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View Full Version : Tointable and Rekkid Cleaning Advice needed.



Mr. Grizzly Bear
11-13-2012, 08:09 PM
OK, seeking some sage wisdom from the board. I'm contemplating adding vinyl to CD/digital conversion to my business at some point. Got a good audio interface and software to boot, now the thing is, what kind of turntable would work well that won't cost a kings ransom, will track reliably and reproduce accurately. Should I go with S-shaped arm or a straight arm? Cartridge recommendations? Brands that are good and which to avoid?

Also, the idea of cleaning the vinyl, what kind of devices are recommended for cleaning the grooves, remo9ving static etc.,

I haven't owned a vinyl album since the 80's, but lately I have had a few folks ask me about doing vinyl rekkids. Awaiting your wisdom

FrippWire
11-13-2012, 08:20 PM
Buy a VPI record cleaning machine. A winner and worth every cent.

East New York
11-13-2012, 09:15 PM
Tointable and Rekkid

:lol Ya sure ya not from my naybahood?

Props for the VPI, too. We've (well, it's really CybrKhatru's, not mine) got one, and it gets full marks here.

Re: the rest, please feel free to message CybrKhatru. He's the shiz when it comes to all this.

enpdllp
11-13-2012, 09:31 PM
VPI's are great record cleaning machines, but based on Mr Grizzly Bear's post, I am under the impression that he is looking for something less expensive.

Take a look at the New Turntable Old vinyl (http://www.progressiveears.org/forum/showthread.php/349-New Turntable Old vinyl) thread where I posted some information on record cleaning machines and turntable recommendations.

If you think $399 is still a lot to pay for a new turntable, the Music Hall USB-1 is a decent choice with USB connectivity.

NorthNY Mark
11-16-2012, 06:49 PM
VPI's are great record cleaning machines, but based on Mr Grizzly Bear's post, I am under the impression that he is looking for something less expensive.

Take a look at the New Turntable Old vinyl (http://www.progressiveears.org/forum/showthread.php/349-New Turntable Old vinyl) thread where I posted some information on record cleaning machines and turntable recommendations.

If you think $399 is still a lot to pay for a new turntable, the Music Hall USB-1 is a decent choice with USB connectivity.

Good points, but honestly, I would be surprised if many people would be interested in spending money on vinyl transfers made from a turntable in the under-$399 price range. Perhaps those who don't care much about sound quality and just want vinyl rips of rarities never released on CD might be interested, but many vinyl collectors tend to be audiophiles and would want a high quality transfer. I guess it really depends on who the audience is, and what the OP would define as "a king's ransom." To the OP: if you really are planning on charging money for such a service, I would suggest spending a few weeks exploring different audio forums to get a "lay of the land." Also, looking at what some of the more well-known vinyl rippers (like pbthal) use, and listening to their results, would probably be helpful.

Zeuhlmate
11-22-2012, 08:51 AM
I would like to buy a Grammophone - Not The Nine O'Clock News (NTNOCN) :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXDK3x5lAYI

roddenberry
11-22-2012, 09:15 AM
@ Mr. Grizzly Bear : The least expensive method is what i've successfully used for the past 30 years... warm water and soap! You take your vinyl and run it under warm tapwater, then lather your hands with ivory soap (leaves no film) and thoroughly rub both sides with your soapy hands, use a little piece of very soft cloth saturated with soapy water to rub the rim (where most of the grime settles). then rinse thoroughly with warm tapwater until the water beads.

Wiggle the disk to remove most of the water, then very gently remove the remaining traces of water with a dry piece of lint-free paper tissue (like kleenex). Let dry on top of a beer bottle. The process does not affect the record label (if you don't disturb it while it's wet) and that process works perfectly 100% of the time at removing dust and greasy fingerprints.

Of course, it will not remove scratches nor stylus damage, that's irreversible. So any album that's in good shape but dusty will greatly benefit from that process.

Robert

BobM
11-22-2012, 09:53 AM
If you are going to do this as a business then you want to make sure you achieve 3 things:
- high quality transfers
- reliability in your equipoment
- value for the $ (to the purchaser of your service)

That being said, you need good equipment. Cleaning the records before you perform a transfer is of ultimate importance. The digital copy will only be as good as the vinyl source it is made from. That being said, you want a vacuum cleaner, like the VPI 16.5. I highly recommend using Disk Doctor fluid and brushes with the VPI cleaner (the VPI fluid is not very good). This will get the records as clean as you can get them, but you will still have to deal with pops and clicks from damaged records. Not much you can do about that.

