Vinyl, to keep or not? A crisis of conscience

I have a Rega Planar 3 (the new version) with an Elys 2 cartridge. The phono stage is a Graham Slee Reflex Era Gold with a Graham Slee PSU1 power suply. It’s fed into my Nova. I’ve had it for around 2 years and during this time it has had about 50 hours use.

I am one of the new generation of converts to vinyl. I.e. I’m 42 and have only owned vinyl in the past 2 years.

I’m disillusioned with the quality of the sound. I do not notice a major difference between the sound of vinyl and CD. It seems that in order to see any benefits from vinyl one needs to spend thousands on a Linn or other top notch player.

Furthermore, thanks to the recent vinyl resurgence, the price of vinyl is extortionate. All the latest releasses start at £15 and above. And quite a lot of stuff is hit and miss in terms of quality. As I found recently when i bought the vinyl version of Beth Ditto’s album which sounded a lot worse than even the Spotify version. :man_shrugging:

On top of that it is rather annoying when you have to get up every 20 minutes and turn the record (switch player off, wait till it stops, turn record, turn player on, quick pass with brush and play). Perhaps i am used to CD and streaming too much?

So, I am really struggling to decide what to do. Should I keep the turntable and the vinyl collection even though it is rarely going to be played? Or should I just cut my losses and sell it now before it looses anymore value?


You have a good turntable, now you only need a good cleaning machine, I have a ultrasonic bath and the result is fantastic… its the only way to clean the bottom of the groove. If you need more details, contact me .

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If you don’t hear any difference in SQ and if you don’t like the playing process either the obvious answer would be just cut your losses now. Furthermore, vinyls are indeed higher priced than music stored in any other media (or online streaming fees). It’s just fine to listen to music using your preferred alternative method.


I hear your pain!

I have a really nice Roksan Xerxes which is at a really good level of performance, far beyond the Rega you have. I ‘upgraded’ to this from a well loaded LP12 30 years ago. On a good day the Xerxes sounds absolutely marvellous it can time and boogie like no other.

I have just ‘mothballed’ it though due to practical reasons, I have just upgraded to an NDS and an extra shelf meant I don’t have room without buying another which with a Fraim isn’t a trivial cost.

I’m not really missing it though, I have 2600 albums on my NAS compared to about 350 records, many of which are no longer to my taste as they were bought when I was a teenager (I’m now 53). I hardly played the Roksan before and haven’t really missed it, although it is early days as I only did this a few weeks ago.

I think the results from vinyl can be outstanding but it really is a labour of love with cleaning requirements and the lack of convenience. I’m also of the view that unless you have pots of cash splitting your money between multiple sources doesn’t bring out the best of either platform.

Only you can decide, but my view is that to start out with vinyl requires you to fully commit to it and go in with your eyes open.



from my experience its a certain YES!

my system over the years went from vinyl/CD (Lp12/CDX2/XPs to in 2014 moved to Lp12/NDX then i mostly played 50/50 NDX vs vinyl, last year I spent a few ££££ on upgrades to my LP12 - and now i lisen to 95% Vinyl and 5% on NDX mainly when I am not in the room and its back ground
for me once you get the vinyl bug you are hooked and we have seen in 2018 and I am sure going forward vinyl remasters in 180 either at 33 or 45 which are sublime recordings
so for me upgrading my deck has given me even more music and the system certainly at weekends is never off - but that my point of view

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Keep it! Always!


I sold it and fund my ND555- roughly 900 records, LP12 almost fully specs. Would I do it again? Yes!

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sergeev, I doubt it is the fault of the records though. They are brand new.

My wife and I aren’t new converts – we are going back to vinyl after ~40 years away from it. Our RP8 arrives Monday, and we’ll have about 35 lp’s to start (recovered from her youth, and a few pieces I’ve picked up at today’s exorbitant prices). We’ll see if it “sticks.” If it fails, I can sell it all off of course.

It seems that you’ve completed the experiment and have reached a conclusion. It sounds to me that you should go ahead and sell it all off, “lighten your load” and move on knowing that you tried. IMHO it’s not for everyone.


Some would say that also all new records should go through RCM treatment before they sound their best.

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You should. An entry level CD setup has better resolution and dynamic range than any Vinyl setup ever made. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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??? cant say I agree with that. Over 4000 lps here and about a 1000 cds
And have heard some very expensive digital gear…in my home…its good…but I have heard better.
To the op, sounds like vinyl may not be for you, agreed, using a turntable is nowhere near as convenient.
BUT to many of us that can be part of the fun.

