I just got a 100 nitty gritty sleves from music direct. pretty cheap. paper outside, plastic liner. Looks like what classic records uses. I have a lot of the vrp sleeves...but I don't think they do much for static. After that, the plastic touching your record is about the same as these...worth a try.
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The best price I have been able to find is at sleevetown.com. As a user of the polyethylene sleeves without the paper layer I have a couple of comments to note. These are very similar to the VRP sleeves regarding the type of material that actually is in contact with the record surface. The only disadvantage that I have noticed is that inserting the covered disk back into the jacket requires care since without the paper reinforcement the back corners have a tendency to crumple and not self-align on insertion. This is a small price to pay when you are only paying 10 cents each when ordering 100.
This topic of materials which record sleeves are made is a very interesting one and I would like to know the facts. I think I have it figured out but perhaps others would like to chime in. I just sacrificed two sleeves to flame. One was a VRP discwasher brand and the other was the "polyethylene" sleeve I wrote about earlier. The VRP sleeve was cut and the white insert removed for the burn test as it doesn't contact the record. When both items were ignited they behaved the same and both had a blue flame. They bubbled and dripped burning droplets. The cooled residue was clear with no hint of ash. These products are definitely not organic and I suspect they both are polyethylene.
The white VRP insert is definitley organic as it burns with a yellow flame and is used up in the burning process leaving only ash. Keep in mind that this material doesn't contact the vinyl but serves as a stiffener of sorts.
I next retreived what I believe is a real rice paper sleeve and sacrificed part of it to the same testing. The recording was Mozart, Don Giovanni, K. 527, Fritz Busch-conductor, RCA Victor Shaded Dog without a date but it is old. This album sleeve is opaque and is noisy when handled (just like wrapping paper) and can be easily torn. The three edges that are sealed are of the folded and glued variety. This material burns yellow also and is reduced to ash.
When burning the sleeves that I believe are both made from polyethylene the odor is not organic (i.e., like burning a newspaper would be), and I don't think one would want to breath the fumes as a sniff was quite enough.
There may be a supplier of rice paper sleeves somewhere but I'm not aware of one. It's my belief that rice paper has become a generic term used to describe quality and to divert the audiophile away from the inevitable questions that would arise when using an appropriate description of the type of plastic. I can certainly understand why a seller would avoid referring to the type of plastic that is used because many of the early aftermarket plastic sleeves were found to "spot" vinyl.
In closing I would also like to mention that I performed the same test to a small piece of sleeve from a MFSL pressing. The product burned, bubbled and dripped flame just like the VRP and generic polyethylene sleeves.
This post was not made to start any kind of arguements and the experiments were done to satisfy my own curiosity. I've come to the conclusion that polyethylene is the preferred material used today and that real rice paper sleeves would have folded and glued sides.
Patrick thanks for your lengthly post on what I thought might be a boring topic. I am concerned on this issue as I try to acheive the best possible sound in this format.Setting up phono stage(loading)/ mounting cartride to its desired setting/ vacuming records/ vacuming some more records then putting them in there resting place until played. I beleive VRP sleeves are a great product but like everyone else Im always looking for a better deal, but on this issue I dont want to skimp on quality.Thanks for the tip on sleevetown as I am going to the site to check it out. David
We are getting ready to order 1000 cheap poly sleeves and 300 of the more expensive reinforced poly sleeves for our LP's. I never use new liners unless an LP has been recently cleaned, then I just follow up with a grounded carbon fiber brush following each play.
The reinforced sleeves will be used on favorite LP's that see more playing time.
Sleevetown, that Patrick mentions above, has the best prices that I have found so far.
I just found an old low profile LP rack (plastic coated iron rod) @ a local thrift that holds 50 or so and will use this as a drying rack when hand cleaning LP's (figure that 50 @ is all that I can stand to do in one session).
Nope, I just hand clean them in a tub with a Groovmaster (protects the labels), a Water-Pik and a long fiber brush. I use my own solution and recently switched to filtered tap water (since we upgraded our filter).
Being home 7/24 with very little to do also helps.
The trick (after installing the Groovmaster) is to "blast" them with plain water prior to using the solution/brush and then giving them another "blast" to rinse. It goes pretty fast.