Next, the turntable itself. Here's some important considerations:
- accurate speed is of paramount importance. You should have a speed controller like the VPI SDS, but it is expensive, even used. Well worth it though.
- the turntable needs to be isolated from external vibrations, so the platform it is on is important. A heavy mass stand is the best and easiest way to do this.
- the cartridge needs to be as neutral and accurate and dynamic as possible. All cartridges have a "flavor" to them, so choose wisely and with care. Moving coils will pull out more detail than moving magnet types.
- the phono preamp is probably the most important but most overlooked item int he vinyl chain. It does all the conversion from that wee tiny signal to an audio signal of sufficient strength. Get a good one, and that means spending on it.

So, if you want to do this all for less than $500, I feel you are way out of line. It will probably cost on the order of $2000 to do it right, or even more. As a business this could be considered an investment. If you are only doing it for yourself then you could spend considerably less, but the quality of your transfers will not even approach what is available on cheap commercially available CD's. I would stick with buying them instead. However, when done right a vinyl transfer will be noticeably better than CD quality, if the source vinyl is pristene that is. If not, then again, stick with CD's.

As a last note, unless your playback system is of a high quality then this is all just mute speculation. You probably won;t hear the difference in quality.

Jymbot
11-22-2012, 10:41 PM
@ Mr. Grizzly Bear : The least expensive method is what i've successfully used for the past 30 years... warm water and soap! You take your vinyl and run it under warm tapwater, then lather your hands with ivory soap (leaves no film) and thoroughly rub

Robert


Ah HA HA!

http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s145/baggra/Bitco/psych/Behold.jpg

Zeuhlmate
11-23-2012, 07:43 AM
I can confirm that tap water with a tiny drop of dishwasher soap works fine. I used a brush. Some claim it has to be distilled water, I dont think it gives a better result. If there is much calcium in your tap water it could be a bad idea to let them stand airdrying afterwards, but dry them with a cloth or a hair drier on low heat /non heat.

Jymbot
11-23-2012, 09:40 AM
I can confirm that tap water with a tiny drop of dishwasher soap works fine. I used a brush. Some claim it has to be distilled water, I dont think it gives a better result .


Ha Ha!


Oh it will get it clean alright - and more.

Uninformed. Amateur.

http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s145/baggra/Bitco/psych/watchit.jpg

Hint: Get your de-ionized water free: use your dehumidifier.

Mr. Grizzly Bear
09-01-2013, 09:01 PM
Revisiting this thread again. I have since acquired a beautiful Kenwood KD600 granite-base tointable with an Infinity Black Widow arm, Grado cartridge in a barter arrangement. LOVE IT!!!

Did my forst couple transfers last night for testing, came out very nice all considered.

As far as cleaning, there is no way in hell I have the $$ laying around for a VPI machine (much as I'd love one), but I have after a good bit of research arrived at some workable methods:

1) My own cleaning fluid, nothing more than 1/4 alcohol to 3/4 DISTILLED water and a couple drops of dish detergent, rekkid cleaning cloth, micro-fiber towels for drying, Will be rigging up a small wet/dry vac with a modified attachment for better drying before long.

2) For really serious cases where the rekkid sounds like frying bacon and the music is getting drowned out, there is the Titebond wood glue method of deep cleaning (yes, you read right). Simply put, you apply a layer of Titebond wood glue (DO NOT use other types, wood glue will NOT bond with the vinyl) allow to dry thoroughly, then peel off. This will lift out deep-rooted dust grit and dirt that even the best liquid and vacuum cleaning cannot get. After which you can hear the music far more clearly, and it doesn't harm the rekkid. I stress though that this is only for real serious cases where liquid cleaning is just not quite cutting it.

