Old records.

I’ve been literally keeping my somewhat recently bought turntable (and accessories) on the shelf and not using it after spending a lot on it (for me.) ( You can take a look on my profile)
After comparing it to my digital side for quite a while I decided the SQ was not nearly as good. So, I put the cover on it and let it lay dormant.
Now I have a collection of about 3000 LPs, mostly from the 70’s and 80’s. And, sad to say, most of them just don’t sound that good. However I’ve recently been playing some newer records, and the sound is wonderful. I know this not supposed to be the case. So, it’s possible all my old records have been somewhat damaged with old or faulty styli. Anyhow I now have a new lease on life with my analog side.


Or, send a few of the worst ones to a record cleaning service and see if that makes a difference.  

The majority of my records are old. Those that were in the house when I was a kid were treated pretty dreadfully, being played on an old Garrard radiogram and then a Philips portable player. Stylus changes only happened when the thing would no longer play! And yet, right from my first RCM I found they could sound surprisingly good, and with better RCMs the improvement continues. I can't cure a scratch, sadly, but if a record isn't scratched it will usually be as near silent as makes no difference. The fact you say your new records sound great must give you some insight as to what's happening, no?

You may be right that your old disks were mistreated far more badly than mine, and they are damaged. The only way to know is to get a couple cleaned as well as possible and see if they improve. If your RCM is "perhaps not the best," have you the possibility of getting a couple cleaned by someone else for a test?

@rvpiano If it’s any consolation, my experience is much the same as yours. I have many old albums which have been meticulously cared for over 50 years…most of which simply sound flat and thin. Recording quality for most popular consumer vinyl was relatively poor especially for pop/rock music. 

I’ve reached a point where I only buy new vinyl for that reason. And it’s still a gamble. You can clean those old records all you like. It won’t change the recording quality. 

I beg to differ. At least with respect to jazz and classical music genres, “old” LPs that were well cared for can compete with and often surpass modern reissues by a wide margin. Unlike CDs, LPs really can last forever if properly stored and played with decent cartridges and tonearms. And I don’t mean the equipment needs to be expensive. This only makes sense; the market for LPs in the 50s, 60s, and 70s was far more vast than it is today, and there was real competition for consumer attention. RCA, Decca, Capitol, Riverside, Contemporary, Columbia, Verve, Nonesuch, Vanguard, and later Pablo, ECM, etc, took great care to produce high quality product. We still venerate their various recording engineers.


i actually agree with you. Those old records that are not worn often do sound better than new releases. Especially those from the ‘60s and early 70s.