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Mr Angry
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Last seen: 11 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: Jul 5 2007 - 6:01am
Cleaning vinyl?

Hi everyone. Long time lurker but just registered today in the hope that I might get some feedback on a matter. Apologies in advance if this is the wrong forum.

I've recently been buying some older (early 60's & 70's) vinyl and aside from an initial clean with a microfibre cloth and HMV cleaning solution I've been playing them for the first time on my systen with a thin spray of the cleaning fluid on the disk. My experience to date suggests that this not only cuts down on surface noise such as hiss but it also cuts out most pops and clicks - seemingly cleaning the vinyl as it plays.

I'm careful about the cleaning of my stylus after each play but I was wondering - am I in danger of causing damage to the stylus or vinyl in the long term (nothing to suggest this to date)?

Does anyone have any particular advice on cleaning vinyl?

Jeff Wong
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Joined: Sep 6 2005 - 3:28am
Re: Cleaning vinyl?

Hi Mr Angry and welcome to the forums. The fact that you're even cleaning your records and your stylus is a great start. Any grit that you're managing to remove with the cloth is a good thing, but, I'm not familiar with the cloth you mentioned (I am reminded of the greasy silicon impregnated record cloths of the 60s that left a film on your LPs.) I suspect most people would recommend something like the Hunt EDA brush that has carbon fibres on both sides of a felt pad; the fibres dig out detritus and the felt picks up dust. For the most comprehensive article on record cleaning, check out this article on the Music Angle (a site run by Stereophile's Michael Fremer) where you'll learn dizzying techniques, but also essential record cleaning knowledge:

http://www.musicangle.com/feat.php?id=54

Good record hygiene is essential to good playback.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Cleaning vinyl?

This subject was covered in the forum not that long ago. Have you read through the achives of the phono section?

Clean records will minimize surface noise, but cannot remove pops and ticks already embedded in the record groove. Also, the quality of the player, and often the support it rests upon, will go a long way toward minimzing the noise coming from a record's surface. Random motion of the stylus relative to the record groove (or vice versa) will create noise. Eliminate the random motion and you've gone a long way toward lowering the noise from the disc.

Mr Angry
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Re: Cleaning vinyl?

Jeff,

Thanks for the friendly welcome and the links. I've just ordered up the Hunt brush having read the article (amazingly informative). I had dabbled with building my own cleaning machine (along the lines of the old Nitty Gritty machine styles) and the article has succeeded in spurring me on, once again, to having a go.

Paul

ohfourohnine
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Re: Cleaning vinyl?

Welcome!! You know, you really don't sound angry. Anyway, Mr. A, there is no substitute for a vacuum cleaning machine. Whether you build it or buy it, keep going in that direction.

tcdn97he
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Re: Cleaning vinyl?

I read, and re-read that article, Jeff, and hopefully garnered some insight as to the whole vinyl-cleaning regimen. I used the article as a "ne plus ultra" reference as I searched the web for more info. Lots of ways to cleanse a groove, evidently. Some sounded kind of scary.

Looking into the Hunt brush. Also the Nitty Gritty Record Doctor III. The records I bought are well taken care of. But, I do have some that my grandparents owned. I should give them the full treatment per the article. I may omit a couple of things, though. One is the Orbitrac. I WILL rinse between steps with distilled water. I've got to think that those records have years of bad habits, less-than-ideal playback equipment, storage environment and care going against the most thorough of cleaning dictums.

Back in the 80's, I treated some of my LPs with "Last". Any opinions on that stuff? Worth applying to newly-purchased LPs? Or is it snake oil?

I will jump through a few hoops in the pursuit of clean vinyl, but at some point I want to listen to it too. Hopefully "distilling" the essence of the process. Thanks for the links. Love this forum!

Jeff Wong
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Joined: Sep 6 2005 - 3:28am
Re: Cleaning vinyl?

I've used LAST a few times, but, the problem is, if you didn't thoroughly get all the gunk out, treating the record will seal the grit in. New LPs aren't necessarily clean and can have mold release and other compounds or detritus lodged in the grooves. I suspect it's wiser to not use LAST and just practice good, thorough record hygiene before each play.

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