Record scratches - am I doing something wrong?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by colby2415, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. colby2415

    colby2415 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I've started to notice this on more and more of records, especially new ones. I have a record that I returned as it had a large scrape across it right out of the sleeve. I got a replacement, took it out of the crappy paper sleeve right away and cleaned it with my squeaky clean RCM. I then slide the record right into a u shaped poly sleeve like these ones:

    Anyways, I just took it out for the first time to play it, and after too many record drop mishaps, I have no choice but to change my record sleeve removing technique. Essentially, I remove the record half way so the spindle hole is uncovered and then I line up with the spindle, and once the record is on the spindle, I slide the sleeve out from underneath (usually holding up the lip of the record. Unfortunately I am worried this is doing more damage than good. I have noticed little, almost invisible scratches all over the record, especially on the 2nd side. I am not sure if these were caused by me, or was there when I purchased the record. The removal of the record from the original paper sleeve could have done it. Basically I want to find out if my handling method is causing this, and weather there is a certain way to confirm this. I don't think the scratches effect the sound in any meaningful way as they are very, very light and only visible when I shine the record off my halogen lamp. I will try and get some photos later. OCD aside, I'm worried that I'm not taking proper care of my records.

    Any ideas on this? Again, i'll try and get a photo up soon.
  2. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Wait, you're sliding the sleeve off once the record is already on the turntable? Totally excessive. Just slide the record out of the sleeve into your hands, holding it by the edge and by the label, and place it on the spindle. When and if it gets dusty or you accidentally touch the surface and get a finger print on it, was it again. Honestly, records aren't that fragile.
  3. colby2415

    colby2415 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Pretty much, but again I'm only really doing that at this point because I have had tons of mishaps using the method you just described. Either the lp ends up on the floor or I end up touching my fingers onto the groove. Mainly I was just wondering if what I am doing could be contributing to my hair line scratches that are barely visible. That part about hairline scratches is more OCD on my part than anything else. But I don't want to deal with the horror of accidentally dropping another lp. At the end of the day, it is just a record but I'd rather avoid this kinda stuff as much as possible.
  4. Thorensman

    Thorensman Forum Resident

    Confused. Why not just remove Lp
    As has been suggested .
    After cleaning a record scratches or scuffs DO APPEAR .
    Cleaning seems to remove s haze from
    The record surface, the scratches/scuffs
    Were there before .
    I play records. For 2 -3 hours daily
    Minimum . Just slide them out..
  5. LitHum05

    LitHum05 El Disco es Cultura

    You are needlessly manhandling the record with your weirdo loading technique. Don’t overthink it!:frog:
  6. Dale A B

    Dale A B Well-Known Member

    Greenville, WI
    If I was a klutz and had butterfingers, I would first wash my hands.
    Then, lay out a large clean microfiber cloth.
    Take the LP out Of the sleeve over the cloth so that if you drop it, it will be a short and soft landing.

    In no time you should be able to do this with your eyes closed.

    I have never been bothered by fingers touching grooves or minor imperfections in vinyl.
    Cronverc and greelywinger like this.
  7. rjp

    rjp Senior Member

    why does everyone who listen to, and praises, vinyl continue to constantly complain about its quality and the problems they are having with it?
    Dennis Metz likes this.
  8. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Forum Resident

    Because 'everyone' doesn't.
  9. sublemon

    sublemon Forum Resident

    if you clean your hands once in a while, you won't get a lot of fingerprints on a record. you can even (god forbid) pinch the outer edge when removing it from the sleeve without causing any issues.
  10. sublemon

    sublemon Forum Resident

    Also -- sleeves of pretty much any type can cause hairlines on vinyl. They won't be audible, but if you don't like them, try not to slide the record on the sleeve with pressure when taking it out or putting it in the sleeve.
  11. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Well, if you're always dropping records, I dunno what to tell you, but as @sublemon notes, sliding records in an out of sleeves can cause surface marks, and I would think laying the record down on the platter before sliding the sleeve off is more likely to be abrasive than reaching into the sleeve and lifting the record out without instead of dragging the sleeve across the record with the weight of the record on it.
  12. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC Forum Resident

