How To Buy On Disc
How do I find what I want?
Using the catalogue link our current and future releases are searchable using the fields provided. Alternatively you can browse the entire LSO Live catalogue in alphabetical order.
Clicking on more info or the record cover will take you to a more detailed page. From there you can find out more about the recording, listen to samples, download a digital booklet and choose how to buy the recording. Please note that clicking on a download will take you outside of the LSO website in a new window.
Buying a Recording
Once you have added a title to your basket, you will be asked to log in if you have previously bought from us or to enter your contact details and payment details.
How soon will my CDs arrive and how are they sent to me?
Your CDs would normally be shipped on the same or next working day. Depending on which country the CDs are sent to, the postage and approximate delivery times are as follows:
UK - Royal Mail First Class - 1 to 3 days
Europe - European Small Packets Airmail - 3 to 10 days
USA - Small Packets Airmail - 3 to 14 days
Rest of World - Small Packets Airmail - 5-20 days
If you do not receive your CDs within these periods please email LSO Live Please be aware that orders sent by airmail can occasionally be delayed for security inspections and please allow extra time for orders placed during December to arrive.
What happens if I order a CD that has not been released yet?
If you order a recording that has not yet been released, the CD will be shipped to you 1 week before the release date. Your credit/debit card will be debited when your order is placed. If you order a combination of currently available CDs and forthcoming releases, we will ship the current releases on the same or next working day after you order and send the forthcoming release 1 week before the release date.
How will my CDs be packaged?
We send CDs in tough corrugated cardboard CD mailers. We pack a maximum of 4 titles (sometimes less) in each package. Therefore if you place a large order, your CDs may be sent in several packages. Please note that these would all be sent on the same day although they may arrive separately. We do not charge extra for shipping in more than one package.
How much does postage and packing cost?
UK = 75p for the first item and 25p for each item thereafter
EU = £1.50 for the first item and 50p for each item thereafter
Rest of the World = £2.00 for the first item and £1.00 for each item thereafter
Can you ship my CDs by courier?
We do not offer this service as the cost often far exceeds the price of CDs. In our experience, post and airmail are very reliable and often surprisingly quick.
What should I do if my CDs arrive damaged or defective?
Email LSO Live or call +44 (0)20 7588 1116 immediately. Do not return any CDs to us without contacting us first so that we can arrange for the return postage.
Who should I contact with any queries regarding my order?
Email LSO Live
What is VAT and do I have to pay it?
VAT (Value Added Tax) is the UK sales tax and applies to many consumer products including CDs. The price you are quoted will include VAT at the rate of 20% if you live in, and the CDs are sent to, any address in the UK or EU. VAT does not apply on orders sent to addresses outside of the EU and VAT will be deducted from your order. Please note that VAT does not apply on postal charges.
Do I have to pay duty when CDs are sent to the country where I live?
For some countries you may very occasionally have to pay duty on CDs when you receive them although this is rarely applied.
Are your release dates the same for all countries?
The release dates given apply to UK stores and orders made directly with us on this website irrespective of which country the CDs are sent to. Release dates may be different for stores in some countries.
Which stores stock LSO Live CDs?
Our CDs can be purchased (or ordered) from all good music stores in countries where LSO Live is distributed (see distributors list). However, you can order directly from us on this website for shipping worldwide.
How can I order a CD featuring the LSO that is not available on this site?
On this website we only sell CDs issued on the orchestra's own LSO Live label. However there are LSO recordings available on numerous labels. To buy recordings issued on other labels we suggest that you visit the following websites:
Why are LSO Live CDs available at such low prices?
We want as many people as possible to be able to enjoy our music and not be put off by the price.
Are LSO Live CDs new recordings?
LSO Live's first recording was made in 1999. Every recording is made using the very latest 'high density' recording technology.
If I would like to return my CD, will I be refunded?
If for any reason you are unhappy with your purchase, please email us on LSO Live, or call +44 (0)20 7588 1116. You can return the item to us in its original condition within 30 days of the date you received the item, unopened (with any seals and shrink-wrap intact) and we will issue a full refund for the price you paid for the item. Please note: we can only accept the return of opened items if they are faulty.
Contact LSO Live
You can contact LSO Live via:
Phone: 020 7588 1116
Address: London Symphony Orchestra, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS
Why is LSO Live releasing SACDs?
LSO Live always aims to give listeners the most realistic and exciting audio experience. SACD offers the opportunity to get even closer to the feeling you get at a concert when sitting in the best seat in the house, with sound reproduction that is almost totally transparent. Although listening to a CD can be a tremendous experience, SACD is even better.
What format are LSO Live SACDs recorded in?
All of LSO Live's recordings have been made in high density audio formats. The DSD (Direct Stream Digital) format used for the majority of our recordings is the perfect format for SACD releases and our recordings are edited and mastered througout in DSD. Unless stated otherwise all LSO Live SACDs include both a stereo mix and a multi-channel surround mix.
What is SACD?
Super Audio CD is a new format created by Philips and Sony. It looks like a CD but the audio is of much higher quality and is captured through a new process called Direct Stream Digital (DSD).
There are three main types of Super Audio CD:
Single layer disc – contains one high density layer of audio information
Dual layer disc – contains two high density layers
Hybrid disc – contains one high density layer and one standard CD layer
LSO Live SACDs are hybrid discs containing a high density stereo mix, a high density multichannel (surround) mix and a standard CD layer. The CD layer will play in any standard CD player but the high density mixes can only be heard using an SACD player.
How does SACD work?
