Frustrated with Vinly

Hey All,

Just coming here to let out out my frustration with Vinyl. I know that Vinyl takes patience but it's frustrating when playing some of my newer records and they have noises that I do not want to hear. Meaning, I try to clean them and they still have noise (pops, crackles, etc). When playing at low volumes of course you do not hear as much but when I turn up the volume is when it gets irritating. 

I can understand if older vinyl would sound like this but these are my newer records that I bought (amazon or barnes and nobles).

Now, I know the products that I am using are probably not great in the first place and I will probably need to upgrade to some more serious cleaner).

Currently trying to use a combo of: Kaiu Vinyl record cleaning set and I have also tried the Audio Technica AT6012 Record Care Kit.

So now I am considering either a Spin Clean type system or Pro-Ject  VC-S2 ALU Type cleaning system.

Any suggestions?

I almost want to give up on Vinyl sometimes and stick to digital (cd, hi res files, qobuz streaming).

Current equipment: denon dp-300f w/2m blue cart.


Vinyl.....High expectations.....mostly disappointing.

Digital....A decent dynamic listening experience that if you get it right "Jams"
better than vinyl.

A fantastic mastered 24/96 or 24/192 file, imo, probably gets you the closest to what is heard in the studio monitors. I have some hi rez files that sound better than the vinyl versions. However, so much needs to be considered:

1. My TT setup is probably Mid-FI -(1200gr/ATvm540ML/Elac PPA-2 Phono) at best.

2. The digital is closer to the source. Vinyl has so many variables (vinyl quality, pressing plant practices, etc )and has many steps away from the source (cutting, stamping)

3. Plus, vinyl has its own "built in" sound characteristics that may or may not appeal to listeners. People who grew up on vinyl probably appreciates that quality more than a person who grew up digital. Much like an older movie buff probably favors the aspects of film vs the super clear, slick digital format.

IMO, if you are wanting to squeeze the last bit of possible sound quality closer to the source (regardless of format), it will be much cheaper and easier to go the digital route. With vinyl, so many working pieces have to come together to get to the absolute best, top notch sound (TT, Cartridge, Phono, pressing quality, on and on).

For me (growing up with records) vinyl is about the overall experience and relationship to the recording. The large album covers, the cleaning and caring of the record, etc. If I just want PUREST sound quality, I will stream Qobuz or play my hundreds of ripped SACD’s and Hi Rez downloads.

Above is just my opinion.I’m sure many feel differently.


Are you referring to the Pro-Ject Cleaning machines?

Which one in particular?

Yes, Apparently you're not doing due diligence...

There is just one Project VCM. It's  "glory" is the lp has zero contact to a platter in the process.

Check it out....

So many opinions and suggestions, many good ones.

My reaction to al of this; As some of you know I, over the last year, decided to dig out my old 2055 Kenwood turntable, all my albums, and decide if vinyl was something that would interest me again. Lots of issues, bad ones, and began correcting one thing at a time. Still not convinced, but intrigued enough to delve further, I purchased a very modest new TT; a Pro-Ject Carbon Debut, replaced the platter with an acrylic one, installed the Grado red cartridge I purchased for the old Kenwood, an inexpensive Schiit Mani phono stage, put the damn table in a tray of sand per millercarbon’s recommendation, but one of my most important purchases, an inexpensive record clamp. I also reinforced the floor below my equipment and TT with a couple 2x4’s to help stabilize the wood floor framing. And a Spin-Clean record cleaner. All in all, a very modest return to vinyl.

Why? My CD’s with my transport or streaming through my DAC sounded fine. Why go through this? Well, because after 50 years, I came to realize that after listening over the past year that, yes, there is indeed a ‘magic’ of vinyl that is hard to explain. For well over 40 years of moving onto cassettes, CD’s, and now streaming, I saw no reason to deal with the inherent problems with vinyl again, particularly the maintenance, noise, clicks, pops, cleaning, etc. Well, I will admit, I may have been wrong.

Currently I listen to mostly classical music, where the music can be extremely quiet to crescendo’s, I am very picky about noise on those albums, and it does get frustrating, but much of this I can blame on myself as I’m buying used older classical vinyl, which is a crap shoot at best. But, I’m loving it regardless. That is all correctable, it’s just a matter of how much money I’m willing spend on future albums, my set-up, and the extra care to treat this format properly.

I’m in the process of cataloging all my music on Discogs; vinyl, cassettes, and CD’s. I’ve gone through all my CD’s and cassettes, and now going through all my old vinyl from the 60’s and 70’s. Well, for me and my friends in those days, we ‘partied’, didn’t take great care of our vinyl, stuff scattered around and unprotected while listening, it wasn’t something we over concerned ourselves with as that was the only real medium of its day (besides 8 track tapes). Or, I was just a little kid putting (throwing) my oldest Beatle albums on the family console stereo unit without a care. And going through all those albums is rough, as the lack care for them shows.

But, the biggest take-away for me is through this whole process, regardless of its imperfections at times, is the vinyl sounds better to me. I’m not smitten with vinyl again, as it was the only real source at one time I purchased most of this music. But directly comparing to the other formats (and I do have some of the same albums on multiple formats), it’s sounds better to me even with its perceived imperfections.

It just sounds ‘right’, and unless I’m willing to take huge steps cost wise to try and get rid of those imperfections completely (I would say that is impossible), I try not to compare to those other formats, and simply enjoy vinyl for what it is, and right now, I prefer it, and understand my current limitations for it to sound better. But if I had a choice between a CD and a vinyl album, I’ll likely choose the vinyl and just enjoy the music because it sounds more like music to me.


Great post and welcome back to the analog world!

You are so right about it being a total waste of time comparing different sources.
I play records, cassette tapes, reel to reel tapes, CD, DVD-A, SACD and stream Qobuz and Tidal!

No not doing 8 track.... Lol.

I enjoy each media for what it is and rarely sit there thinking well that sounded better than the version on XXX.

Each have their plus and minus points and I leave it at that.