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Old 1st March 2002, 03:06 PM   #11
eila is offline eila
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Ontario, Canada
Thumbs up the effect of isopropyl on plasticisers

Bernhard, you may be right about the benign properties of isopropyl. I too have noticed no effect on PVC. However, we have to admit that not all PVCs are alike; plasticizers in particular distinguish the characteristics of PVC fabrics from PVC pipes. The presense of fillers, binders and plasticizers in our records has to be considered, and I have read that isoproypl does affect plasticizers. Though I have not tested the veracity of this claim, it is something to keep in mind as plasticizers have a direct bearing on the durability of the material, which, as we all know is subject to extreme forces at the contact point of the stylus. Anyone who has heard an abused record knows about groove wear, particularly in the amazingly microdetailed high-end, present in the topmost portion of the groove wall. If there is even a minute degradation of the plasticizer, this is where the damage will occur.

Having said all that, you may very well be right, and I'm personally going to try the full strength isopropyl to remove the PVC jacket smears as you recommended before. We were both agreed in an earlier post as to the necessity to thoroughly rinse any formula. I suggest this is absolutely essential, particularly if one is using powerful formulas.

Back to my earlier point, I still think it is prudent to clean several times more with milder mixes than fewer times with stronger. For me, benign is best. Needless to say (I hope) Bernhard, I remain respectful of your opinion, as I know of your experience, and I also know you've been looking into your microscope, like me.

Best regards
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Old 1st March 2002, 10:33 PM   #12
dice45 is offline dice45  Germany
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Munich, Bavaria

sorry no pixes, one of my machines was sold and i lost track. The other also was sold and still works in a hifi and record shop in Fürth.

I would have to travel there to take pixes (what i will do the day i buy my old prototype back)

What i will do is post CAD drawings from my new unit (like from my tonearm, see my website, www button is right at the bottom of this post). Maybe i also draw the obsolete prototype (only roughly and for display purpose)

From those pixes any of you get the idea how it works and can copy it and build it himself.


plasticizers indeed are an issue and different PVC contains them to different degrees. I would limit my 100% isoproanole recommendation to 30 minutes of contact or less. This i tried out myself with a wide variety of records made between 1950 and 1980.

However, even short washing with 100% iso may leave a certain sonic roughness audible by sensitive people. I always washed my most cherished records with 100% water after the iso washing and the roughness was gone.

So, at the moment i muse how to marry the beauties of my obsolete prototype with vac-less record cleaning/drying and one thing is clear already, the new unit has to be easily usable for accidental one-record washing, not only for bulk washing as my obsolete prototype.

And so i sit and examine the different µfibre towels i bought yesterday.

I come back with 1st washing results but the new washing unit will need some musing and time (moreover as 5 other projects are sitting on my table, crying for completion)
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Old 1st March 2002, 10:42 PM   #13
Evaas is offline Evaas  Canada
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Default microscope

Eila, thanks for the info! I will search for a scope like the one you described, and I'm sure I'll come up with a way to mount it so that I can view the record on the cleaning platter.

btw, I didn't mean that I want no discussion on using the microscope... all I meant was that I didn't want someone to chime in with "you're better off spending your money on xyz for better sound .." actually, I'd be very happy to hear a description of what I should look for under the scope for record cleaning and stylus cleaning

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Old 2nd March 2002, 11:50 AM   #14
wuffwaff is offline wuffwaff  Netherlands
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I“ve already admired your tonearm. Are there some "real" pics instead of CAD drawings somewhere?

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Old 2nd March 2002, 03:44 PM   #15
eila is offline eila
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Ontario, Canada
Lightbulb cutting-lathe simulator 3D software available?

Bernhard, I agree. I've found reading on the net about common plasticizers used for PVC but haven't gleaned anything of practical application yet. I'll post any relevent links as I find them.

I'm waiting for your comments on the microfibre materials. I'd love to pick up some myself but haven't found a source yet.

I looked at the illustrations of your amazing tonearm but haven't yet gone over the specs and other reading.

