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Thread: Vinyl surface noise and cleaning records

  1. #1

    Vinyl surface noise and cleaning records

    I buy more and more used vinyl for the fun of discussing with shopowners and I put up an older amp and turntable near my desk and listen more to vinyl then I used to.
    I found recently a couple of records in a very good shape among them a French pressing of Seconds Out, a Dutch Shakti Handful Of Beauty, but also a big disappointment , a US copy of Don Juans Reckless Daughter , cover is in excellent shape and the records looked good but both records have heavy surface noice from beginning to end. I wonder if it is linked to records that were played "wet" and left crystals or something like this. Is there a good cheap way to clean records?
    Dieter Moebius : "Art people like things they donít understand!"

  2. #2
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Wash them gently in soft water (no calcium) with one drop of dishwasher soap, with a very soft brush or similar.
    Dry them with a hair dryer, low heat.

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    Iíve been purchasing used vinyl lately and have found the same thing. Some look perfect but have a lot of surface noise and Iíve bought some that look like they have a haze over the surface but sound really good. Iíll have to try water and see if it helps at all.


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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Fracktured View Post
    I’ve been purchasing used vinyl lately and have found the same thing. Some look perfect but have a lot of surface noise and I’ve bought some that look like they have a haze over the surface but sound really good. I’ll have to try water and see if it helps at all.


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    It may look clean, but could have been played on a cheap turntable with a ceramic needle. It might not have the sheen of a truly clean disc, though.
    The White Zone is for loading and unloading only. If you got to load or unload go to the White Zone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    It may look clean, but could have been played on a cheap turntable with a ceramic needle. It might not have the sheen of a truly clean disc, though.
    makes sense

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    Wash them gently in soft water (no calcium) with one drop of dishwasher soap, with a very soft brush or similar.
    Dry them with a hair dryer, low heat.
    thanx, I'll try
    Dieter Moebius : "Art people like things they donít understand!"

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by alucard View Post
    thanx, I'll try
    That is best. Just don't get that label wet.
    The White Zone is for loading and unloading only. If you got to load or unload go to the White Zone.

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    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    It may look clean, but could have been played on a cheap turntable with a "ceramic needle". It might not have the sheen of a truly clean disc, though.
    Ceramic cartridges often come with sapphire styli and have tracking forces of over 5g which can cause excessive wear.
    Last edited by 3LockBox; 01-26-2019 at 11:06 PM.

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    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alucard View Post
    thanx, I'll try
    lots of videos on YT on the subject

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    Ceramic cartridges often come with sapphire styli and have tracking forces of over 5g which can cause excessive wear.
    Yeah, cartridges.
    The White Zone is for loading and unloading only. If you got to load or unload go to the White Zone.

  11. #11
    I bought a new vinyl, Miles Davis , In a silent way (music on vinyl CBS licensed) It was on promo and quite cheap. Great sound, but I wonder if it's mastered from the original analogue masters. There is no info on the cover. Is there
    any way to know what source new vinyls use?
    Dieter Moebius : "Art people like things they donít understand!"

  12. #12
    In before wood glue.
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

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    Jazzbo manquť Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    In before wood glue.
    I tried the wood glue trick on an old, thrashed LP just for kicks. It didn't make any noticeable difference in the level of noise, but then the noise was probably more from scuffs and scratches than dirt to begin with. It was a lot of fun, though, especially peeling off the perfect negative of the grooves.

    (For the record, the LP in question was Mr. Magoo in Hi Fi.)

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    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alucard View Post
    I bought a new vinyl, Miles Davis , In a silent way (music on vinyl CBS licensed) It was on promo and quite cheap. Great sound, but I wonder if it's mastered from the original analogue masters. There is no info on the cover. Is there
    any way to know what source new vinyls use?
    Always assume high resolution digital files, unless it is specifically labeled and promoted otherwise.
    Steve F.

