Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by csgreene, Dec 5, 2019.
ok, let me rephrase that. based on your OP, you had a record that you THOUGHT was dirty, but it was in fact damaged. so you bought the wrong tool for the job, and are unsatisfied with the tool for some reason.
Or it's not damaged (though it very well may be) and the Spin Clean didn't work for me to get the record clean. I ran 8 records through the device and none of them sounded better afterwards.
copy that! I have a spin clean and it's great for what it does. it will clean up a dirty record very well.
The thing is, none of my records *appear* dirty and I've always had a pre-play routine of brushing the record before dropping the needle. However, some of my records have too much crackle for my enjoyment and people are constantly talking about RCMs and there is much praise for the Spin Clean in particular although it seems most users develop their own routines that are far different from the manufacturer's instructions. I figured I'd do it exactly as instructed with distilled water, three complete rotations in each direction, towel dry, and finish dry in a dish rack. Let's just say the records didn't appear any cleaner nor sound any better. Most of my records were bought new over the decades, were played on decent to very good tables, and taken care of. I bought about 75 records from a friend earlier this year and many of them looked good but I think are damaged. The LZ album I referred to in my original post was one of those records.
Squeaky Clean Vinyl MK-III RCM 3D Printed Record Cleaner
and using tergikleen were game changers. I do still using the spin clean pads for rinsing, so i guess it's good for something.
You are using an elliptical?! Most people use ellipticals, so all those records you got were probably played using ellipticals...you might have a chance of less noise/crackling with a micro line stylus, IF the records are clean. A micro line stylus might get underneath the damage. I only buy old, 2nd hand vinyl. Recently I got a Billy Joel album that appeared to be clean but obviously (after cleaning it) had groove damage when listening with an elliptical. I put on the micro line and the album sounded like new.
Yes, both turntables are using the AT450 cart with nude elliptical styli. I have been toying with the idea of trying the AT VM95ML on the SL-1210GR to see what difference, if any, I hear. The other table, a Technics SL-QL1, is a linear arm so I don't know if I can get a Microline stylus for that arm if it were to work well on the 1210GR.
LP Gear has a microline stylus for my AT450 cart but it's $178! For $200 I can get a mounted VM95ML and try it on the 1210GR.
LP GEAR ATN3472ML stylus
Buy more records. Then you'll want a VPI.
Take some records to a shop that has a proper vacuum RCM. If you like the improvement buy one. You need something that gets all the contaminants from the grooves and that cannot be achieved by towel or air drying. Even a proper RCM will not improve many records. Most of the time it will not improved flawed new vinyl but in some cases a pop ridden example is rendered almost fault free. Also an RCM is useful for killing static. Some records are plagued by static from new. Occasionally I have saved a used record and often improved some, but groove damage is permanent. It is likely that hand washing has made your records noisier.
I have about 5000 records, and I have always hand washed them. I do have a Nitty Gritty vacuum record cleaning machine, but I rarely use it. I sell records and record cleaning supplies in my shop. I have a very similar product to the Spin Clean, called the Deep Groove by Vinyl Styl. They do the same thing, the same way. Some customers really like it. I tend to avoid records that would need "a bath" to start with, and so just use a hard surface covered with a soft towel and hand wash them using a cotton rag and good cleaning fluid. If a record that is grimy finds a place in my heart, it'll get the same hand wash, but using more cleaning fluid than usual. Once clean, they go in the collection and I just use a Discwasher system with the disc on the platter before each play at that point. I have my own fluid brand that I developed and use in place of the Discwasher or vinyl Style stuff and I offer that for sale here too.
Again, you can't necessarily expect a noisy record to sound better after cleaning it when the crud on the LP had little or nothing to do with the surface noise in the first place. Cleaning eight records on a Spin Clean and then giving up because none of them sound better seems to be a case of going into it with unrealistic expectations. In my personal experience, talk of reducing crackling through cleaning is exaggerated. It will happen sometimes, but more often than not, that crackling is etched into the wax.
