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Old 17th February 2008, 03:11 PM   #1
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Default damaging a new needle with used records?

Hi guys,
I found a new cartridge for my dad's old turntable. As most of his vinyl collection was sitting in a dark corner of the storage part of our basement for many years, most of the vinyl doesn't sound good enough anymore to be worth listening to. I've bought a couple new records to play on it, but I've also bought a couple used ones. He had said that he heard years ago that it wasn't good for the stylus to play used records on it, not because of dirt or debris though. I searched around and found someone saying that the used record will have a different shape groove cut into it by the old stylus. Their reasoning though was that it was the used record that would slowly get damaged by the new stylus though, as it would then have a new diamond shape groove slowly cut into it again as it reshapes to the new diamond shape. I don't mind slowly deteriorating the used $5 records, but will used records put any extra wear on a new stylus, assuming there are no obvious scratches, and I've given them a light washing and brushing? The cartridge is one that isn't made anymore, but at the same time it only has a tracking force of 1.2g, so I'm hoping it will last for some time.

Thanks,
Austin
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Old 17th February 2008, 07:50 PM   #2
Netlist is offline Netlist  Belgium
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I wouldn't worry too much. It works both ways but a new record will suffer more of a used (read worn) stylus than the other way around.
Take care of the records, take care of the stylus and enjoy the music.

/Hugo
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Old 17th February 2008, 08:21 PM   #3
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I wouldn't worry about the old record theory as it's probably more of an old wives tale. I would worry about dirt. Some record cleaning techniques are better than others, with a record cleaning machine being at the top of the heap. I clean manually with an old Watts record cleaning brush and various liquids, depending on the severity of the problem, followed by a rinse and cleanup with a Diskwasher brush. There's a recipe on the 'net for cleaning fluid made of isopropyl alcohol, water and wetting agent. It works ok if the records are already in good shape, but you can do better if you're willing to rinse. For records that have been stored in really adverse conditions I use Out enzyme pet stain remover. Laugh if you want, but it's one of the best things I've tried on used records. Unless there's actual groove damage from being played on a bad system, you can usually get a pretty good playback. Also, there's nothing good about super low tracking forces. They make the system prone to mistracking, which caused more groove damage than if the record was played at a slightly higher force. I'd set the tracking force closer to the upper end of the range published for that cartridge model.
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Old 17th February 2008, 08:38 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. I have a hunt record brush that I use now for light cleaning, but since you mentioned washing, what would I use to wipe or brush the record when using the homemade water/alcohol solution?

And Conrad, I had read before than it is better to track slightly heavier, so I've been using 1.3 instead of 1.2 grams. Are you suggesting I go even heavier? I thought if the player sounds perfect with a new record at 1.3 then I should leave it at that.

Austin
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Old 19th February 2008, 06:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by camshaft
Thanks guys. I have a hunt record brush that I use now for light cleaning, but since you mentioned washing, what would I use to wipe or brush the record when using the homemade water/alcohol solution?

And Conrad, I had read before than it is better to track slightly heavier, so I've been using 1.3 instead of 1.2 grams. Are you suggesting I go even heavier? I thought if the player sounds perfect with a new record at 1.3 then I should leave it at that.

Austin
Check out Disc Doctor brushes. I have never had a record be so clean.
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Old 19th February 2008, 06:44 AM   #6
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Don't trash your old records! Even heavily abused ones can sound ok (or even suberb), when played with a needle that is sharper as the ones before, so the groove can digged out deeper where not so much damage took place. ´Same logic applies it you try a round needle on 'deeply' damaged records. Thorough cleaning is mandatory, of course.

I would take care for heavy scratches, of course.
Rüidger
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Old 19th February 2008, 11:26 AM   #7
AMV8 is offline AMV8  United Kingdom
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Hi Camshaft

I have a lot of old records as I have been collecting them for over 50 years.

As with Conrad, I clean them with a mixture of distilled water, isopropyl alcohol and a wetting agent ( one small drop of washing up liquid ). I apply that with a velvet brush and then rinse in distilled water.

Really dirty records will come clean if you keep washing. Some of my records were flooded one time but repeated washing got them clean.

I have tried various disk cleaning machines and found them about the same as cleaning with a velvet brush.

Don
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Old 20th February 2008, 05:50 PM   #8
EC8010 is offline EC8010  United Kingdom
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I've seen a turntable manufacturer demonstrating how good their turntable was at a Hi-Fi show by deliberately only playing second-hand records from charity shops. Subliminal thought, "If it sounds this good with records of dubious provenance, what will it sound like with mine?" The cartridge was a Koetsu.

Dirty records damage styli, not worn grooves.
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Old 20th February 2008, 06:06 PM   #9
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Hi EC....,
I suppose that deep scratches that cause heavy pops will very likely damage [edit] needles...

Rüdiger
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Old 21st February 2008, 08:17 PM   #10
EC8010 is offline EC8010  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally posted by Onvinyl
I suppose that deep scratches that cause heavy pops will very likely damage [edit] needles...
I suppose it might damage the suspension, but would you repeatedly listen to something like that? I suppose you might if you were transferring it to digits and intending to remove the scratch. As a side issue, I spoke to Expert Stylus the other day and they said that under the microscope they could see significant wear (enough to warrant replacement to avoid damaging a record collection) after 500 hours. Yikes!
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