The best method is a wet vac system like the Nitty Gritty or VPI, I am aslo hearing good things about the Disc Doctor products, but I still think you need to have a wet vac too.
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I spent a good deal of money on a mint Japanese copy of Sgt.Peppers.It looked brand new.The first time I played it I was heart broken.I thought for sure it was damamged as the surface noise was unbearable even during loud passages.
I cleaned the hell out of it on my wet-vac (3x's) and gave it 3 treatments of Groove-Glide.
I was SHOCKED that this LP was now DEAD QUIET!!!!
This one experiance has made me a true believer in wet-vacs!
Why not give the Disc Doctor system a try before committing to a more expensive set-up? I get excellent results with it, even on old "garage sale" records, and you just cant beat the price. Sure it's more work than a fancy cleaning machine (which I'd love to have, don't get me wrong) but it's not bad, and the point is that the stuff works great. Hope this helps, good luck.
Maxgain, You were very helpful to me in selecting a turntable. I'm going to look at the Linn on Saturday, it's all scheduled. I'm wondering about cleaning my albums as well. I understand that a wet/vac is the best way to go, but I won't have the money right away after buying the 'table. Do you have any inexpensive ideas for a starter?
I have read really good reports about the Disc Doctor stuff, I am going to try it in conjuntion with my Nitty Gritty as well(seperate opperations). It is reported to work well on its own. My Nitty Gritty Pro is about 20 years old and built like a tank! The capstan(which is designed to be repalceable and is glued on) came off last night while I was brushing the cleaning pads and it got sucked into the motor! The old work horse ground it up and spit it out(makeing some strange noise and omitting the smell of burning rubber) and still works like a champ after putting a new capstan on it. John I hope you like the Linn, it's one of the true classics in high end audio.
D@mn! Maxgain, I got home from work today and that SOB sent me an e-mail that said he sold the Linn. He was afraid to ship, so I told him I'd come up and take it on Saturday. Because of the 4 hour round trip, I couldn't do it before Saturday. We exchanged a dozen e-mails, a few phone calls, agreed on a price, and he even gave me explicit directions. He even cancelled his Ebay auction for me, because he didn't want to ship. Then....he sells to someone else. Now I'm back to square one.
Sorry John,that sucks. It was too good to be true, he realized he could get alot more money for it than that and decided to weasle out of what you agreed to. It was too cheap and I would never ahve sold it for that. It still sucks. There is a good looking Sota Jewel with a Premier MMT arm listed here for $550, but you would still need a cartridge and pay for shipping.That leaves you next to nothing for a cartridge. If you are not up to installing a cartridge you maight better look at the Rega's listed here with one already installed or else you may have to go to a dealer for this purcahse. They can set the table up and make sure everything is working well. You won't get as much for your money buying new but it may save you some frustration in the long run if you are not an experienced analog type. Only one way to get experience though!
Okay, so the way I see it is with the info here, I should first find a good brush to use in order to get into the groves good and scrub with a solution to clean and then rinse with distilled water, and then use something like Gruv-glide to treat it for a final lubricant? What would be a good inexpensive brush to use and what could I use to mix my own cleaner. All the commercial cleaners and brush systems are so overpriced eg.(Disc doctor is 35 for each brush, you need two, and 35 for a bottle of cleaner.105.00 is just a silly expensive order for something you can possibly get together at the local grocery store, and the vac machine seems to exotic and expensive. I think the gruv-glide is a decent price and seems to work well, but I think I need a good cleaning before treatment. Thanks for any help on this.
I use a nitty-gritty pro auto record cleaner & LAST preservative. I find the record cleaner an indispensable component for vinyl playback. I use a rega 25 w/super elyse.
Sometimes however I get a beat up record with lots of pops and crackles. LAST does help with this.
My question to all is : Is there another treatment (Gruv glide ?) that is better at getting rid of crackles ?
Matrix, $100 is about what 4 records cost now, and there is enough Disc Dr. treatment to clean alot of records, if you use it all up quickly you will have enough experience then be able to get a job washing dishes in a diner, so you can pay for it. At the grocery store you can get some Lemon Pledge and a Scothbrite pad, but I have not tried that method, let me know if it works for ya?
John_1 have you tried fluid in your Nitty Gritty other than Pure2, I tried the VPI concentrate you mix with water and found it not to work so well with my machine(it didn't flow out at all). Has anyone tried the Last cleaning machine fluid or any other one they have found that is a good value.
The Geeks at Stereophile claim that Disc Doctor works great for removing the ticks and small sizzles, there must be someone here that has tried it. Chime in!
I refuse to pay $30-$50 a gallon for record cleaner when I can make my own for pennies a gallon.I figure thats about what it costs for the "good stuff' and I wont pay someone to do what I can.
My cleaner is:
4 parts to 1 of distilled water and alcohol.Get as a high % as you can find and with no lanolin in it.
You can find 96% if you look.