PeterG
09-02-2013, 03:46 AM
Wire brush and Dettol! (that's for fans of the Big Yin before he turned into a racist intolerant twat)

BobM
09-02-2013, 08:05 AM
Your home made solution sounds good, but I would add one more thing. Find a small bottle of "Photoflow". Add 2 drops to your solution and mix. It will help alleviate the pooling of water on the surface of the record and get it down into the grooves where it can actually help dissolve the grit in there. Also, once you have cleaned the record with this and then vacuumed it off the surface, go over the record once more with just water to rinse any soap residue away. That last rinse makes all the difference in the world, otherwise the soap clings to the vinyl gagtering dirt and dust and can make things even more noisy than before.

Mr. Grizzly Bear
09-02-2013, 04:46 PM
Your home made solution sounds good, but I would add one more thing. Find a small bottle of "Photoflow". Add 2 drops to your solution and mix. It will help alleviate the pooling of water on the surface of the record and get it down into the grooves where it can actually help dissolve the grit in there. Also, once you have cleaned the record with this and then vacuumed it off the surface, go over the record once more with just water to rinse any soap residue away. That last rinse makes all the difference in the world, otherwise the soap clings to the vinyl gathering dirt and dust and can make things even more noisy than before.

Definitely agree with you about rinsing, very important!

rcarlberg
09-02-2013, 05:05 PM
I'm contemplating adding vinyl to CD/digital conversion to my business at some point. You're putting the cart WAYYY before the horse, IMO. In order to do decent vinyl conversions you need to buy and learn how to use -- and it's an ARTFORM believe me -- software to remove the extraneous noises of the LP format: clicks, pops, rumble, groove noise, damaged grooves, wow & flutter, tracking error, resonant feedback and hum. On top of that you need to learn how to restore signal to noise, dynamic range, and frequency equalization (reverse RIAA). Then you need to figure out how to cut vinyl dubs into usable digital files, with the proper timing, lead-in, lead-out and normalization. These are not trivial tasks.

Cleaning records and purchasing a usable turntable are.

Chain
09-02-2013, 05:05 PM
I have been reading up about Ultrasonic cleaning. I might eventually go that way.

LASERCD
09-02-2013, 05:17 PM
I recommend the Audio Desk ultrasonic cleaner. They finally got the bugs out of it. Hideously expensive but much more convenient than using a vacuum based system like the VPI. Does a much better job as well.

Wounded Land
09-02-2013, 05:25 PM
My record-cleaning routine can be broken down into three sub-sections:

1. Initial wet-cleaning of the records: When I first get a new record, I first use an AcousTech brush to remove dust, then Audio Intelligent fluids to clean each side. This is a three-step process and is a little time-consuming, but you really only have to do it once. I use distilled water to clean all my brushes and cloths.

2. Dry cleaning of the records before every play: Again, the AcousTech brush is used to remove any dust before I play a record.

3. Stylus cleaning before each side: I use LAST stylus cleaner and their Stylast preservative before every side.

It seems like a lot, but it's just become routine for me now. My vinyl is as quiet as can be, free of static, and only rarely introducing low-level "vinyl noise." I have a relatively cheap system but if you spend some time taking care of your records you'll be surprised by the results.

That all being said, if you are going to be doing this in bulk, you may want to invest in a vinyl cleaning machine. My father has the Spin-Clean and says good things about it (manually operated but costs less than $100). I have no experience with it but you may want to check it out.

Good luck!

Mr. Grizzly Bear
09-03-2013, 02:07 AM
And of course I already have software at my disposal for getting rid of nuisances like hum, clicks, clipping and such, in addition to EQ-ing and the like. Yes, it is an art form, but I must say that the average customer is not going to be looking for a hyper-pristine David Botrill engineering miracle or Steven Wilson surround-sound remix, but rather they want to be able to hear the music as clearly as possible with the warmth of vinyl but without the annoying side effects if you will. So far my first couple transfers came out quite nice, warm sounding, clear and very little of the old vinyl noise. As part of my service, I even reproduce the cover art and label.

That Audio Desk ultrasonic cleaner.looks and sounds amazing but sadly I don't happen to have $4K in pocket change laying around, but one day----

PeterG
09-03-2013, 03:06 AM
but rather they want to be able to hear the music as clearly as possible with the warmth of vinyl but without the annoying side effects if you will.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that pretty much what the first generation of CDs did, in the early 80s, i.e. the AAD compact disc format?

rcarlberg
09-03-2013, 09:04 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that pretty much what the first generation of CDs did, in the early 80s, i.e. the AAD compact disc format?Shush! Nobody likes an illusion-crusher.

rcarlberg
09-03-2013, 09:15 AM
My record-cleaning technique consists of three levels, depending on the severity of the problem.

