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Home | Technical | Hardware | Vinyl Care

Vinyl Care

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Vinyl records are surprisingly long-lived provided that they are properly cared for. Quite small traces of dust and particles caught in the groove can be sizeable in comparison to the stylus tip and will result in loud pops. Stickier contaminants can cause bad tracking and distortion.

Storage

Records should always be stored in their inner sleeves to prevent dust accumulating. If you are a smoker then be particularly careful as the tar in the smoke can accumulate in the grooves. If the original inner sleeve is of the glossy card variety then replace it immediately with a proper, soft-lined one.

Never leave records in a horizontal stack as irregularities will cause warping. Even a small amount of warping will produce wow on reproduction because of the cyclical stretching of the track and the variances in stylus tip/groove geometry. Heat sources and condensation or damp should also be avoided when selecting a storage location. Leave an LP in the sun for too long and it will become puddle-shaped. Ideally records should be stored in a cool cupboard, on edge with a slight lateral force stopping any tendency to lean. Slotted or wire racks are not recommended.

Cleaning

Cleaning records is a subject on which opinions differ. Some people hold the view that records should never be cleaned - just don't get them dirty in the first place. Cleaning procedures that should definitely be avoided are:

  • Blowing on records.
  • Using your fingers to remove dirt etc.
  • Using any kind of detergent on them.
  • Using a cloth to polish them.
  • Ideally avoid cleaning at all, but if you must use a purpose designed carbon fibre brush to remove dust or have them cleaned professionally.

     


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