The life of a record is only 40 to 50 plays?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by vwestlife, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. Guitarded

    Guitarded Forum Resident


    I am really only interested in how many of the 5 Dentists agree.
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  2. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 District Champ

    Needle drop?

    But...are we sure its the exact same pressing, from the same plant from the same stamper and if so, how do we know which one came off the stamper first and how far apart were they.
    The FRiNgE likes this.
  3. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 District Champ

    3 out of 4, or 38 %
  4. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Southern US
    I haven’t thought about it but man 50 plays..can I listen to a record that many times? Floyd maybe? Anyway I don’t think of such things and just rock on and on and on:)
  5. Subagent

    Subagent I dropped Physics. Ohm's Law doesn't apply to me.

    Arlington, VA
    Well, I would have to acquire only consecutively numbered limited editions. And, um, let's see...the lower number would be the reference copy. No wait- the higher number would be. No, wait.

    I had a high school teacher who used to answer difficult questions with, "too many variables-- can't be solved." When pressed on the subject, he would then say, "Good topic for an extra credit report." This is, indeed, a good topic for an extra credit report! :)
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  6. JRob1125

    JRob1125 Member

    Milwaukee, WI
    Record wear is nearly not existent today considering the lighter tracking forces and caliber of styli being used nowadays
  7. vwestlife

    vwestlife Forum Resident Thread Starter

    New Jersey, USA
    Actually the industry has backed away from the super-light tracking / ultra-low-mass tonearm craze of the late '70s. The ADC cartridge in the ad had a recommended tracking force of 1.25 grams, whereas most comparable cartridges today track at around 1.8 to 2 grams.
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  8. MusicNBeer

    MusicNBeer Forum Resident

    Has anyone here actually worn out a record? I mean playing on quality system with correct VTF and clean records. I'b bet in this case the number is in the hundreds at least.
    The FRiNgE likes this.
  9. heyMo

    heyMo Forum Resident

    My Dual, in my avatar, which I bought new, included a stacking spindle. I never used it as I was afraid of possible damage. I guess that was the beginning of my audio anal-ness.
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  10. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Resident blabbermouth

    But are you keeping score to ensure that you're playing them all the same number of times?

    I never did that.
  11. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Resident blabbermouth

    Certainly not the same people targeted by that ad.
  12. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Resident blabbermouth

    They had/have raised lips and centers, so I don't think there was much, if any damage from a changer. A 12" LP actually dropped fairly gently, given that it's shape and size created a little air cushion. Try dropping an (old, expendable) LP from a height of 3-4" onto its cover; it doesn't exactly "plummet."
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  13. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    Nope, not even close! :)
  14. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    It was nearly non-existent in the 70's too, some excellent light tracking vintage cartridges "back in the day". ie: Grado, Shure, Pickering, ADC, AT (Signet) Empire...
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  15. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    Just one play or even 20 plays would be negligible under ideal conditions. There are lots of variables in the world of vinyl. Successive play of a groove contaminated with dust will introduce background noise, more or less permanent noise. This could be categorical wear in the groove.. not by fault of the stylus nor tracking force. The record cleaning regimen is just as important as the equipment it is played on. The classic cleaning method of a brush on a spinning record, is one of the worst methods. Dust remains in the groove, and mostly driven in deeper where it remains unseen... but we HEAR it tracked by the stylus (which means that very clean looking record is not clean)

    For a reference copy, @Dennis0675 advises correctly, the back up copy will almost certainly be a different pressing made by a different stamper. Even two pressings made by the SAME stamper can sound different, as a fresh stamper makes a cleaner pressing. (stampers eventually wear out)

    My advice: make a digital copy of both records. The digital reference copies will sound slightly different, however detectable only by critical listening. The digital copy will not be subject to stylus wear, nor record wear (if any at all) nor a different turntable setup, nor any other variable in analog form. The digital waveform may be examined for any visual differences (sometimes visual defects become more consciously audible as then we know what to listen for) The digital waveform can be examined via spectrum analysis, a very handy tool. Your testing becomes more scientific, and less subjective.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
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  16. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Forum Resident

    Maryland, U.S.A.
    I play my needle-drops more than the record. I prefer the record, but the needle-drop is convenient, and the sound quality is near as good to the vinyl.
    And, of course the record is played less.
    tin ears and c-eling like this.
  17. vwestlife

    vwestlife Forum Resident Thread Starter

    New Jersey, USA
    RCA Victor introduced the raised lip in 1954, called "Gruve/Gard" [sic], and offered it license-free for all other LP manufacturers to use.