1. For 98% of all records, a deep, slow cleaning (several complete revolutions) with a dry, clean Discwasher brush suffices.

2. For the remaining 2% I will wet the Discwasher brush with a couple drops of D4 solution, spread it around on the brush with my finger, then perform #1 with the wet brush, rotating the brush as I go and cleaning the brush against my shirt after every couple of inches. Afterwards I perform step #1 dry.

3. Rarely, very rarely, I buy a beat-up record (or am asked to transfer one that's been abused) where the grime is too deep or the record has been wetted and the gunk allowed to dry in the grooves. For this I use an Accustat microfiber brush (anybody remember those? Very rare!) and brush the grooves backward, stabbing the brush into the grooves to get under and lift the embedded crap. This works about 50% of the time. Then I perform step #2 and then step #1.

Some records are not recoverable. My dad asked me to transfer his 78s from when he was in college and I pulled about 30 lbs of crap out of the grooves and they still sounded like bacon (of course I also had difficulty finding a proper 78 rpm stylus...).

BobM
09-03-2013, 10:55 AM
And of course I already have software at my disposal for getting rid of nuisances like hum, clicks, clipping and such, in addition to EQ-ing and the like. Yes, it is an art form, but I must say that the average customer is not going to be looking for a hyper-pristine David Botrill engineering miracle or Steven Wilson surround-sound remix, but rather they want to be able to hear the music as clearly as possible with the warmth of vinyl but without the annoying side effects if you will. So far my first couple transfers came out quite nice, warm sounding, clear and very little of the old vinyl noise. As part of my service, I even reproduce the cover art and label.


One of those "intangible" things that draws me to vinyl vs CD is the naturalness and spaciousness of the vinyl reproduction over CD's. If you are electronicall removing pops and clicks, then you very well might be losing the other aspects of vinyl that are precious and worthwhile keeping. Definitely something to be aware of and careful with IMO.

rcarlberg
09-03-2013, 11:43 AM
If you are electronicall removing pops and clicks, then you very well might be losing the other aspects of vinyl that are precious and worthwhile keeping. Definitely something to be aware of and careful with IMO.:) De gustibus non est disputantum :)

rcarlberg
09-03-2013, 11:57 AM
The digital copy will only be as good as the vinyl source it is made from.
rather they want to be able to hear the music as clearly as possible with the warmth of vinyl but without the annoying side effects if you will.
One of those "intangible" things that draws me to vinyl vs CD is the naturalness and spaciousness of the vinyl reproduction over CD's. At the risk of offending vinyl supremicists -- oh hell, who am I kidding? -- if a CD sounds "exactly as good as the source it is made from"; and "naturalness," "warmth" and "spaciousness" are qualities of vinyl but not of CDs -- which we've just admitted are exactly as good as the source -- well, one has to wonder if warmth, naturalness and spaciousness are part of the original recording or not.... :)

Mr. Grizzly Bear
09-03-2013, 12:06 PM
My record-cleaning technique consists of three levels, depending on the severity of the problem.

1. For 98% of all records, a deep, slow cleaning (several complete revolutions) with a dry, clean Discwasher brush suffices.

2. For the remaining 2% I will wet the Discwasher brush with a couple drops of D4 solution, spread it around on the brush with my finger, then perform #1 with the wet brush, rotating the brush as I go and cleaning the brush against my shirt after every couple of inches. Afterwards I perform step #1 dry.

3. Rarely, very rarely, I buy a beat-up record (or am asked to transfer one that's been abused) where the grime is too deep or the record has been wetted and the gunk allowed to dry in the grooves. For this I use an Accustat microfiber brush (anybody remember those? Very rare!) and brush the grooves backward, stabbing the brush into the grooves to get under and lift the embedded crap. This works about 50% of the time. Then I perform step #2 and then step #1.

Some records are not recoverable. My dad asked me to transfer his 78s from when he was in college and I pulled about 30 lbs of crap out of the grooves and they still sounded like bacon (of course I also had difficulty finding a proper 78 rpm stylus...).

