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Crackling or static on new vinyl?

Discussion in 'Hi Fi Systems & Separates' started by crazyshady, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. crazyshady

    crazyshady Member

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    Any sure way to tell the difference?

    I have been buying some new vinyl records lately and have noticed crackling/static is quite loud. Now after a few plays it is reduced greatly but it still creeps in through certain parts. Most are on black vinyl and have never been played before since i buy them from shops. Is this normal? They are 7" singles so are just stored in the sleeve with no protection. I use my antistatic brush to clean them before hand since there is usually little bits of paper/cardboard on the record. I should also say that i've got singles that are on coloured vinyl and play flawlessly. Heck i've got records that i bought second hand and were well played from 40 years ago and there is not a single crackle or his from them. Could it just be static i am hearing?

    I listen to all kinds of music so maybe it could be some companies are just not using the best people to press the music? Don't shoot me down for it but did buy some new Kate Nash singles and they are jukebox style 7" singles and the vinyl is heavier than most other 7" singles but the crackling starts at the beginning and then creeps in every now and then. I'm thinking it might just be static because it is happening all too much lately. Is there any way to reduce this? Room temperature? Any kind of device that will actually reduce it or get rid of it? I don't abuse my records or equipment so don't think it is my equipment or anything.
  2. coruja

    coruja Member

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    Theer may be various reasons why some LPs have more static than others, it could be how they are stored, the quality of the material used and even the black dye used. The Wiki article has good information on this: Gramophone record - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - scroll down to 'Vinyl quality' heading.

    The most economical way I found to keep disks static free is to:
    (1) clean them with something like the Knosti anti-static record cleaning machine, which is about £50 for the manual machine + fluid: Knosti Knosti Disco Antistat Record Cleaning Machine - KNOSTI

    There is a guy who does great clips on HiFi stuff and he has one ong th Knosti: YouTube - Cleaning records with Disco Antistat

    There is a similar yellow coloured machine called Spin_Clean: Spin-Clean-Record Washer System-Record Cleaning Machine | Acoustic Sounds, however I'm not sure if it's sold in the UK and so the postage might make the costs excessive.

    They both work the same way.

    (2) store the records in some anti-static sleeves - either the Nagoaka 102 or the Mobile Fidelity sleeves. (My blog post: http://www.avforums.com/forums/blogs/coruja-448129/2559-anti-static-inner-sleeves-lps.html )

    Note I said the most economical - record cleaning machines can cost hundreds - £50 for a Knosti & about £20 for 50 sleeves is the cheapest I found. The fluid used in the Knosti absolutely kills the static, so far on the ones I have cleaned and stored as described the static (and majority of the dust) stayed off for a three months or so and counting!

    More info on record cleaning & storage: Vinyl Heaven 3 - Record Care, Brushes, Stylus Cleaning, Record Cleaning Machines
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  3. Phlog

    Phlog Member

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    Humidity reduces static.

    But it's actually unusual to get continual discharges whilst playing an LP. Usually there's a flash and crack when you pick it up from the turntable.

    In the past some cleaning devices actually induced static - for example, dry cleaning cloths.

    The crackles you are hearing sound to me far more like dust hitting the stylus (you are keeping that clean, too, aren't you?). Since it reduces after playing a few times it does seem more like dust in the grooves.
  4. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin Active Member

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    I agree with Phlog: the description sounds more like dust, dirt and grime, for which the solution is clean, clean and clean.

    Also if anybody in the house smokes, kick the habit. It destroys LPs almost as quickly as using them as frisbees.
  5. coruja

    coruja Member

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    Mark.Yudikin the interesting thing here is the OP gets what could be static/dirt noise from mint black vinyl and he doesn't get it from coloured much older vinyl.

    If he cleans it with the Knosti, it will get rid of any dirt on the old records & static from the new ones!
  6. crazyshady

    crazyshady Member

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    I do keep the stylus clean. There is one smoker in the house but their never in the room the records and turntable are in. The noise is not as bad now and is only really at the beginning before the music starts and just every now and then throughout each side. I just thought because they were brand new that they would play fine and i've never heard this from a new record before. I did get it a few times before but it went away with the second play.

    I also notice sometimes when i finish playing a record and i use the arm to lift the tonearm up and move it across so that i can turn the record over that there is a crackling sound. Even though the stylus isn't near the record there is still a quick crackling sound, is that static coming from the record? I also notice that even though i hold the record properly the hairs on my forearm stand up a little.
  7. coruja

    coruja Member

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    Yes this is mad amounts of static - if you can't budget for the Knosti cleaner for now, at least get hold of some anti-static inner sleeves. These really do work.

    Also, can I ask what platter mat you're using? I can't remember whether you have a felt one or whether had bought a cork one - I think this also has an affect.
  8. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin Active Member

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    This does imply that you have residual static. The simplest solution is to purchase an antistatic gun, such as the zerostat that I'm using. Shoot the LP with it before lowering the needle to kill all static.

