Record cleaner

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Record cleaner

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:02 am

I have used every sauce and substance known to mankind for cleaning records over the last nearly 60 years that I have been playing records. The best method I have found thus far is Windex and a terry cloth towel. This will not work on shellac discs, naturally, but it has worked swell on "vinyl". I don't have lots of dirt and noise problems, but for some reason, needle life seems pretty short. I use a combinaton of six turntables to put my old records onto my computer hard drive and onto CD. I know, I know. I could download most of this stuff off the 'Net and save all that work. But I get to play all my old records again, and I have been having a ball. I should technically expect 1000 hours or so of use from a diamond needle. I am getting about 10% of that. The needle in my Stanton cartridge just died today. I have three TT's that I use for "good" records, so I changed to my Technics SL-D2 and went about my business. I can process about 100 records on a needle. Under my magnifying glass the used ones look like I have been playing concrete blocks, rather than records. They are not all dirty and gunked up, they are just shot. I know nothing is as good as it used to be. I do not use name brand needles. I use the generic version, which is normally a fraction in price of the genuine article. The one that went wonky today was a Pfanstiel. Any suggestions?

WC

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Re: Record cleaner

Post by 75X11 on Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:34 am

Do you remember the "sound guard" brand of record cleaner and preservative/lubricant? I wonder if the plastic is beginning to lose it's elastomers and is becoming a harder material than it originally was. I remember there were a number of products that were of dubious value when the discs were new that might be of use now. That might be something worth researching.
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Re: Record cleaner

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:21 am

I am blaming the needles for being softer, when the records may be getting harder? That is an interesting prospective that I had not considered. Thanks, 75.

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Re: Record cleaner

Post by 75X11 on Sun Oct 05, 2014 11:53 am

If you consider that many styli are made from stone, that would leave one other wear factor that can have changed over the years. The compositions that 78 rpm records were made from could be relied upon to wear out styli quickly.
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Re: Record cleaner

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:19 pm

I don't do just a huge amount of 78's.  I use my GE turntable for that anyways.  I notice the wear on LP's.  Mainly on three cartridges.  A Stanton 500 series, a Shure N92, and an Audio-Technica A96. Admittedly, some records that I have done lately have not been in pristine condition.  I wonder if the Windex is actually causing some type of unknown damage to the records, and it is manifesting itself in excessive needle wear.  I don't see anything in Windex that would cause that, but you never know.  I use that stuff to clean everything, and it does a good job and is fairly cheap.  Maybe I should try using some genuine record cleaner and see if that has an effect on needle wear.  Any suggestions?

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Re: Record cleaner

Post by 75X11 on Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:45 pm

I had a look on Amazon and found a cleaner that just might serve both purposes and doesn't charge for spurious magical properties.  I would suspect that, if anything, the ammonia in the windex may be also depleting any elastomer in the plastics' surface.  This cleaner might be worth a try.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001MM797M/ref=s9_simh_gw_p328_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0BCAC398GQDRQ1Z25HNQ&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200382&pf_rd_i=507846

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Re: Record cleaner

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun Oct 05, 2014 4:11 pm

It can't hurt to give that a try. Thanks, 75.

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