not to hurt any of our trusted suppliers, but you can get phonograph needles in quantity MUCH cheaper than $2, which is important because you should change them out frequently as they do wear the record once they've been played a FEW times.
Yes, it is a bit of a nuisance, but I agree there's nothing like the authentic sound.
Not to be too contentious, but it is the vinyl that wears out. When I was an audiophile (quite a while ago now), the rule of thumb was you only played vinyl once and that was only after you gave the record some very special treatment. Vinyl degrades in fidelity after 5 playings and that’s with the best of styluses, so the idea is that you record vinyl rather than play it. At that time recording was done using 15 ips, ¼” two channel tape. Do I miss the sound of vinyl? – not at all. The dynamic range of vinyl compared to digital is rather poor (how about wow and flutter from the turntable, not to mention rumble). Then there was all this extra equipment to eliminate clicks and pops – that’s where Dolby started and don’t forget the white gloves. Vinyl was no fun.
Bill, well said; a 78rpm compared to a 33 rpm. Well, they don’t compare. That’s why standards changed. However, if you prefer the sound of the record – groovy.