Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!

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coffeedj

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Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #40 on: 7 Dec 2004, 05:53 am »
Quote from: fredj
I'm not a chemist, but I think you should make certain that your cartridge is aligned properly, your stylus is in good condition a stylus can crack or shatter rather easily if it lights on a hard surface (the plith, top plate etc)
every analog person should have a 20 x to 30 x magnifier for occaisonal
superficial examination for damage, for wear there are some expert shop owners with many years of experience and a high quality 80x to 200x binocular microscope for wear, some claim it's near impossible unle ...


I've returned to vinyl for many of the same reasons.  Thought it would be interested to share my experience this evening with the group.  I was mod'ing a 300B SET amp for a guy and plugged it in to listen to the results.  I had just scored a bunch of records at an estate sale, including two identical DG copies of Sebelius and Karajan.  One of the albums was still plastic wrapped with the 1975 date on the sticker.  The other was opened, but clearly new--and it had the "DIGITALLY MASTERED: ULTRA QUIET" monikor plastered on the front and back.  

I put it on and thought what did I do to those amps---this sounds like crap!!!  So I pulled out my reference amps: Tucker Exempler Audio 45 using my RadTel circa -30's 45 tubes: and turned it back on.  Same CRAP--sounded like a CD.  I spent more money than I could possibly afford on a turntable just to get away from this sound.  OK, so I'll break the new seal on the analog original and see what gives.  

And the beauty was back--I could see Der Schwan von Tuonela gliding mystically across the lake.   To be fair the Digital record did sound more quiet, but at what cost!!!

Unfortunately, CD sampling technology is mortally flawed, and no CD upgrade can fix the basic problem. which is that sampling rate is a minimum of four times to slow.  There is an excellent MIT article which goes through the math for time varying signals, based on the final word size (16 bits for CD's).  The number is about 8X or 160KHz sampling is minimum required to correctly reproduce 20KHz music.  You can play games with filters to fix the jagged edgy sound, but it doesn't return the music that was lost.  

The reality is that even with surface hiss, rumble, tonearm microphonics, cleaning machines, etc., vinyl is worth listening to because it sounds like the original music.  CD's are great for cars and airplanes, but not for critical listening.

Digital

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LP Cleaning methods
« Reply #41 on: 15 Jan 2005, 06:17 am »
Though I am not of the mindset of the majority of this forum, (I enjoy the sound quality of CDs, SACDs and DVD-A DVD's more than LPs), I am a long-time LP collector, (loads of stuff available on LP that’s not on the aforementioned), who has always used this method;

Run luke-warm tap water over both sides of the LP, gently 'scrub' it with mild soap if its a used / 'dirty' LP, shake it free of residual water, and play it slightly wet, (whatever sticks to the LP after a strong spin on a spindle device I have on hand).

I use an anti-static gun for the TT / lid / record and run an air-filtration appliance in the audio room as well.

What would be great is a clean-room environment altogether, but, alas, that is asking a bit much!

Andrew D.

fredj

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Re: LP Cleaning methods
« Reply #42 on: 15 Jan 2005, 06:37 am »
[quoteRun luke-warm tap water over both sides of the LP, gently 'scrub' it with mild soap if its a used / 'dirty' LP, shake it free of residual water, and play it slightly wet, (whatever sticks to the LP after a strong spin on a spindle device I ha ...[/quote]

Not to be contentious, but I heartily disagree I believe it's been conclusively established that playing wet can be quite destructive
as it makes mistracking very easy and the stylus as it richochettes
along the groove is putting little divots or scars where it impacts and these scars will continue to grow during subsequent plays those cavities
will hide dust and abrasives where they can be removed and your records will eventually become unacceptably noisy and your styli will only last a fraction of their useful lives.
There used to be several commercial wet play systems like Lenco
and properly wet playing requires entirely different VTF and anti skate settings and it was widely accepted that once wet played an LP must be wet played from then on.
I also believe that while some may go to the considerable hassle of kitchen sink cleaning when they could do an excellent complete and proper job with a $10 thrift store table and a cheap plastic wet/dry vac
doing it right at the sink requires quality lint free cloths to dab the records
dry after a distilled water rinse, and distilled is absolutely necessary as the mineral load in normal tap water is extremely destructive as the water evaporates leaving behind very abrasive (destructive) metalilic salts
(magnesium. calcium, etc, etc, etc) behind creating essentially a lapping compound which will start removing the high frequency information
the harmonics and air from the grooves and you will have an essentially lifeless recording in very short order.
  If for some reason you arent willing to do a proper wet cleaning, you should just get an audioquest Carbon fiber brush and an Extatic brush
or Hunt brush and then use them to remove as much of the dust and abrasives as you can dry and then dispense with the wet cleaning altogether and your records will be in much better shape.
You may be able to slow or perhaps even arrest the ongoing damage
to the records you've already cleaned by applying LAST record preservative.

