How long should vinyl last?

Say I found a prestine copy of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band. It was brand new and never opened. If I play it on a state of the art turntable, how many years of play can I get out of it if I play it once a week and take excellent care of it? How long before the initial crispness disappears?
I have records that I bought new over 30 years ago that still sound excellent. The key is to never play a record without cleaning it properly. This is really more important than the equipment, as long as the the equipment is good quality and working properly. And always thoroughly clean a new record before it is played. If you don't have one, I'd recommend a good wet cleaning record machine.
My experience is similar to Jependlton's: I've got scores of LPs that I bought new in the 60's and 70's that still sound great. I also recommend use of a wet-vac cleaning machine and a carbon fiber brush before *and* after each play.
I have a used record of the Mills Brothers that has a 1938 date on the jacket. It has no scratches, no hiss, no pops.
PPP must play records on a old victrola with a knitting needle. The idea that a layer of vinyl is removed with each playing is a urban tale.
I'm sure you will get very tired of hearing Sgt. Pepper way before the record wears out.
I have LPs with hundreds of plays that sound brand new. Ohers begin to display clicks and pops much sooner, no matter how well they are cared for. The answer: it depends.
I have brand new records that behaive that they're warped.
I have records over 50y.o and they're still sound brand new.
Any case if I buy records I make sure that they at least look new.
Vinyl can last for a long, long time and still sound great given proper care. My experience matches that of Jependleton and Rshak. I have records that are 20 and more years old, have been played dozens of times, and that still have minimal surface noise and full frequency response for playback. I've also purchased many used records that look well used based on the condition of their record jackets but which also play beautifully. As pointed out, the key to this longevity is cleaning the record well, storing it well (including keeping it in its sleeve and storing it so dust does not enter), not playing it when dirty or dusty, and not playing it on an improperly set-up turntable.

None of this applies to records manufactured from inferior or recycled vinyl. You can't do anything about getting a record made from inferior vinyl, and neither can you do anything to protect such a record from developing noise quickly.

One other factor in your experience of your LPs over time is your turntable/tonearm/cartridge combination. Some turntable combinations simply are much more effective in capturing and replaying the music that is on your records, and doing so with a more silent background.

And a final factor is going to be your listening priorities. For me, a few ticks here and there are simply part of the LP medium and I'm willing to listen through that - to tune it out - and to focus on the musical values that vinyl delivers that are more important to me.
Will last longer than cd's so not a concern.
I have records well over 40 years old, I have always cleaned them with a Disc Washer,and before you nay say, it's done an excellent job. I now have (2) Keith Monks machines and the difference is awe inspiring. The VTL and like are not on the same level.

So with that, a good piece will last darn near forever, but-- a common paractice was to regrind the discs, and with some companies, labels and all, hence the early rise of pops and clicks, once their molded in, theres nothing you can do.

Older vinyl has less of this, the mid 70-90 vinyl is more prone to this, with the Greed factor applied.

Still the older vinyl if MIXED well, and a lot of it wasn't still kills SACD, and I mean KILLS, however I find SACD enjoyable and listenable, the old CD's were only for the car, or if there was no vinyl available.

Take care of your records and they'll take care of you.

A decent cartridge can be had for in the 125-250 range street price, which translates to 350-800 retail.

People get carried away with super vinyl rigs but still, the most important part is the cartridge, then the tone arm, and then the table, although anyone not up to competance will drag the others down. An old used Sota with a decent Sumiko arm and even the lowly Ortofon X5MC is still miles ahead of CD and you can pick those up used for less than a decent Arcam deck.

Dig out those records and clean em up.

Hey side note: Vinyl cleaning recipies.

As noted in earlier responses, vinyl can and does last a long time. One thing to be wary of is vinyl's "memory" effect. Dragging a diamond thru the vinyl grooves distorts them slightly during playback. You need to allow enough time between plays for the grooves to "reset" back to their original configuration. Instant replays of a track are not good for the grooves. Your proposal to play the record only once a week more than satisifes that condition.

One manufacturer whose products are extremely gentle on vinyl, Bang & Olufsen, gets slammed regularly in these forums. Too bad, because B&O tonearms have been optimized for their cartridges and present the lowest effective tip mass to the vinyl of *any* turntables out there. It is virtually impossible to scratch a record with a B&O turntable, can you say that about any other rig?

