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Go Back   Blu-ray Forum > Audio > Music / Audiophiles > Vinyl and Old School Music

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Old 01-07-2019, 06:06 PM   #1
Dining Dead Dining Dead is offline
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Nov 2012
Default How Much Damage to Brand New Vinyl is Normal?

Okay, so I am brand new to the world of vinyl records. I am a novice. So, I won't act like I know anything except the basics. I have a very, very modest set-up which consists of an Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB turntable, Polk Audio RTIA3 bookshelf speakers for the left and right, a cheap Polk Audio sub, and a barebones Pioneer receiver.

I have been buying a lot of brand new, factory sealed records. However, I've noticed that many (over 50% of them) come with some varying degree of scuffing, scratches, dimples, non-fill, chunks/divits out of the grooves, center hole far too small to easily place on the turntable, etc.

Is this normal, or am I being too picky? As far as physical media is concerned, I can only compare to blu-rays, DVDs, and CDs, and it is a very rare occasion that I receive a brand new, factory sealed item with damage. But I know vinyl is a totally different animal.

Recently, I ordered Tom Waits' Small Change and Jenny Lewis' Acid Tongue from Barnes & Noble. Small Change had a lot of scratches and there was a chip out of the edge of the vinyl. Acid Tongue was just scuffed to hell. Both played, but there was a ton of static and pops. I have successfully played other albums that are near silent, and I realize that there will be some cracks and pops with vinyl, and am okay with that. But it seems the noise on these two albums was especially bad. I got replacements today and Small Change had a brown powder on one side and a rather large divit out of the grooves on the other side. Acid Tongue again had large scuffs over the entire width of the record.

So, is receiving new vinyl in used condition just the norm and I need to get over it? Is it just a medium that comes kind of "pre-damaged" and it's up to the buyer to clean/fix it?
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:44 PM   #2
singhcr singhcr is offline
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Sep 2008
Apple Valley, MN

In my experience, new vinyl is in excellent condition. I've had one album have an off center spindle hole, but I kept it as it didn't affect the sound. One of the digitally mastered Beatles albums was severely warped so I returned that to the store and the next one was perfect. If it has more than faint surface scuffs from the sleeve, I'd return it for a refund.

So to answer your question, your new albums should be in way better condition than that.
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Old 08-29-2020, 12:06 AM   #3
The Great Owl The Great Owl is online now
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Dec 2012

My copy of David Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars skips on the second song on the second side ("Star"). I was wondering what I was doing wrong, because it still skipped somewhat even after I gently dusted the record. I checked some forums, though, and it turns out that the skipping on that same song is a common issue with this particular record, due to an apparent bad pressing issue with that printing. A lot of Amazon reviews and such report that the album skips during "Star."

I'm glad that it is not just me.
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Old 08-29-2020, 09:34 PM   #4
JeffTheMovieGuy JeffTheMovieGuy is offline
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Jan 2013
Jacksonville, Florida

I inherited most of my vinyl collection which had been sitting in a garage since the 80s I haven't really noticed much damage other than the slight warping due to heat and age but it'll still play and it isn't noticeable.
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Old 10-12-2020, 06:18 PM   #5
Hatter Hatter is offline
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Feb 2010
Montreal, Canada

You know I finally got around to playing some newer cored vinyl soundtracks I got from urban outfitters. I was losing my mind on how every time I tried using the lever to gravity drop the needle that it would skate right over the lead in and 20 seconds into the first song. I did make sure to clean as must dust as I could. Sot checking showed it as clean. So I tried manually dropping and managed to do a better job. Sound seems fine for the most part so figured maybe Iíll just be more careful with them.

Then I kept thinking had I configured the turntable poorly after I moved? I had a hard time believing that given how anal I was about the tonearm balancing perfectly before setting the weight. I tried some older but still bought this century as new vinyl. Did the gravity drop and the needle didnít skate whatsoever. Kind of disappointing consider the hipster adoption has raised new vinyl prices up like crazy.
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Thanks given by:
flyry (12-20-2020)
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