Digital

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Record Cleaning
« Reply #43 on: 15 Jan 2005, 06:52 am »
I suspect an alternative to this would be using a side-tap system such as a reverse-osmosis water supply that is 'cleaner' than typical tap water.  I must state however, I have an immaculate record collection, babied and cared for beyond anal... and they sound as good today as twenty years ago, using the method I described earlier.  To clarify, the records are not really wet; they may be described as "retaining a slight humidity" as I spin them vigorously after the initial ‘wet’ cleaning.

Andrew D.

fredj

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Re: Record Cleaning
« Reply #44 on: 15 Jan 2005, 07:19 am »
Quote from: Digital
I suspect an alternative to this would be using a side-tap system such as a reverse-osmosis water supply that is 'cleaner' than typical tap water. .



   I have always used R.O. water for making up my own DIY RC solutions and rinse in the past as I'm also an aquariast and have a large capacity RO system, a good RO produces better than distilled
  I ended up abandoning DIY solutions and ended up just using RRL super vinyl wash (no rinse needed) and a carbon fiber brush (no scrub needed)
with my DIY RCM and find it super fast easy and works superbly.
I'm a serious used vinyl aquisition addict I may end up at betty ford for the vinyl dependency at some point ;-) I clean a LOT of LP's and as a result have done a great deal of reading research and experimentationthe RRL super vinyl wash is a superb product and at $25 for 32 oz. will clean
an immense amount of LP's.
I believe a great deal of it's effectiveness is that they use low level industrial surfactants that are kept highly effective by  not adding addition wetting agents most other solvent use which will dramatically reduce the power of the surfactant so the crud that scrubbed out will settle right back just deeper in the groove which is considerably compounded by not vacuuming, the RRL does alll the heavy lifting so just a carbon fiber brush's supple bristles gently abrading the groove is all that's required
to get everything into the solution, I find it amazing just how much crud
and grunge I remove from previously cleaned LP's that were dilligently scrubbed with various solvents rinsed and vacuumed, I get dead silent backrounds and clean dynamic and a lot of air from some very filthy
thrift and garage sale LP's
If you're interested I wrote an in depth article on the Brit. Lenco heaven site. where I explain in detail how to do the DIY RCM, and vinyl care in general
http://www.lencoheaven.com/
Regards Fred

rneedle

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Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #45 on: 15 Jan 2005, 09:27 pm »
Folks,

A definitive article on cleaning all sorts of recorded media iis available from the National Library of Canada:

http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byauth/st-laurent/care.html

Suggestion for LPs:•   The Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) recommends the use of nonionic, ethelyne oxide condensates surfactants to clean sound recordings. The CCI does not foresee long-term problems associated with the use of nonionic surfactants such as Tergitol. Tergitol 15-S-3 is an oil soluble surfactant and 15-S-9 is a water soluble surfactant. Combined they remove a wide range of dirt and greases and can safely be used on sound recordings. Use 0.25 part of Tergitol 15-S-3 and 0.25 parts of Tergitol 15-S-9 per 100 parts of distilled water. (These products are available in small quantities from TALAS (Division of Technical Library Service Inc) 213 West 35th Street, New York, N.Y. (212) 465-8722.) The recording must then be rinsed thoroughly with distilled water to eliminate any trace of detergent residue.
•   Keep an airgun handy to blow off light surface dust.

Can be applied as you like, and is significantly cheaper than commercial solutions.  I use a bath sonicator, and it works quite nicely.  Takes only a min to do both sides.


"I am not responsible for my own opinions."

Kulamata

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Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #46 on: 2 Nov 2005, 04:07 am »
I used to use LAST and Discwasher.  LAST First (cute!) was the only product I've found that removed the Mold Release Agent, barium stearate if memory serves.  I was very interested in the mention of naptha above for that reason.  Any more opinions or experience with it? Used Nitty Gritty machine; First for the mold release, then clean the First and modified MRA off, then use LAST.  That seemed to work well, but was terribly tiresome.  Still using Discwasher and its brush each play for routine dust removal.  Will probably start using Disc Doctor; Last First seems to be only available from one source that I know of, and it has gotten very expensive.

And the comments above about making sure the record is dry before replacing it in the jacket?  TAKE THEM TO HEART!

Folsom

Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #47 on: 2 Nov 2005, 05:39 am »
I read about windshield washing fluid.... It works ! I need to get a super fine brush, non-nylon. That will help a bit more.... I have dedicated soft pure cotton for drying, old washed many times things. I just started doing this today.... The vinyl I have that is in good shape, looks like the new stuff I have after a cleaning with it, looks like glass again, and they sound way better after, even if they looked clean and sounded decently clean.

