While it pains me to say it, based on a whole lot of years of experience, I see very little correlation between how well-recorded a record is and how well it sells.
I was talking about this with someone recently, and was inspired to draw the diagram below to try and explain it. Yes, it looks like something a convicted serial killer might scrawl on a jail cell wall, but I never said I could draw.
Essentially, it’s just stating that unless you’re 2 standard deviations (shitty sounding at the left end of the tail, and amazing sounding at the right) from the mean with respect to your sound quality, it will have little to no impact on sales. 1 standard deviation (noticeably bad on the left; noticeably good on the right) has less, and everything under the big part of the curve has zero impact.
It goes back to “remark-ability.” If your record sounds so amazingly good or bad that people are remarking on it, there’s a chance for there to be a negative or positive correlation to sales (“You gotta get this record and listen to it on headphone”; “Don’t buy it, that record is unlisten-able.”)
Yes, there is a small sector of audiophiles out there who buy things based upon what The Absolute Sound says, but ask them how well the DVD-A or SACD market is working out.
Just a thought. But keep it in mind, because unless every dollar you spend on recording correlates to attraction and retention of customers, that’s a dollar better spent on marketing.
Here’s the chart: