Vinyl Cleaning

rlwrlw Posts: 231
edited November 2002 in 2 Channel Audio
Sorry, but I find this such a lively topic that I thought it deserved its own thread!


The tools:

VPI 16.5 w/ VPI brush
AudioQuest CarbonFiber Brush
ZeroStat anti-static device
Stylus cleaner: Record Research Labs, Lyra, etc.
Hunt EDA Brush for dry cleaning


The Chemicals:

Record Research Labs Cleaner, HomeBrew, RRL Stylus, Lyra Stylus.




The procedure.

Grade the record. You'll quickly be able to tell at a glance whether the record needs the full treatment, or a partial treatment.

The full treatment:

1. Using the supplied VPI brush, and the homebrew fluid, get the record good and wet by holding the VPI brush at an angle, and applying the solution. Then, rotate the brush so the bristles are vertical, and let it scrub.

If you have any stubborn spots - and they might be the entire surface - stop the VPI table, add more fluid, and manually scrub with the brush, making sure to always go with the grooves. Keep the LP wet.

Note: when cleaning a very dirty record on the VPI, place an innersleeve on the VPI prior to the record. Clean side 1 as above. When you flip to side 2, remove the innersleeve. This keeps the surface of the VPI clean, so that you're not placing a just cleaned side down on gunk.

Note: It's the stubborn-spot procedure that makes the VPI unit reside in a league apart from the Nitty Gritty - you have a surface to work on.

2. Dry. Using the VPI vacuum tube, let the record rotate until it is 100% dry. Don't worry about static buildup; you want to get that baby as free of residue as possible.


3. Using the AudioQuest brush, and the RRL Cleaner, clean the record on the VPI. This cleaner is very pure, the AQ brush gentle, and will get more residue off the surface that was left from step 1&2.

4. Dry as in step 2.

5. If there is static buildup, use the ZeroStat to remove.

6. Give a quick wipe to the TT platter with an optical cleaning cloth. Place LP on TT; clamp down, and clean using the Hunt EDA brush.

Note: do not use the Hunt brush as the supplied instructions indicate. Instead, allow ONLY it's own weight to hold it down while the LP spins. Then, holding it absolutely level, and applying 0 vertical force (neither up nor down) pull it straight off the LP - just like using a standard carbon fiber brush. You want to avoid applying any weight to avoid having the pad contact the surface of the LP.

7. Clean stylus - after every side.


The partial treatment:

Only steps 3-7

The "I've cleaned it already" treatment:

Only steps 5-7.



HomeBrew Recipe:

Distilled water, 80%

90% Pure Isopopropyl Alcohol, 20%. Do NOT use rubbing alcohol, as this has additives.

1-2 Drops only of Dawn per gallon as a surfacant - I often skip this.

Likewise, I don't use any other ingredients, as residue becomes an issue. Residue=surface noise.
Post edited by rlw on
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Comments

  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 45,055
    edited October 2002
    Man, I worked up a sweat just reading that........so let's see 2 hrs.
    plus for cleaning for maybe 40 minutes of snap, crackle & pop. No thanks....gave it up years ago, but to each their own. :p
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • mantismantis Posts: 15,976
    edited October 2002
    Plain old soap and water.I also gave that up years ago.But still sounds good.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 45,055
    edited October 2002
    Being the non-vinyl head that I am, I do know S&W will leave unwanted deposits. However, a little S&M isn't a bad thing.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited October 2002
    I read and printed out the procedure this afternoon. Whew! I looked up the recommended components as well. Cleaner $450, Stylus cleaner $20, Brush $20, Zerostat $100. The home brew cleaner will save some $ as will the VPI over the nitty gritty.

    This is an expensive sport to say the least. I'm in though.

    Question, I have some new lp's coming as well as several older ones as well. Will playing the newer ones without cleaning cause any undue harm? This additional $600 will not happen for another month. Is there a compromise here for the mean time before the proper equipment is here? Everything else is due in on Mon or Tues.

    The snapple and pop may not be an issue from what I have read given the proper equipment and cleaning. I too had the same concerns. I gave up lp's 15 years ago with a smile on my face and decided at that time I no longer wanted anything to do with them. This is a last chance effort to correct my previous problems. The S&M is interesting though. Maybe you have a procedure on that? 2hrs, I don't think so.
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited October 2002
    Originally posted by mantis
    Plain old soap and water.I also gave that up years ago.But still sounds good.

