Warning to all record collectors!!! (outer bag/inner sleeve concerns)*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by rockadelic, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    I just quickly read thru the link to the vinyl engine thread, and it seems they are talking about different things; the snip from the article re the BBC seemed to be talking about inner sleeves, but the discussion then migrates to the effect of jacket sleeves interacting with the poly inner. I assume polyethelene also uses a plasticizer for flexiblity, but would be interested in knowing if the leeching properties are the same as PVC. I could see some interaction being theoretically possible from outer bag to inner sleeve to record itself, but hmmm, maybe 4-6,000 records stored in poly outer bags with high quality inners. The other 6 or so thousand in NY I haven't gone through yet, so maybe no more outer bagging? :)
    I've had records that I bought in the 70's that are still great players, and only in later decades did I replace inner sleeves and/or add an outer bag.
    The only record that comes to mind with the problem described was a now out of print Cisco Aja that had a white foggy mark -a line about an inch long and a quarter inch thick, somewhat irregular, on both sides. Cleaning, including enzyme and ultrasonic, did not remove it. But, as I recall, it didn't affect the sonics. (My go to is an AB of that record anyway, but whatever).
  2. drbryant

    drbryant Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    I have two copies of that Cisco LP. I need to check it. Was that a PVC sleeve? I thought that it was Mylar. Or maybe the inner sleeve is the culprit?

    Polyethylene inner sleeves seem to be OK.
  3. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Senior Member

    Yes, called 'splay' according to a forum member once in the record manufacturing industry. Its most commonly seen on some record batches pressed for the Reprise and MGM/Verve/Kama Sutra label families off & on during 1966-68. It appears as a foggy, smoky, or oily 'haze' or dullness to the surfaces, and when heavy enough, plays back with a distinct hissy-ness.
  4. AaronW

    AaronW Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    "You put the balm on? Who told you to put the balm on? I didn't tell you to put the balm on. Why'd you put the balm on? You haven't even been to see the doctor. If your gonna put a balm on, let a doctor put a balm on."
    oneslip17, bluejimbop, uzn007 and 6 others like this.
  5. fab4

    fab4 Forum Resident

    If you see that the PVC outer sleeve is deforming it self (not flat, but waving),throw it, that means that the plasticizer has began leeching.
    Whish they made paper outer sleeves.
  6. Graham

    Graham Forum Resident

    London, UK
    I'm midway through the process of transferring my records to poly inners and thin, crystal-clear PVC outer sleeves. The climate here is on the cool side.

    Nevertheless, threads like this induce fear. I'll be keeping an eye on things, but won't be changing my storage practices, for the moment.
  7. martinb

    martinb Forum Resident

    As if we didn't have enough to worry about. Is the cartridge aligned properly?, anti skate set right? VTA correct? Now this. Great.

    I've got an handful of outer PVC sleeves that are showing that bubbling effect, though the records inside are fine. I'm wondering whether to replace my outer PVC sleeves with the Polythene ones now.
    Izozeles likes this.
  8. Linto

    Linto Mayor of Simpleton

  9. drbryant

    drbryant Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    Those photos of the PVC sleeve bubbling in the same pattern as the vinyl record are really weird.
  10. Lately I've been ditching my plastic outer bags. If my LP covers get ring-wear, so be it. I've also started putting acid-free paper inner-sleeves to hold the LPs. Too much plastic...
    bootbox likes this.
  11. drbryant

    drbryant Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    I have a basic question. The soft plastic bags that are used for MOFI and other audiophile labels are not PVC, so they should be fine right?
    bluejimbop likes this.
  12. drbryant

    drbryant Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    One other thing I should mention. Anyone with the Paul McCartney Fireman - Electric Arguments album or the McCartney - Memory Almost Full EU release in the PVC outer sleeve, should probably check their copies. These are relatively recent purchases, but they are already causing "bubbling" of the album placed next to it on my shelf. I already ruined a 12" single of McCartney/Twin Freaks "Really Love You". I don't throw them away because the outer sleeves have graphics or stickers on them, but I separate them from the vinyl.
  13. The plasticizer will migrate right through the paper and cover. The plasticizer will migrate through anything that is porous (paper and cover).
    havenz and D.B. like this.
  14. Vinyl records inherently contain little bit of plasticizer, as without it, the record would be way too brittle and would be damaged by the stylus as the record is played. The cooler the records are stored, the longer it would take for the plasticizer to migrate out. The flexible PVC outer sleeves are "overloaded" with the plasticizer to make them flexible. Since there is so much plasticizer, it is very easy for it to migrate (off-gas) out of the sleeve. Polyethylene sleeves do not contain plasticizer, but small amounts of hydrocarbons are present and will migrate out over time. The hydrocarbons are in such small amounts that it will not hurt the vinyl records.
    NudieSuitNezHead, havenz and D.B. like this.
  15. SergioRZ

