You are here

Log in or register to post comments
p.feezuh
p.feezuh's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 18 2008 - 10:36am
Record cleaning/protection

I'm a new owner of some great hi-fi pieces, and have finally started the vinyl collection I've always wanted. A majority of the records I've bought so far are audiophile-remastered reissues, brand new, sealed--which is fantastic. The handful of gems I've recovered from dusty bins and eBay sellers, however, range anywhere from VG+ to... shit. I'm set on the Nitty Gritty 2.5FI record cleaner, but I'm curious:

1) How often does one really need to clean records if they're brand new, or once a dirty record has been cleaned?

2) How effective--and more importantly, NECESSARY--are those protective poly-blend outer sleeves? And are they ugly as hell? They slide over the whole gatefold 'n everything.. I won't negate the aesthetic appeal of a vinyl collection. I'd rather not have them, but if the difference is real, then I certainly want to consider them.

Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks!

BillB
BillB's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
Joined: Aug 15 2007 - 2:04pm
Re: Record cleaning/protection

1. I haven't drunk the Kool Aid on the powered record cleaners, so I dunno about those. I find that my classic Dishwasher record cleaning brush keeps my vinyl clean and nice. I always clean a record before playing.

2. The outer plastic sleeves? Absolutely unnecessary. Only (IMHO) appropriate for super valuable/rare records that you intend to re-sell to a collector.
Analogy - I don't keep my books in plastic covers either. If I had a rare one that I planned to sell then I guess I would only for that one.

dbowker
dbowker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 6 days ago
Joined: May 8 2007 - 6:37am
Re: Record cleaning/protection

For used records a cleaning machine can be like a miracle worker- however I never tell anyone they HAVE to have one because it took me years to get one (or make one in my case). But they do work and have taken OK sounding lps and made them sound nearly new. IMO once this has been done, if you give it a quick brushing each play you may never have to use the machine on it again- or let's say every 10 years! One big thing is that you absolutely need to put your newly cleaned lp in a new inner sleeve. I favor paper/poly combos which are pretty cheap and work great. In fact I put new records in these too since most LPs have paper sleeves that degrade or lint off. I don't favor getting obsessive about cleaning- too much work for too little return. I have my cleaning machine in my office and when I get a stack of "new" used LPs I just bring them in and run them through. After that it just sits until the next shopping trip.

Hate the outer poly covers and chuck them when I happen to get records with them on.

dcstep
dcstep's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2007 - 4:59pm
Re: Record cleaning/protection

There's no need to clean brand new LPs. I just clean them with a carbon fiber brush and micro-fiber cloth before each play. I clean dirty records (made dirty by someone else) with Disc Doctor's system. I think powered RCM are a waste, UNLESS you buy lots of used records and somehow this might speed the process.

Dave

dbowker
dbowker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 6 days ago
Joined: May 8 2007 - 6:37am
Re: Record cleaning/protection


Quote:
There's no need to clean brand new LPs. I just clean them with a carbon fiber brush and micro-fiber cloth before each play. I clean dirty records (made dirty by someone else) with Disc Doctor's system. I think powered RCM are a waste, UNLESS you buy lots of used records and somehow this might speed the process.

Dave

Can't agree- I had dirty used records I cleaned studiously with the Disc Doctor and fluid method and were still way noisey. Sent them through my cleaning machine and it was like I took 15 years off their age. So... a must? No. Very helpful and can do things a brush can't? Absolutely. You are literally bathing the entire record in fluid, scrubbing it, and then sucking the entire mess off and away forever.

absolutepitch
absolutepitch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Jul 9 2006 - 8:58pm
Re: Record cleaning/protection

What fluid do you use with the Discwasher? I have not looked for that brand for quite a while, even though I have one of those brushes. It works well when I had the fluid.

p.feezuh
p.feezuh's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 18 2008 - 10:36am
Re: Record cleaning/protection

Thanks for the response, guys.

So I gather it's appropriate to brush any record before each play? That's surprising, I would have thought that would eventually wear greatly on the vinyl, but you know what you're talking about...

To be clear, you give a clean record just a once-over before playing--and some might use a cloth as well--now is this to get rid of the not-quite-negligible dust and other particles that gather while sitting on the shelf? Is there anyone who thinks this is unnecessary, or even counter-productive (wearing on the vinyl)?

