Vinyl Care & Maintenance|
Posted on Saturday, July 08 @ 14:41:40 EDT by steveoptix
Topic: Tips and Tricks
Records are delicate, and susceptible to damage and wear. Therefore a few techniques should be employed when it comes to handling, cleaning and storage of your valued recordings.
Avoid touching the playing or grooved surface of any disc. You should handle the disc by the other edge and the labled surface only. Avoid placing on any other surface without a protective sleeve.
The cleaning of discs, should be performed before and after playing. This ensures the best possible playback, and prepares the disc for "dust free" storage. There are various methods, machines and formulas, for the cleaning of records.
The use of a soft, clean cloth and water is generally acceptable. Distilled water is preferred over tap water. Also recommended is a "water based" cleaning solution with up to 20% isopropyl alcohol by volume. This type of solution is especially effective in removing dirt and dissolving oily contaminants from the contact with hands and skin.
When cleaning the disc, place it on a soft clean flat cloth. Next, apply the cleaning solution or water, and with a soft clean cloth, work the disc in a circular motion and in the direction of the grooves. When at all possible, avoid a static build up on your discs. This will not only create crackles during playback, but also attract dust particles during playing and handling.
For long life and playability, proper storage of your recordings is paramount. Some of the factors to consider for the proper storage of discs are temperature and humidity, dirt and dust, improper stacking, excessive pressure and weight, and mechanical or chemical damage.
Remove the original manufacturers wrapping from records. These wraps will shrink over time, eventually warping the jacket and it's contents. Replace this "shrink wrap" with high density polyethylene, or "acid free" sleeves. Additionally, you should also replace regular paper or "acid bearing" inner sleeves, with Mylar or Polyethylene sleeves. Regular paper inner sleeves will scratch the surface of your recordings with every pass. And, certain plastic lined sleeves will create a chemical reaction with the record, while in storage.
As with most objects, time will eventually take it's toll. But if you follow a few of these simple steps, you will no doubt extend the life of your recordings.