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  18. The Pinhead


    I've played the kerrap outta my vinyl with 3grs VTF and none has worn out in 25 years. Don't intend to needledrop ever.
    H8SLKC likes this.
  19. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 District Champ

    If anything, this should be rock solid evidence that record changers were hard on records. This is clearly an attempt to solve that problem. Also, having a record changer at any point in your life or owning a record that was repeatedly played on a changer should be evidence enough.
    The FRiNgE likes this.
  20. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    Yes! Spindle wear is forensic evidence the record was previously played on a record changer. This is because of the stationary spindle on a changer. (almost all) Plus there will be the occasional "spindle trails" on the label from an uncoordinated operator trying to line up the record. The changer most of all, was tougher on the groove. The evidence of this is by what turns up at the thrift stores, 90%+ damaged records even when they appear clean. More than 90% of households did not own audiophile equipment, the ONLY equipment which does not damage the groove. Records were expected to eventually wear out, and did!

    I always preach to people (in person and online) that records are no longer consumer items. They are collectibles, so they need to be treated as collectibles. As tempting as it may be, no record in NM condition should be played on a consumer level record changer, or cheap "Crosley" style record player. (except the worn ones which don't matter)
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  21. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 District Champ

    Yes, records were a disposable media, adults bought LP's and kid's 45's. Stacking a changer so you could sit still and listen to music for an extended period of time was the priority, keeping the media in mint condition wasn't a thing.

    I'm sure that many of us have had this conversation, "Oh, you like to listen to records? I have a big box from my (insert dead relative here)'s house, the records are all from the 50's and 60's, they are probably worth a lot of money". They show up with a box of Slim Whittman, musicals like "Oklahoma", "The King and I", a bunch of Disney soundtracks and they are all unplayable. If they aren't scratched to hell, they are full of SN from being played on a changer, living in the cover without the sleeve or living out side of the cover in the little bin inside of the console player. I'm talking sober old people records that get trashed from just playing them. Kid's and their 45's and wild rock and roll music is generally much worse. They had the all in one players in their bedroom and would have all their records out of the sleeves at once, laying all across the floor. Those kids get a little older, start to party and we have an entirely different set of environmental hazards.

    My point...putting an album in contact with another album and introducing any amount of movement causes friction that damages grooves.

    Also, I still like to listen to records as if I'm a kid and I like to party. A great reason to keep a reference copy on the shelf and a club pressing or repress for a daily driver. There is a time to be an OCD audiophile and a time to kick all of that out of gear for a bit.
  22. vwestlife

    vwestlife Forum Resident Thread Starter

    New Jersey, USA
    Because this is such a common argument -- that the vast majority of thrift store records are so damaged or worn out that they're only suitable for playing on a Crosley -- I bought a whole bunch of $1 thrift store records and played them on my Technics SL-1900 turntable with Pickering XV-15 cartridge, to give everyone a representative sample of whether or not that's true:

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  23. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Boston, MA
    Most of my records are used, from the 60s, 70s, 80s, early 90s. Several of them have been further played 40 or more times by me since I've owned them, including with a Shure sc35c at 4.5g. Other than some that came to me in not-great shape, they sound great. The ones that I bought new still sound new. The hobbyist fretting about record wear hasn't really run the numbers on their own lifespans IMO.
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  24. Livewire91

    Livewire91 Electric Member

    Well i have only been lucky with 80's records in thrift stores tbh. 60's and 70's records are usually so scratchy or just generally in bad condition. Only some 70's albums i found in good condition at a thrift store, but they would have cost a small fortune.
    The FRiNgE likes this.
  25. Otlset

    Otlset free-range audiophile

    Temecula, CA
    One day later...

    Nope, they're just about the same. In fact just as I determined once (maybe twice) through the years way back when, my original mentioned above that I've had at least since 1975, actually retains an edge in clarity of instrumental and vocal lines, but roughly matches the alternate (from a Beatles Blue Box I got from eBay in the late 1990s) record's high frequency extension, revelation of subtle sounds in the background, and articulation of the bass.
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