Do new LPs really sound this bad

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by BigDanT, May 13, 2024.

  1. BigDanT

    BigDanT Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    England Lancashire
  2. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Senior Member

    Does new vinyl really sound this bad?

    It almost feels like the crackles and pops in these tests were added on just to make the format sound less appealing.:)
     
  3. BigDanT

    BigDanT Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    England Lancashire
    Yeah I was thinking that. My daughter wants to buy me a turntable so I thought I'd have a mooch around youtube and have a look at some and this video came up.
     
  4. thxphotog

    thxphotog Camera Nerd Cycling Nerd Guitar Nerd Dietary Nerd

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I bought the latest Lana Del Rey LP, cleaned it with my Nitty Gritty wet-vac and despite looking clean as a whistle, is a crackling, noisy mess. I couldn't get through 2 songs. Not all new vinyl experiences are the same. Some are great.
     
    bdfin, ClausH, The Pinhead and 5 others like this.
  5. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Senior Member

    I have records from the 70s that sound better than the ones he was playing.:D
     
  6. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown. NY
    Do you happen to know where the Del Rey LP was pressed? Some plants have better reps than others. I recently bought the John Lennon EP on RSD, pressed by Optimal in Germany; it’s so quiet between tracks you almost think you’ve got on a CD. But as you say, not all experiences are the same.
     
    bdfin, GyroSE and YardByrd like this.
  7. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Independent Head

    Location:
    New Mexico USA
    I saw a Snickers wrapper on the street this morning.

    Apparently all of North America is a filthy mess.

    :yikes:
     
  8. Brian Lux

    Brian Lux One in the Crowd

    Location:
    Placerville, CA
    $4,000 to $6,000 for a record cleaner? Even $800? I guess if one has that kind of discretionary cash...
    For my money, my spin clean works just fine. But then, I must be lucky. I've purchased many new LPs over the several years time I've had the spin clean (long enough to have replaced the brushes), and after cleaning, the new LPs I've bought sound just fine. I've also rarely had the kind of paper debris on new records the video shows.
    Well, I'll just have to hope my good luck keeps going.
     
  9. Country Rocker

    Country Rocker Forum Resident

    New vinyl is so hit and miss, that I gave up on it.

    The first play always ended up being like an anxiety fever dream. With new releases I just buy the CD. I still buy old vinyl, if it's cheap enough.

    With references to the above post. Optimal seem to be the most consistent quality control wise. But if you're outside of Europe you'll get lumbered with a lousy pressing. Chrome Dreams by Neil Young being a great example. German pressing very good. American pressing shockingly bad.
     
  10. DTK

    DTK Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    I suppose it's like construction work.
    When vinyl was the dominant format, there were many manufacturers with a lot of experience and the right equipment and reasonable deadlines.

    Now it's like everyone wants a house, but there’s only a few builders on the market, some of them new to the game, and most take shortcuts to meet deadlines. They assemble the house, but they don't do quality control.
     
  11. StickyFingers85

    StickyFingers85 They Think He's a Righteous Dude

    Location:
    Elmira, NY
    Jeez. I'm not impressed with how this guy does things. His anti-skate seems off, hence the pop right after he puts the needle on the record and it jumps a groove. I also suspect he's running the VTF a bit high just by how much surface noise and rumble I'm hearing. He just seems a bit heavy handed as a person. Lastly, he didn't try a cleaning machine with a vacuum step like a VPI. Suck the debris out rather than just move it around.
    Are new records pressed badly? I would say more often than in the 70s, but in general, no.
     
    bdfin, nosliw, Chemguy and 6 others like this.
  12. downloadsofist

    downloadsofist Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    Honestly if you are on the fence on vinyl because of surface noise and just thinking of starting a record collection, don’t. Do something else with your money instead of a lifetime obsessing over clicks and pops.
     
  13. Country Rocker

    Country Rocker Forum Resident

    GZ used to be a pretty decent pressing plant. But I think they've overloaded the amount they press. As a result their quality control has fallen through the floor. I hope the same doesn't happen to Optimal.
     
    DK Pete likes this.
  14. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown. NY
    Yea, I go just a bit higher with the Record V only due to the suction aspect. But thousands of dollars?? I keep my albums in as pristine condition as I possibly can without having to worry about supposed super deep cleaning (whatever that means). With thousands of dollars I’d rather improve on the sound system itself.
     
    arisinwind and Brian Lux like this.

  15. Well, I hope you left it for the person behind you to pick up.
     
  16. intv7

    intv7 Senior Member

    Location:
    Boston, MA, USA
    It's just as it ALWAYS has been. Some records sound great, some do not.

    Nothing to see here, folks.
     
  17. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown. NY
    Nah…it wasn’t remotely as nearly the crap shoot in the seventies that it is now.
     
  18. Kevin j

    Kevin j The 5th 99

    Location:
    Seattle Area
    I would imagine it was much worse, since there were millions more records being produced.
     
    MonkeyTennis, Big Blue and cwitt1980 like this.
  19. Country Rocker

    Country Rocker Forum Resident

    The quality control is way lower than it was in the 70's. It's all over the place!
     
    parkmebike, ossicle2brain and DK Pete like this.
  20. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    Optimal presses a boatload of stuff for the American market, and my defect rate with them is around 50% or even higher. The quality of plants everywhere is hit or miss IME, though a few do better than others. Formerly reliable plants are also not so reliable anymore IME.

    If people buy records at Target/Wal-Mart/etc. don't be surprised if the major label thing you bought was done at a toilet plant like United or MRP.
     
    nosliw likes this.
  21. thehatandbeard

    thehatandbeard Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    There is variation in every process.
     
  22. Country Rocker

    Country Rocker Forum Resident

    Pressed by experienced staff. Experts at all the stages required to produce great sounding records. You might have got unlucky with a stamper being overused, granted.
     
    YardByrd likes this.
  23. downloadsofist

    downloadsofist Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    There were noisy and defective records in the 70s, but vinyl was the only game in town. And for most people, they brought home a record and it skipped and they put a penny on the cartridge and that fixed the problem. 90% of records were sold to people who wanted to hear some tunes, they weren’t necessarily thinking about “building a record library” that lasts for generations.
     
    labreahouse, iggyd, ARK and 5 others like this.
  24. Kevin j

    Kevin j The 5th 99

    Location:
    Seattle Area
    Eh, they were still human. People make mistakes. Also, I believe that the folks working their asses off these days pressing records are “experts”, too. I certainly don’t know how to do it.
     
    GimiSomeTruth and Big Blue like this.
  25. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    You can look in the letters column of old hifi mags on worldradiohistory.com.

    People constantly complained about the quality of mass market U.S. vinyl. Recycled vinyl was widely used and most of the majors cared little about quality, especially in the 70s. Big reason for the hype around Japanese pressings...quality overall was better than U.S. vinyl.

    Most people only had dept. store gear or a record changer and those things tend to sound muddy and mask flaws. People were also more tolerant of defects because the CD hadn't been invented yet.

    I have seen pressing defects on records from every era from the 50s to the present day. Besides obvious things like scratches and playback damage, I leave a lot of old records behind in the used bins due to defects, especially off-center pressings.
     
    Foster, nosliw, Mcginty2020 and 4 others like this.

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