    Soap and water is good, especially if you are going to be around females. You might want to reconsider:D
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 45,055
    edited October 2002
    Guys,

    Just some good clean fun.....:cool:
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    Originally posted by F1nut
    Man, I worked up a sweat just reading that........so let's see 2 hrs.
    plus for cleaning for maybe 40 minutes of snap, crackle & pop. No thanks....gave it up years ago, but to each their own. :p

    I never said playing LP's was convenient; just that - given proper care and a good playback system - they sound better than CD.

    Sort of like masturbating v. sex with a stunning woman. Yeah, I can spank the monkey in about 1/1000 of the time and for the price of a Puffs, compared to the time and effort it will take me to bed that drop-dead gorgeous lady with the perfect personality.

    I'm willing to bet I'll be way more satisfied with the sex I have with the lady.

    Not that there's anything wrong with monkey-spanking or listening to CD's. There's a time and a place for everything. I own a decent CD player, and about 1000 CD's. Last night, I didn't spin vinyl: just didn't feel like it.

    But I'm already putting together a playlist of favorite vinyl for tonight - and some of the stuff has never been released on CD. I like having that choice.
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    Originally posted by madmax001
    Question, I have some new lp's coming as well as several older ones as well. Will playing the newer ones without cleaning cause any undue harm? This additional $600 will not happen for another month. Is there a compromise here for the mean time before the proper equipment is here? Everything else is due in on Mon or Tues.


    madmax

    New records typically require only the Hunt EDA brush; 15 seconds, and you'll be enjoying that new LP. Some of them do require power cleaning - but you'll figure that out. I've played new LP's that are as quiet as CD; I've played new LP's that have a lot of noise - just plain crappy pressings. Fortunately, those are few and far between, even in the non-audiophile category.

    As long as you clean the stylus after every side, I don't think you'll do any major harm.

    On a side note, one nice thing about buying from The Bop Shop (listed on a prior post) is that they clean every LP with a Nitty Gritty before listing it. It might not be the best job, but you can certainly play those without a lot of cleaning.


    Edit: Almost forgot your "compromise" question. Yes, for $30 you can pick up the AllSop Orbital Cleaner - works great for what it is. If you're dying to play some dirty vinyl, give it a whack with this, and you'll get a good bunch of the gunk off.
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    Originally posted by mantis
    Plain old soap and water.I also gave that up years ago.But still sounds good.

    Perhaps you didn't need to "retire" after all, but to adjust your attitude and bathe?
  • gidrahgidrah Posts: 3,036
    edited October 2002
    DO NOT use SOAP and water. Use detergent and water. Warm water. Rinse thoroughly, rinse again. Let air dry.

    I'm sure this won't compare to rlw's system, but my phono doesn't compare to his either.
    Make it Funky! :)
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited October 2002
    OK, so I compromised, again. I ordered the Orbitrac II Allsop cleaner, Last stylus cleaner and Hunt EDA mark 6 brush. And some VRP sleeves. Another $140. Better than the $600 I can't afford. No Zerostat for awhile and the VPI cleaner when I can. Oh and propably a wall mount stand at some point.

    I am now finally set with all the equipment unless I've totally missed something!

    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • George GrandGeorge Grand Posts: 12,272
    edited October 2002
    Well.............

    If the rig is real good at hiding the clicks and pops, you might as well dispense with all the other stuff and go right with Brillo or SOS pads.

    I still have a turntable in my He-Man rig. I use it to play the 3 or 4 albums I have that haven't made it onto cd yet, and to record for friends.

    A. Roma
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,976
    edited October 2002
    Ive used mild soap and water for years without any problems,I use cold water and dry with a terry towel super soft.It works great for kids fingerprints on the games,cd and everything else.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    Originally posted by mantis
    Ive used mild soap and water for years without any problems,I use cold water and dry with a terry towel super soft.It works great for kids fingerprints on the games,cd and everything else.

    And for how many years have you been cleaning LP's? What analog rig(s) in your years of experience have you owned?
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,976
    edited October 2002
    Not anymore dude I gave up LP's in the 80's.

    I used to have a full Technics system with a nice turntable my father bought me.The receiver was all wood outside and weighed a ton.I then picked up a pair of Panasonic Thrusters as they where the hot speakers back then....since cd's came into my life in 1987, I haven't looked back at LP's or tapes since.A tracks went with them as well.