    SergioRZ Well-Known Member

    Just use Polyethylene lined inner sleeves, and Polyethylene outer sleeves, problem solved ;)
    Desert Island Daniel likes this.
  16. GerryO

    GerryO Forum Resident

    Bodega Bay, CA
    Good ol' DOP.
  17. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    when i was into vinyl I immediately transferred my albums into MFSL sleeves or Japanese sleeves...back in the 50's and 60's they housed the album in thin plastic that would leave shadows on the albums...
  18. hockman

    hockman Forum Resident


    Thanks for this. I have a few records stored in thick sturdy laser disc-type outer covers (PVC?). I've checked the records and yes indeed some (but not all) have the 'clouding' effect on them. Thankfully most of them don't look that bad but I'd have to play them to really tell. I know that if the clouding is bad, the swooshing sound is unavoidable and cannot be fixed.:realmad:

    I've seen this phenomenon before on my records but guessed that it was the plastic inners that were causing the problem (so I changed them!). Who would have thought that the outer sleeves was the culprit!

    The other problem I found in the past was using the clear plastic inners from Bags Unlimited (these seem to be from the same material as the outers; not sure if it's PVC). They leave very fine scuff marks on the vinyl which for the most part are inaudible. But they do ruin the look of your precious vinyl. (Some of my Music Matters records have this same problem caused by the damned inners used by MM).

    This stupid hobby of ours sometimes is so exasperating.
  19. MrRom92

    MrRom92 Forum Supermodel

    Long Island, NY
    There was a particular record that was released a number of years ago, of which there is a huge problem today, in that there are no unnaffected copies. (Not counting the latest pressing from MoV which is housed in a standard jacket)

    The album in question is "Worship and Tribute" by glassjaw.

    The initial vinyl edition (which came years later than the cd) was meant to replicate the cd artwork, which appeared to be a turntable - the disc art was made to look like a record. So, they took this idea up a notch for the LP - the jacket contained art that looked like a turntable, the LP of course looked like the record itself, and on top of the record there was a PVC sheet with the printed image of a tonearm and LP changer arm. All these layers were housed inside a plain old PVC jacket not too dissimilar from what picture discs come in. So it essentially looked like the record was on a record player, if you can envision that. If not... Google image search to the rescue.


    The LP slips into the standard PVC jacket, between that cardboard with the image of the turntable player, and under the PVC sheet with the printing of the tonearm. Interesting, a great idea in theory, for sure. Not quite so in practice.

    The side of the record that is touching that PVC sheet? Google image search to the rescue once again.

    And this looks to my eyes like a TAME case. My white vinyl LP is almost completely frosted over. The PVC jacket outgasses and this is a chemical interaction with the record. It simply cannot be cleaned off or removed - it is the plastic surface of the record. It is an eye sore and an ear sore. Being that a lot of this music is very loud, it's actually not all that noticeable, but in the quiet parts the scratchy sound is definitely overpowering. In any case, it's a damn shame. Especially considering the LP sounds miles better than the overcompressed CD.

    That said - the side that is in contact with the cardboard as opposed to the printed PVC sheet is absolutely fine both visibly and audibly, and plays silently, with not the slightest hint of degradation. The only thing separating them is the plastic on the other side of the record. It is not leeching through, and it is not leeching around. I took my record out of this and put it in a mfsl sleeve anyway just so the degraded side wouldn't get any worse, but I'm having a very, very hard time believing that the protective PVC sleeve on the outside of a jacket and the other 2-5 layers of protection around an LP is causing these records any harm or damage, taking my experience with the unaffected side of that record into consideration.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
  20. Mylene

    Mylene Senior Member

    Those Prince singles that came housed in a plastic sleeve with a sticker on it must look like crap round about now. :p
  21. rockadelic

    rockadelic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    You're welcome, Hockman.
    I have a friend who also reported that some of his records that were housed in the MFSL sleeves developed some problems that left unerasable fine lines on the lp surfaces. He has since replaced all of them with ordinary paper sleeves.
    A check on the net showed others had reported similar problems with the same MFSL sleeves.
    As for some of your records that show little or no cloudy effects, are salvageable hence you should waste no time in removing their PVC outers as prolonged usage will only guarantee more misting!
  22. rockadelic

    rockadelic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    So are all my pic discs, simply vinyl lps & some of the expensive ones that were used by so many record dealers around the world.

    I just wish this info would be deciminated to all sellers who use them.
    All of you readers who have been to or will go to any record fairs in the future, please take note & look out. You will almost certainly see many dealers hogging their premium lps in PVC jackets.

    I have recently purchased some lps from a store in London. I returned all the PVC jackets to the seller & told him of my findings.
  23. fab4

    fab4 Forum Resident

    The best would be polyester outer sleeves...i don t think they exist for records.
  24. Psyre

    Psyre Forum Resident

  25. Graham

    Graham Forum Resident

    London, UK
    Do the outer PVC sleeves have to bubble or go wavy first for the LP to be affected?

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