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bertdw
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"A reader warns about LAST" - Analog Corner, May 2008

In the May Issue's Analog Corner, Michael Fremer passes along a warning from a reader about LAST Record Preservative, and asks for other readers' experiences with the product. Since Mr. Fremer doesn't specify an address for replies, I thought I'd post mine here.

The reader warned that LAST Record Preservative made his records sound less bright and more pleasing on his own system, but later, when played on a system of higher resolution than his own, the treated LPs sounded "dead," with "no ambience around instruments or voices." This has not been my experience. I have used LAST Record Preservative for nearly twenty years. On occasions when I have compared the sound of a record before and after applying the product, I sometimes noticed that high frequencies sounded smoother and clearer after the treatment. There was no less ambience or air.

Over the years I have purchased CDs of many of the same recordings I have on vinyl. Some, I noticed, had a very similar tonal balance to the LP versions. Last night, after reading Analog Corner, I compared several of these to see if the records treated with LAST had degraded over the years. They have not. The tonal balance remains as similar as I remember, in fact, most of the LPs actually have more ambience and air than their CD counterparts.

I should mention that I use a VPI record cleaning machine at least every few plays. In their reply to Mr. Fremer's recommendation of LAST Record Preservative in the October issue, The LAST Factory mentions that mold release compound can continue to diffuse to the surface over time. LAST makes no claim that your records will never need to be cleaned again. I wonder if this could be the cause of the problem the reader encountered.

If our kind moderator would like to provide an address for Mr. Fremer, I will send this along. Or perhaps someone could just draw his attention to this thread. Thank you.

smejias
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Re: "A reader warns about LAST" - Analog Corner, May 2008


Quote:
If our kind moderator would like to provide an address for Mr. Fremer, I will send this along. Or perhaps someone could just draw his attention to this thread. Thank you.

Thanks, bertdw. I'll forward this to Mikey.

Elk
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Re: "A reader warns about LAST" - Analog Corner, May 2008

I, too, have had great experience with LAST. I started using it in the late 70's. Wonderful stuff.

KBK
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Re: "A reader warns about LAST" - Analog Corner, May 2008

Vinyl that is not a crumbly powder inherently has plasticizer in it.

No small wonder that it would continue to creep. In vinyl video screens and blinds, it's the main ingredient that causes symptoms in people (it's a quite nasty VOC) and keeps the screen or blind ..and in this case LP..flexible. These video screens and blinds are on their way out, with regards to being legal to sell to the public. Yes, that bad... that the regulatory agencies which are inherently asleep at the wheel, actually have to deal with it.

As stated, otherwise --it is purely a crumbly powder.

Granted, records are not made the exact same way as the screens and blinds, but the basics are similar enough.

piinob
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Re: "A reader warns about LAST" - Analog Corner, May 2008

I recently started using the Last basic cleaning solution. It seem to work pretty well. I still use D4 the first few times on recently acquired records in hopes of getting as much of the releasing agent as possible off of the records. I am recently back to vinyl and a lot of the LP's I buy are used, aged, and dirty. It is amazing what a good cleaning does for them.

I was planning to get some of the preservative and try it. But I am going to proceed cautiously now, although it would seem that there would be more folks barking about the stuff if it didn't work as many folks have claimed.

It would be interesting to hear how folks clean their records. I have developed my own method using a solution of mild non-sudsing ammonia and pure water from our own systems here at the power plant. My friends, and my better half thought I had lost my mind when I bought my TT and Cartridge to start in on records again. But after a few weeks it made a believer out of her even though she usually listens from another room.

lionelag
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Re: "A reader warns about LAST" - Analog Corner, May 2008


Quote:
It would be interesting to hear how folks clean their records. I have developed my own method using a solution of mild non-sudsing ammonia and pure water from our own systems here at the power plant.

I use an ultra-cheap and rather effective combination of MoFi brushes and cleaning solution, along with a wet-dry vac I bought for $25 and stuck some velvet on to prevent scratching. For typically dirty records (ie, not covered in literal mold) it gets me about 98% of the way there, enough so that I've put a cleaning machine purchase off for several years. If people are interested enough, I'll post pictures. You can build a VPI/Nitty-like machine for less than a hundred bucks, but it requires quite a bit more work in the building than what I've cobbled together.

As for LAST, I've got a small number of used records that were treated with it in the past, and they sound no worse than untreated records of a similar vintage.

dbowker
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Re: "A reader warns about LAST" - Analog Corner, May 2008

"Granted, records are not made the exact same way as the screens and blinds, but the basics are similar enough. "

Actually- they are not. The binders and other variable aspects of any given plastic can make it radically different in the way it is used, how it gasses off, how it reacts to given environments. And as for blinds, you're ignoring the most important aspect of all: Plastic blinds are subject to constant sunlight and temperature change (huge in a thin sheet material), one of the greatest forces for decay of any material on earth, right along with water or wind. Unless you hang your records in the window, even if they were identical chemical compounds, you wouldn't have the same aging process.

Sure, they both are called vinyl (which I guess you could do for PVC pipes too), but it's a little like comparing a sheet of furniture grade birch plywood and a sheet of exterior construction plywood. It's the processing and application that makes all the difference.

piinob
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Re: "A reader warns about LAST" - Analog Corner, May 2008

Elk what kind of experience have you had with the preservative?

Elk
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Re: "A reader warns about LAST" - Analog Corner, May 2008

I haven't treated any LPs with it in quite a while (I ran out), but those I have treated seem to have both resisted wear and to exhibit no untoward effects. Neat stuff.

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