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Old 13th September 2006, 03:01 PM   #1
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Default Cleaning really trashed records

Lately I have been playing around with trying to get some really wrecked records playable, these hark from my early teens when the turntable I used was a plastic job that sounded worse than a gramophone and wrecked good records in a single play, not that I knew any better at the time.

So here is one or two that is bound to get a few howls judging by the reverence many hold for record cleaning methods.

First up I clean all my records in a sink with regular dish washing liquid, a soft ttothbrush and a stiff bristled paint brush and let them air dry, that probably already upsets a few purists so maybe they should read no further, but I reckon my LPs sound great so I'm not too worried.

Try this one AJAX spray and wipe liquid baking soda, comes in a spray pack. Spray it on, scrub with a tooth brush and stiff paintbrush at an angle to the grooves then rinse in soapy water and let air dry. It works amazingly well, much quieter as far as surface noise goes and when you play the record through aferwards the stylus hardly picks up any dust at all, which means it must be pretty clean. And there is no degradation in the sound at all.

Not rough enough OK heres one to make the purists wince, got a really stuffed record...nothing to lose? Prepsol or similar. This is a wax remover for cars that are to be resprayed, yep very heavy duty, stinks too, but it sure does release the crud in conbination with a soft toothbrush, then follow up with washing in warm water and detergent. Finally finsh off with armour-all and play it a few times. Clean the stylus after the first play if it needs it. You can then transfer to CD via the computer.

I promise it doesn't kill the record, not straight away anyway and probably not in the long term either.

I think lots of folk get real worried about scrubbing their LPs but I have found that without scrubbing your not really getting the LP clean, thinking about it logically if you can drag a hard diamond through a vinyl groove at 33 1/3 then a soft brush or even not so soft brush at
slow speed shouldn't be too much of a problem.

All these methods, items are dirt cheap but if you want to throw money at me I'm happy to re-bottle them and call them something flash and send them to you.

Ok, Ive put my hard hat but don't throw things that are too heavy or sharp at me now.

Hope it helps someone.
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Old 13th September 2006, 03:22 PM   #2
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Default maybe something else here ...

" ... Try this one AJAX spray and wipe liquid baking soda, comes in a spray pack. ..."

This might be a little caustic and both AJAX (and similar) and baking soda have very tiny particles (a colloidal suspension of particles in solution rather than a chemical) and these tiny particles can be somewhat abrasive to the higher frequencies.

Another suggestion here might be advised.

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Old 13th September 2006, 03:53 PM   #3
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Well, if this works for you, fine.

I use the cheapest vacum machine around and the mixture is simply distilled water and some Tergitol 15-S-3 and 15-S-9 (Google for the word).
Works very well.

/Hugo
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Old 13th September 2006, 04:16 PM   #4
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Default possibly ...

... a better choice than AJAX + baking soda ... ( http://www.dow.com/surfactants/products/nonylph.htm )

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Old 13th September 2006, 04:59 PM   #5
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This is what the library of congress uses.
If you wonder how I got the Tergitol, I asked Dow Chemicals where to buy and I got a free sample instead.

/Hugo
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Old 13th September 2006, 05:52 PM   #6
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Default Free?

...
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Old 13th September 2006, 05:56 PM   #7
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Indeed, but as a one time offer.

/Hugo
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Old 13th September 2006, 10:34 PM   #8
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Hi Eddy

Eddy wrote:
This might be a little caustic and both AJAX (and similar) and baking soda have very tiny particles (a colloidal suspension of particles in solution rather than a chemical) and these tiny particles can be somewhat abrasive to the higher frequencies.

Another suggestion here might be advised.


Not 100% sure about this, there seems to be absolutely no problems at all, I did try this on a record that was in good condition, but one I hated, and the recording runs utterly silent and the highs a beautiful. The stylus picks up virtually nothing after playing the whole side so it must be pretty clean

The spray contains citrus and baking soda, detergent aid, surfectants, preservative, opacifier and no phosphorus. On glass, chrome etc it is totally streak free. In fact it says there is no need to rinse on the pack, so I don't think it is leaving any solids behind.

I do rinse it however.

It would be interesting for someone else to try it on a few crook discs and see what they think.

I.m sure there are lots of other good options.

Thanks Eddy
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Old 14th September 2006, 01:29 AM   #9
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Default bad records = OK, good = not

It is OK to experiment on vinyl records you don't much care about ...

" ... Not 100% sure about this, there seems to be absolutely no problems at all, I did try this on a record that was in good condition, but one I hated, and the recording runs utterly silent and the highs a beautiful. The stylus picks up virtually nothing after playing the whole side so it must be pretty clean ..."

Your ears can easily be decieved .. and your mind may hear only what your preconceived notions say should be there ... or not there ... (there are plenty of discussions about this elsewhere).

" ... The spray contains citrus and baking soda, detergent aid, surfectants, preservative, opacifier and no phosphorus. On glass, chrome etc it is totally streak free ..."

Fine and dandy as a glass cleaner ... AND polisher ... great ... ... Glass polish / cleaner does often have very fine particles of grit to smooth out those tiny, tiny ridges and bumps in the glass ... which is exactly the point = high frequency analog audio information is stored in tiny, tiny bumps and ridges in the grooves of every vinyl record ... thus using a even a very, very fine grit to clean vinyl records could easily "smooth out" a bunck of that high frequency analog information on your records. ... ruining the high end = like that high freq. guitar solo everyone raves about ... you may have to use this cleaner several times in order to hear the differences ... but once is enough to totally ruin that really rare copy of Muddy Waters & Buddy Guy (Chess Records) ...

citrus = quite acidic, but probably OK in small, dilute doses
baking soda = highly gritty
detergent aid = may be OK, but wihout knowing for sure, care should be taken = an "aid to detergent" could be a scrubbing grit ...
surfectants = probably also gritty if it is one of the active glass polishes
preservative = what kind? salt? acid? formaldahyde? DDT?
opacifier = similar to "opaic" pacifier = as in pacifying opacity ?? ... could also be another gritty glass polish.

oops ....
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Old 14th September 2006, 10:07 AM   #10
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Hi,

The analogy between the diamond stylus and scrubbing with a brush is pretty funny. You can't really compare them at all.

What is the usual tracking weight of a stylus.... no more than a couple of grams right? Now how many hundreds of grams, or perhaps kilos of force are you exerting on the record when you scrub it???

Out of interest, what are you playing these records on?

Cheers,

Mark
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