Bad vinyl

I recently bought 3 albums and each one had to return due to bad pressings, Dizzy, Diana Krall and Bowie. I was so disappointed, 3 out of 3 were bad, really bad. The store didn't have other copies so I bought Jeff Beck and Nora Jones new albums and they sound perfect, btw, not bad work either.

That at is a 60% return ratio. Anyone else experiencing the same?
Are these new 180g pressings? I have experienced enough defects in new vinyl to stop buying it. I have also noticed high levels of compression on some new releases of old albums.
I couldn't play half of side a of Station to Station. Neither of my tables could track it as it appear the grooves were not fully intact. Karl had a lot of ticks and pops and Dizzy had a number of crunchies.

Yes, they were all brand new and 180 grams.

That being said Jeff Beck's and Nora Jones' new albums are very quiet and clean and a pleasure to listen to.

When  I returned the other albums I felt like they were going to think I was scamming them but they had no questions and offered me an immediate refund, which was very encouraging.

Spell check likes to change things. I need to turn it off. That was suppose to be Krall.

Raymonda - yes - I have experienced this also.

I’ve had reputable quality pressings ($45 and up) with ...
- metal shards from the master pressing disk
- warps so bad I could not play them
- distortion on one channel only
- even had one with visible scuff marks across one side

I still have old $12 albums in better condition than some of my newer stuff

I guess the cost of producing vinyl is so high they don’t want to throw anything away. Either that or quality control is a thing of the past.

It’s not just albums - I just went to purchase a new $$$Nikon lens. It had a noticeable focus flaw. I told the salesperson, whom I thought would have put the lens to the side and returned it to Nikon, but they just went about their other business. I assume that lens was/will be sold to some unsuspecting customer for them to "debug". Seems camera gear also suffers from poor QC

When I was a lad - the salesperson in the record store would have gladly reimbursed your money or replaced the album. But these days it’s buyer beware.

Most stores only offer replacements. Money back is a thing of the past.

Ah, the good old days :-)
If you intend to use your new vinyl (not "sealed" investment), play ASAP and listen for defects. I've been burned because I didn't play and could not return. Won't happen again. Also, look for warping and "dishing".
I waited 3 weeks for the 180 gram remaster of Animals by Pink Floyd.  The record is warped.  I figured I would treat myself and break in my new Prime with it.  Not sure if it's worth contacting Music Direct.  Like a dope, I threw away the shipping container.
I try to buy most of my new vinyl from Soundstage Direct. I've bought quite a bit. If I have any issue, I'll send a picture and they will send a replacement out with a return shipping label. Try that with Acoustic Sounds, Elusive Disc, or Music Direct!
I have had a few bad batches my self. Johnny Hartman and John reissue. So scratched and sounded terrible.

Neil Young Greatest Hits. Grainy and terribly trebly. Side 4 sounded good but the rest was not good. 

Bill Evans Jim Hall was so warped my VPI went into disco mode.

Returned them to my local shop. No questions.


I had to return two copies of Daniel Ratcliffe's album due to very poor sound... have heard AM radios that sounded better. I swear that they weren't pressed hard enough. The MP3 sounded better which is truly sad lol
sorry... also returned two copies of a Janis Joplin "Pearl" repress that had more ticks and pops than my original copy! Gave up on that one.
i have the same experience and frustration... recently back into analog and bought a lot of records ... from all the major vendors - soundstage direct, elusive, musicdirect, etc. i would say 1 of 3 titles is defective... skips, big pops, warps, distortion, ugh.... spend $30 bucks for an album and they are still not properly made and qc’ed!  the 180 gram titles seem to be the worst,,,
I don't buy reissues as most are NOT good i either have originals or nothing.
Or they don't sound well at all. I have bought several new 180g pressings at $20 plus and very disappointed. I agree with ebm and find originals.
I rarely have found a record, new or used that was unacceptable to me.  Perhaps this is related to our expectations?  I do not expect perfection.  Warps?  They are axiomatic.  The question for me is not:  Is the record warped?  Rather, the question should be will the record play cleanly and without audible distortion due to warping?  Clicks and pops?  They are going to be found, the issue is how many?  If you can't live with any, you are headed for constant frustration.  Surface noise?   My brain learned how to filter it out listening to 78s a long time ago.  Records are an imperfect medium learn to be flexible or find another medium.
Clicks and pops? They are going to be found, the issue is how many? If you can't live with any, you are headed for constant frustration. Surface noise?   My brain learned how to filter it out listening to 78s a long time ago. Records are an imperfect medium learn to be flexible or find another medium.
Bill, those of us who have grown up with vinyl (formerly known as records or LP's), know about the possible issues with the medium.
There have been many threads like this one regarding new vinyl production vs. the golden days of manufacturing.

