This is one of those whatever-floats-your-boat arenas. For some, a multi-step, meticulous process is profoundly satisfying, intrinsically enjoyable. I think that's great. I tend more to the less time-consuming approach, leaving more time for the listening. The bottom line is, as Chayro says: Enjoy.
I've been using my Nitty Gritty since around 1990, replaced a few parts but now the 'velvet lips' won't stay put and will not stay glued down.. I had replaced these I think twice now.. and had been thinking of going to a brand new VPI machine... any thoughts ??
I have been considering going whole hog into the Walker process but wonder if it's worth it.. I have been a 'single step' cleaner forever now, using the record wash from the music direct site (forget what it is now)
When you remove the velvet lips on the NG, you have to make sure you get off all the gummy residue off the plastic underneath the velvet. I use a bit of Goo Gone on a Q-Tip, let it set for a minute and then wipe off any residue with a cloth. After that, clean the lips with isopropol alcohol and replace with new ones. I see no reason it shouldn't adhere as good as new. Anything to do with gluing is surface preparation, IMO.
There's also the possibility that your capstan (if you have one) is adjusted too low, pressing the record against the lips too hard. This can be adjusted by turning the two small screws behind the capstan, raising it slightly.
People rave about Walker and I'm sure it's very good. It's all a personal choice as to how much time and effort you want to spend and whether you believe the results justify the labor and expense. I think you should try these other things. Then when you're done, go back to your old way and see if there's a difference.
I was a professional musician for 20 years and I learned something about hearing. Hearing is like eyesight - we all hear different, just as we see different. Some have better ears than others, just as some have better eyes than others. We just have a hard time accepting it.
I would never doubt what someone claims to hear, just because I can't hear it. The whole process is too complex and subjective.
I have a VPI 16.5 and use the Walker Prelude 4-step system. It is a pain in the @#$ no doubt, but you get good at it after a few tries. The VPI 16.5 is a great machine. I've never had to do anything to it since I bought it new in 1995. Works like a champ every time.
Anyway, I heard a cut off of Stevie Ray Vaughn's "Couldn't Stand the Weather" (Tin Pan Alley) at RMAF that sounded killer, so I dug out my old copy of the LP when I returned home. It looked pristine (new), so I gave it a quick on-platter rub with my Hunt EDA brush and a wave of the Talisman and sat down to listen. The surface noise was so bad that it was unlistenable.
I immediately cleaned it with the Walker Prelude system and the 16.5, put it back on the platter and, voila, the surface noise vanished. Dead quiet. This is far from the first time that I have experienced this since buying the Walker system.
It might be a bit of trouble, but I consider the Walker Prelude system (and a good RCM) to be a must-have for serious vinyl lovers. Just my two cents FWIW.
I buy a gallon of LAST fluid. Dilute it with highest grade alcohol I can find around here approx 70%LAST/30%alcohol, add a few drops of dish soap detergent (mix all this in a smaller container about 8 OZ before you add a few drops of soap),and voila. I have made my own brush/pad using closed cell foam surrounded by short hair velour from fabric store. The closed cell foam allow you to push with more pressure and squeeze the velour into the grooves. The pad is approx 4 inches long, 1 inch high, and 1.5 inches deep. I spin the record using my Loricraft RCM as I hold the wet pad on the record. After, I rinse with the cleanest water I can get. Skip the hassle of using enzyme cleaners...unless you buy your records used, from a moldy basement. This method cleans anything that can be removed from the surface exluding ground in dirt. After this, no more cleaning is necessary. Period.
Here's trick that will keep "lip replacement" on a manual Nitty Gritty or Record Doctor RCM to an absolute minimum. When you turn the record to remove whatever cleaning product you use, simply alternate clockwise and counter-clockwise movement of the record. I used to replace the lips frequently, but after trying this, I'm still using the same ones a year later. No I don't use my machine daily, but it has cleaned a heck of a lot of LPs. Dave
I agree that the Walker Prelude is a great cleaning system but as mentioned it is a time consuming pain in the ying yang. I have decided to use it only on used. And now I use the MoFi Enzyme cleaner and Prelude 3 rinse on new lps.
I did see the Record Spin bath system at RMAF it seems to have been around awhile. Any one have experience with that system?
Steam, steam and more steam. It works wonders and a unit at Walmart will set you back $25. If your not impressed with the results, back it goes. But then again, the unit is great for doing other types of cleaning and pressing.
Based on the number of apparently satisfied customers, I don't doubt that steam does a very good job. But I've watched that You Tube video and it looks like a huge PITA and a mess. Apply and brush cleaning fluid, steam, steam again, add water and rinse, rinse again. That's exactly what I'm trying to avoid here. Power to those who want to deal with it, but I've just had enough. That's why this is a "backlash" thread.
I have never used steam to clean. Maybe I will give it a try. Though it seems to me I read somewhere to be careful when using steam. Not sure why though.
I'm with you, Chayro. Record cleaning is enough of a chore without feeling like you're slaving away in a laundry. Dave
I have tried (with my VPI 16.5)the Walker system, and MoFi and disc doctor, and never really noticed a huge difference between them. The steam treatment method does do a great job on really dirty records.
But I am now having another problem. Lots of pops and clicks on what look like clean records. No amount of cleaning seems to make a difference. It sounds like static, but I can't get rid of it. Almost all of my new records go down this road now and still sound good, with the exception of the few annoying pops and clicks.
All records are cleaned, a static reducing brush - contantly cleaned- used before I play the records, but they just start getting noisy, then don't seem to be clean-able back to quiet????
What's the deal??
static has no "sound". Whoever invented that notion was either ignorant...or high. The only thing static does is attract dust. Period. What you may be experiencing is the typical dirt impregnated record. My THE WALL LP has this illness. sigh...
Chayro, I think you should always do a rinse. I didn't for years, just used whatever fluid with the brush and then sucked it off...Now, I use whatever fluid, I like the AI #15 best of all, and then rinse with their (AI) water..doesn't seem any more labor intensive. I agree, I wouldn't clean if it was more of a process. As the fountain of sound information Gene Rubin always says, anything that keeps you from playing a record will.
Whether static has a "sound" is really not the issue. I have had highly-charged vinyl on dry days and playing the record caused huge static-discharge "pops". If I touched the arm base while the record was playing I would get a shock. I treated the record with Gruv-Glide and the symptoms were gone. Conceptually, I would rather not put any additional substances on the record, but I found it necessary in some cases. The records were unplayable without it. Besides, GG is easily removed by a subsequent cleaning.