The windshield washing fluid is CHEAP and the big point is there is no left over residue. What can I say, I found a use for my chemistry module box, with all the useless stuff inside I have no use for until next semester at the end.... That cost sixty dollars haha.

TheChairGuy

Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #48 on: 2 Nov 2005, 06:28 am »
I'm using Buggtussel as an occasional cleaner....and a Nitty Gritty Model One (the manual one) with Nitty Gritty's cleaner to get it spotless.  

The two work on different issues with dirty vinyl to great effect.

After using the Nitty Gritty, I use Last Preservative on the record. I'm happy with the results of this ritual.  

'rneedle' and I had a convo about using a sonicator/ultrasonic cleaner and the recommended commercial detergents from the Canadian Librarians....and it seems more than likely this is the best way to do it.  But, my method(s) leave my records sounding great - so I'm gonna' stick with it for now.

beachbum

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Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #49 on: 17 Dec 2005, 03:38 am »
i have used the disc dr. miracle cleaner and brushes, along with a small shop vac, with a small attachment and a cotton cloth around the attachment, i use my old thorens platter on a small lazy susan, i cleaned my lp collection that i could find, they was under the nastiest water katrina for over two weeks, to my surprise the lps came out like new, it took a while but it was worth it, you really dont need a expensive cleaning machine,

philipp

Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #50 on: 17 Dec 2005, 03:45 am »
I have to second beachbum's routine: disc doctor's brushes and fluid combined with a vacuum cleaner are essentially the cat's meow. I got a used VPI 'cause I've got no DIY mechanical skills. But I must reiterate the combo; the VPI and included cleaner were OK but the VPI with the disc doctor stuff was a SUBSTANTIAL improvement. Can I say magnificent? Yes.

beachbum

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Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #51 on: 17 Dec 2005, 03:56 am »
i haven't got to the point of cleaning new lps but i think it is advised, i use my system to clean all used lps i buy,

Veeblefeltzer

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Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #52 on: 30 Mar 2006, 02:12 pm »

ricmon

Re: Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #53 on: 30 Jun 2006, 05:09 pm »
I found a nice biodegrable window washing solution at The Home Depot (can't remeber the name but it's dark green and smells a little like witch hazel).  It works pretty good, it's cheap and it's in concentrated form so you can mix it to what ever strength you like.  It says on the bottle that it's streak free and does not require rinsing.

Wayner

Re: Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #54 on: 11 Jul 2006, 03:48 pm »
For daily cleaning of vinyl I first use the Milty Zerostat gun on the side I am going to play, then I spray my 30 year old new Discwasher D4 brush with a solution I make myself which is 3/4 distilled and reverse osmosis water and 1/4 99% isopropyl alcohol to make the pad damp to pick up the dust. You can get 99% isopropyl from your local Rx, but they may have to order it. I have used this method for years with only positive effects. The records are noise free and clean.

If I buy a new or used record, I wash the vinyl in the laundry sink using dishwashing detergent with warm water in the tub to  make bubbles. I then wet the record and spread and swirl the grooves with the bubbles using a 2" horse-hair soft bristle paint brush. On really dirty records, I use De-Solv-It and scrub with the brush. Then I rinse very well and dry with a soft cotton towel. Make sure the record is dry before storing it back in the jacket. I've been doing this for 35 years with no problems. I have never washed a record more than once, because I do the daily cleaning religiously. I actually have more than 1100+ records with almost no surface noise at all.

Now if someone knows how to get warps out, that would be something! (other than the 2K machine).

TheChairGuy

Re: Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #55 on: 7 Aug 2006, 02:47 am »
Well, I looked at my vinyl cleaning ritual that I posted a couple pages back - and realized I've gotten more anal since.  Anal yes, but I wouldn't continue at it unless it worked.

1. New or used vinyl gets a sweep of my carbon fibre brush first to clean off the topical dust and dirt.

2. Each side gets several sprays of Buggtussel Vinyl-Zime Gold - wiped down and around with a Trackmate record cleaning brush (great idea - not made any longer by the company).  Like a Discwasher brush, only using soft organic cotton fibres and a spindle hole cut in the brush to twirl it around easily to track the grooves better. 

3. Then, a complete cleaning with Micro Care Contact Cleaner C (packaged under the name Premier by Mircro Cleaner and sold at $19.95, or 30% more than generic Contact Cleaner C with is exactly the same).  This removes any trace of mold release compound used in the processing of the vinyl.

4. At this point I usually play the record 1,2,3x as I please

5.  The Contact Cleaner C tends to leave just a bit of residue still....so it goes on my Nitty Gritty 1.0 vacuum/sweep cleaner for a  cycle. I bought a concentrated dose of (alcohol free) vinyl cleaner from LAT International (no longer made I think) that I've used for years. It works...I've probably still got a year's worth left.  I'll find something else some day.

