Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Cleaning Vinyl

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Cleaning Vinyl

    I also forwarded this to a friend of mine who has thousands of vinyl albums
    - he has tried the old two bits of glass trick, as he called it, and that
    works ... don't know about the lighter fuel trick but he is going to try
    that too.

    Andrew

    On Tue, 14 Sept 2021 at 13:08, d6jg <
    d6jg.a7yqnb (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:

    >
    > sherington wrote:
    > > spectator.co.uk
    > > The secret to restoring old records
    > > John Sturgis
    > > 6-7 minutes
    > >
    > > It’s a kind of alchemy, transforming worthless clutter into pleasing and
    > > valuable collectors’ items, a slow but gratifying process all but
    > > forgotten in the modern age.
    > >
    > > I first learned it from the woman who ran a second-hand record store in
    > > my hometown, Tunbridge Wells, from the late seventies to the early
    > > nineties, where I misspent much of my youth and most of my pocket
    > > money.
    > >
    > > Fiona, a hangover from the hippie era, with her whispered husky voice
    > > and the endless extraordinarily-thin hand-rolled cigarettes that perhaps
    > > explained it, first imparted this lesson in around 1982.
    > >
    > > I speak of the lost art of fixing warped records.
    > >
    > > Anyone who has vinyl albums in any number will have them: those discs so
    > > wonky that the outer edge sends the phono arm jumping so that if you
    > > want to play them at all you have to put the stylus down closer to the
    > > centre than the outer edge. And as well as being audibly ruined they are
    > > also visually displeasing: one’s eye is drawn to the imperfection as it
    > > revolves unevenly, rising and falling drunkenly, and can’t look away.
    > >
    > > For me the problem was particularly grave. When we were packing to move
    > > to our current house five years ago I made a point of explaining to the
    > > removal firm’s advanced guard as he started to box my record collection
    > > that albums must always be stored vertically, never horizontally. But I
    > > realise now that when he nodded in apparent affirmation he was just
    > > being polite and had not understood a thing I’d said.
    > >
    > > After he’d packed them, those boxes of records were then stacked in an
    > > airless and often very warm garage for storage for 12 months until new
    > > shelves were ready. The result, when I finally got to unpack them, was
    > > that hundreds were warped. In fairness he had inexplicably packed some
    > > the right way up, some flat, in a proportion of about 50/50. So it could
    > > have been better, it could have been worse, my glass was half full, he’d
    > > ruined half my record collection. Because ruined they were, most in
    > > those flat-packed boxes had warped like frisbees, some so badly they
    > > were more like fruit bowls.
    > >
    > > I was bereft. But then I remembered the early eighties, Talisman
    > > Records, Fiona, her roll-up fags - and her vinyl solution.
    > >
    > > Her alchemic process is remarkably simple: acquire two sheets of glass
    > > cut 12.5 inches square. Sandwich damaged disc between them - still in
    > > its paper sleeve to minimise the risk of collateral scratching - and
    > > bake at a low temperature. If this was a cook book I’d say: “for eight
    > > to 12 hours or overnight”.
    > >
    > > They come out of the oven still pleasingly warm to the touch and they
    > > are pristine again, beautifully, beautifully flat. It’s like baking
    > > perfect cakes, every time. This even works on those pre-1950s 78s that
    > > are an eighth of an inch thick and made of Bakelite.
    > >
    > > The process also produces a faint warm record aroma that evokes memories
    > > of Talisman Records 40 years ago. If I was a prog rock fan I could do a
    > > joke about Proustian Rush here - but I never warmed to the nerdy
    > > Canadians: there are no Rush albums in my stack.
    > >
    > > Anyway it’s a joy. And it’s become a daily joy, as I bake my way back to
    > > having a working record collection, doing two at a time, four every 24
    > > hours.
    > >
    > > Some among the small cognoscenti out there who know about this repair
    > > technique insist you can speed up the process by significantly
    > > increasing the temperature and reducing the cooking time. But knowing
    > > how easy it is to ruin a steak or a fillet of fish by misjudging the
    > > timing even slightly, I’m loath to risk it. Particularly since my only
    > > disaster so far: my wife, wishing to bake some actual cakes last weekend
    > > removed my half-baked vinyl stack and somehow contrived to place it on a
    > > burning hob. Within 30 seconds that pleasant warm record smell had
    > > become an acrid smoke, and I needed new glass sheets and a new copy of
    > > my now-melted Upsetters’ album Eastwood Rides Again.
    > >
    > > This was admittedly a setback but what is one casualty compared to
    > > dozens of vinyl lives saved?
    > >
    > > So I press on. And every day there are little delights and oddities in
    > > those boxes, memories and reminders: oh look, my Sergeant Pepper has all
    > > the photo inserts, I’d forgotten. Or Scott Walker Sings Jacques Brel -
    > > what proto hipster tracked down this neglected gem? Well it turns out I
    > > did.
    > >
    > > What’s surprised me as I’ve rhapsodised about the pleasure this new
    > > hobby has brought me is how few other people seem to have heard of it,
    > > even among my nerdiest muso acquaintances.
    > >
    > > My friend Luke has just written a book with the rather clever conceit of
    > > comparing the innovations of the Beatles, the Beach Boys and Dylan as
    > > they unfolded in real timeline. Or there’s Mark who has DJ’d one of
    > > London’s most fondly regarded club nights for nearly 30 years and whose
    > > record collection dwarfs mine. But did either know how to salvage a
    > > buggered old copy of Surf’s Up or a 12” of You Make Me Feel (Mighty
    > > Real)? They did not.
    > >
    > > If I was a younger man I’d do a ‘you won’t believe this incredible life
    > > hack’ instructional video on TikTok rather than an article for The
    > > Spectator but there you are, horses for courses.
    > >
    > > As a footnote, I should mention Fiona’s other trademark trick: if you
    > > need to clean a record don’t put water anywhere near it. Instead squirt
    > > some of the fluid they sell in tobacco kiosks to fill those old Zippo
    > > lighters onto a dust cloth and wipe with care.
    > >
    > > Fiona died some years ago. A great number of these records I’m restoring
    > > still have a trace of her on them: she would hand-write a price in biro
    > > on the grey card inside of the album sleeve to stop chancers swapping
    > > the price stickers while she wasn’t looking. She remains in my thoughts
    > > almost daily lately because of all this.
    > >
    > > I just wish she’d told me what brand of glue to use to refix album
    > > sleeves that have come apart. That’s my next project.

