Why would someone chose buying a record over the HD Audio counterpart?

Do you prefer Records or HD Audio Files?

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Seriously, I have no life.
I purchased close to 90 LP's this year and my experience with them has been so underwhelming and heartbreaking that I have decided to abandon records for good. I've been collecting high resolution flac and DSD files ranging in quality from 24bit/96Khz, all the way up to DSD128 & SACD for the last 5 years or maybe slightly more. The majority of today's records are pressed from these exact digital sources. Mostly, gone are the days of high quality record pressings with a pure analog audio path. You need to buy records pre 1990's to start getting the lack of a digital audio path.

I hate to break the news to you but the majority of the music listening public is not doubling down on Jazz, Classical and Blues.

To me, the entire reason to buy a record is to listen to the artists unaltered pure analog sound without much or any manipulation. Yes, it's purely psychological. I want to live in that experience for the moments I have with the record because it's an even to play a record with all the cleaning and flipping required.

However, I just bought Neil Young's 180gm reissue of Harvest that is supposedly all analog. Great, that to me seems like the perfect reason to buy a record. Except... the record is mostly plagued by static and crackles. I gave it something close to an hours long wash in the Degritter Ultrasonic record cleaner and the noise is still there. The crap is in the pressing.

Same with several other records I bought this year. One in particular, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Beat The Devil's Tattoo was supposed to sound incredible due to it's recording and pressing but has far too many crackles and pops. Again, scrubbed the sh!it out of it for a long time in the Degritter and still sounds trash.

Other records are pressed off center causing them to swish in crackling.

Unfortunately, the bulk of my collection sounds this way. Not every single one, but most. All are new and sealed with no used titles at all. I can say that my equipment is not to blame since I have the 180gm Led Zeppelin titles pressed in Germany and they are fantastic. Clean and dynamic. The latest remaster of KISS - Destroyer on 2LP 180gm is amazing as well. So too are some others.

But not nearly the percentage of successes I need to justify keeping this hobby alive.

What irks me most about this is, I have the HD Audio versions of nearly every record I own and they are all superior to the records in every way. So what's the point really? Why would anyone today buy a new record when the 24bit/96Khz or greater edition can be bought on any of the several online stores for cheaper and sound way better with the proper gear?

With the amount of money people invest in turntables, stylus' that wear out, analog playback gear, tubes... I'm convinced that money could buy an amazing DAC and give you just the same or better results, especially considering LP's limited dynamic range. There's irony in those records you buy because they are already sourced from the digital files you can buy cheaper than the record probably cost and still not sound as good. There is this placebo effect that limited dynamics somehow creates a smoother more analog sound. The lack of clinicalness in the recording somehow sound more natural. Wrong

Who is still buying new records and what's your justification for listening to the vinyl pressing of that digital source file?

Please understand, this poll is about HD Audio with a minimum of 24Bit/88.2Khz, not MP3's or CD's. Technically, if one where to debate things to death, an audio CD could be considered lossy due to the fact it is the baseline minimum recording at 16Bit/44.1Khz and theoretically, could, under the proper circumstances sound inferior to it's vinyl counterpart.
Your expectations should have been managed better- those of us who played them in the past did so because that was one of the better forms of software, which we didn't call 'software', we called them LPs, records, or something like that. Whoever told you that they're the best-sounding format either lied or doesn't know. Vinyl always had imperfections. I haven't heard much good about newer pressings and that's pathetic, considering their high price.

However, older pressings that have been well-maintained can sound really good, assuming the turntable and cartridge will allow it.

Crackles, clicks and pops are signs of bad vinyl quality or bad handling/maintenance. I used a Discwasher with the liquid only a few times because it always left residue. The only way for one of that type of cleaner to not leave residue is if the cloth is cleaned meticulously after every use because, where does the dirt go besides in the fibers?

When we listened to LPs, we put more thought into what we would listen to, we didn't have a server, streaming service or multi-disc player that had a large number of titles- we chose the music, we didn't pick it on a whim, from a large list.


Seriously, I have no life.
Back in the 1980's when I was in the service I had well over 2000 LPs. Once CD's hit the scene I sold the majority of them for the simple reason that the second you drop the arm on vinyl, you destroy it and I don't care how expensive a cartridge, arm and turntable you have. My practice at the time was to record the LP to Cassette on the very first play of the LP, put it into its jacket and store it and to listen to the cassette's. CDs made them both obsolete.
I always found the practice of recording to cassette on the first play a bit odd- cassette fidelity isn't as high as a good LP unless some noise reduction is used and some of those weren't compatible across brands of equipment, so a DBX-encoded tape didn't always sound 'right' on someone else's machine. Also, the high frequency response of a cassette isn't great at 0VU or above as from an LP.

I understand why people did it, though- it was to preserve the LP, especially when it was part of a boxed set or collectible for some reason.

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