Record Inner Sleeve Storage - paper, rice paper, Poly??

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by BlueWizard, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    I'm thinking of buying a bunch of inner sleeves for my record albums. Most of the inned sleeves on mine are in bad shape for one reason or another.

    Does anyone have any opinions on the merits and demerits of the various types of inner sleeves.

    Here is a link to a cross section of the various types -

    LP Record Sleeves Inner

    The choices are standard weight acid free paper, heavy weight acid free paper, Standard weight outer paper with inner acid free rice paper, Poly sleeves, or poly lined paper sleeves.

    The Poly appeals to me, but others have pointed out that the poly seals in moisture, and can cause mold to form. Though fairly, how wet is a record ever going to be when you put it in the sleeve. The Poly also has potential for static unless it has be treated to guard against it.

    Paper would tend to absorb moisture and reduce static, but some say even very smooth high quality paper is more abrasive.

    In terms of general aesthetics, the poly lined paper appeals to me. But I thought I would check and see if there was a consensus on the matter.

    Steve/Bluewizard
     
  2. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    I personally loathe (pure) paper sleeves - usually cursing when an LP is delivered that way - but that's my opinion (except if not acid free, where plain paper is just plain reckless). I also prefer curved bottoms with pure polyethylene sleeves as they make for simpler insertion.

    Things to avoid: abrasiveness, acidity, electrostatic build-up. And of course, you need proper vertical storage (I have bespoke wooden cabinets). I don't buy into the moisture argument, as that's indicative of a much more serious storage issue.

    My personal preference is antistatic polyethylene lined paper sleeves, although these are the most expensive. Failing that antistatic polyethylene sleeves with a curved bottom is my second preference.
     
  3. emthree

    emthree
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  4. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    I'm gravitating toward poly lined paper sleeves, but agree they are the most expensive.

    Just poly alone seems to flimsy and hard to handle. The paper adds a stiffness and ease of handling.

    But I wondered about rice paper lined; regular paper on the outside, but lined with softer rice paper. Though I'm not 100% sure it is real rice paper, or if it is just rice-paper-like.

    I've got over 300 albums, so I think maybe Paper/Poly for my favorites, quality acid free paper for the ones I listen to less, and keep the existing sleeves for the albums I rarely listen to. That should keep the cost down to something managable.

    I was just curious what others felt about the subject.

    Thanks.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  5. cwilson

    cwilson
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  6. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    50 paper + polyethylene sleeves at USD22.49 comes to USD134.94. The rice paper lined sleeves are USD18.99 for 50, or USD113.94. With a total difference for your entire collection at a mere USD21 (or approx 1 LP), surely this is a trivial decision?

    What are you using for storage?
     
  7. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Yeah, you're probably right. $21 one way or the other isn't going to make that much difference.

    But I think maybe I'll start with 100 poly/paper, that should cover the albums I listen to all the time.

    Then I was considering another 50 in paper, for albums that are important, but I don't listen to that often. And the rest can stay the way they are.

    But as you rightly point out, the difference in price isn't that great. So, maybe a couple hundred poly/paper and let it go at that.

    Now I need to consider whether I'm going to put outer poly jacket sleeves on them. Some of my album covers are a little weathered and worn. But, the shrink wrap sleeve that typically come on vinyl records is such a hassle. I'm not sure I want to add new outer sleeves to them.

    Still thanks for the feedback from all. I just wanted to get the perspective of some other people; whether it was worth getting paper/poly which initially appealed to my until I read someone's comment about locking in moisture and humidity.

    Still, I think that is the way I'll go in the end.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  8. rwtomkins

    rwtomkins
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    I would urge you to experiment before you order large quantities. The problem is, if you buy a square inner sleeve, what are you going to do with the original inner? Sometimes these are quite attractive and you would be loathe to throw them away - plus if you are ever going to sell the LP, buyers much prefer the original inners. For this reason, like Mark.Yudkin, I prefer curved bottoms :) because sleeves with these, often known as Nagaoka inner sleeves and almost always anti-static, fit inside the existing inner.

    By the way I use that Sleeve City site you linked to and I'm a big fan of their products. (For outers, I use their Ultimate Record Sleeve Outer 2.5.) But their postage charges to the UK are horrific so it's only really economical for larger orders.
     
  9. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    I still feel that you need to address or at least consider the issue of long-term storage - and that's not just inner (or outer) sleeves. I started collecting LPs in 1975 and built up a collection of 1500, in 3 bespoke wooden cabinets (each ~1.1m high and ~90cm wide) in our lounge.

    Outer sleeves are only really of importance when the glue that holds the original sleeve comes loose - and frankly, I just glue it up. With proper storage and careful handling, record sleeves don't otherwise need much attention.
     
  10. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    I have three cabinets that lend themselves very well to Record Album storage -

    One cabinet, essentially a veneered wood box, 16" x 16" x 32" that is my main storage and it is on top. Underneath are two similar 'boxes' that are 16" x 16" x 16". My albums are store vertically, and are moderately tightly pack. Tight enough that the albums support each other, but not so tight that they can't be pull out or pushed in easily.

    Most of the wear on my album covers is right at the top front corner, because that is the point where I press my finger when I want to pull the album out.

    I'm starting to warm to the idea of the curved bottom poly bags and the original inner sleeve. The problem with most of my inner sleeves aside from being old and discolored, is that the bottoms are torn from people dropping the record into the sleeve.

    In terms of quality of storage, many of my albums were purchased in the 70's and 80's and still play just fine. I've always made a point of keeping my records clean, and in the sleeve/jackets.

    Only in the very very beginning did I use a record player that 'stacked' records, and most of those records are long gone. Since then, it has always been reasonably good single play turntables. I've had my current Pioneer PL-A35 for many years, and it has served me well, and still continues to function perfectly. Though belts are getting harder to come by.

    Thanks for the comments.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  11. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    OK, your cabinet is deeper than the LPs, making removal awkward. A better design is one where the unit is about 1cm less than the LP - this way you can simply remove the LP using two hands and light pressure on the top and bottom. Incidentally, the same applies to CD shelving.

    The shelves are a little taller than necessary: you can probably only manage 5 shelves before hitting the ceiling, whereas I have 6 in 2.2m. 34cm internal height is sufficient even for larger boxes in a separate slipcase. Of course, this is only really important when aiming for dense packing - so you probably have a couple of years before this becomes a real issue.

    Your biggest problem is:
    and this needs an organization solution, just like never ever even thinking about putting your fingers on to the playing surface (shudder, horror, scream).
     

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