    >
    > Nice article but the question is "does it work" ?
    >
    >
    >
    > Jim
    > https://jukeradio.double6.net
    >
    >
    > VB2.4[/B] STORAGE *QNAP TS419P (NFS)
    > [B]Living Room* Joggler & Pi4/Khadas -> Onkyo TXNR686 -> Celestion F20s
    >
    > *Office* Joggler & Pi3 -> Denon RCD N8 -> Celestion F10s
    > *Dining Room* SB Radio
    > *Bedroom (Bedside)* Pi Zero+DAC ->ToppingTP21 ->AKG Headphones
    > *Bedroom (TV) & Bathroom* SB Touch ->Denon AVR ->Mordaunt Short M10s +
    > Kef ceiling speakers
    > *Guest Room* Joggler > Topping Amp -> Wharfedale Modus Cubes
    > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    > d6jg's Profile: http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=44051
    > View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=115093
    >
    >
    Living Room: Touch or Squeezelite (Pi3B) > Topping E30 > Audiolab 8000A > Monitor Audio S5 + BK200-XLS DF
    Bedroom: Radio
    Bathroom: Radio

    #2
    Cleaning Vinyl

    I think I've just had a bit of an epiphany [emoji3]. All the years I have had LP records I always blamed a dodgy sounding one on a worn stylus. The only cleaning I did was a carbon fibre brush before playing.
    I was fed up with sibilance and a bit of surface noise on a Sting album so thought I had nothing to lose by cleaning it. Don't laugh but I used a multi surface cleaning wipe from Tesco. Now it sounds like a totally different record, in a good way. Sibilance is gone and high frequency details which were hidden are now clear.
    I was going to buy a new stylus, now I think maybe a cleaning machine would be a better idea.


    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
    Living Room: Touch or Squeezelite (Pi3B) > Topping E30 > Audiolab 8000A > Monitor Audio S5 + BK200-XLS DF
    Bedroom: Radio
    Bathroom: Radio

    Comment


      #3
      Return To Vinyl Experience

      Originally posted by slartibartfast View Post
      I think I've just had a bit of an epiphany [emoji3]. All the years I have had LP records I always blamed a dodgy sounding one on a worn stylus. The only cleaning I did was a carbon fibre brush before playing.
      I was fed up with sibilance and a bit of surface noise on a Sting album so thought I had nothing to lose by cleaning it. Don't laugh but I used a multi surface cleaning wipe from Tesco. Now it sounds like a totally different record, in a good way. Sibilance is gone and high frequency details which were hidden are now clear.
      I was going to buy a new stylus, now I think maybe a cleaning machine would be a better idea.


      Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
      I've just come back to vinyl after a 20 year break where I tried to obtain replacement CD's for my favourite Vinyl as well as collecting loads of new music.

