, if I'm wrong...

 

 

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May be a case of those who most want the Mosaic boxes now have them.  We are talking about a finite number of boxes (5,000 per title) and buyers.  I've been very turned off by the going prices for the used Mosaics, have been in strict seller mode for many years on them except for the occasional new release (Mingus, Jordan).

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That's very interesting. Even if they are still in print every series is still limited, right? 

The only set I have is the three disc Sam Rivers. Not sure what it's worth, and have no interest in selling it, but find it odd that collector sets would lose their value, no matter the format.

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The last time I tried to sell one it didn't get very much.  I assume too much supply for the amount of buyers.

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I only own two selects, Bobby Bradford's purchased new and Onzy Matthews on ebay. I got the Onzy for less than retail of a new selects set. 

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That's very interesting. Even if they are still in print every series is still limited, right? 

The only set I have is the three disc Sam Rivers. Not sure what it's worth, and have no interest in selling it, but find it odd that collector sets would lose their value, no matter the format.

Amazon is asking $189 to $262 new and $112 to $189 used - still valuable in my book.

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That's very interesting. Even if they are still in print every series is still limited, right? 

The only set I have is the three disc Sam Rivers. Not sure what it's worth, and have no interest in selling it, but find it odd that collector sets would lose their value, no matter the format.

Amazon is asking $189 to $262 new and $112 to $189 used - still valuable in my book.

The average eBay selling price for the Sam Rivers Mosaic BN 3-cd set is around $75 these days.

It used to be about $100 ten years ago, if my memory serves me right.

 

 

 

 

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One other factor is that when many of these sets were first released they contained material new to CD. In the intervening years many if not most of this material has appeared (both in legit and illicit editions) on CD. That has perhaps diminished the interest in some sets.

Also much of the Blue Note and other material has appeared in (perhaps, opinions are so varied) better sounding editions since outside of the Mosaic sets. The recent SHM-CD series in particular has brought some great sounding sessions to the marketplace that were once only in a Mosaic set or rarely outside of one.

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Also much of the Blue Note and other material has appeared in (perhaps, opinions are so varied) better sounding editions since outside of the Mosaic sets. The recent SHM-CD series in particular has brought some great sounding sessions to the marketplace that were once only in a Mosaic set or rarely outside of one.

This actually makes perfect sense. 

As far as I know, the Sam Rivers Blue Note material wasn't available anywhere else but from Mosaic at the time. So, I'm assuming that also held true for many other artists. Now, I'm not sure if the Sam Rivers BN material has been made available elsewhere, but it would stand to reason that if it is, it's likely selling for far less than the Mosaic set.

 

Again, interesting...

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One other factor is that when many of these sets were first released they contained material new to CD. In the intervening years many if not most of this material has appeared (both in legit and illicit editions) on CD. That has perhaps diminished the interest in some sets.

Also much of the Blue Note and other material has appeared in (perhaps, opinions are so varied) better sounding editions since outside of the Mosaic sets. The recent SHM-CD series in particular has brought some great sounding sessions to the marketplace that were once only in a Mosaic set or rarely outside of one.

Although for Andrew Hill's first four Blue Note albums the best versions on CD are still in the Mosaic box mastered by Malcolm Addey. Audiophiles are, of course, likely to have purchased the Music Matters vinyl or the HD Tracks downloads, and others might simply not care.

Edited by erwbol

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...but find it odd that collector sets would lose their value, no matter the format.

I don't think it's the case that many (any?) sets are actually selling below their original list price -- but, rather, that they've lost some of their value as compared with what were previously even higher prices on eBay (meaning higher than today).

In most cases, I think almost any Mosaic set will sell for at least $25 per disc (in terms of CD's), or pretty close to that, anyway.  The only exceptions might be for something like the Woody Shaw CBS sessions, which is now arguably bested by the more recent box set of that same material (complete will additional material, even).  Still, I often see the Woody Shaw sets listed for between $80 and $120 (which is still more than $25 per disc), but what they're actually selling for - I can't really say.

EDIT: my comments about prices are based mostly on what I've seen on eBay, and Dusty Groove.

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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One could argue that CDs in general are becoming less and less desirable.    

I don't think there is much of an argument for this to ring true.

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Well my local record store is overrun with used CDs.  They used to give decent trade in/cash value years ago but now you'd be lucky to get $2 cash per cd and $3 trade, and that would be on "good" CDs.  I also know many people that just download new releases now and no longer care for the physical format.  Also, where I live, all the retail chain music stores have long since shut down.