    But cleaning them I never gave it a thought then.Today with cd type things,I feel dish washing liquid deluted alot works great rinse real well and clean cd is left.

    I'm not sure If I'm causing any damage,I haven't noticed any problems or sound loss, but after a good cleaning(only when the kids finger them up) they work flawlessly.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited October 2002
    rlw,
    I've seen stylus weight guages and protractors. Do I need either of those to set up the sme ver IV arm? Also, to set the VTA do I need anything special? The Goldring 1042 says VTA adjustment is more critical than many other cartridges.

    I just got the Goldring today! The first part I've actually received!!!

    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited October 2002
    One more question. Is there any reason I should keep my old pioneer table? I don't know why I would but is there any reason it would be benificial to have? (cleaning, testing, ???)
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • Paul ConnorPaul Connor Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    Madmax,

    Once you have heard your new setup, you will not be able to listen to the pioneer. and I don't think you will be listening to unacceptable lp's. I kept my Marantz for a while, but even with a decent cartridge, I couldn't listen to it any longer and all it did was take up room.

    You will already be way ahead of me with your initial set up, so I cannot see any reason not to put it up on ebay and use the money for new vinyl.

    Maybe when I get the kids raised, I will begin upgrading. I have learned a lot through your recent experience. It's nice to have a guy like rlw around. I'm stll learning through this thread.

    Paul
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    Originally posted by madmax001
    rlw,
    I've seen stylus weight guages and protractors. Do I need either of those to set up the sme ver IV arm? Also, to set the VTA do I need anything special? The Goldring 1042 says VTA adjustment is more critical than many other cartridges.

    I just got the Goldring today! The first part I've actually received!!!

    madmax

    Excellent news on the cart!

    I can't imagine you needing a stylus weight gauge for the SME, provided it's in good shape. If you want to double-check it, for giggles, I can loan you mine.

    Protractors: you will need the original protractors as supplied with the SME arm. It uses a different approach from other arms for setup.

    This is for the V, but will give you a good idea of the IV

    When you get your arm, walk through the setup. If you're unsure about any parts, or feel like you're definitely missing some parts, give Jim Alexander at Sumiko (the US importer of SME) a ring [or, as they say in the UK, "a bell"] at 510-843-4500, and he'll walk through it with you and make sure to get you any parts you need. WARNING: you may experience sticker shock at the price of a nut for the SME.

    VTA adjustment with the SME-IV will be piece of cake - unless you're hands are really shaky! This is one of the easiest arms to setup. Feel free to drop me an e-mail, and I'll shoot you my number, and we can walk through any setup issues you come across. Speaking of which: I mentioned Werner in relation to Michell tables earlier. Check out

    Werner's Personal Site

    for a great look at Gyro setup.

    You're coming into the home stretch!

    I don't know about the Pioneer. Nostalgia? Until you get a VPI, a platform for cleaning with the AllSop?
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    is the most fun I've had talking about audio in ages.

    Let's keep talking about vinyl and get Micah and Justin to start a new forum for us!
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited October 2002
    A vinyl forum would be great. Me, you and paul. I doubt many others would ever read it. I could be wrong though.
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • Paul ConnorPaul Connor Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    Perhaps we can persuade others to move beyond the current digital paradigm. A grass roots movement, so to speak.
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    OOC, Paul, have you noticed that since getting back a good analog rig that CD's are a step down?

    And that Dolby Digital 5.1 is a major step down from CD's?

    I'm not talking about things like dynamic range: obviously, that's all there, and more, with DVD.

    But I find that there's something "edgy" and "thin" about the sound that makes me not want to listen, and can be unpleasant.

    I also have found that a ProLogic mix on LaserDisc can sound better than the latest 5.1, in the same way. Case in point is "Apocalypse Now." I have the LD, and the 5.1 DVD. I can hear how the DVD makes better use of the surround channels; how there are more dynamics; how the bass seems to wrap itself around you.

    I still prefer the PL mix on LD. There's something that is more natural, relaxed, and real sounding.

    It's not my gear being stressed by the dynamics: I have plenty of power, and speakers with plenty of dynamics. The system itself is not straining - and in fact, before I got my TT, I never noticed this phenomenon, and loved the 5.1 stuff to death.

