LP's... Do they sound better now than 30 yrs ago?


Thinking about getting back into LP's. Do they sound better than they did 30 yrs ago? I remember , no matter how well you cleaned them and how well you treated them they always( after 1 or 2 plays) sounded like crap! Pops and clicks. Scratched easy. Are they better made? Thicker? I don't want clicking and popping over my system!                Thanks for your input!



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Most of my records are original US pressing and i have never had any problems if the condition if fine. What i can say for sure is that the Japanese pressing from the 70s is superb. Pallas pressing plant in Germany is fine for new releases, but United pressing plant in US is also fine. I bought that Doors LPs from Analogue Production and they are fine, but that’s the only one rock band i used to listen in high school, bought it for curiosity to check what is an audiophile pressing @devilscucumber Some of my farovite records from the 70s are much better engineered, especially those library LPs recorded to use in cinema and on tv (mostly mid 70s jazz-funk stuff) and pressen on normal vinyl in USA and in UK, so i do not support that hype about audiophile reissues for the prices they are asking for.
Great thread.

I have a collection of almost 10,000 records and, honestly, there is no unifying truth to old vs. new. Old Blue Note vinyl played with a mono cartridge sound incredible. Much maligned RCA flexibly-discs often sound incredible, too. Lots and lots of inferior labels/pressings are out there. For me, the biggest issue has been groove damage. Most average record players from the 50s-80s pulled on the grooves as it moved closer to the center, permanently damaging the record and giving the dreaded ‘frying bacon’ sound. But, for the most part, i’ve had great luck with old records. 

All that said, the Music Matters 45rpm reissues of the Blue Note catalog and the Analogue Productions 45rpm pressing of Ben Webster’s Soulville are quite possibly the finest sounding records I have ever heard in my life.

And your gear does matter. I have a Sota vacuum turntable with an Ortofon 2m Black cartridge going into Mac tube gear and out Harbeth speakers and it really brings out the best of my vinyl. Before that, I had a lower-quality cartridge and the difference between the two is like being in the front row of the show vs in the hallway. Gear matters.
Prior to the early 70s, most vinyl was quite good. When the petroleum prices skyrocketed, the record industry was forced to scale back on the weight of vinyl used to produce a LP. This led to thin, easily damaged and warped LPs from that time throughout the 80s. So a well produced LP today was probably better than many 30 years ago... not so much if you go back 40 years. 
The clicking and popping of sounds coming from LP's is fun and bring back my youthful days.  The late 50's, 60's and 70's pressing are far excellent compared with the sucky digital sounds of today's.  The secret behind those pressing is the use of analog tube, darlington transistor and FET's.  I got a 60 years classical LP's using Hi-Fi definition sound fantastic compared with my latest Adele Hello using digital format.
Agree wholeheartedly that well recorded and well cared for vinyl can sound fantastic.  Very fortunate where we live to have an excellent used record store with multiple genre inventories, almost all of which are typically in great condition.  

As a VPI 16.5 user, I'm interested in what brand ultrasonic cleaner would represent a significant improvement in record cleaning technology and results? Suggestions?  Cost?  Thank you for any input.