      I had, in the past, recorded my vinyl to mp3 and aac before the days of flac and decreased storage cost/capacity and then subsequently ditched my vinyl and the recordings I had made.

      I plumped for the Audio Technica LP5X which has Line Level USB and Phono Outputs and quite a reasonable cartridge but no matter how I align the cartridge the channel levels are not balanced and I need to correct in Windows settings. I had the same record cleaning issues as you and tried a baby wipe which indeed seemed to improve things but I did find that paper residue tended to end up on the stylus on the last tracks of each side. I plumped for a Groove Washer cleaning kit (about £20.00 from Amazon) which does a pretty reasonable job.

      I use Vinyl Studio on d6dg's suggestion and find this very useful and relatively easy. He's got track clean-up and editing down to 10 minutes but it does take me about half an hour, mainly cleaning up the audio between tracks. I used Cool Edit in the past but it was acquired by Adobe and it's price rocketed.

      Next year it will be 60 years since I bought my first Buddy Holly LP on Rawtenstall Market. I've still got that one but how my tastes have widened, particularly since I bought my first Squeezebox Classic about 15 years ago.
      Last edited by ; 2021-09-05, 08:44.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by ian_heys View Post
        I've just come back to vinyl after a 20 year break where I tried to obtain replacement CD's for my favourite Vinyl as well as collecting loads of new music.

        I had, in the past, recorded my vinyl to mp3 and aac before the days of flac and decreased storage cost/capacity and then subsequently ditched my vinyl and the recordings I had made.

        I plumped for the Audio Technica LP5X which has Line Level USB and Phono Outputs and quite a reasonable cartridge but no matter how I align the cartridge the channel levels are not balanced and I need to correct in Windows settings. I had the same record cleaning issues as you and tried a baby wipe which indeed seemed to improve things but I did find that paper residue tended to end up on the stylus on the last tracks of each side. I plumped for a Groove Washer cleaning kit (about £20.00 from Amazon) which does a pretty reasonable job.

        I use Vinyl Studio on d6dg's suggestion and find this very useful and relatively easy. He's got track clean-up and editing down to 10 minutes but it does take me about half an hour, mainly cleaning up the audio between tracks. I used Cool Edit in the past but it was acquired by Adobe and it's price rocketed.

        Next year it will be 60 years since I bought my first Buddy Holly LP on Rawtenstall Market. I've still got that one but how my tastes have widened, particularly since I bought my first Squeezebox Classic about 15 years ago.
        Yes I also found build up on the stylus on first play after cleaning maybe due to the microfibre cloth I used as a final stage. I had previously tried cleaning one side of the double album as an experiment without the microfibre cloth and didn't notice the build up. I will investigate the Groove Washer. I have a copy of Crime Of The Century by Supertramp which by all accounts is a very good sounding LP but the final track on one of the sides sounds dreadful. I wouldn't be surprised if it just needs cleaning. That will be the next target.

        Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
        Living Room: Touch or Squeezelite (Pi3B) > Topping E30 > Audiolab 8000A > Monitor Audio S5 + BK200-XLS DF
        Bedroom: Radio
        Bathroom: Radio

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by slartibartfast View Post
          I think I've just had a bit of an epiphany [emoji3]. All the years I have had LP records I always blamed a dodgy sounding one on a worn stylus. The only cleaning I did was a carbon fibre brush before playing.
          I was fed up with sibilance and a bit of surface noise on a Sting album so thought I had nothing to lose by cleaning it. Don't laugh but I used a multi surface cleaning wipe from Tesco. Now it sounds like a totally different record, in a good way. Sibilance is gone and high frequency details which were hidden are now clear.
          I was going to buy a new stylus, now I think maybe a cleaning machine would be a better idea.


          Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
          What's in the cleaning wipe? Presumably some solvents/detergents? Are these the wipes?

          I once bought several box sets of old 1950s vinyl operas from an Oxfam shop. I decided they needed a bit of a cleanup, and used dilute fairy liquid (applied with cotton wool balls) and rinsed extensively with distilled water. That turned out to be successful.

          I have heard of people who clean LPs immediately after purchase. I wonder whether this would help on the recent RSD release of the 4 LP version of Ocean Songs by The Dirty Three, which has rather a lot of pops and clicks. And can you believe the digital download code was only for 128k mp3.