I'd like to find software someday that would make precision 3D graphics of record grooves cut to whatever audio is input, like a frontal perspective of a simulated cutting lathe. It's probably already available, but if not, it should be. What do you think?
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Old 16th March 2002, 04:30 PM   #16
palesha is offline palesha  India
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This is a collection of suggestion i collected from the web. I think it might be of help to others for record cleaning.
Mahendra Palesha

I also have another question. A friend of mine had a Denon which ran without all those poppy noises, nice and smooth, almost cd like (bad recording I think). What is the main attribute to getting that popless sound(I know about the subsonic filter and rumble).

Hey Mark, I don't know if this is what you are looking for, but I really scrub used vinyl before it is played. If you think of the amount of pressure forcing that needle into the groove, then you can realize just how much heat is generated to "cook" the dirt in. I use a cleaner made of alcohol, distilled water, photo-flow, and vinegar window cleaner, and let it soak. Then multiple passes with the paint brush that you would use for corner painting, it is the one with the 3" by 4" surface, and the nylon bristles are about 1/10" long. Then paper towels to wick off the solution.

This takes care of the majority of poppy noises, at least the ones that can be removed. You only need to do this once if you take care of the discs afterwards.
Hope this helps

PS---Don't ever use alcohol on 78rpm/shellacs or you will be sorry!!!!!!

There's also Reg Williamsons groove masking process, documented in the '81 TAA.

Mix up a gel-like water-based solution of glycerin and PVA, brush it into the record surface, let it dry then peel it off. A good deal of ground-in dirt comes off with it.
Sean Collins sean@hogheaven.com

Nicks' recipe for a record cleaning product is, I guess as good as any, but >I've found using liquid hand soap to be effective too. It also allows me to >keep the Vodka for other applications.

Hey Lee, I've used about everything as well, including hand soap, Amour All, etc. I started deeply into record cleaning solutions when restoring an album a jazz musician friend of mine had made. He only had the 2" tapes
and the single sided vinyl master left (it is all musicians that do things like this?)

Well the vinyl pieces are the ones that the mastering lab sends you back for you to approve if you like the eq, song placement, etc before the actual pressing is done. So this was a piece of nice vinyl over 200 grams that had been played once before, and no other copies were available. The wrapper that it was in left all sorts of "fuzz" on it. I tried Discwasher fluid, liquid soap, the stuff that comes from Nitty Gritty, and vacuumed and vacuumed as well. Nothing pulled this stuff off.

Then I found this formula on the web, tried it, and it works better than anything else I have tried. I told the formula to Paul Butterfield who forwarded the following, it seems many other people use the same basic formula (alcohol based), VPI included:


The market is overcrowded with dozens of magic fluids that promise to be the ultimate solution (pun intended) to our cleaning problems. Normally these magic bottles don't come cheap. So audiophiles all around the World have
started to make their own cleaning fluids at home at a fraction of the cost of the official ones.

Thanks to the Analogue-Addicts mailing list, particularly to the ubiquitous :-) friend Steven -Enjoy the Music- Rochlin) and to Bruce Kinch, Editor of the renowned newsletter *Primyl Vinyl Exchange* (PO Box 67109 Chestnut Hill MA 02167 Tel/Fax 617-739-3856) here are some secret recipes for you:

The following recipes are for a 4 liter (1 gallon) solution unless otherwise stated.
Steven Rochlin's recipes
Distilled water Alcohol Detergent
1 part 1 part isopropyl none
1 part 1 part isopropyl a drop of Triton X-100
1 quart (~ 1 liter) 1/2 quart denatured 10 drops Photoflo
3 parts 1 part denatured a few drops
3 parts 1 part rubbing a few drops
4 parts 1 part ethanol some (Genie in the Bottle)

Laura Dearborn's recipe
Distilled water Alcohol Detergent
3 parts 1 part isopropyl 1 drop Triton X-114 or Monolan 2000

Don Roderick's recipe
Distilled water Alcohol Detergent

4 parts 1 part isopropyl 7-8 drops dishwashing detergent w/o (91%) additives

Keith Monks's recipe (TAS) Distilled water Alcohol + Detergent

1 part 1 part denatured alcohol (90% ethyl, 9.5% methyl, .5% pyridine)

Jonathan Scull's recipe (Stereophile) Distilled water Alcohol Detergents

3 parts 1 part NON-lanolin 10 drops Photo-Flo + 10 drops isopropyl *Direct* tile cleaner

I know there are more *solutions* but these are just meant to be starting points and/or examples.

