But on a purely factual basis - pops and ticks always exist.
This has not been true for me.
Several times I have sat in awe of beautiful music played back in a perfectly silent manner -- on vinyl. The only damned thing to snap me out of my bliss was the constant ranting of some audiophiles who insist that surface noise ruins the experience.
In those moments, while the record spun in total silence (even between tracks!), I wished those audiophile were with me to hear it. Then again, I was happy that they weren't.
To be sure, I don't think many people actually care that much about pops/ticks. I, for all my bellyaching on the subject, certainly accept them gladly with the used classical vinyl I listen to. The "frigid listener" (heh) might be more of a rhetorical tool than an actual demographic.
Have any of us actually met people who a) have listened to vinyl as a format and b) didn't like it because of the noise?
Again, what's getting my goat is the equivocation between "there aren't any pops and ticks if you're doing it right" and "the pops and ticks are not important". And the subtle smear that if you do hear pops and ticks, that something is wrong with you, or the vinyl, or your system. Frankly, that just seems to suggest that such defense of vinyl comes from people who are either distorting the truth to protect the reputation of the format, or do not have adequately high-quality playback systems to detect them. It's a little demeaning.
Subtle smear? Look, to be clear, I got into this conversation because DUP suggested that if you don't "baby" vinyl, it will be full of "snap, crackly pop."
That is total bullshit. I can't be any clearer than that.
To answer your question: Yes, I have met people who listen to vinyl and say they don't like it because of the noise. These are the people that make me shake my head and wonder what it is they're hearing / listening to.
I've ran into real situations where I've wanted to crank up the volume as high as it will go to listen to some background detail, and - surprise, surprise - it was completely drowned out on the virgin, brand-spanking-new vinyl by the record hiss, and the pops and ticks, while on the CD it was clearly audible.
That is surprising. Seriously.
All vinyl has pops and ticks, no matter what the pressing quality or the playback system. If you try hard enough, you will find them on any record out there.
First of all, I disagree. Second, why would you want to try so hard to find flaws?
I just wanted to make it clear that one doesn't have to have something wrong to hear pops and ticks all the time.
If one hears pops and clicks all the time something is definitely wrong.
I have had especially good luck with Sub Pop's releases of Iron & Wine material. These albums have been dead-quiet, even between tracks. And, like I mentioned earlier, used albums as old as my copy of Oscar Brown Jr's Between Heaven and Hell (1961), have been equally quiet. It's a beautiful thing.