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    Member LASERCD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alucard View Post
    I bought a new vinyl, Miles Davis , In a silent way (music on vinyl CBS licensed) It was on promo and quite cheap. Great sound, but I wonder if it's mastered from the original analogue masters. There is no info on the cover. Is there
    any way to know what source new vinyls use?
    As a rule Music On Vinyl is cut from hi-resolution digital files.

  16. #16
    ^^thanx,
    Just looked through a couple of newer vinyls I bought and the only ones where it's stated are two Zappa releases "source analog master" .
    Dieter Moebius : "Art people like things they donít understand!"

  17. #17
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    Wash them gently in soft water (no calcium) with one drop of dishwasher soap, with a very soft brush or similar.
    Dry them with a hair dryer, low heat.
    I'd be wary of using a hair dryer myself. Even at low heat it'd be too concentrated and might lead to warpage. Just use a clean microfiber cloth, no heat required, the water'll come right off. You want to draw off the water, not evaporate it (in case there's any impurities).

    Use a good microfiber brush to get into the grooves with the detergent. Discwasher made one.

    Rinse throughly in lukewarm water, keeping the label dry.

    And when you use dish soap, use Dawn dish soap. It has no additives unlike many others. Also works well as a shampoo by the way, for the same reason. Don't use "dishwasher soap" -- the little packets are too hard to bite open.

    But, best to acknowledge some records are unrecoverable. Dirt isn't the only cause of massive surface noise.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 01-30-2019 at 08:32 PM.

  18. #18
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    I'd be wary of using a hair dryer myself. Even at low heat it'd be too concentrated and might lead to warpage. Just use a clean microfiber cloth, no heat required, the water'll come right off. You want to draw off the water, not evaporate it (in case there's any impurities).

    Use a good microfiber brush to get into the grooves with the detergent. Discwasher made one.

    Rinse throughly in lukewarm water, keeping the label dry.

    And when you use dish soap, use Dawn dish soap.
    What about cleaners with alcohol?

  19. #19
    Member hippypants's Avatar
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    I've been using the method below and it works really well for me. I don't add any dishwashing liquid, just the distilled water and rubbing alcohol. I cover up the label with a plastic yogurt top, before I spray it with the water. I do blow it a bit dry with a hair drier too, but glancing so. Don't hold it too long in any one spot too long and you'll be fine.


  20. #20
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    I came up with a cleaning regimen which works astoundingly well. It's a 2 stage process using the Spin-Clean fluid, but not the actual S-C machine. For the second rinse stage, I use distilled water with a splash of the S-C fluid, as per the S-C instructions. The first wash stage is what makes an enormous difference. I use 1 part 99.9 pure Isopropyl Alcohol (although 90% works just as well), 3 parts distilled water, and a splash of S-C fluid. Finally, I'll dry with the S-C drying cloths. In my experience, micro-fiber cloths, even high quality ones, will deposit fibers and cause lint buildup on the stylus...so I avoid them at all costs.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

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  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    What about cleaners with alcohol?
    The alcohol would be safe as long as you don't drink too much while cleaning your records.
    NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF STUPID PEOPLE IN LARGE GROUPS!

  23. #23
    https://youtu.be/mNLGo5K5m_M
    I like the idea with the vacuum cleaner. Btw what's the best/cheapest commercial cleaning machine?
    Dieter Moebius : "Art people like things they donít understand!"

  24. #24
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alucard View Post
    I like the idea with the vacuum cleaner. Btw what's the best/cheapest commercial cleaning machine?
    The BEST vacuum cleaner is not the CHEAPEST.

    Since a vacuum cleaner basically just automates what you can do yourself manually, they're mainly for well-heeled audiophiles with A LOT of records to clean. And -- as noted -- dirt is only one source of surface noise. A clean record isn't necessarily a quiet one.

  25. #25
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Vacs only work on loose dirt and lint. Dirt stuck to the grooves only responds to liquid cleaning.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

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