6. Each record is marked with a date of the Nitty Gritty Cleaning and Contact Cleaner C (ok, a BIT over-the-top anal - allright  :wink:)

7. Finally, for the last important touch, the record is hit with some Last Record Preservative.

Frankly, the least important step among all these is the vacuum cleaning...once you do everything else, vacuum cleaning is almost redundant.  The final step, with Last, works on a different level than cleaning...but works, nonetheless.

The sum total of all these steps is pristine vinyl....generally click ad pop free and without notable skipping. It's at a point with many records, that background noise is rendered a relative non-issue...allowing me to fully evaluate the album and playback equipment in their entirely.

These are painful indeed to do once...but they are 'one-time' only steps. The album for the rest of their existence will probably only get carbon fibre brushed in the future...with only another vacumming many years down the road.

robertG

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Re: Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #56 on: 16 Aug 2006, 04:18 pm »
The Kodak solution mentioned a few times in the posts is called photo flow. It's used in the final rinsing of negatives to get all residues out of the film. It's known as a wetting agent, is very concentrated (like one drop per galon) and works. Always best to use distillated water.

Fiji5555

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Re: Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #57 on: 18 Sep 2006, 08:15 pm »
Out of curiosity, what is the best method , short of having a record cleaning machine to remove dried mold spots on LP's and is mold destructive permantly or removeable?

jrtrent

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Re: Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #58 on: 21 Sep 2006, 11:53 am »
I'm afraid I can't speak to the mold issue Fiji5555 raised, but after reading through the replies this morning I just wanted to add the cleaning regimen recommended by companies such as Rega and Linn.  Linn says that the best method of cleaning records is to let the stylus remove the dust, then clean the stylus.  Their opinion is that the dust that inevitably settles on records is not harmful because it's on the surface, not down in the groove, and that most record cleaning devices end up forcing at least some of that dust down into the groove where it can do damage.  I've followed their advice for over 20 years with no deleterious effect on my record collection, more peace of mind, and greater pleasure in listening from this relaxed, non-fussy approach to vinyl playback.  Not that any of you are fussy, but for most of my early years of record playing, and cleaning, I think I focused more on the potential damage my records could sustain rather than on the pleasure of the music they contained.

TheChairGuy

Re: Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #59 on: 22 Sep 2006, 08:11 pm »
Brother Trent,

Howdy.

Your and Rega/Linn's method is indeed less fussy (and worthy for that alone  :thumb:), but dust is not all you are concerned with in playback.  Mold/bacteria forms in the grooves, mold release compounds are left after the original pressing of the vinyl and every time your stylus plows thru the grooves, it denigrates it.

A record cleaning method or machine that clears out the original dust, mold release compounds and bacteria accumulated along the way will provide you with a LOT more musical pleasure...albeit it at the cost of much fussiness and time  :(  To me, it's well worth it as I only perform these procedures once...then just clean the stylus regularly and clean the surface with a carbon brush.

It's about the same level of care that I use on CD's (wash with Kodak Optical Lens cleaner, apply goop that supposedly fills the cracks for better fidelity, apply a damping mat to the disc).  In terms of time it's all about the same...the vital difference is that, to start, vinyl is more musically enjoyable (CD recording is more and more seriously flawed than vinyl, in my estimation) and each of the cleaning steps adds great further pleasure to a vinyl listening session.

Further, using LAST Record Preservative reduces groove 'blistering' (that's clicks and pops to our ears) up to 200 times.  And, I forgot to mention in the above, I also apply LAST Stylast to the stylus tip (back to front motion) and this reduces friction to ally further groove blistering.  It supposedly helps reduce stylus wear, as well, making it a good inventment (as a small bottle seems to last nearly forever) if you have expensive cartridges in your possession. 

I've got an increasingly complicated life with too little time...yet I religiously clean my records in the ways mentioned above because it's very much worth it to me. If I didn't find substantial benefit in doing so, I woulda' bagged the process it long ago  :)

I'm afraid I can't speak to the mold issue Fiji5555 raised, but after reading through the replies this morning I just wanted to add the cleaning regimen recommended by companies such as Rega and Linn.  Linn says that the best method of cleaning records is to let the stylus remove the dust, then clean the stylus.  Their opinion is that the dust that inevitably settles on records is not harmful because it's on the surface, not down in the groove, and that most record cleaning devices end up forcing at least some of that dust down into the groove where it can do damage.  I've followed their advice for over 20 years with no deleterious effect on my record collection, more peace of mind, and greater pleasure in listening from this relaxed, non-fussy approach to vinyl playback.  Not that any of you are fussy, but for most of my early years of record playing, and cleaning, I think I focused more on the potential damage my records could sustain rather than on the pleasure of the music they contained.