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Rapidly becoming a vinyl hater

Discussion in 'audio' started by ilikesteak, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. ilikesteak

    ilikesteak pfm Member

    My very modest record collection is the bane of my life. All my records are kept in the original sleeves then put inside a plastic sleeve. All dry-wiped before play, lid down, etc.

    I'm rarely able to get through a whole side without having to get up and remove dust/debris off the stylus because the sound has started to distort.

    I put a record on yesterday - I bought it brand new and it had only been played once before. Using the flash on my phone as a torch, it showed up a lot of dust/fine fibres. I used my Clearaudio brush to try and clear this off. I spent about five minutes just going round and round it and every time I did, more dust was found. The room itself is not particularly dusty - it's a second living room that isn't used all that much.

    I ended up with a thick vertical line of dust/fibres - I tried to brush them off the record with a down motion but they got caught in the grooves and couldn't be shifted. The process of constant wiping also seemed to charge the record with a ridiculous amount of static - dust was constantly landing on it and it made the record mat (cork) stick to it.

    I gave up and decided to just play it only for it to then keep getting stuck at which point I sought sanctuary in the reliable form of a CD.

    I've tried wet cleaning (with solution then followed by a distilled water rinse). That left me with some clean looking records but for some reason they had developed a constant crackle.

    Giving up seems like a good option. I am not sure it is possible to just enjoy records without stupid amounts of effort or expensive cleaning machines.
  2. nirvanah

    nirvanah pfm Member

    A tough one this and i understand your pain, i too have used a carbon fibre brush before playing records and would end up with a ball of fluff on the needle dulling all the lovely analogue sound. Since buying a Okki Nokki RCM machine and cleaning all my records i have never had this happen since. Even new records out of the shrinkwrap have clogged up my stylus in the past.
  3. wylton

    wylton pfm Member

    Dry cleaning LPs is a complete waste of time, and will only serve to increase the static; in fact any form of casual cleaning, invariably makes matters worse IMHO.

    Wet cleaning using a record cleaning machine with a vacuum function, removes static, and if you then re-sleeve with Nagaoka or Mo-fi, it doesn't come back; I do this even for new records.

    Vinyl replay does require a bit of effort, largely due to the very poor packing of LPs; huge amounts of static are induced the very first time you remove the record from it's sleeve.

    My advise, is to find a cleaning regime that suits you and isn't too much of a chore, and not to take too much notice of those who propose lengthy processes that are dull beyond belief and take up too much of your time!

    Honestly, it is possible to have fun playing records; after all, people have been doing it for decades!
  4. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    I went through decades of this, although nowhere near so bad, if memory serves. No prob's now with a wet-vac machine.

    I wonder, though, if there's something else adding to the problem, like playing at too light a weight. This is not only bad for record and stylus wear, but does exacerbate problems caused by dust etc.

    Never had too much of a static problem with Goldring hand-held brush/pad, though I did have a Pixall gun. Static is eliminated when wet-vaccing records.
  5. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I second all the comments regarding wet-vac cleaning, it's not cheap, but there is no substitute. Another thing I've found useful is to ensure the turntable's main bearing is grounded to mains earth. Obviously only relevant if the deck has a metal centre-spindle (e.g. no use on a P3 or whatever), but it presents a route for any static charge present on the vinyl to dissipate. Over the years I've added a bearing earth to turntables without such a connection (e.g. my old Spacedeck) and found it an advantage. Grounding is very important with turntables IME.
  6. topa

    topa Sans CDPs

    Some carts are less prone to dirt & noise as others too.
    One of my favorites, the Denon DL 110 & 160 Series for example cuts right through most of the carp on any second hand vinyl I throw at it.
  7. LostAtSea

    LostAtSea "33 222 1 222"

    Have you ever tried a ZeroStat antistatic device? From your description it may be that such a device would help?

  8. Eyebroughty

    Eyebroughty JohnC

    In nearly 40 years of playing vinyl I have never had to lift the arm of the record due to dust. People who have heard my various systems over the years have often commented on the absence of surface noise and crackle.