          Robert
          Home: Raspberry Pi 4/pCP7.0/LMS8.1.2/Material with files on QNAP TS-251A
          Touch > DacMagic 100 > Naim Audio Nait 3 > Mission 752 (plus Rega Planar 3 > Rega Fono Mini; Naim CD3)
          2 x Squeezebox Radios, 1 X Squeezebox 3 (retired), 1 x SqueezeAMP
          Office: LMS8.0.0 running on Raspberry Pi3; Raspberry Pi 3 player with touchscreen/piCorePlayer/IQaudIO DAC and Amp
          Portable: Raspberry Pi 3B/pCP7.0.1/LMS8.1.2/Material, files on Seagate portable drive, powered via power brick

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by ian_heys View Post
            I plumped for the Audio Technica LP5X which has Line Level USB and Phono Outputs and quite a reasonable cartridge but no matter how I align the cartridge the channel levels are not balanced and I need to correct in Windows settings. I had the same record cleaning issues as you and tried a baby wipe which indeed seemed to improve things but I did find that paper residue tended to end up on the stylus on the last tracks of each side. I plumped for a Groove Washer cleaning kit (about £20.00 from Amazon) which does a pretty reasonable job.

            I use Vinyl Studio on d6dg's suggestion and find this very useful and relatively easy. He's got track clean-up and editing down to 10 minutes but it does take me about half an hour, mainly cleaning up the audio between tracks. I used Cool Edit in the past but it was acquired by Adobe and it's price rocketed.

            Next year it will be 60 years since I bought my first Buddy Holly LP on Rawtenstall Market. I've still got that one but how my tastes have widened, particularly since I bought my first Squeezebox Classic about 15 years ago.
            Maybe the channel balance issue is to do with the built-in phono stage/ADC? Can you bypass this and take the output to an external phono stage?

            The first LP I bought would have been about 44 years ago - Dark Side of the Moon. In the same transaction I bought Roadrunner by Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers. Phoenix Records on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, sadly long-gone. Both those records disappeared in a burglary - I got most of my LPs back, but not the more mainstream stuff.

            Robert
            Home: Raspberry Pi 4/pCP7.0/LMS8.1.2/Material with files on QNAP TS-251A
            Touch > DacMagic 100 > Naim Audio Nait 3 > Mission 752 (plus Rega Planar 3 > Rega Fono Mini; Naim CD3)
            2 x Squeezebox Radios, 1 X Squeezebox 3 (retired), 1 x SqueezeAMP
            Office: LMS8.0.0 running on Raspberry Pi3; Raspberry Pi 3 player with touchscreen/piCorePlayer/IQaudIO DAC and Amp
            Portable: Raspberry Pi 3B/pCP7.0.1/LMS8.1.2/Material, files on Seagate portable drive, powered via power brick

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Grumpy Bob View Post
              Maybe the channel balance issue is to do with the built-in phono stage/ADC? Can you bypass this and take the output to an external phono stage?

              The first LP I bought would have been about 44 years ago - Dark Side of the Moon. In the same transaction I bought Roadrunner by Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers. Phoenix Records on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, sadly long-gone. Both those records disappeared in a burglary - I got most of my LPs back, but not the more mainstream stuff.

              Robert
              I haven't got a phono stage to attach and particularly wanted a one box solution. The balance issue isn't causing me any recording problems and I've asked my son if he can dig up any of my old soundblaster cards to see if I can better set the channel levels as opposed to the crude windows balance settings.

              I too lost all my LP's in a burglary, round about the time you bought your first LP. I was living in Gambia at the time having left the "dark satanic mills" behind a few years after I bought the Buddy Holly.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Grumpy Bob View Post
                What's in the cleaning wipe? Presumably some solvents/detergents? Are these the wipes?

                I once bought several box sets of old 1950s vinyl operas from an Oxfam shop. I decided they needed a bit of a cleanup, and used dilute fairy liquid (applied with cotton wool balls) and rinsed extensively with distilled water. That turned out to be successful.

                I have heard of people who clean LPs immediately after purchase. I wonder whether this would help on the recent RSD release of the 4 LP version of Ocean Songs by The Dirty Three, which has rather a lot of pops and clicks. And can you believe the digital download code was only for 128k mp3.

                Robert
                Those are the wipes. Probably not the best thing to use. I was pleasantly surprised by the results though.

                Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
                Living Room: Touch or Squeezelite (Pi3B) > Topping E30 > Audiolab 8000A > Monitor Audio S5 + BK200-XLS DF
                Bedroom: Radio
                Bathroom: Radio

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by ian_heys View Post
                  I've just come back to vinyl after a 20 year break where I tried to obtain replacement CD's for my favourite Vinyl as well as collecting loads of new music.

                  I had, in the past, recorded my vinyl to mp3 and aac before the days of flac and decreased storage cost/capacity and then subsequently ditched my vinyl and the recordings I had made.

