LAST - then and now?

Have been enjoying hauling records out of storage and listening to stuff I haven't heard in years. One thing I have noticed is that the records treated with LAST (probably a good 15 years or more ago) have held up really well.I know part of this is the cleaning on a Keith Monks machine they got before applying LAST - and possibly more importantly - I only went to the trouble with stuff I really liked.
At any rate - my question is this - has the base of the LAST product changed over the years? So many cleaning products were Freon based and are no longer made or made with different chemicals - does anyone know if LAST today is chemically identical to what it was 15 years ago?
Chemicals similiar to "Freon" (Dupont's trade name for trichlorotriflouroethane) leave no residue.

In the case of LAST it's use was strictly as a carrier and had no efficacy of its' own. Much like solvent or water in paint, it served as a vehicle to carry the active ingredient(s).

In any case, there are other chemicals that have replaced halogentated (i.e. chlorine, flourine, and bromine based) products so there should be no difference in performance in LAST which is a useless product by any standard.
I too am a long time LAST user (since the early eighties) and my records are still mint condition after all these years. I had the same question, along with "how long does the treatment last, once applied?". I called the factory and had a very educating conversation with them.

I was told that the formulation has not changed at all since its introduction, so that should answer your question. I was also informed that the liquid does not put a coating on the record, instead it permanently alters the chemical composition of the vinyl surface and the record will never need to be retreated. It cannot be washed or worn off.

I would suggest that you call the factory (see link below) and talk to them, as I did a few years ago - very enlightening. Keep using LAST and keep that analog flame burning!
"Useless product by any standard"

Is that why LAST stylus products are the only ones approved by Van Den Hul for their cartridges? Last has been and still is a valuable help with keeping my collection alive. After 30 years in high end and with a $30K analog rig, I hope I have some idea what I'm talking about.

Opinions, esp from dealers, which are so sharp with criticism let me know two things: (1) I'm really stupid and (2) I can't hear. I'm glad when they put me in my place, as it narrows down the field of opinions that I might otherwise value.

That's what I love about this hobby: we're all blessed with positions of Godlike knowledge and objectivity and we're quick to share our superior opinions :).
>>Last has been and still is a valuable help with keeping my collection alive. After 30 years in high end and with a $30K analog rig<<

That's nice.

When you get to 50 years and $150K in analog gear, we can talk.

Good luck to you.

Well put! I could not agree with you more.
I know part of this is the cleaning on a Keith Monks machine they got before applying LAST

Yes, I've found that use of a quality record cleaning machine prior to applying LAST is an absolute necessity. Otherwise, the LAST seems to dramatically increase tics and pops, presumably by "cementing" into place any minute detritus which may be present in the grooves.

I should qualify that by saying that much of my listening is to symphonic music with wide dynamic range, the frequent soft passages making tics and pops more noticeable than on typical pop recordings with narrow dynamic range.

-- Al
I do not use LAST myself, so I have no opinion as to whether it produces sonic improvements or not. However, I am curious as to how this stuff is supposed to work. According to a post above, the LAST people say it alters the chemical composition of the vinyl surface. I do not see what relevance this is. A stylus picks up vibrations from the record grooves. This is a mechanical process. What does the chemical composition of the vinyl surface have to do with this? The undulation in the record groove is there or it's not, no matter what the chemical composition of the surface is. The only thing I can think of is that it may harden the surface, therefore reducing wear or making light scratches less likely. Another possibility is that it fills in gaps caused by scratches, thereby reducing pops. But it can't do this since LAST says it does not coat the record. So does anybody know how this product is supposed to work?
My dealer says that it is important to clean a record before and, especially, AFTER applying LAST preservative. Simply put, the record will sound better if you do. I have tried this. And my ears have corroborated it. Apparently, it does leave some sort of residue. . . Neither of us have, ever, been able to tell if it really works, however. To do so, one would have to play identical copies of a record--one treated and one not--an equal and high number of times over several years. And who wants to bother to do that?
As far as the LAST record cleaner is concerned, he says that it contains a harmful solvent and recommends Walker Audio's multi-step cleaning system, instead.
Now, with LAST's stylus preservative, I believe that A.J. van den Hul likes it mainly because he has found that it does no damage--unlike, apparently, everything else.
As far as I know, he has never, actually, said that it works.
By the way, imho, the best way to preserve one's stylus is by having it set up properly.
LAST is one of the best products to have ever come down the pike.

I had a "test" case for exact comparison as I never used to treat Sheffields, MoFi's, Direct-Discs, etc based upon mofi's advice not to use anything. I used to treat my "normal" records and have over 30 years worth of albums spinning on the same exact system. No comparison, the LAST albums held up much better and NOW I treat my UHQR's, Mofi's, everything else with LAST.

Maybe if you have 150K system you won't use it. I'll never know, but I have never left vinyl, have only a meager SOTA Cosmos MKIV and fidelity research arm and cartridges, and I suffer gladly with using LAST.

Have Fun!
With a properly aligned cartridge and clean records products like LAST are completely unnecessary. I have records from the 1950's forward that are dead quiet, many of which have thousands of playings.

7000 albums and 50 years is proof enough.

Maybe those meager (your words not mine) components need a supplementative product to sound right.

Good luck to you.
From my experience with Last for the past (approximately) 30 years, Last preservative does what it claims. I've got back up copies of many LP titles, purchased new (at the same time) and the ones treated with Last hold up better.

My understanding is that Last chemically changes the first few microns of the uppermost layer of the vinyl into a slippery composition similar to Teflon. The reduced friction accounts for less wear and improved high frequencies, which I always experience with LP's treated this way.

I currently have the Odyssey RCM, the German version of the Keith Monks having recently come from the VPI 17F.

I agree with Nietzschelover that after applying Last Preservative you should wash and rinse again. A large portion of my newest LP's have not gotten the Last treatment due to all the extra time it takes.

For what it's worth, both Michael Fremer and Larry Archibald claim to use Last on their own library.
Well, I’ve never tried Last but it seems like a great idea to go online and belittle people having a friendly discussion like a high-handed ba$t@rd – especially when you’re a retailer trying to sell stuff to those same people.

Or would that be a rude move?
Perhaps this site should be renamed Audiofeil as anyone elses opinion on the subject of audio is gon... or so some would wish. In fifty years for one to dismiss others opinions and 30 plus years of sales of a product , what exactly have you learned ? Oh yeah , you have a 150,000 dollar analogue system. Good for you ! We are all left in awe and so impressed. Cheers
Audiofeil's arrogant and condescending tone is extremely well documented on this site. That is one thing that is not really debatable. Belittlement seems to be a primary motive in his responses.

Click on "Answers" at the bottom of any of his posts, and a brief amount of reading will present plenty of evidence supporting this beyond any shadow of a doubt.

Hey if dish it out you gotta take it.

I said Meager as a joke as the SOTA is the best turn table I will ever own. Bold and highlight I in that statement. I also love it and I am DONE. Better Tables are out there, GREAT!!!! Go buy one.

My FR is aligned and fussed with in the best audiophile tradition. Hell, Mr. Van den Hul rebuilt two of my cartridges as I won't give my FR's up in any event.

I also have records from the 50's, most of them chewed up and snap and crack fests. LAST has "helped" some of those records in reducing surface noise.

In this hobby where money is tossed around like an afterthought for those on the fence, spend forty freaking dollars and do your own determination.

I posted as I believe anyone who seriously spins vinyl without using LAST is nuts.
I've been following this "discussion". All I can say is I love this hobby. ;O)

Last Dealer
Oh yeah, if you buy it and it doesn't work well in thirty years, feel free to return the unused portion and I'll refund your money.