Next in is 10 drops of Kodak photo-flow.You can get a life time supply at a camera shop for $4
Next in is 10 drops of Direct tile cleaner.Again,a life time supply for $3
I have found Groove-Glide @$25 a can 'ok' it's worth it I guess.Not a huge improvement but some.
Be careful the first time you use it.I caught quite a buzz the first time and I was laughing and flipping my expensive Japanese imports around the room like a frisbee the first time I used it.
Not quite as good as a killer doob though!
Matrix, I've got to chime in on this one. I have been collecting lp's for over 35 years and only recently purchased a Nitty Gritty machine. What I have found is that records that originally came with a paper sleeve almost always have surface noise and the audiophile lp's were markedly quieter. With the vacuum machine the surface noise is gone. Interesting though, it does take time and perhaps repeat "washings" to really get them clean and quiet. I wish I would have purchased a similiar unit years ago. My suggestion is get a vac machine now, save money for a really good table/arm/cartridge, and buy the vinyl last. I don't have experience with many tt's but can honestly state that my Linn/Ittok is stunningly quiet, revealing, and offers qualities not found with compact disc.
Going back in time, my first "real" table was a Thorens with a Shure cartridge purchased in the very early 70's. I purchased a B&O years later for the convenience and bought my first Linn about 1980. Having kept the above mentioned tables and being able to compare their performance it became clear to me that much of the noise is table induced. Why else would the Linn, playing the same recordings, be so silent compared to the others? The lack of background noise is but one benefit. After all this time I can still rediscover hidden nuances in my collection as veil upon veil has been lifted through upgrades. This is coming from a guy that rarely upgrades but wishes he would have done these things early on.
I was not knocking products, I was just wondering if their was a good way to do it without Miracle Treatments that cost alot. Please understand that I do not have hundreds of records so I have not found a way to justify the cost for about 20-25 albums. But I will consider putting my experiance in Record washing on my resume for the next dishwashing job thanks.
Matrix,sorry to be so sarcastic. If I knew of one I would not need the $600 record cleaning machine I bought 20 years ago.I can't imagine playing records without it. If you only have a small collection it is hard to justify the cost of the machines. Someone out there may have a great DIY formula for you. This is why CD's have been so popular. They are real easy to use. Unfortunayly there is no free lunch with analog,everything, including the cleaning of the vinyl seems to be pricey. The Disc Doctor thing sounds like sort of a pain in the butt, like washing "dishes". With only 25 you won't get dishpan hands, I just imagined trying to do one or two hundred, it could take months to get thru them all.
Great question. I have tried many of the above mentioned products. Many of which are quite good too. I have the best, consistent sound improvement with Genuine Gruv Glide. I've used Gruv Glide for over 15 years with fine results. It's easy, and very economical. Check out their web site at www.gruvglide.com for reviews and technical info.
Hope this helps, Happy Listening!
Thanks guys I appreciate the honesty, and I am pretty much sold on the quick and easy fix of the Gruv-glide because it is cheap and everything I read about it makes sense. It is a lubricant and it would have to physically give smoother playback after a good basic cleaning and treatment. so I am going to try it and go from there and that way i'm out 20 bucks and so what? Its worth the attempt to get quiet playback without getting to deep into it. I hate buying equipment and tweaks now, I use to do it all the time, but now All I am worried about is the music thats all I want to hear, I don't care about who's name is on the products anymore as long as they work. :-) thats why I wanted your experiance's so I don't follow the same crash and burn paths by my own trial and errors as I used to.
My formula is very similar to the one mentioned above. I clean a new record with this formula, and then apply last Xtra Strength cleaner, then record preserv., then place it in a VRP or VPI rice paper sleeve. I have many records which are very very silent. Only faint occasional noises which are not at all invasive. I also use stylast on the cartridge. It pays to get a quiet table like the VPI Aries (my choice) and there are other good ones... the table can create/transfer a lot of noise. Jandj
I have very little surface noise problems & I don't even have a cleaning machine! I do want to get one, but presently lacking any space to install one I've simply been doing without. What I do use is the good old DiscWasher handheld wet cleaner, which although not an optimum device it does do a decent job. I don't use it for every play, just occasionally, followed up with a Hunt EDA dry dust brush for every play. First I use a Zerostat antistatic gun on the LP, then the Hunt brush, then a blast of canned air to blow away any remaining dust specks. A dap of Record Research Labs LP9 on the stylus also helps to reduce surface noise as well as stylus & record wear. Last or GruvGlide on the LP makes them even quieter but I don't use it very often.
Maybe my good experiences are due to more than just these cleaning rituals. I've read that the overload charactaristic of your phono stage equates largely into this (some of them can handle signal levels OK, but they overload & accentuate surface noises if poorly designed). Other noise-factors I'm sure relate to turntable & stylus design (my setup is the VPI HW19MK4 with a Grado Signature arm & Grado Statement Reference woodbody cartridge). This rig sounds wonderful & I don't even have it fully tweaked as yet!