How to Properly Maintain Your Records:
Vinyl enthusiasts will tell you how crucial it is to maintain and protect your records. Although vinyl records are considered by many to produce the best quality sound, they certainly won’t do so forever unless you take care of them properly.
Records are particularly susceptible to scratches, heat, and sunlight. To help you take better care of your record collection, here are a few easy tips.
+ More on Vinyl Storage Solutions
Playing Your Records:
Cleaning Your Records
Even if you follow every guideline for maintaining your records, they could still use a good cleaning every now and then. There are a few ways you can go about cleaning the records in your collection, though no one way is better than any other. Here are a few techniques that you can use to clear off any dust, dirt, and oil that may have gathered.
Simply Analog brush: This sort of brush is especially effective because its bristles can easily find the grooves of the record, removing any debris.
The brush can also reduce any static electricity that may be attracting dust to the record. You should brush your records before and after each listen.
Simply spin the record while you are holding the brush. Just be sure to clean out the brush after every use.
Avoid using a towel or T-shirt to clean off your records, as these materials can damage the record further.+more on Simply Analog
Two great options to keep and protect your precious vinyl records are the kit from Simply Analog or Last Factory fluids.
The true test of a record cleaner is how well it achieves its aim and how much effort is required to do so. But that's not all, there is also the question of reliability.
One very useful feature of the Okki Nokki is that it has a float mechanism, that stops it operating when the fluid needs to be drained, so there's never any danger of water getting into the motor. Which given its electrical nature, has got to be a good thing.
Operation is via two switches: one for forward/reverse and the other for suction, but first you need to dilute the cleaning fluid in a Litre of condensed water and then pour a little back into the bottle which has small spout for ease of use. Inconveniently, this bottle has no lid so needs taping-up. The fluid itself is soap rather than alcohol-based and doesn't require rinsing.
The vacuum motor isn't excessively noisy and does the job quickly.
The cleaning process is pretty straightforward and once you've done it a couple of times, it's not too slow either; you can do what it suggests in the manual in about a minute per side.
The result is that vinyl sounds relatively 'fresh' because the highs are clearer, which not only adds sparkle to the treble but brings greater definition across the range. It also gets rid of some sources of noise such as pops and clicks, not the ones caused by actual damage of course, but by larger deposits of detritus.
Keep it clean
There is no such thing as a record cleaning machine where you put a dirty record in at one end and get a clean one out at the other, they all require a fair amount of elbow grease.
The Okki Nokki works as well as any we have tried, but costs less and has a safety feature that should stop users from inadvertently damaging it. Record-cleaning is not the most fun you can have with your clothes on, so an affordable machine that makes it painless is very welcome indeed!
>>more on OKKI NOKKI
Another Vacuum based RCM which One Good Ear represents
the WCS-3 Record Cleaning Machine
THE WCS-3 IS ONE INCREDIBLY STOUT AND POWERFUL VACUUM RECORD CLEANER.
• heavy aluminum chassis
• compact footprint
• automatic rotation during scrub and vacuum cycles
• rubber seal record clamp
• stable platter
• adjustable vacuum level
• remove-able power cable
• record cleaning brush
>>more on Music Hall
Ultrasonic vinyl record cleaners are becoming ever more popular for audiophiles and are threatening to become the de-facto standard for any serious vinyl fan wanting to maintain a shiny, clean record collection.
In simple terms, such machines hold and rotate records that are partly submerged in a bath of liquid. That type of liquid can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer but the bulk tends to be distilled water. Once the record is wet (the label is always left untouched, incidentally), the ultrasonic action known as cavitation begins in the bath container via an active transducer, producing compression waves that produces millions of tiny bubbles that break up, creating millions of tiny bubble explosions, directed liquid that is fired and forced into the moving grooves. The agitation effect displaces gunk, grease, muck and other contaminants, cleaning the grooves like never before.
>>more on Isonic
Ever wondered "How are records made?"...Here's a little video that shows you the process in a simple manner.
An old proverb says: music is the language of passion! That’s why we put not only experience and expertise into the development of our record players, but a dose of passion as well. This is reflected in the premium sound quality of our luxury turntables: it meets the absolute highest demands, yet it is distinguished by its unique simplicity. Acoustic Solid’s exclusive vinyl turntables produce a magnificent audio performance. Furthermore we provide our customers with pick-up cartridges, tonearms, belt drives, phono amplifiers and of course the necessary turntable accessories for a perfected listening experience.
Turntables from Acoustic Solid: Highest quality, optimized acoustics
Is your vinyl record collection the centre-piece of your living room? Then you should treat yourself to the appropriate technology and acoustics to enjoy it! With a refined hi-fi turntable from Acoustic Solid, you will get absolute top quality and crystal clear acoustics for your home.
