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In the Forum: Analog Playback
In the Thread: Sensible record cleaning: vinyl piranhas and record Vaseline
Post Subject: Record is not RecordPosted by Stitch on: 11/13/2009

I think, today we have a new problem with Vinyl. The quality Control in or after the cooling process. Most of the reissues today (or probably regular records too) are sensitive to clicks, pops and other noises. Or they run silent at the beginning and after some turns they start to get noisier.

Next is, the vinyl is super sensitive to scratches, even when you are careful, they can look very bad after regular use (they will never be interesting for collectors in future, except sealed)

But let's go back to the cleaning process. The "old" records (<1980, before CD Era) are very solid, silent (in general) and totally free from groove noise. What they - can - have, when we buy them 2. hand, they have some dust, dirt, coke, cigarette etc. stuff in the grooves (when they are in bad condition).

To clean them is normally no big deal, we can use various fluids (selfmade or commercial ones), we can put the fluid onto the record, manual or semi- automatic or full automatic, no big deal either and the only difference is, how to get it out. There are different Designs from RCM units (point nozzle, vacuum a la VPI, or Ultrasonic, Sunshine, towel or whatever).... here are really big differences and these are more important than any - overpriced - fluids with endless mark-ups.

Anyway, all work fine with those old records.

Now we have a new Situation, we have brandnew records which are noisy right from the first contact. Now we use all our fluids, start the cleaning process and all RCM owners are happy, that they can reduce the noises.


Unfortunately not for 100%, we still have those noises, not so much than before, but they are still there. And when you stop the time from some tracks you will find out, the noise is always in the same time area. That means, what we did get out was some vinyl pollution which was inside when the record came out off the press, some of it is removable, but some not.

That is the main difference, even a 90gr disc from Van Morrison, far away from being an audiophile pressing, is completely silent after 1 cleaning and I can play it 50 times and it is still silent in the grooves.
We shouldn't start a discussion about how we clean, how often etc. Some love it, I have no problem with it. What interests me much more, why should I start this - frustrating - work with brand new records?

I paid premium prices and they deliver a medium which is inferior in every aspect (lousy remaster, dull high frequencies, weak vinyl, dirt in grooves etc...)

I have no problems with RCM, I use a Keith Monks and I know pretty well the differences from vinyl condition, but what we have today is a joke. Only Audiophiles can be so stupid to pay $30++ for that stuff, a normal human stops that after a few and goes for a CD.

I have a lot of Reissues, at the beginning (1995+) they were quite ok from the material, you had some differences in the know how of remastering, but the vinyl was fine. It went worse after 2002, when some discovered, they can make a lot of money with reissues and more and more offered them...

But the Manufacturers did not grow, the know-how is lost (in general) AND all has to be cheap...

I have no problem with record cleaning, that's the reason why I bought a Monks years ago, because I know, the record was ok when it was produced and the owner before me wasn't a collector.
Now I can read endless reports how and what was made, I was interested in these enzymes too, but after I read how expensive they are, that they only work a few hours and then they die, I asked my self: "Why should I start a Science with lots of money and worthy time to improve inferior made records I bought NEW for a top price?"

I closed that chapter.

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