I'm only being very specific and knit-picky because I have literally no frame of reference, no friends with vinyl, etc.

dcstep
dcstep's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2007 - 4:59pm
Re: Record cleaning/protection

Yes, brushing with a carbon fiber brush and following with a micro-fiber cloth will not wear the LPs at all. Depending on where you live, you'll likely need a Zerostadt anti-static gun or similar device. Here in Colorado anti-static treatment is an absolute must, but if you live in Florida it might not be needed all the time.

www.musicdirect.com and www.acousticsounds.com have these devices in stock, except for the micro fiber cloth, which I buy at Sam's Club.

Dave

dbowker
dbowker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 6 days ago
Joined: May 8 2007 - 6:37am
Re: Record cleaning/protection

As long as the brush is made for records you can clean it a thousand times and nothing's going to happen much. The needle itself cause friction, heat and wear much more, but if it's set up right and replaced when it should, that too will not greatly wear a record. Even my all-time favorites still sound pretty noise free after many years because I did all of the above.

BillB
BillB's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
Joined: Aug 15 2007 - 2:04pm
Re: Record cleaning/protection

I use the D4 liquid made for it. I did have to search a little to find refill fluid but I googled and found a good source, not expensive. I buy a new Discwasher brush every few years so the brushing surface stays soft and fresh like a sweet young p... um, kitten.

absolutepitch
absolutepitch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Jul 9 2006 - 8:58pm
Re: Record cleaning/protection


Quote:
There's no need to clean brand new LPs. I just clean them with a carbon fiber brush and micro-fiber cloth before each play. ...


dcstep,

I have heard that new records may need cleaning due to some release agent in the record press machine left on the LPs. But, I have no reference to quote that this is true; it's something I seem to remember hearing at some seminar a long time ago. Anyone know?

floydianpsyche
floydianpsyche's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 6 months ago
Joined: Jun 11 2008 - 11:20am
Re: Record cleaning/protection

I have some new vinyls, and I can see the mold release easily on the surface. Though it is hard to quantify how much it would degrade the sound quality, I would say clean it once, so that you dont have to give a thought about it.

I do not own a record cleaning machine. I clean my records with record cleaning solution and distilled water and let them dry on a dish washing tray. Though it will be easy to clean with a machine, hand cleaning is not very difficult especially if you dont have a big collection. I see good improvement in some of the used vinyls which were sounding muddy and dull. Just make sure you rinse the record with enough water after using the cleaning solution.

judicata
judicata's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Jun 26 2008 - 11:55am
Re: Record cleaning/protection

I use some cleaning solution and a wet record brush. I get some great results on used records. I never clean new ones, and I think they sound great.

dcstep
dcstep's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2007 - 4:59pm
Re: Record cleaning/protection


Quote:


Quote:
There's no need to clean brand new LPs. I just clean them with a carbon fiber brush and micro-fiber cloth before each play. ...


dcstep,

I have heard that new records may need cleaning due to some release agent in the record press machine left on the LPs. But, I have no reference to quote that this is true; it's something I seem to remember hearing at some seminar a long time ago. Anyone know?

I've read that also, but never experienced it in real life. I suppose that I could run across it in the future, but I wouldn't clean all my new records just to cover that one in a thousand possibility.

Dave

judicata
judicata's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Jun 26 2008 - 11:55am
Re: Record cleaning/protection

I meant to suggest in my post that, while I've heard of this mold release compound, I've yet to experience this sonically.

And, while it seems like cleaning records isn't a bad idea and, on certain dirty records, it is an absolute necessity, you should know there is another side to the story: My Rega TT manual says that the stylus will move the dust out of the way and that, normally, records don't need to be cleaned. They also say discussions about cleaning records are overblown by the companies that make the machines.

I'm not saying they're right. In fact, I've hand-cleaned some used records and noticed a very noticeable improvement as it was rice krispies before and I'm sure a record cleaning machine would do it faster and more thoroughly. But you should know there is another point out there.

floydianpsyche
floydianpsyche's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 6 months ago
Joined: Jun 11 2008 - 11:20am
Re: Record cleaning/protection

I think Rega recommends so for well maintained records. Some used records (well recorded but dirty) do sound better after cleaning without question.

absolutepitch
absolutepitch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Jul 9 2006 - 8:58pm
Re: Record cleaning/protection


Quote:
I use the D4 liquid made for it. I did have to search a little to find refill fluid but I googled and found a good source, not expensive. I buy a new Discwasher brush every few years so the brushing surface stays soft and fresh like a sweet young p... um, kitten.

Thanks for the suggestion. I still have some D4 fluid but now its got a farm growing in it. Understand your reference to a soft brush surface, ... it must also be in the Cat-alog somwhere.

  • X
    Enter your Stereophile.com username.
    Enter the password that accompanies your username.
    Loading