I have always believed that an LP should have a 24 hour grace period to cool down before being played again. Reason being that the plastic is still soft from the heat generated by the stylus going along the groove and replaying the LP while it is still "warm" will distort the groove permanently and cause distortion.
Is this an old wives tale or is there truth in it?
I'd be interested to know, as I do discipline myself to give a record a "rest" and I sometimes feel that I would like to hear that particular piece again.
Back in the 70s I remember hearing this notion for the first time. For a couple of years I would never play an album or a song twice in a row, no matter how good it was. Then I dropped the idea, it was just too fussy. I've never noticed any difference between the sound of 2 plays with no interval, and the few LPs I still have from that time are all OK.
Lets think about the physics here. The p/a (stress) that the stylus creates is quite high and yes it must generate heat. Each spot the LP gets only a brief visit from the stylus so I think any residual heat is negligible and is very quickly dissipated. Don't forget the LP has a built-in cooling system called the turntable. Spinning at 33.3 rpm will certainly cool the LP very fast.
* I have LP's that I purchased in the early seventies that I used to play over and over because that was the only way that I could listen to a favorite cut again. I still have those lp's and they still sound great.
Your story is probably an old wives tale. At some point audiophiles get too fussy for their own good. We have to remember, this stuff is for our enjoyment, not worship. We bought the stuff to serve up....not the other way around. Use it until its natural lifespan is up....then get some more stuff. *
Thanks Gaslover. That "rule" made no sense to me from a scientific perspective. If it did heat up, (which I highly doubt it does to any appreciable degree), you'd be able to measure it with an infared thermometer. And even if it did get hot how the heck could it store the heat such that a 24 hour cool down period would be required?
Anywho, right or wrong, that's how I rationalized to my self and why I play all my albums as frequently as I want.
Considering it takes about 20-30 minutes for my newly cleaned LP's to dry in the open air I can't see how heat from the stylus could possibly take an hour to dissipate. Forget about 24 hours. Hell, the heatsinks on my amp feel cool after about 10-20 minutes after turn off, same for the tubes.
I can believe that the vinyl is distorted in the wake of the stylus, and that recovery of its original shape might occur over time. I doubt that temperature has anything to do with it. But this effect, if any, is really down in the mud.
Whether a record is damaged by immediate replay has NOTHING to do with heat, and dissipation of heat. I've seen studies on this too. According to the articles on the studies, the stylus deforms the groove, which then snaps back into roughly the original shape elastically. But, it does not fully return to its original shap immediately. When it is deformed (i.e., compressed) out of its normal, "relaxed" state, the vinyl is more brittle. A subsequent pass by the stylus over the more brittle vinyl does damage because the vinyl has less elasticity and so there is a greater tendency for chunks to be gouged out.
But, as Elizabeth noted above, the safe duration is a whole lot shorter than 24 hours.
To do things like set VTA or make other adjustments, I have often done immediate replay with no apparent (apparent to me anyway) damage. So, a wait is more a precaution than anything else. BUT, it is not silly nonsense; there is a reasonable mechanism for damage here.
Funny,but what would I do about my own repetitive usage of reference discs,which must have repeat plays during the voicing of a new cartridge,or arm? I have used the same LP's on numerous repeat plays,for years!NO problems what-so-ever! Of course,when I kick the bucket,one of my inheritees may hear something! -:)
Shiprepair- Whether old wives tale or not, scientifically-based or not, I'd heard the same recommendations about waiting 24 hrs between replays of vinyl "back in the day". Seems from the feed back here it's an overly conservative "rule". None the less, one I'll have a hard time breaking! On the other hand, I like what Mitch4t said. Good post.
One other thing to consider is that some of these rules might be directed at the general public using cartridges that can barely track a groove even at 6-10 gms of downforce. In that environment, the stress placed on the groove is considerably higher and it may take longer for the groove to elastically snap back into its original shape.
Phono cartridges these days, even cheaper ones, are much kinder and more gentle than the crappy ceramic/crystal cartridges used in the past.
If anything I would think that the record industry of the time would have wanted us to play them as often as possible simply because, it this wear issue were true, then we would be replacing them that much sooner, and the money would roll along too with more frequent playing.