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Cleaning the black stuff

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by CDphobe, Jul 29, 2004.

  1. CDphobe

    CDphobe
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    Apologies if this is OT, but no doubt someone will tell me where to put it if I have the wrong area!

    Can anyone help me to find a record (vinyl) cleaning service in my local area (Manchester/Liverpool/Preston)? I've recently acquired some filthy (in the groove) albums that aren't responding to simply being played. Any other suggestions for get them playable again readily accepted or, if the worst comes to it, where I can buy a cheap Moth or equivalent.

    Many thanks

    Alan
     
  2. Pavel

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    Have you tried asking around any of the specialist dealers in the area? Audio Counsel, Chris Brooks or maybe Brady's spring to mind. They may well know where you can get this done if they don't have a cleaning machine of their own.

    They're the kind of guys who probably still use those peculiar 'old style CDs' (like you and I) ;)

    Nice system, by the way. Absolutely love my Arcs...

    Paul
     
  3. CDphobe

    CDphobe
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    Cheers Paul,

    I was going to give Doug a try at the weekend actually, but I know he always used to steer well clear of them. Other shops are a good suggestion, I'll add them to my "to do" list :)

    And yes, aren't Arcs the most wonderful of weird inventions? I have a MkI pair and they were so good that my parents went out and bought a brand new pair themselves when they first heard them - bit of an upgrade from the AR18BXs they'd been running until then! What do you power yours with by the way? I've often heard it said that they are fussy about amps, but I've run them off a range of Linn kit and never had a problem (Klout, LK140 and LK280 anyway).
     
  4. Pavel

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    Naim 82/Hi-Cap/250 in my case. I had that before the Arcs, though. They were preceded by Saras, which really were awkward so-and-so's to drive. The 250 will get most speakers under control, though. I don't know the more recent Linn amps so well, but I would have expected that they'd be more than up to the job.

    Good luck in your quest for the cleaning machine. An old buddy of mine used to have one (I can't remember the manufacturer, but Moth doesn't sound familiar) I'm not sure if he still has it, though (he's in Leics). If you get really stuck send me a personal message and I'll ask him if he knows anyone else that has one.

    Paul
     
  5. Pavel

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    I remembered who made the LP cleaning machine; Keith Monks.
     
  6. karkus30

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    If you do a search for record cleaning machines, you might come across a cheaper version (I cant remember the name, I will try and dig it out) for about £40.00. If you have a bit more to spend, go to www.originlive.com, they sell the Moth machine in a full assembled or DIY kit (cheaper, but you need to know which end you hold a saw). They have lots of other goodies for the vinyl fetishist. Enjoy :D
     
  7. nikyzf

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    The Linn power amps have always had to be able to drive Isobariks and Saras, so they will drive most things, just like the Naims. I've had LK2.75, LK280, and now Klout, and they've all been well up to the job (passive Briks, 1988 vintage).

    For small numbers of LPs, the Milty Permoclean works quite well. Basically it's just a kit with an isopropyl aerosol and separate absorbent plush-pad thingy.
    I'll find a link if you're interested.
    :)
     
  8. nikyzf

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  9. LV426

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    I have had some success by manually cleaning them with a mixture of about

    50% isopropyl alcohol
    50% distilled water
    and a dash of washing up liquid.

    Soak the surface using a broad, soft, artist's paintbrush (easiest done if the record is spinning on the turntable) and then dry it off, before it dries for itself, with a soft lint-free cloth.

    For stubborn examples, you can actually play the record whilst it's wet before wiping it dry.

    Warning: Some early US records (and most 78s) are made of acetate, not vinyl. This mixture will dissolve the surface.
     
  10. nikyzf

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    Not sure about the washing-up (dish-washing for non-Brits) liquid. IIRC most brands contain salt (which is why you shouldn't use it for your car or bike either).
     
  11. ukaudiophile

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    Hi,

    You have a common problem, how to clean vinyl without dropping £200 or more on a machine? For me the solution was a Knosti Disco Antistat. It's based on an old 70's design but has been brought up to date.

    The machine has a bath with a clamp which screws over the label. You screw the clamp over the label, lower the vinyl into the bath, then rotate forwards and backwards until the record has run through the horizontally mounted brushes in the fluid bath. At this point you take the record out, remove the clamp and put it on a drying rack. 5 minutes later you're ready to go.

    These machines cost around £45 and you can buy them from Choicebits http://www.choicebits.co.uk . Another good buy with this machine is a chemical cleaner called 'Le Art Du Son' which is a chemically engineered cleaner which has no alcohol, is none toxic and bio degradeable. It is a concentrate which you mix with purified water (one bottle makes a gallon of cleaner), and this is a much better cleaner than even the stuff supplied with the Knosti. It's about £20 so you can buy the two together for £65. It's a great combo and will clean hundreds of records. It's also available from Choicebits and audiophilecandy.com.

    I hope this helps.

    Best wishes,

    Dave
     
  12. LV426

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    Agreed - they do typically contain salt. But....

    a) I doubt that salt has much propensity to damage vinyl, unless you know otherwise; it certainly hasn't caused any detectable damage as I have used it

    b) I'd only add a miniscule squirt to 100ml of mixture anyway

    c) It helps the mixture spread over the record surface, rather than forming droplets (which is why it's there) and presumably will help emulsify anything that is oil or fat based

    and together, this is much cheaper than any proprietary fluid. 500ml isopropyl alcohol - GBP3 or thereabouts. 500ml distilled water GBP0.50 or thereabouts - plus paintbrush and cloth (oh, and a jam jar to mix it in).
     
  13. Pavel

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    Just a thought re. DIY cleaning. The Keith Monks machine (not sure about the others) actually vacuums the liquid and residue off the surface of the disk. AKAIK this is because there's not a great deal of point in dissolving the crud that's in the grooves and then leaving some of it behind in the remaining liquid.

    Therefore, I'd assume (admittedly a dangerous thing to do :D ) that making sure the cleaned disk is dried properly is an important part of the whole process.
     
  14. karkus30

    karkus30
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    Thats the one I was thinking of. How good is this machine. I have considered buying one, but a lot of people have told me that record cleaning machines are pretty ineffective and a better job is done by just playing the record. It obvously makes the vinyl look cleaner, but, does it sound any better?
     
  15. LV426

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    Absolutlely it is. As well as lifting fingerprints, insect faeces and kiddy chocolately smears (etc) into suspension, it also lifts the residue of the release compounds used in the pressing process. Whilst this (especially removal of the release compound) DOES make the record sound better, if it's left to dry, then all these products get spread as a nice even coating in the grooves. And the record sounds much, much, much worse than ever. It is reversible, though. By repeating the cleaning process, and this time, drying it before it dries itself, the problem goes away.
     
  16. Pavel

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    Nigel

    Thanks for the tips; nothing beats real experience in finding out how to do these jobs properly.

    Paul
     
  17. CDphobe

    CDphobe
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    Thanks to one and all for the suggestions and help - I knew the forum wouldn't fail me :) Looks like a vacuum process is in order, and hang the cost. I guess that it'll give me opportunities across the rest of my collection...!
     

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