    I use a number of ways of cleaning the record from an anti static brush to my shirt sleeve, all of which seem to work well. I even have a spare deck that I use to play new or second hand records on to get the grooves free of the major dust before playing on one of my other decks. They then go in their sleeves and get a quick clean as described before I play them again.

    Never used a wet cleaning system and doubt I ever will.

    Maybe the deck, arm and cartridge is the issue and not the dust!
  9. RaphaelSamad

    RaphaelSamad pfm Member

    I also recommend wet-vac cleaning but would also acknowledge that this is sometimes a bit of a big step. On a different note, static sometimes causes or increases the problems which you are experiencing.
    I have also personally found that a lot of the brushes (carbon fibre or otherwise) whilst helping to remove dust/fluff from records, only serves to increase the level of static.
    You could try and combat this static with a zerostat pistol. They might seem strange but, in my experience, they do work.
  10. Mikas

    Mikas pfm Member

    When I was a DJ, many years ago (gosh) ...I've noticed that there were once or twice periods of the year during which this dust problem was more intense. At the time, I believed it was somehow related to the weather and static.
    No matter how thorough the cleaning, the problem repeated itself and besides the records, I was forced to keep cleaning also the needle track after track.

  11. gary yeowell

    gary yeowell pfm Member

    As others have noted, dry cleaning a waste of time and probably exasperates the problem. Also agreed some cartridges are much worse in this area than others. As an example, my DV20XL was bad for this yet the same albums played on a Rega Exact sailed through without any issues.
  12. davidge

    davidge pfm Member

    I cleaned my vinyl with a Spin-Clean record washer - a lot cheaper than a vacuum cleaner but a bit more of a faff and you have to do them in batches (i.e. can't do them one at a time). However I find that the records come out really clean with no static problems and dust problems. I then store them in Music Fidelity sleeves. I now find that I hardly ever have to use my carbon fibre brush to clean them before playing.
  13. Mullardman

    Mullardman Moderately extreme...

    I wouldn't exactly describe my house as dust free, but I've never had much problem with dust on a Rega, LP12 or my current Gyro. I usually hold a carbon fibre brush onto the rotating disc for a couple of spins and then carefully take it off the edge.

    Holding onto the metal part of the brush with one hand whilst touching any of various bits of earthed metal in the system seems to help a bit.

    All of that said, I would get a wet cleaner if I could justify the cost.

  14. daytona600

    daytona600 Registered User

    no point in buying new or used vinyl unless you own a RCM
    works out cheaper in the long run just on replacing/re-tipping your cartridge
    and they sound better
    used one for decades myself - then junk the inner sleeves & replace with a aftermarket sleeve
  15. ilikesteak

    ilikesteak pfm Member

    Problem is I own so few records (40 odd) that the 'good' solutions seem a ridiculous outlay.

    I may try just getting the dust in one place then a good rinse with distilled water. Just seems like more time spent on faffing about than actually listening.
  16. Mike P

    Mike P pfm Member

    +1 for wet cleaning.

    I used to have terrible problems with dust collecting on the stylus tip.

    Wet cleaning not only reduces this dramatically but can also make your records sound much better.
  17. tonerei

    tonerei pfm Member

    Ah nice to see a post like this reminds me why I picked dodgy computer audio rather than the vinyl nightmare. Silly tweaking of a pc seems trivial and harmless fun compared to the issues above ;)
  18. SamS

    SamS pfm Member

    It seems I have an opposite experience with carbon brushes than most. For very static(y) records I found if I had the volume at normal while applying the brush (Audioquest) I could hear static clicks and pops but after multiple revolutions this dissipated considerably to the point where a record could be reasonably played.

    I have since purchased an Okki Nokki and this works a treat in reducing static - but even after just a couple of plays it starts to come back (yes I use new Nagoaka sleeves), particularly at this time of year with the central heating on. It almost feels like a losing battle and may make LP replay more of a seasonal sport for me. And I don't even have carpet in the living room.
  19. G T Audio

    G T Audio Trade: Distributor and Manufacturer

    Absolutely Tony, I couldn't agree more. I offer a kit to do this on the turntables I represent. No more static.
  20. richgilb

    richgilb Admonishtrator

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2018

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