Old vinyl records

Discussion in 'New Roundtable' started by shane0911, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. shane0911

    shane0911 Veteran Member Staff Member

    Does anyone know if there is a way to refurb vinyl records, LP's and 45's?

    My mom had a vast collection of old soul, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke type stuff as well as a pretty extensive collection of classic french music. They are for the most part in pretty rough condition because she would play them often. I got the collection after she died and I'd like to get them into better shape if it is possible. Hell they can do just about anything these days right?
    TigersTailgating likes this.
  2. LaSalleAve

    LaSalleAve when in doubt, mumble

    Being a collector myself what I've done is used distilled water (no minerals) and a soft clean cloth like silk. They need to be kept in a climate controlled room and free of dust or debris.
  3. plotalot

    plotalot Veteran Member

    As far as refurbishing is concerned, there is not a lot you can do. Your limited to cleaning and protecting, as described above.
  4. shane0911

    shane0911 Veteran Member Staff Member

    This is what I was afraid of. I found an article on the web where a guy says to put it under water flow and sand it with 1500 emory or something like that but it just doesn't sound right even though he swears it works. I know, if its on the internet it must be true right?


    I don't know if I would call any of these "ruined" but they are in rode hard and put to bed wet shape for sure. My mom sure did love her music. I have an unused dining/family type room in the house and the plan is to buy and fix up a juke box off of craigslist. I will then hang album art and perhaps some of the records on the wall and make it a music room.
  5. LaSalleAve

    LaSalleAve when in doubt, mumble

    Kudos to you for keeping them alive
  6. plotalot

    plotalot Veteran Member

    I have used fine grit sandpaper, polishing compounds and even toothpaste to buff out bad spots on CDs and DVDs. I would try it on a record that wouldn't be missed if you screwed it up beyond a playable state, but would be hesitant with a rare or favorite disk.
    shane0911 likes this.
  7. StaceyO

    StaceyO Football Turns Me On

    I used to love vinyl. My parents have a decent collection of 50's/60's music on vinyl, but it is also what I used for the most part until CDs came out. Living at my parents house in Louisiana are the vinyl editions of the Grease soundtrack, Thriller, Purple Rain, and many others. The artwork was great on the albums back then, too. Prince's 1999 was especially cool.
  8. red55

    red55 curmudgeon Staff Member

    I have over 1,000 classic LPs and fortunately I was always fastidious about keeping them clean and scratch-free. I still own the first record I ever bought and it is in good shape. Of course I do have several dozen from my dorm-room days that were mishandled by others and have required extra care to be listenable. Here is the deal:

    1. FORGET sandpaper!!!! Jesus Christ, all that will do is ruin the record.

    2. If they have been played to death, there will be some pop and hiss because the needle damages the grooves a bit every time they are played. Nothing you can do.

    3. Even pristine records will have some quiet surface noise. In the pre-digital days, we just all learned to tune it out mentally and hear the music, because analog recordings sound superior to digital other than the surface noise. Youngsters accustomed to no-tape-hiss digital recordings and no-surface noise CD's seem to have a tougher time doing this.

    4. Records that have been abused and have scratches and other damage to the grooves will always have them. There will be pops, static, and occasional skips. Nothing you can do but appreciate the fact that they are vintage and many are long out of print and were never digitized.

    5. However most old records are just dirty because the static electricity caused by dragging a needle through the grooves would attract fine dust which will eventually clog the grooves. Fortunately records can be cleaned to address this situation. You can find online the procedure to clean a record properly. It is important to do it properly.

    6. My old records sound great because I did several thing religiously to keep them well-maintained. Always put them right back into their paper sleeves after use. Always play the record with the turntable cover down to reduce dust fall on them. Always handle a record by the edges and the labels, never touch the grooves with your fingers. Buy a proper record brush and special cleaning fluid and carefully wipe both sides of the disk before playing--always with the grooves, never across the grooves! It takes the dust off and leaves a micro-thin silicon layer that lubricates the grooves so the needle causes less damage. Buy a proper needle brush and wipe off accumulated dust that the needle picks up off the disks before each playing. Use a high-end elliptical needle cartridge and keep the tone-arm pressure low on the turntable. Never use an old or damaged needle. They will scrape the grooves like a bulldozer.

    7. If you are ripping old records to digital, there is software that will help take out the worst noise.

    8. Juke boxes are cool, but they are hell on records. They had to be replaced very often. I was once given a box with about 200 old 45's that had come out of jukeboxes and they were all but unlistenable.
    plotalot and shane0911 like this.
  9. fanatic

    fanatic Buckle your seatbelts...

    Sound like a lot of trouble to go through just to listen to music. I hit my musical stride in the 80s and while vinyl was still around, cassettes were the major musical platform for me; which was awesome because I could listen in my car or walkman, as well as my home stereo.

    Red, do you still listen to/play vinyl or do you prefer the digitized version, if the music is available on CD/.mp3? Seems like you would, if for no other reason then to keep your vinyl in pristine condition. Do analog recordings really sound better than digital? Seems like it would be the other way around since you could eliminate other imperfections; in addition to the cracking/popping of vinyl.
  10. LaSalleAve

    LaSalleAve when in doubt, mumble

    Honestly I love the crackle. I still have 2 technics 1200 mk2's.
    KyleK likes this.

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