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  1. #1
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    new LP quality + LP hygiene

    when reading reviews of new LPs i notice the comments section always has a fair number folks posting that the piece of vinyl they received has some serious flaw: warped edges, off-center spindle holes, excessive surface noise, embedded particles, scratches, etc. interestingly, this seems to occur even if the LP is from a well respected pressing plant such as QRP and the like.

    i am sure those getting defective copies are the ones posting most frequently which may make this problem seem larger than it perhaps really is. however, just wondering what the experience is in this regard for those here... what percent of LPs that you buy are in some way defective?
    __________________________________________________ __

    when you do get a perfect LP, what is your initial and ongoing hygiene regimen? ...and, what equipment do you use -- high-end RCM, spin clean, disc doctor, etc? ...or maybe just your dishwasher ;-)

    thanks!!
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  2. #2
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    Re: new LP quality + LP hygiene

    LP's are defective by their very nature, always have been ..........

    as for the physical aspect, having listened to analog (vinyl) since the early sixties and having a modest LP library (1500 give or take) I bet I've only returned/exchanged a dozen or so records over the years.
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  3. #3

    Re: new LP quality + LP hygiene

    I've had to return approx 1/3 of my LP purchases from Amazon, scratched, pops clicks, warped, lumps of vinyl on tracks, damaged sleeve.

    Quality control seems to be pretty poor from a lot of vinyl producers.

  4. #4
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    Re: new LP quality + LP hygiene

    I wouldn't consider them defective, but I anecdotally I feel the records are cleanest if from Japan, then Europe, and finally the US. And I always clean new records.
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  5. #5

    Re: new LP quality + LP hygiene

    I hardly ever buy LPs anymore. The last new LP I bought was at a concert earlier this year. The brand new LP was very dirty sounding and a deep cleaning did not do improve it much. It was not meant to be a high-end recording but I was surprised how bad it sounded.
    OTOH, I have received very nice ‘high-end” 45 rpm LP as presents. They were great sounding and beautifully made.

  6. #6
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    Re: new LP quality + LP hygiene

    wow... not a large sample of responses yet but if the average experience of receiving defective records is anywhere close to 33% then that would be a real PinTA and huge disincentive for me to get involved again.

    on the other hand a dozen or so LPs over the course of many years is not an issue and is consistent with my historical experience. i grew up on vinyl and cannot remember having to return more than two or three LPs -- of course this has been a few decades ago and given that significantly fewer LPs are now being pressed maybe things have changed with respect to quality.

    all other aspects of vinyl are largely within one's control and, thereby, part of the fun and commitment. however, if every time you order an LP there is a random 33% (or even 10%) chance that you are going to have to go through hassle of returning it for a new copy then digital has won -- irrespective of any SQ considerations.

    hope we get some more responses here!!
    kanjiroba yak + roon rock > t+a dac8 dsd > almarro a318b > viking acoustics berlin r mk2 | alp-tone audio analog cables
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  7. #7
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    Re: new LP quality + LP hygiene

    I buy a lot of vinyl. The number of defective are slim. Maybe 1 out of 50. Not punching the center hole dead on is #1, followed by a noisy pressing as #2. Warps are rare (maybe 1 in 500) for me. Keep the box the record came in until you know it’s good. Always good to keep a few record boxes around anyway just in case. In every case it’s been a breeze to send it back and get a replacement. In some cases, they just send the replacement.

    I use the ClearAudio Double Matrix RCM. I would have no hesitation about the new AudioDesk I’ve heard good things about too.
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  8. #8
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    Re: new LP quality + LP hygiene

    bought around 60 new Lps in the last 2-3 months. 10+ used purchased.

    one was a 45rpm 2 record set from Europe that arrived with one warped so bad it skipped. i negotiated a settlement due to the expense and hassle of returning it. i have an Lp flattener i've never used that i'll try when i get around to it.

    maybe 10-15 others are a touch noisy, a few are not centered perfectly, but i'm not a person who returns things as it's just too much trouble. all were playable and i could enjoy the music. some of the 'Fone' all analog pressings (bought 10) had spots that were not quite right. but the sound was glorious.

    if i pay big money for a 'used' original pressing, or it's an expensive 45 or direct to disc, then i will be much more picky.

    one (from Acoustic Sounds) is labeled on their website as a 45, but is a 33. it was cheap. i did complain and they said i could return it and they would reimburse me for my postage. the time/hassle is not worth it. their web site still shows it as a 45. not cool. i'm a significant customer of Acoustic Sounds (not alone on that i'm sure), and Chad is a friend for a long time, and visited me at my home. this sort of thing bothers me. i can live with imperfect Lp pressings in the name of more Lps.

  9. #9
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    Re: new LP quality + LP hygiene

    thanks!!

    looks like two different experiences: @mike has an ~2% defective rate while @mike lavigne has an ~20% defective / less-than-perfect rate. interesting how two guys playing at the very top level are reporting such different rates.

    more generally, maybe an individual's experience here is partly subjective -- with those more OCD on this issue reporting a higher rate. i am probably (much?) more OCD on things like this than the average person and that's what has me interested in all this.

    note: not making any statement about either mike's OCD status here
    kanjiroba yak + roon rock > t+a dac8 dsd > almarro a318b > viking acoustics berlin r mk2 | alp-tone audio analog cables
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  10. #10
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    Re: new LP quality + LP hygiene

    I'm assuming you're asking these questions with thoughts of entering the LP playback world ? With that being said and as someone who has remained in that arena for well over 50 years if I were starting from scratch today would I ? No I would not for the cost of entry to compare with modern digital is far too great IMO.

    As for my cleaning procedure, VPI 16.5, L'Art du Son recording cleaning fluid, Reagent grade water followed by clear rinse and vacuum.
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  11. #11
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    Re: new LP quality + LP hygiene

    yes, i am entertaining thoughts of re-entering analog playback. for some reason, resistance is proving futile... left-brain, right-brain thing i suppose.

    i totally agree with your statements on analog for those entering or re-entering LPs. however, the LP collecting, tinkering, adjusting and tactile nature of the format add another dimension to this hobby which has its own rewards -- in addition to having a different type sound in the system ...or, at least that is what i keep telling myself.
    kanjiroba yak + roon rock > t+a dac8 dsd > almarro a318b > viking acoustics berlin r mk2 | alp-tone audio analog cables
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  12. #12

    Re: new LP quality + LP hygiene

    For analogue with essentially no defects, get tape! A rich uncle or aunt who dotes upon you doesn't hurt either. Larry
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  13. #13
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    Re: new LP quality + LP hygiene

    Quote Originally Posted by astrotoy View Post
    For analogue with essentially no defects, get tape! A rich uncle or aunt who dotes upon you doesn't hurt either. Larry
    Ha, yes! Tape is king. But baby steps Larry, baby steps We don’t want to scare the guy off. Discussions of NAB, IEC, Flux heads and demagnetizing the heads might put him over the top.


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  14. #14
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    Re: new LP quality + LP hygiene

    tape -- now that is a gentleman's playback format!!

    and, don't think for even a moment that i haven't thought about it ...i fondly remember the R2R in house when growing up. if it were not for the lilliputian number of titles available plus the fact the you either have to go dumpster diving for used titles or pay a king's ransom to get new production titles, i might already be involved.

    btw: without question, the definitive playback format for the automobile is 8-track tape -- 'nuf said, right?
    _________________________________

    of course with any/all of these 20th century formats, it is always possible that nostalgia isn't what it used to be?

    kanjiroba yak + roon rock > t+a dac8 dsd > almarro a318b > viking acoustics berlin r mk2 | alp-tone audio analog cables
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