    Dallas, Texas
    Try reaching into the sleeve until your middle finger covers the center of the record, with the weight of the record resting in your hand. Sliding the record out of the sleeve and into your hand is a fine technique, but it requires more coordination.
    Metralla, GroovyGuy and Kiko1974 like this.
  13. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    I find those round bottom sleeves more difficult to handle than other aftermarket poly sleeves, but maybe that's just me. I don't re-jacket a sleeved record- i put a poly jacket protector around the jacket- one large enough for a double album. I take the original sleeve and inserts and slide them inside the plastic protector, and then when I pull or return a record to the jacket I stick the sleeved (with aftermarket sleeve) record in between the jacket and the original sleeve/inserts. Less friction, less wear and tear on the jacket and likely on the record too.
    As for the record itself, sometimes those paper sleeves or worse, records that are sleeved in what feels like a cardboard inner, are a PITA. I'll bow the sleeve, stick my hand in and gently pull it out.
    I clean every record using a high quality record cleaning system. After that, I do not use dry brushes, I use a Gitto's air puffer. I think the brushes can create static- even the anti-static ones, and they tend to shed. As to handling, everybody has their own way. Yeah, sometimes I get a little nervous, particularly with a valuable pressing, even though I'm old and have been playing records forever. You just have to get comfortable with handling the records, by the label and the edge-- it's almost like once you get that technique, you don't think about it.
    Dunno if any of this helps you, but micro-scratches and scuffs are sometimes a way of life in buying used records. As long as I don't here them, or any groove distortion, i'm good. I have many records that look pristine, but have been abused by past owner's tonearms, bad cartridge set ups, whatever. (Figure if you are buying records from the late '60s, rock, not everybody had audiophile gear- it was more like a crystal needle). As mentioned above, records are pretty rugged; the more comfortable you get in handling, the less this should be an issue. (It's like being self-conscious when you are doing something you know how to do).
  14. colby2415

    colby2415 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Probably. What I try to do is prop one corner of the LP up so the total weight isn't resting on the sleeve. If scratches are a fact of life for all sleeves then does it really matter how you remove them from the sleeve? At the end of the day they are still rubbing each other.

    This is the most popular method I have seen, but unfortunately due to the fact my hands are really small my whole finger span can't reach label to edge, and I end up touching the record and/or it falls. This is the primary reason I don't use this method. Not sure how else I could do it but that's the way it is.
  15. colby2415

    colby2415 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Just want to make sure it's not an unusual occurrence. So by this logic is it safe to assume a new lp will not remain mark free after a few plays no matter how well you handle them?
  16. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Forum Resident

    A record can certainly remain free of marks and lines. Its all in how its handled and stored.
  17. First thing, get rid of the plastic and plastic-lined sleeves.Dirt and dust just loves to stick and adhere to the plastic. Especially if you are in a warm dry climate. I've discussed this problem with MoFi and they agree that a warm dry climate can cause issues with plastic. Plain, clean white sleeves are best.
    Depending on your RCM, many can scratch records. If it's a good one with a built-in vacuum, again, dirt and dust can get stuck to the brushes and felt. You need to clean the brushes regularly.
  18. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Rock 'n Roll !!!

    Maryland, U.S.A.
    Wow, this thread is funny.
    SirMarc, GroovyGuy, timind and 2 others like this.
  19. c-eling

    c-eling Forum Resident

    Mine are pretty durable :shrug:
  20. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    The ATX
    I think the real lesson here is that it’s better to listen to your records than to examine them under bright lights with a magnifying glass :-plnktn-:
  21. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Frenchtown NJ USA
    Do they? :thumbsdow
  22. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    The rhetorics is problematic.
  23. Dreams266

    Dreams266 Forum Resident

    I blow into paper sleeves t release the record from the static grip on paper so it does not scrape against paper as I slide it out. Some kid at a local record store thinks it is best to pull the record out very quickly as if that helps when it is best to slowly pull the record out.
    LivingForever likes this.
  24. dcottrell6

    dcottrell6 Forum Resident

    Eastampton, NJ
    One person having an issue is 'everyone'?
    Anytime you physically handle an object, you're going to get some wear.
    Don't lose sleep over it OP, these aren't that fragile.
  25. rjp

    rjp Senior Member

    seems like it. and seems like it more lately.
    Dennis Metz and bluemooze like this.

Share This Page