Discogs, I never go below near mint minus and only from reputable sellers, above 99.7% rated and with > 100 transaction
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“I wish not to go to the dark side of digital.”
While I appreciate your sentiments this is no longer the case. Digital has come a long way, visit a friend or dealer who has a good digital (streaming) setup. If you approach this with an open mind, you may be in for a very pleasant surprise. Until then, continue enjoying your vinyl system.
I buy most of my vinyl from one of my local record stores. However, I'm not much of a jazz fan and my record store does not focus on jazz. That said, I buy quite a bit of vinyl from dealers on Discogs. My findings are that they are almost always over-graded by one or two levels, i.e. NM- graded records are actually VG+, etc. Rarely have I ever bought a M or NM used record that I considered accurately graded.
Discogs is pretty good. But it all depends on what you really want. If its good clean silent vinyl, good luck. The record you buy and open and it plays silent is a myth. That never was. No matter how much time and money you put into it, the best you will ever do is get it down to a dull roar.
So my advice is, chill. A certain amount of noise is inherent in the medium. Fortunately, along with the noise comes the magic. The magic is the whole reason for putting up with the noise, and its totally worth it.
I do find it a bit depressing however that everyone notices the noise varies from copy to copy, but no one notices the magic varies as well. Lots of pressings are dead quiet, but have dreadful sound quality (cough cough MoFi cough cough) and a lot of guys actually seem to prefer that to noisy records with unbelievably beautiful sound quality.
Go figure. Whatever. Know thyself.
If you want silent you are doomed to a life of frustration. Unless you go digital. Then you are doomed to a life of no magic.
You pays your money and you takes your point of view.
I get most of my vinyl from Acoustic Sounds; never had a complaint. All the digital guys talk about how digital has gotten "better" recently. Fine, but it will never be a real time linear reproducer like vinyl is; it will always be little chops of zeros and ones. If we had digital ears digital reproduction would be superior but that's not what we're dealing with. I do have more cd's than records, but I keep a log of time on my gear, mostly for tube time of use, and my log shows more than twice the hours with analog than digital.
I also do well at discogs.
after the page comes up, click/sort on the word 'condition'
then, down the list untill ......
Equipment, phono settings, cables and cartridge make a huge difference on the amount of noise you hear. My first system was an old Krell phono/pre, Clearaudio Moving Coil, and Krell amp. This setup had a soundstage that wrapped around me 270 degrees, was from the floor to the ceiling, and a couple of city blocks deep. The sound was crystal clear unlike anything I have ever heard, then or since. It also reproduced every pop and tick with supreme enjoyment and the groove noise sounded like surf on the beach. I enjoy my vinyl almost 50% of the time with CD's and streaming splitting the rest. The stylus size must be small to avoid previous groove wear. I am currently using a Benz Micro Wood SL that I bought rebuilt on Agon, using the 400 ohm setting and a Clearaudio Charisma MM cart, and I am playing records I felt were too noisy with great enjoyment. Good Luck.
Also, I clean my records with a Nitti Gritti machine and use an Anti Static brush from Maple Shade. I have cleaned records multiple times with poor results because I played them with the same stylus shape that caused the damage to begin with. IE elliptical versus Shibata or Ridge Line. When I changed the stylus shape much of the noise disappeared. Also, I've bought quite a few records from Music Stack with good results.
I agree with some of the other posters. Digital audio has progressed to a point that it is very competitive with vinyl. To my ears, they both have wonderful traits that are just different. They will never sound the same no matter how much money you throw at either format.
I still have a nice vinyl rig and love spinning records. But streaming my files from a NAS or Quobuz from the internet sounds mighty fine. You shouldn't limit yourself to one format, you lose out on a lot of good music when you do.
People are always complaining about the records when I think it's their rig. While clean records are absolutely essential, the music to noise ratio is more important.
Find someplace where you can compare your rig to a "Sota Star Saphire" TT; that will put you in the ball park of how much you need to spend in order to get a high SNR (signal to noise ratio) They do not require the most expensive cartridges either.
