Keep it or take it back?

I bought a copy of Steely Dan’s Everything Must Go today which was released for Record Store Day 2021. All is really great until the last track on side two which has 31 occurrences of what I can only describe as a scraping crackly sound. Looking more closely at the record it has what I believe is non-fill. (See photograph below). It’s quite intrusive. Shame really as the rest of the record is first class.

The question is, do I keep it or take it back for a refund? As a RSD copy I think I am unlikely to get a replacement. I have a cd copy of this album so I wouldn’t be going without the music altogether.

Also, will I damage my stylus if I make it play through this type of defect?

Oh No! Yes, looks like it, and if it sounds like someone is biting into a Ryvita into a microphone then that’s most likely non-fill (I wonder if Optimal pressed these). I’ve just ordered myself a copy, so I really hope it’s OK. Out of interest, from where did you purchase it?

Apparently, 10000 copies were to be pressed.

If the shop cannot exchange it, you are entitled to a refund.

If you don’t want a refund, and the rest of the LP is in exemplary condition, I guess you will have to decide whether to keep it or not. Given the guff that I saw online “expertly cut… at Bernie Grundman Mastering… 180g vinyl” …one would hope QC standards would be up to par.

It does of course raise the question is yours an unfortunate example or representative of a batch fault?

Very disappointing, however.

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The CD has exemplary sound, so why risk it with vinyl?


If you paid the full asking price then you should have a fault free item!


Local record shop. It’s a Record Store Day release. Another member of this forum has exactly the same defect in the same place sadly.

You’re right of course and I have the cd which is great. However, I also like the sound of records. It’s different and for me, more enjoyable. Not better, just moe enjoyable. I still love my cd’s. Sadly, I’m learning, buying records is a complete lottery.

I’ve had a similar experience with St Vincent’s album Daddy’s Home.

Take it back. The record store will be able to return it. The manufacturers need to know that their product is faulty, otherwise there will be no reason for them to ensure high quality.


I have finally managed to get back in to town and have returned the faulty record for a refund. I also urged the shop owner to send it back to wherever he got it from and somehow let the manufacturer know they have produced substandard goods.

Thank you for the encouragement to return it, - something I find uncomfortable.

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Your experience with a brand new LP, supposedly of superior provision is why I am reluctant to invest in new vinyl. My nearest HMV is in Maidstone: is a pretty decent store, but a bit of a schlep both to get there (and take anything back).

Getting albums delivered is a faff unless I use my nearest Amazon locker, and returning anything different would be a pain as well.

I have been investigating my existing record collection, giving every album I select a clean through my Clearaudio RCM. Although the Clearaudio cannot perform miracles, I do feel like I am almost getting a new record collection: 3 of the last 4 LPs I have played have been s/h copies of original releases, I think, the youngest of which was a s/h David Sanborn LP from 1985, and have been really very good quality, with very little surface noise.

Given some of the positive statements from other forum members, perhaps Discogs (and a robust record cleaning régime) might be a way forward as a resource for you.

Glad you got it sorted out.

Best, Al

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I got back in to playing records earlier this year and promptly bought a RCM to give the remnants of my old collection a bit of scrub before subjecting my new turntable to them. Mixed results, and I’ve scrapped about 30 of them as unplayable. The rest are (using Discogs scale) near mint to very good.

I’ve bought a lot of new records and most of them are wonderful. Every now and then I’ve got hold of a duffer, and I am learning to send them back. Now, when I buy a new record, I consider it on loan until I’ve played it and decided if it’s good enough to keep. Yes, returning records is a faff, but I guess part of the process.

I’m also lucky to have three used record shops in town (walking distance) who have all agreed to take used records back if I think they are unplayable. So far only one has gone back and the shop owner, upon playing it, agreed it was rubbish.

My record cleaning regime is improving and I’m regularly getting good results on used records.

Buying records has been a frustrating experience for me, but nonetheless very worthwhile. I never knew how much I didn’t know. I still have much to learn, but I’m stubborn enough to get there.


I’m in the same position. Your post could easily describe my own experience.

I hate the waste associated with returning a record, and the hassle it puts the store owner through.

But with so many copyright owners jumping on the vinyl bandwagon, and charging a pretty penny, I think it’s important that they are held to account.

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