To my mind, the point of cleaning your records, first and foremost, is to prevent dirty LPs from mucking up your stylus so that your stylus will last longer and to reduce wear and tear on the grooves of your LPs; also so that you don't get that awful, distorted sound from bits of dust accumulating on the tip of your stylus while playing a record. If cleaning does happen to make a noisy record quieter, that's an awesome bonus!
You might have a little better success with a record cleaning machine, but you might not. I've had crackly records cleaned on RCMs that still sounded crackly afterwards. Also, a record shop in my area offers a record cleaning service using an ultrasonic cleaner, and they claim to clean their more sought-after records using that. I got a spotless and absolutely pristine-looking copy of Bowie's Station to Station from them that was crackle city.
Also, it's always a good idea to hold an LP under a bright LED or halogen light because that will reveal every tiny flaw on the surface of the record - stuff that you'd never, ever see under natural light or with regular bulbs. It's kind of scary how much a good light can reveal. If after that the LP looks fine, there could still be groove damage that can't be seen with the naked eye from either a pressing defect (which is not uncommon), or a crappy or very worn or improperly aligned stylus scraping through the grooves.
I dumped my Spin Clean for a Squeaky Clean Mk3 as well and have been very happy with the results. I'm working my way through my 3rd 1st bottle of TTVJ Record Cleaner Concentrate and have NOT been happy with it. After some time it developed "clumps" in each bottle so I won't be requesting a 4th replacement. I mix it to Extra Strength (one 2oz bottle in one Gallon of distilled water) and have had the same result.
But the SCMk3 is an awesome improvement over the Spin Clean. I use it with a MoFi brush FWIW.
Thanks for the additional replies. I keep working on that Physical Graffiti album and I guess it's the record. Plays the same on either of my tables using the AT450NE cartridge. I've gotten it to sound a little better working it over with a misted Parastat and a Hunt brush but it's still crackly, just a little less so. You obviously hear it most between tracks and quiet passages.
I briefly had a Spin Clean and did not like it. I remember reading how people could actually see the dirt in the bottom of the basin. I could see it too, but then I realized it's not dirt from the record, it's the Spin Clean brushes shedding!
I think you really need to use suction to get stuff out of the grooves, so the Record Doctor is probably the happy medium when it comes to price vs. performance.
Although, with a little practice (and patience), glue cleanings are probably one of the best methods for getting gunk out of the grooves.
That's very strange. Never had that problem with mine, (again 750 lps cleaned) but I've seen the dirt at the bottom. It looks like micro-sand, which makes sense. You must have gotten bad brushes?
Still just using Discwasher and Audio Technica pads, with my own fluid (alcohol plus distilled water, sometimes straight alcohol) before each play.
After a few iterations, they get quiet, very quiet, shiny, and slippery.
If I got a Spin Clean (and I might), I’d fill it with 70% alcohol from the dollar store and let the records air dry.
Detergents just don’t belong on records. That stuff is hard to rinse off.
As a former spin clean user, I can assure you dirt definitely makes its way to the bottom of the basin, and onto the brushes themselves after cleaning many records. One of my friends is a DJ and loves the spin clean still...some of the records he cleans are DJ tool type records that are meant to have your hands on them for scratching and cutting and such. He noticed it cleaned a lot of that type of grime off. Obviously it won't clean as thoroughly as an RCM or US machine, but it does a pretty good job for what it is.
I've had great results with straight 91% Iso alcohol as well. Camp fire records get this soak for 10 minutes. A lot of the alcohol evaporates in this time. I then clean with regular fluid before drying with my Record Doctor RCM.
Can't you just dump it and wash the rollers though? I was thinking about getting one. Most of my LP's are pretty darn clean anyway though. I just use the Mobile Fidelity brush dry. It's amazing how well it works.
And it's gone.
I'm considering trying a Record Doctor or one of the systems from KAB or the 3D printer guy. Also considering what I've done for years which is handwash when needed.
+1 on the record doctor. I clean all new and used LPs before playback and store in a new anti-static sleeve. Cleans very well and rarely does a record become charged with static again- even during dry winters.
I've seen some ugly photos of the Record Doctor not holding up well (Amazon). What can you tell me about its durability and how it handles the vacuumed liquid?
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