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Vinyl Cleaning Advice

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by daveb975, Feb 6, 2005.

  1. daveb975

    daveb975
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    I am looking for a way to clean my vinyl collection.

    Quite a number of my vinyls, especially the second hand ones, are exhibiting quite a lot if pops and crackles.

    So far, I have only used a carbon fibre brush, but have just ordered a Stanton VC-1 kit which should hopefully yield a bit better result.

    Moving on from there, I have the option of looking at a Knosti kit for about £40, or a 'proper' cleaning kit for about £300 upwards!

    What experiences have people here had with these solutions, or is there anything better?
     
  2. overkill

    overkill
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    You can't beat a decent vacuum record cleaner as they remove everything with no residue. The sound of the LP after a session with even the (relatively) cheap Moth machine is amazing.

    However, in the real world, the Knosti does a great job. I have one, and it's returned several unplayable LP's from the dead. It sometimes requires a few goes at it, but the results are well worth the effort.

    I've never found anything else under the £300 mark that does the job like the Knosti. No gimmicks, no fuss, just clean it, dry it on the supplied rack, done.
     
  3. Paul Williams

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    I'd support the view that nothing will better a vacuum cleaning machine. As a recent purchaser of a VPI, it represents the best value for money that I've spent recently to improve my pleasure in listening to vinyl - one demo was enough for me to hand over the cash. :thumbsup: I only wish they were cheaper, as I feel all the machines are vastly overpriced. :thumbsdow

    Paul
     
  4. MiniMel

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    Please do not do what a record shop owner I used to know did. He would clean they records with lighter fuel! Got unplayables to play but left a nasty film on the surface which in time would clog the needle and pick-up.
     
  5. overkill

    overkill
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    Agreed Paul. But as there's not exactly a huge market and with very little competition they can charge whatever they like! As each machine is pretty robust they aren't going to get many follow on sales either! :) The VPI is a top quality machine, and it's on my "when I win the lottery" list.........
     
  6. MiniMel

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    I'm with you on that Overkill! It's a specialist field.

    Actually I have found that by gently breathing on the records and using either a good quality piece of velvet - not one that will fall apart or my Hunt E.D.A Mark 6 vinyl brush - you can shift most things. Also the better the stylus the better it rides scratches and wearing and often removes offending dirt.
     
  7. daveb975

    daveb975
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    Thanks for all of the replies.

    What are you opinions on this machine from KAB:

    http://www.kabusa.com/ev1.htm

    It is a vacuum based model, but you attach it to your own vacuum, rather than it having its own one built in. With the lighter weight, and current favourable exchange rate, this should cost well under £150 including import duty etc.
     
  8. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    With a well-soiled LP i do the following:

    1) Dust the LP with the Carbon fibre brush (Decca 2+2)
    2) Use record cleaning spray & wipe clean
    2.5) DUST THE PLATTER!
    3) Dust LP with fibre brush again
    4) Dry-run the LP before listening (the azimut is the best thing for clearing muck from the grooves IMO)

    Also, don't forget to dust INSIDE the record sleeve too! No point cleaning it if you're going to put it back in a dusty sleeve!

    DT

    Oh, the joys of vinyl :rolleyes:
     
  9. overkill

    overkill
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    Good point!

    However, with the Knosti, and of course the vacuum RC's, static is no longer a problem so cleaning the TT mat isn't critical (but still needs doing occasionaly), neither is dust in the sleeve. It's the combination of static & dust that causes sleeve scratches.

    Once you have a decent cleaner it really takes the pain out of old LP's, and new ones come to that! New LP's attract dust like no-ones business, so a quick clean as soon as you get it stops static and dust build up. Easy! :D

    Cleaning LP's also encourages you to play them more often. There's nothing like just being able to stick them on and not faff about with brushes!
     