Since the old pressing plants were closed down and equipment was sold for scrap or put in storage, there are growing pains with these new start-ups. The original production crews were real craftsman; there is now a new generation of record cutters and techs.
Not to mention the current demand for vinyl has pushed the new mass-market pressing plants to their limit, where shortcuts in production, e.g.; the drying stage, and compromised quality control now exist.

When buying vinyl from the 60's, 70's and 80's, I have experienced very few returns due to defects as compared to today. And I don't mind hearing some tape hiss or surface noise from these records; it's easy to block it out when enjoying a good analogue recording. 
Actually I want to be able to hear the tape hiss on vinyl. If I can't I know something's wrong somewhere. Which is one of my objections to CDs. You often can't hear the original tape hiss. It should be there. Hel-loo!

@geoffkait , I agree that if NR and EQ are heavily applied to eliminate tape hiss, the recording suffers. 
Some listeners who grew up in the digital world expect all music to have a black background.
There is a definite difference in our perception for whatever reason. What you refer to as the golden days, I remember as the bad old days. I am 69 years old and started listening to my grandmother’s extensive jazz record collection of 78s when I needed to stand on a stool to reach the crank handle to wind up her Victrola. Seriously. I still have records I bought in in the mid 1950s with money earned from mowing lawns and from my paper route. In general the records made today are better, higher quality, quieter, flatter, thicker, and sound better overall than was the norm back in the day. With that said, I still buy a lot of old records and in general the survivors sound pretty good too. Part of this is that my hearing is not picking up as well as it once did of course. But then, too, in spite of deterioration due to age, I know how to listen better than ever. Another factor is that back in the hey day of vinyl a lot of regrind was added back into the vat and remelted to get as great a yield as possible out of the PVC pellets. This reached a crisis during the oil embargo in the early 1970s, (thank you Mr. Kissinger!). A lot of records were returned too because they were just not listenable, and of course these are not remembered now and people like you wax nostalgic about the good ole days. Sheesh.

There is another factor we have in our favor now, which is that companies like VPI make record flattening systems and others make vacuum systems to help hold the records flat. There are some fantastic record cleaning machines out there too, that did not exist back in the hey day of vinyl either. For those that don’t know it, making records is a dirty business. Even new records benefit from a deep clean before they are played for the first time. Finally, there are chemical treatments like those from LAST that not only help to preserve our records, but make them quieter too. So while you are lamenting the passing of some bygone era that you wish for, you are missing the fact that the best it has ever been is right now.
Hi Bill. I'm not saying you're wrong but I've purchased vinyl lately (within the last 10 years) that is just dreadful. This includes a limited edition "Are You Experienced?" ($35?) that has an impassable bridge (between the groove sides) that renders the song useless. Also, a first King Crimson album that sounds like white noise was mixed into the music. In both cases, I waited too long to return. So now I'm preaching "play ASAP and listen for defects".
As for the "old days", I remember many purchases that had paper fragments, from album label punch-outs, that got into the hot pot. Guess we'll have to wait for Heaven for a perfect world... 
I’ve had good luck with new vinyl (from Barnes and Noble mostly), until the other day when I bought the new release "Bach Trios" Yo-Yo Ma, Thiele, Meyers thing. WAY too much surface noise, so back it went no questions asked…bought the CD instead and it sounds great. Note that the new Krall vinyl is 2 discs (sounds great by the way), one side being blank so now I can check my skating, although I'm not sure what I'm checking for. The blank side is also great for those times when you want some peace and quiet.
Wolf, I long ago bought a piece of acrylic and had it cut into a 12" circle with center hole, to use for setting anti-skate. Then I learned that a blank disc is inappropriate for such a task, as anti-skate compensation includes the friction and inward pull of the groove of an LP, the anti-skate compensation combatting those forces, not just the offset angle of the headshell.
If you intend to use your new vinyl (not "sealed" investment), play ASAP and listen for defects.

You are so right, dweller. I just played a new 180g Zeppelin remaster that I bought months ago and it's warped. I purchased all the remasters and this is the third record with a defect.