By the way, all Acoustic Solid turntables are produced by hand during the manufacturing process.
"The spirit of our audio equipment stems from the fusion of past and future. This means that we don’t see a contradiction in combining avant-garde technological innovations with a design that seeks ties with tradition.
The Renaissance of our city Florence is a role model to be inspired by every day, a period of great technological innovation and new ideas, and this is the tradition we are interested in – it is our mission to reread it with deference and respect to obtain a direct connection with that innovative spirit of six centuries ago.
Today Gold Note presents a line of unique, perfectly coherent, and elegant products that allow you to set up an entire quality stereo system with turntables, electronics, and loudspeakers. A philosophy that has allowed us to represent Italy, the most beautiful country in the world, as I have always dreamed of doing."
FOUNDER & CEO
MUSIC HALL, LLC WAS FOUNDED IN APRIL OF 1985. WE ARE A COMPANY DEDICATED TO MANUFACTURING, IMPORTING, AND DISTRIBUTING WELL PRICED, TOP QUALITY, HIGH-END AUDIO COMPONENTS.
Our emphasis is almost exclusively 2-channel (stereo), a rarity in this day of iPods and multi-channel products. We have grown over the years to become one of the pre-eminent distribution and manufacturing companies in the industry.
Music Hall manufactures its own range of turntables in the Czech Republic. These are produced in a factory that has been making turntables for over 50 years. All Music Hall turntables come fitted with arms, cartridges and dust covers. They consistently make the “Recommended Components” list in Stereophile Magazine.
Our electronics are developed and designed in the US and manufactured to our strict specifications in Shenzhen, China. The range consists of integrated amps, CD players, receivers, phono amps and D/A converters.
What is a phono stage?
A phono stage (also known as a phono pre-amp) provides the connection between the record player and an amplifier. When vinyl was the defacto standard for audio recording, the phono stage was built-in to receivers and amps, allowing direct connection of a turntable.
However, as new formats like CDs were introduced and begun to replace vinyl, manufacturers of amplifiers removed or reduced the quality of their in-built phono stages and inputs as they were no longer being used.
A lot of hi-fi amplifiers now won’t let you plug in a turntable directly. You need to connect via a phono stage to make the very small signal from the turntable powerful enough for your main amp to work with.
If your system/receiver has an input labeled “phono,” there’s a good chance this input has a built-in phono pre-amp stage.
Phono Stage Brands represented by One Good Ear:
What we value here is honesty and integrity in engineering and performance and a simplicity of design to reinforce that ethos. By these means, we hope to achieve our goal which is to provide the audiophile with the tools to realize the most transparent delivery of their music from the source to the speaker.
We could wax sanctimonious here about how much more we value quality sound than any other audio company and how we have found some strange combination of technology and dark magic to seat you right next to the performer; that we will take you to audio Nirvana, for a price. None of this is true, per se. You, the listener, have to be the judge of how close we come to such ideals.
That said, our products are designed to be high end instruments to precisely amplify and deliver the audio signal to your output device free of noise and distortion. We strive to achieve specifications that could be used to describe the parameters of precision laboratory equipment but without being too clinical about it. After all, music shouldn't be clinical.
We have done this in many ways in the past and there are indeed many methods used to approximate these goals in the market today. However, with Six Acoustic we hope to implement decades of research and development to arrive at a level of fidelity that is simply unmatched at our price points.
Thinking Outside the Sleeve
On first glance, the VSS sleeves look like a regular outer record sleeve with a resealable top, but on closer inspection, you’ll notice the second pocket. This dual compartment design enables you to store and seal artwork from the outside world while retaining easy access to the record from a second pocket.
One of the issues with many traditional outer sleeves is clarity. Over time, outer sleeves tend to cloud up, leaving the record protected, but less appealing to the eye.
All of these sleeves are made from US and Canadian materials, which enables Mike at VSS to have greater certainty and control over quality.
The quality of material used to store your vinyl records (both with outer and inner sleeves) matters greatly. Many standard polyethylene sleeves do not necessarily use the highest grade of material in the manufacturing process, which can lead to impurities that may cause damage. In the case of PVC outer sleeves, long term storage under the wrong conditions can lead to severe damage through chemical reactions that cloud the record surface.
The clarity is clear to see from day one: just take a look at the difference between this old sleeve on the right, and the new VSS sleeve on the left on the picture above.
If you want your records to last a lifetime (and perhaps longer), then investing in outer sleeves is a must.