  10. Paul Williams

    Paul Williams
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    daveb975

    The issue I've heard of with these are the use of too powerful a vacuum cleaner causing problems, so don't use your Dyson! :D

    The only downside to the VPI machine, that I can think of is the cost of the replacement vacuum tubes at nearly £30 a go, when the felt contact pads wear. With the Moth RCM you peel off the old and stick a new set on yourself at £5 for 2 sets (I think). I've not seen the Moth in the flesh, but in all the pictures it looks quite cheaply finished (not that the VPI is great you understand, the Lorricraft is top, but its £1200 so it should be) also I like the idea of having a platter to clean on.

    Paul
     
  11. karkus30

    karkus30
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    Your a sick man dt :laugh: you need help dude. I guess I could feel confident in eating my dinner off your floor though :smashin:
     
  12. karkus30

    karkus30
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    :laugh: I do that. God this thread is a laugh. First I breath on the record and then I breath on the brush, then I wet my finger and earth it on my cd player whilst using the brush :laugh: :laugh: :rotfl: oh sorry my sides are splitting just writing this, then I sometimes touch the record lightly with the palm of my hand (no marks left I assure you) while still keeping my other wetted finger on the CD player :D Im insane.

    Can I describe how I make love to my wife instead, theres far less detail required and its less embarassing . :thumbsup:
     
  13. overkill

    overkill
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    Sir, thou dost mock the noble art of record cleaning! :mad: Begone lest I smite thee with my orbitrac!











    :laugh:
     
  14. Londondecca

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    Cleaning can do wonders for the records but in my experience, a better cartridge/arm/TT etc will reduce the clicks and pops
     
  15. digisocialist

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    I'm using Permaclean spray follwed by hand turned revolutions on the deck with a Goldring Super Exstatic Carbon Fibre & Velvet Disc Cleaning Pad. I was told the method to be used was to spray and brush. I'm not convinced though that manual turns of the deck whilst brushing is cleaning the records properly. Should I be using a cloth of some kind to wipe away with the spray before I use the carboc brush?

    P.S. By Dry Run do we mean a dumb needle designed to clean the grooves whilst the disc is spinning?
     
  16. SKA.face

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    I'm lucky as there is a guy who lives near me,who actaully makes vinyl cleaning machines,on a platter thar sucks the dirt out,I think he said 300 €uros.I tend to agree,a better cart/arm/stage,reduced significantly pops and crackles.Knotsi is OK,though I find it can gunk your cart a bit,hence I use isaphrol alcohol,distilled water,drop of fairy,works exellently and is dirt cheap.
     
  17. Roohster

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    Not if it involves wetted fingers and breathing lightly, please.:D
     
  18. Jules

    Jules
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    Somebody once told me to use WD40. Never tried it though.
     
  19. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I am a Moth man, but for those stubborn stain 'groom' vinyl cleaner from Halford shifts some stuborn gunk, can't comment on it's long term issues but has seemed fine for the last 10 years on the odd disc I use it on.

    Do people make their own cleaner fluid up as well?
     
  20. KoThreads

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    Years ago, showing my age, my dad used to use boiled water and very mild fairy liquid and wash his records with a lint free white cloth and leave them to dry. I tried some of his vinyl years ago when I had an LP12 as I used to take the **** out of him something awfull about it. The thing is it actually worked. But no I never did it, honest.
     
  21. karkus30

    karkus30
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    I have one of those things I think, sort of round velvet pad that you spray with some satanic fluid, insert into the records hole, while mounting it on a sort of rubber sheet. Then spin it round in a satisfying manner. :blush:

    Then there was the Zerostat that fired a static charge at the record and an unhappy cat......hours of fun for all the family. :eek:

    Then the dustbug that appeared to increase the amount of dust on your record, until its little rubber suction cup gave out and it dementedly took out your cartridge. :rolleyes:

    Not forgetting the ........Pixall off the record, a sort of roller with the sort of sticky substance thats usually reserved for holding the wings on Jumbo jets..............carefully roll the Pixall across......"sh*t, why is my record now shaped like a Taco shell ?" .then the instructions warn you of the impending doom if you roll too far and therefore....."sh@t it's eaten my record label"...................far better to apply to a moulting cat.........or moulted cat I should hasten to say. :devil:

    Then there was a velvet pad affair that you filled with some other fluid, that looked like a less dangerous pixall and that was about all it was really good for......containing fluid and looking resplendent on our mantlepiece in its plush red finery. :rolleyes:
     
  22. karkus30

    karkus30
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    whatever gets you off :eek:
     
  23. overkill

    overkill
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    Tried that stupid thing at one of the shops on a "demo" record or two. It left more gunk on the surface than took dirt off. B****y silly idea!