SACD works by using a method of capturing the audio signal called Direct Stream Digital (DSD). The process eliminates many of the steps previously used to get audio on to a standard CD. These stages resulted in the waveform of a sound being ‘translated’ into a digital interpretation which led to nuances and details of sounds being lost. DSD eliminates these stages and produces an audio signal that is true to the original sound.
How can I listen to an SACD?
To play an SACD high density stereo or multichannel mix you will need an SACD player or another device that supports SACDs. As LSO Live SACDs are hybrid discs that contain the standard CD layer as well as the high density stereo and multichannel mixes, you can play them in a standard CD player, however you will only be able to hear the standard CD stereo mix.
What are the benefits of SACD?
The DSD process used for producing SACDs captures more of the nuances from a performance and reproduces them with a clarity and transparency not possible with CD. This pure and natural sound also has a much greater dynamic range than CD, allowing you to experience the full range of emotions and energy only previously possible in a live performance.
A single, hybrid SACD disc can have a high density stereo mix, a multichannel (surround) mix and the standard CD layer. This means you have three different versions of the same music on one disc and can listen on any standard CD player or SACD player. However, on a standard CD player you will only hear the standard CD mix.
Can I play SACDs on a standard CD player?
Hybrid-SACDs, such as those issued by LSO Live, will play on your normal CD player, but you will only hear the CD mix and not the high density SACD mixes. You need an SACD Player to hear the high density SACD mixes.
Can I play CDs on an SACD player?
Yes, an SACD player will play standard CDs, but you will only hear CD quality sound.
Can I hear multi-channel (surround) sound on my SACD player?
The majority of SACD players support multichannel sound. If used in conjunction with a surround sound amplifier and speakers (such as those used by many home cinema systems) you will be able to enjoy multi-channel sound when playing an appropriate SACD.
Where can I buy an SACD player?
SACD players are available from many manufacturers and specialist retailers. In addition, a large number of DVD-Video players are now capable of playing SACDs:
Please note that DVD-Audio is another distinct although less common format. Dedicated DVD-Audio players will not support SACDs. However many of the latest DVD-Audio players will also play SACDs.
How To Download
What does download mean?
Download means to get music from the internet and save it on your computer. You would normally download music from a ‘digital music store’. These are online shops where you can usually listen to the music before you buy, get recommendations from experts and other customers and choose music from a vast catalogue of recordings across different genres. Nothing ever runs out of stock and digital music stores are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What do I need to download music?
To download music from the internet you need the following:
1) A computer, preferably not more than 5 years old and ideally running Windows XP or MacOSX. It is possible to use older machines and other operating systems but this will limit the range of digital music stores that you can use. If you want to listen to music from your computer you will need speakers, headphones or a cable to connect to a home stereo. Most tracks that you download can also be ‘burnt’ onto a blank CD provided you have a CD burner on you computer. You don’t need digital music players such as an iPod, but it will increase the options you have for listening to music that you’ve downloaded (see below).
2) Broadband Internet access is very useful if you’re going to download music. The files are not that large but using an old dial-up internet connection would still be very slow.
3) A credit or debit card is essential when buying from most digital music stores. However a few stores support other methods of payment such as billing to your phone account, Paypal or prepayment cards.
What are digital music players and iPods?
Digital music players are portable devices that store music that you have downloaded or copied from CDs. You simply transfer music from your computer onto the digital music player. Most people listen to them through headphones although you can also connect to a home stereo and in many cases connect to your car’s stereo. iPods are digital music players produced by Apple but the word has become an almost generic term for any digital music player.
How can I listen to music that I’ve downloaded?
Most digital music stores will let you listen to the music that you’ve downloaded on your computer, transfer to a certain number of other computers, transfer to a certain limited number of digital music players and burn to a CD. However the exact limitations depend on the policy of the store and record company. And watch out which store you buy from if you intend to use a digital music player – most players only work with certain stores.
Some digital music stores also let you take out a subscription, which means you download as much music as you want but must keep paying the monthly subscription otherwise the music you downloaded will not play.
What about sound quality?
In theory the sound quality of music that you download from the majority of digital music stores is not quite as good as CD. It is ‘compressed’ so that it easier to download and takes up less space on your computer. However for most listeners in most situations it is absolutely fine and the sound is as clear as you would expect from a CD.
We would recommend that you invest in a decent pair of headphones if you’re using a digital music player, as the ones that come with players don’t tend to be very good and are the weakest link in the chain.
What is streaming?
Streaming is a method of accessing a file (music or video) via the Internet without it actually being downloaded to your computer; you are playing it across the Internet. The speed of your internet connection will determine how well streaming works on your computer. A good example of streaming would be listening to the radio using your computer.
What are formats?
This is the confusing bit. We are all familiar with listening to music on CD and expect a CD to work in whichever player we put it. The same is not true however of downloaded music, and if you have a digital music player it will normally only be compatible with music from certain stores.
You will most likely come across three music formats:
AAC: The only major store to sell music encoded in the AAC format is the iTunes Music Store. Older files from iTunes may have a special ‘packaging’ around the files called Fairplay. Fairplay is a digital rights management technology that ensures the music cannot be illegally copied. The only digital music players that are compatible with iTunes are Apple’s own iPod players. Files sold since April 2009 from iTunes will all be free of DRM.
WMA: Most digital music stores only sell music encoded in WMA (Windows Media Audio). WMA files are compatible with a wide range of digital music players but not Apple’s range of iPods. Most music encoded in WMA includes digital rights management to ensure the music cannot be illegally copied.
MP3: Some stores sell MP3 files, as the format does not include digital rights management. However MP3 files will play on almost any digital music player including Apple’s iPods. The leading store selling music encoded in MP3 is eMusic