Flat preamps outsold RIAA boards by more than 2:1 last year so I think its more than a fad for those live streaming vinyl which is quite different from your typical transfer or restoration process.
Many clients use the MiniDSP, where declicking, and then RIAA, are applied in realtime during playback. I've not tried that.
My own experience with the tools I have are that setting up the declicker is a lot easier and the artifacts less.
But what the hell do I know.
The International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives
(IASA) recommend RAW archiving particularly when the original EQ curve is unknown.
Guidelines on the Production and Preservation of Digital Audio Objects
(web edition) https://www.iasa-web.org/tc04/audio-preservation
Sections 5.2 and 5.3 are interesting: https://www.iasa-web.org/tc04/signal-ex ... l-carriers
126.96.36.199 With electrical recordings it is necessary to decide whether to apply an equalisation curve on replay, or to transfer flat.Where the curve is accurately known equalisation may be applied either at the preamplifier prior to making the copy, or applied digitally after making a flat copy. Where doubt remains as to the correct equalisation curve, a flat transfer should be made. Subsequent digital versions may employ whichever curve seems most appropriate, so long as the process is fully documented, and the flat transfer retained as the archival master file.Whether or not equalisation is applied during the initial transfer, it is imperative that noise and distortion from the analogue signal chain (everything between the stylus and analogue-to-digital converter) is kept to an absolute minimum.
188.8.131.52 It is worth noting that a flat transfer will require around 20dB more headroom than one where an equalisation curve has been applied. However, as the potential dynamic range of a 24 bit digital to analogue convertor exceeds that of the original recording, the extra 20dB headroom can be accommodated.
184.108.40.206 Apart from the dynamic range limitations mentioned above, a drawback with transferring electrically recorded discs without de-emphasis is that stylus selection is primarily made through aural assessment of the effectiveness of each styli, and it is more difficult, though not impossible, to make reasonable assessment of the effect of different styli while listening to unequalised audio. An approach taken by some archives is to apply a standard, or house, curve to all recordings of a particular type in order to make stylus selection and other adjustments, and subsequently produce a simultaneous flat and equalised digital copy of the audio. As the exact equalisation is not always known, a flat1 copy has the advantage of allowing future users to apply equalisation as required, and is the preferred approach.
220.127.116.11 There is some debate as to whether noise reduction tools for the removal of audible clicks, hiss etc are more effective when used before an equalisation curve is applied rather than afterwards. The answer very likely varies according to the specific choice of tool and the nature of the job to which it is applied, and in any event will be subject to change as tools continue to evolve. The most important point in this regard is that noise reduction equipment, even fully automated tools with no user-definable parameters, ultimately employs subjective and irreversible processes, and so should not be used in the creation of archival master files.