I've tried the glue method before. Can't say it improved the record that much (I think it's just beyond its usefulness
) but it did get the crud out of the grooves.
Hoping to pick up some work soon or get a much better job once I'm done with school in May: the stylus is worn out on the cartridge. Best I can find for a replacement is $250-$300, or I am eyeing a new cart that is around $700 (the Ortofon 2M Black).
Masturbation for hipster audiophiles. High bit rate, lossless codecs FTW!!!
Get back here for your beating!
I actually can't stand the sound of CD-quality digital. I realized it was causing headaches: I was gritting my teeth from what I realized was the jagged top end of the spectrum, something I didn't do when listening to SACD, higher bitrates or vinyl. (If you see what a raw 44.1kHz/16-bit signal looks like at higher frequencies, it looks like a sawtooth waveform, which sounds rather nasty.)
One thing that has helped: I'm trying a tube buffer stage (a Musical Fidelity X10-D) that improves impedance matching between the CD player and the preamp. The vacuum tubes (a pair of new old stock Matsushita/National 7DJ8s) really improved the sound quite a bit, but I still hear that distortion. I have a Cambridge DACMagic (a digital-to-analog converter) coming my way in a few weeks that will help. Since I am now streaming a lot from my NAS to a WD TV Live (which has only a crappy analog output, or SPDIF optical digital output), I can take the output of both the disc player (Pioneer Elite DV-45A) and the WD TV Live and run them through the DACMagic.
Of the lossy codecs, I prefer WMA (or M4A) over MP3. WMA has a lot of support in the devices I own (car in-dash player, Zune portables, a Sony player, and a Pioneer DV578A). I keep them all in the Zune library, which is in a separate share on my NAS.
I will say that moving 1.5GB of numerous data files from various computer drives to the NAS is a major PITA, but it's nice being able to stream a movie (up to 1080p) or music to any networked device in the house.