    Apart from the modern Knosti and "bug tussle" (only thing that really works on excess MRA), I wouldn't recommend anything, in particular the plethora of gimmicky cleaners that sprang up during the 70's and 80's, to clean records. And the high end vac jobs of course.

    Naff ideas that were fun anyway:-

    The zerostat. Didn't ever really work properly, but it was fun zapping peoples necks with it! :devil:

    Orbitrac, useless at cleaning the records but it was fun watching it push dust around, and around, and around,.......... The LP's looked like saturn in the end!

    The 'Carbonoptic' brush. Again, great at pushing dust around the surface - but not a lot else. This little beauty added to the fun by dropping little carbon fibres into the grooves which caused massive "pops" when playing the LP!

    The Dusting tonearm. Remember these? All self repecting Garrad owners seemed to have on perched on their deck. Totally useless but fun to watch as dust piled up on them - creating a huge static charge in the process! Marvelous! :D

    See, even in it's greatest madness Vinyl is still fun! :) Mind you there's been some pretty daft CD 'improvers', cleaners, etc to allow Digital fans to join in the fun! Remember the CD rings and the 'laser focusing pens'? What a hoot!
     
  24. dynamic turtle

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    P.S. By Dry Run do we mean a dumb needle designed to clean the grooves whilst the disc is spinning?

    Dry-run means playing the vinyl as normal, but not listening to it. I always dry-run my dirty/old vinyl whilst listening to cd's or watching dvd's. Its a good way of cleaning out the grooves before listening.

    OK, so it adds hours to the cart and wears the LP, but its better than listening to "Rice Krispie" vinyl.

    Your a sick man dt you need help dude. I guess I could feel confident in eating my dinner off your floor though

    Not yet, Karkus. You can call the men in white coats when I start buying Nordorst cables :zonked:

    DT
     
  25. Paul Williams

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    Hey, I use a Zerostat Pistol all the time (mine must be over 15 years old) and find it excellent. Its one of the few devices that I’ve found to actually work as an aid to record cleaning.

    Paul
     
  26. overkill

    overkill
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    Each to his own Paul. I found it killed static briefly, but it soon built up again. With the Knosti, it kills it, and it stays killed.
     
  27. Mandel

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    I've found rubbing hair conditioner into bad records then blasting it with a shower head works quite well. Then play it while it's still wet.

    Tried one or two other household products but they left the vinyl sticky so it attracted cack like crazy.
     
  28. dynamic turtle

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    Use two bottles to clean your vinyl?

    Not me.........

    :rotfl:
     
  29. charlaph

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    Now's a good time to take advantage of the strong US exchange rate - you can pick up the 220v 'international' version of the VPI from several US based retailers such as audioadvisro and ship it to the UK for under £350

    Assuming you don't get hit by customs of course... and there's nothing wrong with it. I'd imagine it'd cost a fair bit to post it back if it was damaged in transit!

    A cheaper option would be a Nitty Gritty - these are more popular in the US than in the UK, but seem to get good reviews, with import prices starting from £100 for the basic model.

    Personally if you're on a budget then I'd advise the Moth. For the money, nothing comes close, and even if you don't have enough vinyl to fully justify the expense, you can always sell it on again once you've cleaned your collection, and it'll still work out cheaper than taking your records to a 3rd party for cleaning.
     
  30. Paul Williams

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    I paid less for my VPI than the cost of the Moth RCM MkII by £25, in a January sale. I was almost tempted by the Moth offer of free inner sleeves and cleaning fluid, but decided to go for the VPI. Given the above £350 self import price (not including tax, no local warranty and so on) the importers £475 seem quite reasonable (£425 in the sale). This does however, IMO, make the Moth seem even more overpriced.

    Paul
     

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