Yes, in the old days, it was argued about the receiver's built-in phono circuits, and their ability to play back the vinyl as it was intended. Today, we have the problem of converting a record into a CD with recording through a computer, and the sound card not having the proper equalization for this transfer. From a company selling outboard RIAA equalization processors:
"Because of limitations in the LP recording process, an equalization curve must be applied to the music or other sonic content prior to it being cut onto vinyl, so as to reduce backround noise and sibilance. Removing this equalization affect (called the RIAA curve) and restoring the music's original frequency response curve during playback is an important part of the phono preamp's job and differentiates it from other preamps used for microphones and musical instruments, which provide gain but no other modification of the original sound quality. Proper RIAA re-equalization during playback is a must in faithfully producing the original musical content without coloration or distortion."