                  I plumped for the Audio Technica LP5X which has Line Level USB and Phono Outputs and quite a reasonable cartridge but no matter how I align the cartridge the channel levels are not balanced and I need to correct in Windows settings. I had the same record cleaning issues as you and tried a baby wipe which indeed seemed to improve things but I did find that paper residue tended to end up on the stylus on the last tracks of each side. I plumped for a Groove Washer cleaning kit (about £20.00 from Amazon) which does a pretty reasonable job.

                  I use Vinyl Studio on d6dg's suggestion and find this very useful and relatively easy. He's got track clean-up and editing down to 10 minutes but it does take me about half an hour, mainly cleaning up the audio between tracks. I used Cool Edit in the past but it was acquired by Adobe and it's price rocketed.

                  Next year it will be 60 years since I bought my first Buddy Holly LP on Rawtenstall Market. I've still got that one but how my tastes have widened, particularly since I bought my first Squeezebox Classic about 15 years ago.
                  Judging by this thread on the Steve Hoffman forum gunk on the stylus on the first play after a clean is a common occurrence [emoji2]
                  I finally assembly all the "proper" ingredients to make a disc washing solution. I meticulously mixed it together and washed the record with care. I...


                  Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
                  Living Room: Touch or Squeezelite (Pi3B) > Topping E30 > Audiolab 8000A > Monitor Audio S5 + BK200-XLS DF
                  Bedroom: Radio
                  Bathroom: Radio

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Not having to mess with cleaning vinyl was just one of the reasons I adopted the CD format when it came out.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have tried a damp Mr Clean Magic Eraser for the Stylus -- just enough coarseness... also the vinyl washing does work - I remember trying on a sacrificial Lawrence Welk LP - improved the sound (but not the music)
                      ----------------------------------------------
                      Bill Clark, Windham, VT
                      Logitech Media Server Version: 8.3.0 - 1667251155 @ Fri 04 Nov 2022
                      Hostname: talos4 Ubuntu 22.04.4 LTS
                      -----------------------------------------------

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Grumpy Bob View Post
                        The first LP I bought would have been about 44 years ago - Dark Side of the Moon. In the same transaction I bought Roadrunner by Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers. Phoenix Records on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, sadly long-gone. Both those records disappeared in a burglary - I got most of my LPs back, but not the more mainstream stuff.

                        Robert
                        first LP was “The Best of the Animals” (1966). Still have it. My turntable is connected, but haven’t used in maybe 12 years.
                        Home: Pi4B-8GB/pCP8.2.x/4TB>LMS 8.3.x>Transporter, Touch, Boom, Radio (all ethernet)
                        Cottage: rPi4B-4GB/pCP8.2.x/4TB>LMS 8.3.x>Touch>Benchmark DAC I, Boom, Radio w/Battery (Radio WIFI)
                        Office: Win11(64)>foobar2000
                        The Wild: rPi3B+/pCP7.x/4TB>LMS 8.1.x>hifiberry Dac+Pro (LMS & Squeezelite)
                        Controllers: iPhone14Pro & iPadAir5 (iPeng), CONTROLLER, Material Skin, or SqueezePlay 7.8 on Win10(64)
                        Files: Ripping: dBpoweramp > FLAC; Post-rip: mp3tag, PerfectTunes, TuneFusion; Streaming: Spotify

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by kappclark View Post
                          I have tried a damp Mr Clean Magic Eraser for the Stylus -- just enough coarseness... also the vinyl washing does work - I remember trying on a sacrificial Lawrence Welk LP - improved the sound (but not the music)
                          What did you use to clean your vinyl? Probably not a multisurface wipe[emoji2]

                          Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
                          Living Room: Touch or Squeezelite (Pi3B) > Topping E30 > Audiolab 8000A > Monitor Audio S5 + BK200-XLS DF
                          Bedroom: Radio
                          Bathroom: Radio

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Ha Ha - Dawn dishwashing detergent did it for me, with a slow rinse with warm water, then onto the dish rack
                            ----------------------------------------------
                            Bill Clark, Windham, VT
                            Logitech Media Server Version: 8.3.0 - 1667251155 @ Fri 04 Nov 2022
                            Hostname: talos4 Ubuntu 22.04.4 LTS
                            -----------------------------------------------

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by kappclark View Post
                              Ha Ha - Dawn dishwashing detergent did it for me, with a slow rinse with warm water, then onto the dish rack
                              If tap water was acceptable I would try that but everyone recommends distilled/deionised.

                              Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
                              Living Room: Touch or Squeezelite (Pi3B) > Topping E30 > Audiolab 8000A > Monitor Audio S5 + BK200-XLS DF
                              Bedroom: Radio
                              Bathroom: Radio

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X