I use Reel to Reel to archive my analogue music and something about tape that works…sonically
I also found on ebay wireless remote controls that work with most reels out there.
So it is great, I get fine sound and convenience…ff,rewind play…all at a touch of a button.

My point is if you keep vinyl and want sound and ease of use, recording them to open reel
may be an option to consider…just sayin.

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If I were starting from scratch I would steer well clear of vinyl. I have a lot and love it but the expense of it is prohibitive these days, particularly if you don’t like the sound of it and don’t like the process of playing it. I’m not sure why you are even debating it - you clearly prefer the sound and convenience of digital. Save yourself some money and just enjoy the music!


I enjoyed my turntables over the years, particularly the LP12 I ended up with, and never really made the move to CD as I was happy with what I had in terms of sound quality. On the other hand, I certainly did not enjoy the dust, static, scratches, changing sides, fragile stylus, variable vinyl quality, etc.
When I started to dabble in streaming, I decided that I would finally embrace digital, and sold the turntable to help fund a streamer and server. I have absolutely no desire to go back.


I wouldn’t buy a modern turntable. I remember reading a few years ago that turntable designers are now aiming for a sound that is more CD like. OH DEAR.

Secondly. Old amplifiers where where designed to sound good with analogue, new amplifiers are designed to sound good with digital.

Thirdly. I don’t own a Nova, but I suspect the analogue signal from your phono stage is converted to digital, then converted back to analogue.

Buy an old school set up, Mantra, decent arm, DL103, 72, hicap, 250 and a pair of royd. Discover the magic in the grooves.

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Éven New vinyl need to be clean to remove the wax on the Botton of the groove. ThisEliminate static hiver more dynamic, better stéréo image, eveything is better.

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A good digital system is capable of - and indeed can deliver - better sound quality than a good vinyl system, because the latter has more comptomises that are inherent in the medium.

Of course, for someone accustomed to the vinyl character, the more neutral character that digital can present can be perceived as negative…

However there is one very significant variable, which is the mastering: Well-mastered vinyl can sound better than s digital version of the same music that has been poorly mastered - and it seems there has been quite a bit of the latter released. To compare the media for yourself you needto be sure that the maatering is the same - and for digital the DAC is quite crucial…

I have long since ripped all my vinyl to digital, streaming from my own store, though quite a few replaced with digital downloads (particularly the more detreriorated ones).

BTW one thing that always concerned me about vinyl was thevinevitable gradual deterioration, with increasing surface noise. I assumed it was wear, however received wisdom from the (old) forum suggests it wss probably more to do with ingrained dirt, good and regular wet cleaning being essential to keep in good condition, something unknown to me when I had a TT - despite careful wiping, and use of an antistatic gun, and later a carbon fibre brush, my most played records became very noficeably noisy.


I see no reason for anyone to start fresh and take up vinyl replay in the digital age
Leave vinyl to us old codgers who don’t know any better…Stick with digital

A happy P8 owner !!!


The best thing about the digital is that it’s pretty uniform, even when it’s bad, it’s free of many of the problems of bad analogue, and when it’s good is really very, very good indeed. In fact, with the right recording, mastering and top digital replay kit, it’s hard to think of it getting any better. It’s pretty much fuss free too in comparison to vinyl.

As for vinyl it can be far more variable. You can have an immaculate pressing that’s just been poorly mastered, or pressed with some clapped out metalwork and it’s just flat, dull, “meh”. Or you can have a great cut that is then pressed by messrs. Snap, Crackle, Pop and Warp. Or a lovely original that sounds good but is way past its best, as wear removes the lustre. And it can all get just a bit depressing, particularly with what some vinyl costs these days. However, what keeps us hooked are the albums where it all comes together - where you sit down, listen, and it’s like the music has a life and a presence that you’ve never experienced before - and it does it in a way that eludes any of your digital versions of the same music, or indeed any of your digital music. That’s when it’s sublime, and it’s what keeps us vinyl-heads hooked (and poor). But we do suffer for it, and sometimes to get that perfect cut or pressing or issue, you have to go through many also-rans. And sometimes, that perfect cut or pressing remains elusive, and so, again we are also hooked, in the never ending search for that hit that only really top analogue seems to be able to give.

What does all this mean? Well, if you go all in it may, just may, pay off for you. But there will be more pain before the payoff of pleasure. And, good as your Rega P3 may be, you’ll need to seriously up the ante on the hardware side to really get that feeling that you’re there with the musicians and they’re playing the set of their lives right there in your living room. Otherwise, you may just decide that it’s all too much faff, and you’re better of sticking with digital. And that’s not a bad choice to make either. It’s just you may not have the extreme highs and lows of vinyl, but you’ll probably save yourself a lot of time and money in the process.