I'd suggest seeing if there is a local audio club with members who could let you use their machines. If you live near Williamsburg, VA, you could come over and use mine, though it's only a VPI 16.5, not one of the more effective ultrasonic cleaners. Failing all that, here's a link to a record grading service that might help: Home (aagservices.org)
LP Cleaning Services
I don’t visit the Analog section section often, so forgive me if this has been covered, but I was unable to pull any thread up that addressed this particular topic.
I am definitely a Digital Guy, but I did recently purchase a Technics Direct Drive table, which I am using with an Ortofon 2M Blue and a phono preamp from Cambridge Audio. I am very pleased with the Sonics. I don’t however intend to buy many lps, if for no other reason than I am in downsizing mode, and am trying to confine it to old favorites (my several hundred lps were destroyed in a flood years ago) that are not currently available digitally.
I recently bought two, from a well respected lp resale shop, and they are both dirty as all get up. I am not blaming the store, as far as I am concerned its caveat emptor. I don’t really feel like investing in an expensive and space occupying lp cleaning machine for cleaning a small handful of lps.
My question is: are there businesses that one can pay buy the lp to clean lps? Preferably with an ultrasonic cleaner? My local googling reveals home cleaning services and the aforementioned lp cleaning machines, but not per lp services. I asked at two second hand lp stores and although they had machines for use in the store for their own purposes, they weren’t making it available to customers.
"I recently bought two, from a well respected lp resale shop, and they are both dirty as all get up. I am not blaming the store..."
I wouldn’t have have much respect for a record store selling "dirty as all get up" records.
I would find a store that cleans their records before sale. Does the "well respected" store even have a record cleaning machine? Maybe they would let you use it even if they don’t.
If you are in Phoenix, AZ I would be happy to clean a few record for you.
Also, if in Phoenix, what record store?
To date, I have not been to a used record store that cleans all LP's prior to selling them. In addition, some of those records are on shelves for a long time and will attract dust over time. Regardless, all used LP's should be cleaned properly prior to playing. If you want a clean LP, buy new, although that is not a guarantee either.
I wouldn’t expect a used record store to be cleaning their inventory. These are shoestring mom and pop stores and probably carry a lot of unsold inventory. They could be wasting thousands of dollars cleaning inventory that they never sell. Alternatively they might clean it upon purchase and wind up selling it a few years later and it might reacquire some dust in the interim and lead to customer complaints.
Ironically one of the two records Purchased looked better in the store but sounded far worse than the other, which had obvious issues on inspection.
I appreciate the offers to come to peoples homes and use their machines but I live in Chicago. The store is in Oak Park, Il. and called Val’s Halla. Val probably was reselling lps before CDs came out. She worked hard to keep the vinyl flame going during the CD era, doing her own record days and many community events, lugging playback equipment and records with her despite severe COPD. Hopefully she made a few bucks from the vinyl revival before she died a few years ago. The store was slated to close but her nephew, a true analog apostle, and who has a “regular “ job, is busting his butt to keep it going. Although I don’t intend to buy many records for reasons stated in the OP, I wish them luck. The inventory is well arranged and easy to work with and I can be responsible for my own record cleaning. I suggested to them that they buy a nice cleaner and charge a fee but its a step to far for them
Check out Pure-Grooves in Berwyn. US cleaning for $5 per record with volume discounts. No affiliation - yet. I have been meaning to give them a try as they are very close to me.
Thank you so much! Exactly what I was looking for. I wonder how you found them as my Googling turned up nothing. I live in the Oak Park/River Forest area and this very close to me. I am off tomorrow and hopefully I can just drop the lps off, as I have another errand close buy. I will call them today and report back
btw, the Pure-Grooves site lists Val’s as one of their drop off sites, but Val’s Nephew didn’t mention them as an option when Inquired.
I've enquired about the drop offs at Val's and OP Records before and both said that don't really do it anymore. Have you spoken with Pure-grooves?
I have been in email contact with them. They just told me the best way to be in contact was to drop off records at Val’s, although Val’s didn’t mention their service.
I will probably drive to Berwyn over the weekend and update you here
I have emailed every local record store a few months ago and none offered cleaning services nor they clean the LPs before selling them. Yet, every single one of them had one or to cleaning machines near their registers.
I was finally told that the friendly audio store (we have non-friendly ones as well) lets you clean them for $0.50 with a VPI. So that’s what I did. I would pay up to $5 per record. I don’t see how anything above that is not a ripoff (for people from Planet Earth with midfi, not for the folks who spend 10K on cables)
I don't see how it wouldn't boost their business
if they just offered a $4 cleaning service of what you purchase, I would gladly pay for it. That would mean more profit on the cleaning than on the album.
Try the link below. They also have a good selection of precleaned vinyl.
Good info to know. I might reach out to Pure grooves. How would you rate the experience, service, and cleaning?