To fully enjoy vinyl, you must keep your records clean. Dirty records don’t just sound bad, they’re also bad for your turntable, as the increased stress on your stylus will significantly shorten its life. This, in turn, will also lead to increased record wear.
You can read more about complete record care in our previous post, but we’re going to focus specifically to keeping records clean. Fortunately for record collectors, there are plenty of tried and tested methods for keeping your precious collection clean and clear for many years you come.
As best practice, you should always use a record brush to clean your records before and after each play-back. This will help reduce build up of dust that can shorten your stylus life and contaminate records.
Record Cleaning Machines:
First up, the easiest and most effective method – using a cleaning machine.
They’re a little expensive; but the fact remains, record cleaning machines are the most effective way to clean vinyl records. The reason they’re so effective is because unlike manual cleaning, record cleaning machines work by sucking up the applied cleaning solution, which in-turn takes all the dirt and grime away with it. Cleaning machines have the added benefit of saving you a ton of time when bulk cleaning large collections.
Ultrasonic cleaning has long been popular in the jewelry industry. This method work by using high-frequency pressure sound waves to agitate a liquid, producing tiny cavitation bubbles. Lots of tiny bubbles produce high forces, helping to gently lift contaminants adhering to the record surface.
Traditionally, Ultrasonic cavitation-based record cleaners are very expensive. In recent years however, a few companies have set up business using standard ultrasonic cleaning tanks, which greatly reduces the cost.
Devices like the Okki Nokki or Music Hall are vacuum-based, which essentially sucks up the cleaning solution, taking away dirt and grime in the process.
The benefits of a vacuum cleaner made specifically for cleaning vinyl records is that it sucks up the dirt and dust that has settled into the grooves of the vinyl while simultaneously minimizing pressure and physical contact with the delicate record itself.
If you have an extensive record collection, or just want to save time, investing up front in a record cleaning machine is well worth the expense.
Ultrasonic vinyl record cleaners are more and more popular for audiophiles and are becoming the standard for any serious vinyl fan wanting to maintain a shiny, clean record collection.
In simple terms, such machines hold and rotate records that are partly submerged in a bath of liquid (the bulk is distilled water). Once the record is wet (the label is always left untouched, incidentally), the ultrasonic action known as cavitation begins in the bath container via an active transducer, producing compression waves that produces millions of tiny bubbles that break up, creating millions of tiny bubble explosions, directed liquid that is fired and forced into the moving grooves. The agitation effect displaces gunk, grease, muck and other contaminants, cleaning the grooves like never before.
iSonic brings powerful products which are practical and easy ways to clean records.
iSonic P4875II +MVR5: The device can hold FIVE 12” or 10” vinyl records & the iSonic P4875II +MVR10 which can hold up to TEN 12” or 10” vinyl records.
It has all types of standard convenience. The ultrasonic power of the device is 35,000 Hz which is decent to remove any dirt and germ from your record. The cleaning tank is made of stainless steel, and its size is 13” X 9.4” X 4.1”. The six different time cycle of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 minutes will allow you to automate the process.
It comes with a bottle of liquid solution specifically formulated for vinyl record cleaning
Vinyl Storage Solutions:
Michael Sarazin, the person behind the Vinyl Storage Solutions line of products considered the 3 primary sources of dust which are terrible for records;
He came up with the dual pocket sleeves which help eliminate those sources of dust:Obviously, the dual pocket sleeve takes care of item 1 & using non-paper base inner sleeves would take care of item 2. Unfortunately most inner sleeves are open to the atmosphere (item 3) and he didn't want dust getting inside of the sleeve or part of the record to slide out when inside of the outer sleeve. When he looked at putting a flap as part of the inner sleeve, Michael wanted to avoid the potential of his fingers touching the record, which naturally lead him to making the flap permanently attached to the inner sleeve. So now one could simply slide the record in and out of the sleeve and easily overlap the flap to "encase" the record!Bringing audiophiles premium storage products without the premium price. Made in Canada with Materials from Canada and the USA.
If you want to enjoy records of the best possible quality, you need to take regular care of them. The Greek specialist Simply Analog Audiophile Products has combined all the utensils needed for this in everyday life into the Simply Analog Vinyl Cleaning Boxset.
Environmentally inert. 100% recyclable.
Acid free. Contains no PVC.
Excellent optics. Highly reflective.
Moderate WVTR (water vapor transmission rate) barrier against moisture and odours.
Highly resistance to acids, alkaline, grease and oil. Exceptional resistance to corrosive chemicals. Exceptional toughness, wear & abrasion resistance.
Natural living hinge properties, Folds won’t easily crack or crinkle.
Used for archival purposes., such as photographs.