    Analog rules.
  • Paul ConnorPaul Connor Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    You are absolutely right about cd's being a step down from analog. With that said, I still own a sizable collection of cd's that I still listen to, but I find that I spend less and less time with them since I bought the Rega. The sound of lp's seems warmer and more natural than cd's. Digital music to my ears seems much the same as listening to the radio. I have described the sound in the past as tinny (if that makes any sense).

    Before I bought the Polk SDA's and the two Carver amps I was running a Pioneer Surround system. It was ok. That is the best I can say for it. From the mid 70's up until around 88 I ran a 100 wpc Pioneer reciever with a pair of Marantz Imperials and for the time, it was an awesome rig (revered throughout the land) At the time I had a Marantz TT and as I recall the sound was very warm, but could shake the house on demand. Wish I had it today for comparison. Surely I would be underwhelmed.

    One thing I have noticed, is that I prefer to listen to Led Zeppelin on CD rather than LP. Do you think it could have something to do with the CD's being remastered versions? I keep telling myself I am going to set aside an entire day and listen to the entire works of Page and Co. on both vinyl and digital to try and figure out the difference.

    I have no experience with DVD, however a friend owns a Krell/Thiel rig that I have spent some time with and I must tell you that listening to DVD on his rig is a great experience. But it is also worth mentioning that he is blown away by the Polk/Carver analog experience especially considering the price difference of our two rigs.

    Spent the morning listening to the Stones and now that I am stirred up again, think I will go upstairs and listen to some early Fleetwood Mac on vinyl. Bare Trees. Yeah, thats the ticket.

    Later, Paul
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited October 2002
    I can only guess about what you are talking about at this point. Next month may be a different story though. I hope so anyway. :)
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • HBombTooHBombToo Posts: 5,335
    edited October 2002
    I would imagine that cd's are a step down if their, cd players, sampling rate and dac are of low quality.

    I don't have the capability of comparing the 2 but if there is a good 2 channel lp system... I would like to start a shootout with my Cal Labs DVD/CD player. We can split shipping.

    HBomb
    ***WAREMTAE***
  • Paul ConnorPaul Connor Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    I don't think I will get into shipping, but certainly your point is well taken concerning your rig. Like I said earlier, my friends Krell/Thiel rig is unbelievably good, especially with DVD.

    That said, I live 3 miles south of I-70 in western Colorado, and if you are ever passing through, I can be available for an analog demo, cold beer, and your music of choice.

    Paul
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 45,055
    edited October 2002
    Originally posted by rlw
    But I find that there's something "edgy" and "thin" about the sound that makes me not want to listen, and can be unpleasant.


    I agree that redbook cd's are not all they could be, but neither are redbook lp's. That's why I buy audiophile cd's and sacd's. They are warm, detailed and natural. Another factor to consider is the gear that is used for playback. With the right gear you can make redbook cd's sound awesome, just as with the right gear you can make vinyl sound awesome. The statement that cd's are a step down from vinyl is ignorant.

    BTW, analog doesn't rule and how is Cleveland these days?
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    Originally posted by F1nut


    I agree that redbook cd's are not all they could be, but neither are redbook lp's. That's why I buy audiophile cd's and sacd's. They are warm, detailed and natural. Another factor to consider is the gear that is used for playback. With the right gear you can make redbook cd's sound awesome, just as with the right gear you can make vinyl sound awesome. The statement that cd's are a step down from vinyl is ignorant.

    BTW, analog doesn't rule and how is Cleveland these days?


    Pray tell, what are "redbook lps"?

    I have a decent CDP - the Balanced Audio Technology D5-SE- and I still say CD's are a step down from LP. What would you suggest as a the "right gear" to make CD's sound better?

    Speaking of ignorance, what high-end vinyl rig do you have access to for comparison?
  • rlwrlw Posts: 231
    edited October 2002
    Originally posted by HBombToo
    I would imagine that cd's are a step down if their, cd players, sampling rate and dac are of low quality.

    I don't have the capability of comparing the 2 but if there is a good 2 channel lp system... I would like to start a shootout with my Cal Labs DVD/CD player. We can split shipping.

    HBomb

    I have the BAT VK-D5 SE - maybe you consider that "low quality", but you would be the first person to say that, considering it's a $6,000.00 CDP.
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