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One could argue that CDs in general are becoming less and less desirable.    

I don't think there is much of an argument for this to ring true.

Yeah, you both are likely right on the money. 

I wonder if even most Jazz fans are finally going digital download these days. 

?

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That's very interesting. Even if they are still in print every series is still limited, right? 

The only set I have is the three disc Sam Rivers. Not sure what it's worth, and have no interest in selling it, but find it odd that collector sets would lose their value, no matter the format.

Amazon is asking $189 to $262 new and $112 to $189 used - still valuable in my book.

The average eBay selling price for the Sam Rivers Mosaic BN 3-cd set is around $75 these days.

It used to be about $100 ten years ago, if my memory serves me right.

 

 

 

 

The ebay selling price is what I have learned to go by.  What people are actually willing to pay for the set, not how much people would like to get for it.  

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One other factor is that when many of these sets were first released they contained material new to CD. In the intervening years many if not most of this material has appeared (both in legit and illicit editions) on CD. That has perhaps diminished the interest in some sets.

Also much of the Blue Note and other material has appeared in (perhaps, opinions are so varied) better sounding editions since outside of the Mosaic sets. The recent SHM-CD series in particular has brought some great sounding sessions to the marketplace that were once only in a Mosaic set or rarely outside of one.

That's been the thing for me.  I bought all of the Blue Note Mosaic boxes when they first came out, have sold them as the albums have become individually available on CD.  Have a few, like the Turrentine and the Mobley and some of the Selects, that I have held onto as the Mosaic is either still the most economical approach or else still holds a lot of meaningful material not available in individual CD's (the Tyner Select is a prime example of that).  But things like the Mclean and the Blakey and the Larry Young and the Byrd/Adams, I've gone to the individual CD's (though I'm still missing 'Heaven on Earth' and 'High Frequency').  I can tell gross differences in mastering quaility, but am not an audiophile (and actually like the newer "loud" approach to mastering in many cases).

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I think it's that demand for CDs has dropped a LOT in the past 5 years or so.

As Homefromtheforest said, I've noticed that trade-in value at Amoeba is much less than it used to be, too. It's almost not worth taking them in anymore, actually. About 5 years ago I did a major purge and sold a few hundred LPs to them. The buyer told me that they were much more interested in vinyl than CDs.

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The Jazz LP/CD secondary market continues to trend down, particularly CDs. About the only thing appreciating is original vinyl. CDs in general (all genres) are pretty much dead on the secondary market. I've seen many very rare CDs, particularly Jazz CDs, that used to go for big money, selling for under $10. I am not at all surprised that Mosaic box sets, both on LP and CD, have crashed.

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Demand from me for CDs is now almost zero. I am thinking of selling some Mosaics, not so much because I don't like the music as because I feel like a loser having the 'LP-size boxes' sitting around - but I only expect to get something like what I paid for them, in most cases, which in my busy life makes it barely worth the effort to advertise and ship them....

Edited by David Ayers

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Anyone buying these for investment quality was an idiot. The music comes first and - combined with what are usually some very valuable booklet notes - means that I will not be parting with Mosaics anytime soon, CD or LP (with the exception of a duplicate or two, perhaps).

Suspect that quite a few sales of Mosaic collections have been initiated by folks who have run out of space, which is often an issue with these boxes. Or people who have made the transition from CD to streaming devices (a growing community).

Edited by sidewinder

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Demand from me for CDs is now almost zero. I am thinking of selling some Mosaics, not so much because I don't like the music as because I feel like a loser having the 'LP-size boxes' sitting around - but I only expect to get something like what I paid for them, in most cases, which in my busy life makes it barely worth the effort to advertise and ship them....

People who don't know better will think there are LPs in there, so you're actually very hip with these around. You could even discuss the latest newspaper article about the thrill of collecting old cheap vinyl over a cup of tea.

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There's some OOP Mosaic sets that were released before I started collecting jazz that I'm still keen on, but I think these types of sets are under assault from multiple angles;

  • Collecting physical copies of media is going out of fashion
  • Jazz is a niche market that (I would guess) is shrinking in popularity
  • Availability is less of a problem that needs solving nowadays.
  • Quality is one of the few remaining selling points, and a lot of people don't seem to care that much.

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