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megoninjaOffline
Post subject: Record Cleaning Machine, really necessary?  PostPosted: Feb 16, 2010 - 08:55 PM
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Hey there guys,

I am wondering, is it really necessary to buy one of those dangerously overpriced machines like Nitty Gritty to clean or 'preserve' your record collection? To be honest, the whole concept (like most record 'cleaning' products) always seem to play on fears and guilt like "you dont want you record collection to turn to dust, do you?" and seem to guilt trip you into spending $1000 on these contraptions. So my question is, is it really worth spending hundreds of dollars on one of these things or is there a better way around this?

I tried making my own vacuum cleaner record cleaning device, while it does work it's just not 100% efficient.

Does every one here own a record cleaning machine or do you find you can get the same results from just washing the record with water and alcohol, for example.

any help would be appreciated before I am forced into spending $500 on some device that will probably prove unnecessary.
 
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jackcaptureOffline
Post subject: RE: Record Cleaning Machine, really necessary?  PostPosted: Feb 16, 2010 - 10:12 PM
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Depends if you're an audiophile or not. I'm not and even if I was willing to spend a lot of money on a cleaner I know I'd barely use it. I rarely wash any of my records and have listened to some of them (unwashed) for more than 30 years with total enjoyment.

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B_big.Offline
32 Post subject: Manually looking after my vinyl recordings  PostPosted: Feb 17, 2010 - 04:18 AM
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    Megoninja,

    certainly it isn't necessary to buy one of these machines! It depends on your expectations of how you like your recordings to be maintained and stored. I collect vinyl for moren than 40 years now, and I started fairly early in my 'collector career' to protect my gems in the best possible way.

    I store them in poly-lined inner sleeves, and the covers in poly sleeves too. Before I store them this way, I clean the vinyl carefully and proper. I don't own one of these expensive machines, I do it manually. To be honest, I don't buy whole lot's of recordings at a time, like others do. Therefore I can afford to clean 'em the 'old-fashioned' way.

    I use nothing but tepid water with a dash of 'dish-washing' liquid. I put the recordings on a micro-fiber towel and use a medium stiff-bristled dish-washing brush, that has a plain bristle face. I carefully move the brush in circles about the grooves a few times, trying to preserve the label from getting too wet. Most of the modern labels are water resistant during a certain time, but the older are pretty water-sensitive. Then I immediately pat the label dry very gentle, without wiping to avoid damage. With a second lint-free micro-fiber towel I dry the vinyl, by wiping it in circles, again without rubbing across the label.

    Of course this is a labor-intensive way, but it works proper, and you will be surprised about the increase of listening pleasure you can get in many cases.

    The only time when I use another detergent, is when something's too greasy or very persistent sticking on the vinyl. In such a case I use lighter fluid.

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hrtshpdbox
Post subject: Re: Record Cleaning Machine, really necessary?  PostPosted: Feb 17, 2010 - 05:43 AM
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megoninja wrote:

... do you find you can get the same results from just washing the record with water and alcohol, for example.


I don't own a machine, so I'm not really qualified to answer. The vacuum aspect of a machine seems like a good idea. I'm mostly a 45 person, and it's very easy and quick to clean them with a few rags; I'd imagine it would take longer to get the job done, per record, with a machine.
 
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GraemeOffline
Post subject: RE: Manually looking after my vinyl recordings  PostPosted: Feb 17, 2010 - 05:45 AM
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The simple answer to your question is 'no', a machine is not essential. It is perfectly feasible to clean records manually, but this is a time-consuming process.

A good vacuum cleaner is quicker, more consistent and allows the records to be played immediately after cleaning. Some of us have a need for one or more of these features and that's why we own a record cleaning machine.

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LoneStarStompOffline
Post subject: RE: Manually looking after my vinyl recordings  PostPosted: Feb 17, 2010 - 06:38 AM
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It is necessary for me and my collection. I got the $300-ish model Nitty Gritty for Christmas a few years back and have been thrilled. There are little bits of dust and junk down in them grooves and a vacuum gets them out more thoroughly than I ever could. Time is also saved... a minute or two to wash by hand and 24 hours to air dry properly, or 30 seconds with my cleaner and 10 minutes of air dry time to take care of any little extra damp spots.

People that have 'em can't do without, people that don't have 'em can do without. Until they get one.

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hrtshpdbox
Post subject: Re: RE: Manually looking after my vinyl recordings  PostPosted: Feb 17, 2010 - 07:15 AM
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LoneStarStomp wrote:
Time is also saved... a minute or two to wash by hand and 24 hours to air dry properly..

The air dry thing puzzles me, LoneStar, I think my hand-washed ones are as dry as they possibly can be after standing up somewhere for 10 minutes. Three rags (diapers): first one water/alcohol/Dawn, second one water, third one to pat dry the record (with a 45 it's just putting your hands into "prayer" mode with the record inside the cloth, no movements that could be abrasive) and make sure there's not droplets on the label and to give a wipe to the deadwax area. Also, definitely, stages one and two, cleaning and rinsing, takes me no more than 30 seconds.
 
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CactusCowboyOffline
Post subject: RE: Re: RE: Manually looking after my vinyl recordings  PostPosted: Feb 17, 2010 - 10:25 AM
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I've done the hand-wash method but now have a homemade RCM. The RCM is much faster, more efficient, and does a superior job. The big advantage with the RCM is that the vacuum pulls all of the fluid (and gunk suspended in it) out of the grooves.

In my opinion, a RCM is essential for a serious collector, in particular anyone who is buying used records at thrift shops and garage sales.

You don't need to spend $500+ on a RCM. It is possible to build one if you're handy with tools and fabrication. Check out this "sticky" on the topic:

http://www.recordcollectorsguild.org/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=40503

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hrtshpdbox
Post subject: Re: RE: Re: RE: Manually looking after my vinyl recordings  PostPosted: Feb 17, 2010 - 10:41 AM
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CactusCowboy wrote:
It is possible to build one if you're handy with tools and fabrication.

I'm not handy. Build one for me, Cactus! Very Happy
 
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CactusCowboyOffline
Post subject: Re: RE: Re: RE: Manually looking after my vinyl recordings  PostPosted: Feb 17, 2010 - 12:24 PM
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hrtshpdbox wrote:
CactusCowboy wrote:
It is possible to build one if you're handy with tools and fabrication.

I'm not handy. Build one for me, Cactus! Very Happy


OK, you're next in line..... behind 118 other projects. Laughing
 
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