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AnimusDivinus 3rd September 2011 07:14 PM

backing up vinyl records?
im just curious as to the best way to back up and store vinyl records so that someday, should the record be worn too much and a replacement be hard to find, a new record could be made?...

one could write a very high quality 96,000hz 24 bit lossless audio file, use that file with a digital to analog converter to cut a new record from laquer to make a master for pressing, or just cut onto vinyl directly with more modern machines

another option i seen was someone pouring liquid silicone directly onto the record.. when it hardens it can be pealed away for a perfect negative of the origional record... i wonder if you could store that negative somewhere, and somehow use that to make a new master to press with?, perhaps by then pouring a harder material over that to be nickle plated and pealed away for a master

with either option, it seems the best result would be to press the record yourself... and well, having seen factory presses in action, and the relatively small amount of pressure you would need to press soft vinyl into a disc, i believe one could probably set up a vinyl press using a 12-ton shop press... anyone try anything like this?.. they were making records in the 30s with their limited tools, im sure we can nickel plate a temporary record into a master and press it ourselves

any thoughts on these ideas for backing up and reproducing duplicates of our records so we can protect them more?

Zaaphod 3rd September 2011 07:29 PM


Originally Posted by AnimusDivinus (
one could write a very high quality 96,000hz 24 bit lossless audio file

once you write the 96,000Hz 24 bit lossless audio file, the Backup is complete. Just listen to the digital file forever.. why do you want to put it back on the obsolete vinyl?? that will only add more distortion on top of the original.

Yes, I did like my vinyl records, and then I liked my reel to reel tapes, and I even liked my CD's but it comes to a point where I just got sick and tired of ALL my media getting scratched, or otherwise damaged, The only way to NOT damage analog media, and even CD's is to simply not use them, and Vinyl was the wrost of these, since the act of playing the record caused wear on it.

So now I just listen to my files off my hard drive and have absolutely zero frustration. Just my opinion here, re-pressing onto more vinyl seems like just a lot of effort for very little return if the purpose is to preserve the audio content of the original vinyl records.

AnimusDivinus 3rd September 2011 07:35 PM

how about this idea for a strong, durable copy of a record that can be played back many, many times....

first, put the record in the box, pour in the silicone, let it harden and peal it off, do this for both sides and trim off the excess silicone from around the edges, do it for both sides

next glue these halves to something more rigid like a disc of metal

then build a platform that works like the CD label press thing where you layer pieces and press it together at once, can be a hand operated press for this task

then get a disc of hard plastic or carbon fiber, or even metal.. score it up with sandpaper, clean it off... then in the press, layer one side of the silicone on the bottom, spray on some kind of lubricant on the silicone halves... then layer silicone, epoxy, an aluminum or carbon fiber core, more epoxy, then the other silicone, press it together

when epoxy hardens it has about the same rockwell hardness as poly vinyl chloride which i believe is what they use in modern vinyls, meaning the end result SHOULD last as long as the original

AnimusDivinus 3rd September 2011 07:36 PM

zaapod, do you back vinyls up onto your harddrive, if so, what frequency and bitrate do you copy them at?

Zaaphod 3rd September 2011 08:04 PM

Yes, I have done that, it's easy enough to plug the line in of your sound card to line out of your stereo system.

To be honest, I started off with ridiculous frequencies and bitrates, and was stubborn about files being in a lossless format, I think I used OGG.. but over the years I ended up converting them all down to standard MP3s 44Khz, 128Kbps... I simply realized after a while that my ears could simply not tell the difference between this and my original huge files, and using standard mp3 format means I can listen to my music anywhere... all portable mp3 players, my galaxy tablet, cell phone, 1TB external hard drive plugged into my laptop hooked up to my stereo in my Van.... etc etc etc.. will all play my files, so even though it may not be the best possible quality, it's defiantly more than acceptable to my ears, but I find I get more enjoyment by having the flexibility to listen to anything I have, anywhere I care to go, on any device I care to use.

It should be noted that many devices do not perform well with super high bitrates or super high sample rates, they simply cannot process the datastream fast enough, so the high bitrate files end up sounding worse than just standard MP3s

In my opinion the quality difference between an MP3 and a high sample rate lossless format is negligible, at least to me, on my modest equipment, and does not justify the space required to store the large files.. although digital storage has become extremely inexpensive so I see no reason to not store the large files if you wanted to... but just remember to make backups of the digital files as well, or a hard drive crash could devastate your collection. I have multiple external hard drives as backups and I only plug them in when doing the actual backup, then keep them unplugged and stored safely.
I have even backed up all my CD's to MP3s, no skips in a moving vehicle, no changing CD's, .. nice long play lists that span my music collection in many ways, just so much more flexibility.

I have carried this so far that I now actually have a collection of music CDs that I have NEVER directly listened to, I opened the package, converted them to MP3s and only listed to the MP3s from that point on.

Zaaphod 3rd September 2011 08:08 PM

I should add that if you want to experiment with duplicating your records which I can assume is mostly for the challenge to see if you can do it, and there is nothing wrong with that... at least do the digital backup on your computer first... just in case it doesn't work our the way you like, at least you will have digital copy which can be preserved indefinitely as long as you keep good backups.

AnimusDivinus 3rd September 2011 08:16 PM

ill do a high quality digital backup of my records, terabyte harddrives are cheap so i can back them up in incredibly high quality and store them somewhere... but i will be converting the backed up records into 320k ogg files for portable audio via a sansa fuze or something like a creative zen with rockbox installed... but i still want records for home use, and well, if all my musics going to be legal, id rather have a quality hard copy that can last decades in storage than cheap, low quality mp3 downloads

AnimusDivinus 3rd September 2011 08:18 PM

btw.. ogg isnt lossless, thats lossy like mp3, aac, wma, difference is ogg is an open source, free codec that many (including myself) agree is better than the others listed... for lossless you want .flac files

Zaaphod 3rd September 2011 08:27 PM

320Kbps OGG files should be great. From my experience, it seems to work better to record all of side one, then all of side two, then split the large files into smaller tracks if desired. you can store the large files, and if you should want to listen on a portable device, go ahead and make your own mp3 out of the large files, and keep the large files as well, which I have done on some music that was important to me. If you want a hard copy backup, why not convert the 320Kbps OGG files into 44Khz Wave files and burn a CD of it? I just think that would sound better than any mechanical duplication you could ever hope to achieve.

I agree with you about the cheap downloads, many of those are not so great. I prefer to make all my own files off my existing media, and I still have the originals, even though I never play them, but to me the originals are my emergency backup... although I would hate to have to convert my entire collection all over again.

AnimusDivinus 3rd September 2011 08:31 PM

my intention would be to record the entire record at once.. trim the beginning and end spaces of the records to match that of a pre-existing cue file i can use to split the single audio file into multiple tracks that i can encode into the 320k ogg files from there

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