After washing the record with one of these fluids it is wise to rinse it with pure distilled water. This way any remaining particles of dirt will be washed away from the grooves. Then you can dry the record using a soft chamois leather or a soft cotton cloth.
Esoteric drying can be done by clamping the record to a drill and turning it at the highest speed possible. Seriously :-

The bottom line is: keep your records as clean as possible, use antistatic inner sleeves, try to remove dirt with brushes or rollers and do some home-washing once they get very dirty.

© Copyright 1997 Lucio Cadeddu - Translation supervisor: Earl Dunbar

This brings back somewhat blurred memories. A few years ago there >was a suggestion spreading around the world of tweakery (here in the UK it was promulgated by Ken Kessler in Hi Fi News, but I gather it started in the US of A), that by treating CDs with ArmorAll one could somehow improve the sound quality. I never read how exactly it was supposed to work, but if there were any advantages I would guess them to be from improving the optical
qualities of the plastic surface. Anyway, a few months later, KK - in alarmed tones - reported that long-term damage had been discovered by people who had tried this earlier on, with some treated CDs failing to play at all after a few years.

Yeah I can agree about the Amour All stuff, it doesn't make it into my car either. Now something I found for CD that does come from the auto world is a plastic polish that is originally made for plastic convertible windows.
I have only used the Eagle One version, and it works good here without leaving any residue like Amour All does. I have been doing it for about 4 years or so with no problems as yet.

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Old 16th March 2002, 11:05 PM   #17
dice45 is offline dice45  Germany
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Munich, Bavaria

I“ve already admired your tonearm. Are there some "real" pics instead of CAD drawings somewhere?

thanks. But sorry, no real-life pixes; i remember i stated the thing is in the design phase. Such a project requires considerable investments and as i am not forced by a schedule at alll and do them on my own risk, i start ordering components the day i finshed my manufacturing drawings. Which i have not even started, testing the airbearing comes 1st.

Sorry, no concurrent/simultaneous engineering here.

AS soon as i have pixes, i will show them on my website. As is with the record cleaning machine.


I'd like to find software someday that would make precision 3D graphics of record grooves cut to whatever audio is input, like a frontal perspective of a simulated cutting lathe. It's probably already available, but if not, it should be. What do you think?

You are dreaming of rapid-prototyping a vinyl record . A record is a terribly complex solid. CAD usually approximates such solids by merging simple shapes like bars, cylinders, wedges, pyramids/tetraeders, spheres, cones. No matter how complex and intelligent the solid-generating algorithms are, when it comes down to simulate or protoype solids, the result always is said approximation. Stipulated it may be precise enough, but the resulting solid will be probably complex enough to make any supercomputer of today run out of memory or crash against some number range limit, if not let's hope that your grandson lives long enough to await the result.

A year ago, i designed an exponetial horn funnel for automotive use and we rapid-prototyped it for try out. It was a simple straight trompet-style funnel and it took the RP-postprocessor more than 2 hours to calculate the tetraeder pattern and another 4 hours to "3D-print" the funnel. Now guess how long a record takes.

As a CAD oldtimer, i still strive to solids as simple *** possible and avoid to model chamfers, threads, torus surfaces, radii that are no essential; if it comes down to draw the final part, they all are in it, but handling assemblies with detail-modeled components freeezzes handling. BTW, it doesn't hurt to "keep it simple, sweetheart"


thanxalot for collecting the recipes, they went into my collection.

However, i would recommend by any means to stay away from inferior detergents/wetting agents like Agepon or Photoflo. not that they damage the record, but one needs too much and concsequently will find unwanted photoflo residue on the record.

From what i heard, Triton is fine.

I still mourn for the discontinued "Genie in a bottle". Never found adequate replacement for that. Anyone in the semiconductor industry suggesting superior wetting agents?
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