CLEAN, QUIET LP’s (inexpensive manual method)
I’m loving how quiet my dirty old lp’s sound.
Your problem helped me out, I now have a very successful inexpensive manual cleaning method. I am getting essentially no noise out of old dirty static filled lps. I just cleaned a few NEW lp’s, to check, no noise, so goodbye mold compounds, ..
If you get noise after this, something else is wrong!
Listen to some music while doing this of course.
Wear thin plastic gloves to protect your hands and block finger oil
1. plastic sheet to protect the table below. smooth white, so you can see any/every speck. kitchen garbage bag, or, thin plastic table cloths from the party store, something.
2. lay lp flat
3. cover lp paper label with plastic lid diameter of label, i.e. chinese soup take-out lid.
4. spray cleaning fluid on lp (my home-made mix below)
5. CRITICAL: scrub fairly aggressively: circular, back and forth a few times, with soft multi bristle brush (pre-wet with cleaning fluid for 1st lp) try an lp you don’t care about, you will find you can be more aggressive than you think. this is what really cleans deep into the grooves.
6. flip, clean other side: place carefully so paper label goes down onto dry area of plastic
7. rinse in distilled water in the record cleaning kit. CRITICAL: Distilled Water ONLY!!! spin 2x each direction, it has fine brushes for final cleaning while rinsing.
8. use the two included cloths to handle/pre-dry the lp, and put in the included drying rack.
note: dry the center area of the plastic sheet where the paper label goes frequently with a separate cloth. dump distilled water after each batch of ten. rinse everything and dry between batches.
1. record cleaning kit with drying rack for 10 lps, $58.
2. distilled water, $1.00 per gallon (check online for stock before going to the store)
3. alcohol, 91%, $3.00
4. wetting agent. $4.00 I use Finish, Jet Dry (dishwasher stuff)
5. soft multi-bristle brush, I found one in a drawer, but here’s a 3 pack, $9.00
my mix, nothing scientific, a small 6 oz spray bottle (8oz, 10, doesn’t matter)
1. a few drops of wetting agent
2. 1 cap of condensed cleaning fluid that came with the kit
3. fill with alcohol.
you may think it’s a pretty strong alcohol mix, but you will be rinsing right away, and, you will find, even that strong, finger oil spots will be very reduced but not fully disappear.
I’m loving how quiet my dirty old lp’s sound.
CLEAN STYLUS! Leave a small mirror on TT under your headshell, so you can see if the stylus is clean. Clean the stylus during if needed, and always after every listening session.
my friend uses gel stuff, loves it
Still use Anti-Static brush before each play, DRY, just a light touch needed to get any paper sleeve dust, airborne dust.
Why not enjoy both mediums? As people are pointing out digital recordings have evolved to a point that if the source material is done right you can enjoy both.
My analog front end has 40,000 invested in it yet my digital front end ( Modwright modified Sony 9000es, Cryoed Tung Sol tubes,Darwin The Truth silver inter connects,Acoustc Zen Krakatoa ll and Cardas Golden reference power chords)has 3000 invested in it and it rivals my analog front end. You can find cd's on the cheap at Charity outlets and Thrift stores and in over a 5 year span the money you save would. pay for your cd player investment. Enjoy both analog and digital not just one over the other. Just my 2 cents and buy used equipment and save your money for music.
This doesn't exactly answer your question, but here's a suggestion ...
Seeing as how you are a jazz fan, as am I, I'd like to suggest that you check out jazz recorded on the Contemporary, Bethlehem and the Pacific Jazz labels. Their recordings are superb, including their mono recordings.
I discovered that Japanee pressing are the most reliable pressings
out there and since Jazz is a favorite in Japan there are many
used LPs for sale .
facerecords grading can be trusted 100% , found on E-bay .
Also for new pressing you can trust Speakers Corner .
I've resently purchased a few new Miles Davis albums ,
BUT make sure they are Columbia pressings .
I've also picked up some great Blue Note
and Analog Production re-issues .
I use a Spin Clean record cleaner , someday maybe an Ultrasonic .