I have vinyl in my collection dating back to the 40's. Cleaning the album before playing and keeping it in a clean flat sleeve
has been my secret. I manually cleaned, then later began using a wet, vaccum record cleaning machine. All of my favorites have both been played many, many times they all still sound great. Take care of the records and they will always take care of your listening needs and wants.
RW: Have you used and measured all the "other" rigs out there to make such a bold statement re: the B&O tables/arms?
In my experience records only deteriorate as a result of dirt accumulation (which you can control) and accidental scratches during handling, which is your own fault.

The best assurance of long life is to use a fully automatic turntable/arm so as to minimize those accidents.
RH posts
"It is virtually impossible to scratch a record with a B&O turntable, can you say that about any other rig?"

I agree having owned one for 8 years; the problem is that even their top of the line cartridges ( I owned the MMC-1 mounted in a TX-2 turntable) are inferior to almost any quality cartridge and tonearm combination at the "audiophile" level. My MusicHall MMF-9 with the "stock" Goldring Eroica cartridge is infinitely better than anything B&O ever offered. So in fact is the MusicHall MMF-7, a "bargain" around $1000.
If you handle the turntable and vinyl gently the chance of scratching is remote. All of course IMO.
For some reason, my musings on the longevity of vinyl in this thread have disappeared. Not to be too cute, but what exactly is meant by the word "last"? It seems that vinyl has been recast into a medium without fault, better yet; its faults are now seen as virtue. I'm struggling mightily to get with the program, but still have but a handful of black discs that are quiet enough to satisfy. Vinyl does have a subtle character that is great at times. Too often though poor pressings take away a great part of the enjoyment. I still find that hard driving music comes across the best, and that anything with a lot of soft passages or silence fares the worst. From many decades of experience, I still think that I can safely say that vinyl records, unfortunately, get noisier with wear, and that I have never had a tt/arm/cart that did not contact the record’s surface and make it noisier with every play.
I sold hi-end hi-fi back in the late 70s and early 80s. I became quite familiar with the offerings from Denon, Revox, B&O, Yamaha, NAD, AR, Thorens, and several others that escape my memory right now.

No, I have not measured all the rigs out there, who has? But I can state, unequivocally, the the B&Os were the most gentle to the vinyl. Did they sound the best? No. But, for most folks, they sound plenty good enough, and their ease of use is a major bonus.

And, I'll bet ya a dollar that *nobody* has approached the low effective tip mass that B&Os come by naturally - it's hard to beat a tonearm and cartridge that have been designed from the get-go to work together. No alignment issues to deal with whatsoever.

As a demo, I used to grab the tonearm on a B&O and literally scrape the needle back and forth across a record's surface, after turning the volume down, of course. Subsequent replay of the record showed no aural indication of damage. Sold a lot of B&O turntables with that demo [smile]...

Did they sound the best? No

*nobody* has approached the low effective tip mass that B&Os come by naturally

As a demo, I used to grab the tonearm on a B&O and literally scrape the needle back and forth across a record's surface

It's no wonder they are no longer a factor
What is with you, WC65Mustang, heavy flow month? I *already* admitted that the B&O stuff was not the best sounding, but it sounds plenty good enough for most folks - including me.

As for the "effective tip mass" issue, this enables the record to played more often with less damage. In addition, if the buyer accidentally bumps the turntable or tonearm, they will not damage their record(s)

One other thing, dude, turn off the CAPS lock, nobody needs to shout around here...

How long would a new Sargent Pepper last if played once a week on an excellent analog system... Lets see ONE year is 52 plays
520 plays is ten years... nope, no problems yet.
5,200 plays is ONE HUNDRED years... If it was treated with last, and played with a really CLEAN stylus, always... I bet it would sound great! Or?? it may have lost a bit of the upper frequencies there? I know from experience that CeeDees can be played over and over endlessly, as my pets get the same 5 CeeDees every day when I am gone, The same five CeeDees for the past EIGHT YEARS. (One great CeeDee Player I had ran for about 30,000+ hours before it croaked. a Sony ES 89) So calculating... Mmmm... Mmmm... = 5,000 plays and they ARE exactly like new.
So longevity? If I were making my decision on whether to go with vinyl based on longevity? I would seriously re-think my motives. If it is just a 'curiousity' question... clearly vinyl is MORE FRAGILE than CeeDees. Scratch a LP, it is damaged, forever. Scratch a CeeDee, and get the disc doctor, or the ScratchX... but it is usually not any sort of problem.
Of course for LPs, I have no proof of this, and I used some CAPS too, And my 'flow' is mellow too... B&O always looked cool, anyway. Can't we just fight like Cats and Dogs? instead of like Audiophiles?
To Rlwainwrong
Heavy flow month? Seems you would know more about that than me.