    Antistatic sleeves will assist with storage but will not solve the problem if the static is being introduced subsequently.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  9. coruja

    coruja Member

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    The thing is Mark I thought about that gadget too (I've had my eye on one of those for months!), but it's about £50; The Knosti cleaner (£50) and 50 anti-static inner sleeves (£20) would be around £70.

    I think, purely keeping things economical, the cleaner & sleeves might give more value?
  10. crazyshady

    crazyshady Member

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    I am using the felt mat currently. The gun is a lot of money just for that i think. I might get hold of some inner sleeves. Where is the cheapest place to buy them? Even if i get some 7" ones just now for my new singles and later on i can get some 12" ones for my albums.
  11. coruja

    coruja Member

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    I have never seen anti-static sleeves for 7", strange eh?

    The cheapest I found for the Nagaoka is here:Nagaoka Anti-Static Record Sleeves (Qty 50) - so about £15 + £3 postage.
    The Nagaoka sleeves slip inside you current paper inner sleeves - they are very thin and flimsy so you do need that support.

    The Mobile Fidelity ones can be used to replace your current paper inner sleeves - these are all -in-one! You can buy them as 25 (£15) or 50 (£25) & free postage here:
    Mobile Fidelity MFSL Rice Paper LP Inner Sleeves 25 Pack at Audioaffair
    Mobile Fidelity MFSL Rice Paper LP Inner Sleeves 50 Pack at Audioaffair

    There is one other make, Goldring but I have not tried these so I can't comment, £16 for 25
    Goldring Exstatic - 25 Anti Static LP Inner Sleeves - Available from Audio Affair at Audioaffair - I think these are similar to the Mobile Fidelity ones in that they are a complete replacement.

    I'd also suggest getting the Pro-ject Cork-it turntable mat for £12 as that helps to reduce the dust and static build up - blog post: http://www.avforums.com/forums/blogs/coruja-448129/2555-pro-ject-cork-turntable-mat.html

    Welcome to the world of vinyl, where you spend as much time cleaning the music as you do playing it! :)
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  12. crazyshady

    crazyshady Member

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    We could create our own business. We could buy a machine and clean people's records then deliver them back with new inner sleeves and keep the jacket in a brand new PVC sleeve. We could do little promotions and give little freebies away. We could travel the country and offer this service in the busiest independent record stores. We work by day, we stay in a Travelodge by night attracting the finest women, eating the finest dinners as we live the life of entrepreneurial businessmen.

    I will invest in the pact of 25 for now and then every so often buy another 25 when i can afford it. Shame there is nothing for 7" records.
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  13. coruja

    coruja Member

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    Why didn't you come to me with this grand plan 5 years ago, before I was married?

    Old men dream dreams, crazyshady, young men have visions! I suggest you go ahead with this, I'll just sit here, listen to my Blue Notes and dream.
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  14. crazyshady

    crazyshady Member

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    I shall progress with this business venture!
  15. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin Active Member

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    Trouble is you need a cleaning solution, irrespective of your static problem, as even if you don't care about the pops and clicks dust causes, you need to eliminate it before the needle presses the dust into the vinyl. This applies even more to finger- and air-borne grime and grease and other pollutants. You also need proper storage sleeves - sleeves that don't lose bits of paper, or are not pH-netural, or provoke mould, thereby causing other problems, irrespective of your static problem. And if you have a static problem, you need to solve that too, but neither the cleaner nor the sleeves will do actually do much more than maybe provide a minor alleviation. Ditto for mats, which are good for placing the LP during wet cleaning and hence useful, but also expensive. So it's not a case of alternatives, as you seem to think, rather it's cumulative. I have the whole lot (mat, dry cleaning, wet cleaning, antistatic).

    If you're beginning to realize that LPs are an expensive hobby, welcome to reality. The only comfort is that the amortization ratio improves the more LP's you have, so when your collection grows from 50 to 1500, the LP care costs and replay equipment investment will look less imposing.

    ---

    LP cleaning services used to be a major business in the heyday of LP, but the bottom dropped out of the market in the '80s as LPs gave way to CDs as the main carrier.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010
  16. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin Active Member

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    Of course there is - tons of stuff. See here for a comprehensive US source or here for a UK source.
  17. coruja

    coruja Member

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    Yes, I agree with everything you say Mark, that Knosti does come with some decent cleaning fluid, about a litre or so. You can make it go futher by using some coffee filters to catch some of the gunk when you pour the fluid back to re-use.

    As for the 7" stuff, I was talking about anti-static sleeves, I haven't found any for sale in the UK, thanks for posting those links.

    Something to look out for: I have tried to order from one US site (not sure if this was the same one) and they didn't quote for postage until several days later after submitting the order and when they did it was astronomical & I had to cancel it. Postage from US seems to be very high generally.
  18. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin Active Member

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    Yes even from Amazon, where I sometimes purchase hard-to-obtain CDs.

    Here's a UK link for 7" anti-static sleeves (and others).
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  19. Peter Galbavy

    Peter Galbavy Guest

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    I got the Knosti Antistat from amazon for about £36 shipped fro ma marketplace seller called Conrad ... not used it yet though :)

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