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{Updated Jan. 2017}
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Vinyl clean up

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  • Vinyl clean up

    Hi All,

    I am very fond of my LP collection. It isn't a large one (about 300 pieces), yet I thoroughly keep and take care of it for obvious reasons (sound, cover art, history, rarities).

    I would appreciate a lot your suggestions on how to clean up the dust, remove static electricity and preserve them for as long as possible. There are numerous cleaning systems and devices out in the market, also "home made" solutions from "old timers", but, besides some usual stuff (brushes for the LP's and the stylus) I know or have experienced nothing more, in terms of easy & quick handling together with good results.

    Your experience will be valuable for me, as it has always been through our discussions, so I have to thank you in advance for suggesting and commenting!

    Best regards from Athens,


  • #2
    Don’t think there is an easy solution, personally I believe some records will always tick and pop because the dust is fused with the vinyl. The surface of the vinyl heats up to a very high temperature while playing and any gunk in there gets stuck.

    My father had the believe that the dirt could be dug out through wet playing. He said the best stylus for this was the audio technica shibatas (for playing 4ch) due to the diamond profile which has most contact with the groove. It works but probably does the above at the same time.


    • #3
      I'm using a VPi record cleaning machine. The only thing that annoys me is that it is freaking noisy when turning the suction motor on. However, it does a wonderful job getting rid of those anti-static product (gunk) which forms around the stylus when playing an LP.

      I've stopped using brushes or whatever gizmo I have used in the past and simply use the VPi machine to clean my records.

      Distilled water with 5% alcohol and 5% windex works well.
      I also use the original VPi cleaning solution in a concentrate which makes up a gallon.

      Hmmm... funny that I am playing a 4Ch LP right now. Echoes of Italy (Decca) made somewhere in in the 70s or 80s... I dunno... I've had this LP since I was a boy. LOL! It still sounds fabulous and brings back memories of when my father use to play this LP.

      What cartridges are people using or have used here in the HUG?

      I have used a Shelter 501MkII.
      Currently using a Dynavector XX-2 MkII.

      I don't know how good these cartridges sound (XV1t or an XV1s) but apparently, these sound super! Anyone care to donate one to me?


      • #4
        I had a basic $200 machine when I lived in South Africa. It worked perfectly well at cleaning LPs, even though it was a bit noisy and took some effort. Now that I'm in the US I have gone back to my old method--which will make purists tear their hair out: warm water in the basin, a couple of drops of good dish-washing liquid, and a sponge. I scrub, rinse, shake the excess water off and hang up to dry. Yes, I know... But, surprisingly, it works in most cases. Sometimes one has to wash the LP two or three times, but they usually come out clean, with no terrible effects. And I'm talking here about vinyl bought on street markets. I'm having to start my collection all over again. It simply cost too much to ship 5 000 of them across the Atlantic.



        • #5
          Cadence Okki Nokki and L Art duSon liquid makes miracle. Both got from Mr. Kuzma for wery resonable price. But Cadence is noisy, yes it is.


          • #6
            Originally posted by kittykat View Post
            ... The surface of the vinyl heats up to a very high temperature while playing...
            Is this really true?



            • #7
              Apparently so. Under the massive force of the stylus.

              I wouldn't worry too much about it though, as I have been playing some of my LP's since the early 60's and they are still pristine and silent.


              • #8
                I use a PTFE based "lubricant" applied with a fine-haired brush / sponge thing. It used to be marketed as "Soundguard" and most of my vinyl collection from the 60s-80s had been previously treated with it. On retiring and moving here, I resurrected the vinyl player and subsequently discovered "Permostat" marketed by Milty products. It seems to be the same stuff so I use it always. It works by leaving a thin layer of PTFE in the groove, which lubricates the stylus' passage, allowing it to push aside bits of muck and to maintain a better contact with the groove walls. The sonic improvement is quite noticeable and the listening experience much improved. It can't get rid of recorded backgrounds like tape hiss, vent noise or rumble, but it has the added benefit that antiskating compensation is much reduced, demonstrating that reduction in friction between stylus and groove. An internet search should find a supplier for you if you want to try it.
                It is NOT a wet playing system.

                "If all else fails, read the instructions"


                • #9
                  None of the conventional method clean better than cleaning machine. IMO it's a must to own one if you're into vinyl. I always recommend entry Clearaudio Smart Matrix as it looks good, works well and doesn't build up static like VPI.


                  • #10
                    I was using an applicator brush with Nitty Gritty solution and then wiping it off with a microfibre cloth, which worked ok, however I recently purchased a Clear Audio Super Matrix, massive improvement in the cleanliness of the record. I had been skeptical, but if you want great sound due to less noise, spend the money. It is loud, about 84db....