This is true, some things are beyond recovering. At this point I'm not even touching 78's (need a special turntable and stylus to handle those, even if my TT did have 78, I would NEVER use it to play one, it'd fry my needle in nothing flat, and at $50 to replace the needle, I cannot afford that luxury often). I suspect that with 78's, no matter how much you physically clean them they'll always sound like bacon due to the nature of the material they were pressed on to begin with. Only software could begin to make them sound decent.

I find the types of liquid cleaning and dusting described here more than sufficient in most cases, but for the really severe cases, it's the wood-glue "facial mask" treatment if you will, pulls so much of that deep-rooted grime and nastiness out of the grooves without harming the rekkid. Already tried this on an old LP and I'll be darned if it didn't quiet that thing down where you could hear the music nice and clear and so present. Good thing is, you should only have to do it once, and just give it an occasional liquid cleaning/dusting afterwards.

Mr. Grizzly Bear
09-03-2013, 12:10 PM
One of those "intangible" things that draws me to vinyl vs CD is the naturalness and spaciousness of the vinyl reproduction over CD's. If you are electronicall removing pops and clicks, then you very well might be losing the other aspects of vinyl that are precious and worthwhile keeping. Definitely something to be aware of and careful with IMO.

Point well taken, I only try to process it enough to get rid of the annoyances without the temptation to over process. Thankfully the software has a feature you can manually remove a specific click and leave everything else untouched.

rcarlberg
09-03-2013, 12:15 PM
Thankfully the software has a feature you can manually remove a specific click and leave everything else untouched.Yeah, that's not a cut-and-dried line (unless you're truly talking about a single click, which you would do by editing individual bits). That's where the 'art' comes in, learning how to reduce noise over a large area while doing minimal damage to non-noise.

simon moon
09-03-2013, 12:22 PM
Revisiting this thread again. I have since acquired a beautiful Kenwood KD600 granite-base tointable with an Infinity Black Widow arm, Grado cartridge in a barter arrangement. LOVE IT!!!

That's a pretty good vintage DD turntable. The arm is good, but it will limit you on the choice of cartridges that can be used, though, once that Grado is due for an upgrade. I assume you checked the condition of the stylus before you started playing records, right?

The Black Widow is a VERY low effective mass arm, and needs a high-compliance cartridge. If you put a medium compliance cartridge, you will get mistracking that could be mistaken for a noisy record.


As far as cleaning, there is no way in hell I have the $$ laying around for a VPI machine (much as I'd love one), but I have after a good bit of research arrived at some workable methods

You don't have to lay out $$$ for an effective RCM, the Record Doctor does the job very close to the expensive ones, for $199.

http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=RDV&gclid=CKne5uiyoLgCFUui4AodR1kAhw

Or the KAB EV-1 at $179. You supply the vacuum.

http://www.kabusa.com/ev1.htm


1) My own cleaning fluid, nothing more than 1/4 alcohol to 3/4 DISTILLED water and a couple drops of dish detergent, rekkid cleaning cloth, micro-fiber towels for drying, Will be rigging up a small wet/dry vac with a modified attachment for better drying before long.

That's a good formula, except make sure the water is distilled for use for infants. It has less contaminants than standard distilled, and it can be found at most pharmacies.

Also, make sure the alcohol is 99% pure. Standard isopropyl that you find at pharmacies is 70% and has particulate impurities that will settle in groves creating noise. It's hard to find, but worth it. I found it at huge makeup/cosmetics store that caters to the Hollywood entertainment makeup artists.

Using dishwashing detergent is a great surfactant, and better than photo flow that some people use as an alternative.

I see others here claiming that just washing the records and and drying them with a micro-fiber cloth is as effective as a vacuum method. I don't believe this is the case, as much of the particulates will not be removed, and only settle back in the grooves.

Pr33t
09-03-2013, 04:29 PM
I'd recommend Disc Doctor (http://www.discdoc.com/)- I've been very happy using the Miracle Record Cleaner and brushing by hand. I've also made my own solution for cheap records using a similar formula to the 1/4 + 3/4 + drops detergent (I use the Palmolive free and clear - no scents or added dyes that could react with and harm the vinyl). I find the DD to be much superior for the task at hand, as the DD eliminates all static, greatly reducing surface noise that is not from dirt or damage.