Nah...Ive been using poly -lined for years, and NEVER had any problems with them.. I usually use poly lined paper sleeves with the 2000 or so records I own . A case of 600 costed me 60 bux and im happy as hell...I have good equipment, Oracle Delphi MK 2, VPI -HW 19, Technics SL-1200MD3, Denon DP-47F and hear no audible problems even with LPs left in the sleeve untouched for YEARS !!!
I went to the sleevetown.com site yesterday looking for "rice paper" sleeves (which are, as Lugnut stated earlier, actually polyethylene). They don't list any such sleeves anymore. I sent them an e-mail asking about this. I got a reply saying that Discwasher, the manufacturer, went out of business and that "there is not a rice paper sleeve on the market any longer." Really????
Should you ever have a fire or excessive heat anywhere near your vinyl treasures, the poly sleeves can melt right into the vinyl. HP lost a lot of Absolute Sound recommended records during a house fire. Nothing is better for your records than good rice paper sleeves. If you love your records as much as I do (fifty years worth), you would not think of using anything else.
I want to bring up a point not yet discussed in this thread. The term rice paper is a misnomer, as there is no paper actually made from rice. The term generally refers to fine Japanese papers, often the acid free variety which are excellent for storage of fine photographs and (of course) LPs.
Even true rice paper is but a misnomer for paper made from the pith of a small tree found in the Far East. It is often, erroneously, called India Paper.
The important thing here, whether for photographs or rare LPs, is to store them against material that it will not react with. This could be any fine quality acid free sleeve or even the modern plastic lined and paper reinforced sleeves already discussed here.
Ive used the plastic and paper combo without any problems, and I have a good many LPs stored this way.
One historical and true issue with plastic sleeves, responsible for the hatred of all non paper storage is the old factory packing for Columbia Six Eye records.
This antique plastic formulation did stick and mark a fair number of LPs, with results varying from no harm to severe degradation of the sound. If you have any old Six Eye LPs in their original sleeves, it should be ditched in favor of either acid free paper or modern plastic.
Beyond that, I feel that careful cleaning and storage in a modern, high quality sleeve is all that is necessary for long term protection of our valuable vinyl collection.
Albert... Lugnut also pointed out that "rice paper" sleeves are not really rice paper. What Sleeve City used to sell are these same paper/poly sleeves that I'm looking for and that you and Lugnut refer to. My question, still unanswered, is: is it true, as Sleeve City tells me, that these paper/poly sleeves really are no longer available?
Both Red Trumpet and Music Direct are selling 3-ply polyethylene sleeves that match what I believe Cpdunn99 is describing. Here are the links to their descriptions:
Hello, I am a long time user of the vrp sleeves and used to purchase them from music direct however they no longer sell them and now sell the mofi sleeves. I purchased a 100 of them and have to say I will not purchase any more, they are the same price and the manufacturing quality is poor to say the least. Who sells the vrp sleeves now? It is worth the extra cost for quality especially considering the cost of some of the records today. Thanks and a happy holiday to all.
Par3n1: this is the problem! There apparently is NO seller anymore of VRP sleeves. Here is the exact text from Sleeve City:
"VRP Sleeves" made by Discwasher were considered to be the original rice paper type of sleeve. Only problem is, Discwasher filed for bankruptcy and folded up shop several months ago. To the very best of my knowledge there is not a "rice paper" sleeve on the market any longer."
So, I will try some of the links suggested to see if they still have some remaining.
And THANKS everyone who responded to my plea!
Red Trumpet will have sleeves just like VRP except slightly heavier. I was looking to get more VRP sleeves but no luck. Found out about the Red Trumpet from VA and gave them a call. Rick, owner of Red Trumpet, is getting shippment from east which should be available by January. I just ordered some for my LP collection.
Looks like we will have these by mid-January.. They are (literally) on a slow boat. It took ~ 2+ years to find a place that will make these (correctly, and within a reasonable price. These will be similar to the VRP and old MoFi's (generic though) but a little bit heavier. They are custom-made and I was real pleased with the final samples...
Anyway, do not mean to be obnoxious (marketing-wise) but they are $27.50/100 or $222.50 for 1000 ($22.25/100). I may assume that since production has been tooled that we will be able to restock (we have over 100K coming but over half are spoken for).. but..
Rick Flynn, President
Red Trumpet, Ltd.
2101 Pennsylvania Avenue - Suite 12
York, PA 17404
toll-free ph (877)RED-TRUM[PET] (877-733-8786)