Vinyl pops and clicks: Can they be eliminated??

I have a Mobile Fidelity issue of "Close to the Edge" by Yes. The LP is at least 20 years old or more. Always help up well until today. There is now a skip that repeats over and over. Other pops and clicks don't interrrupt the flow of music like this one. I checked several things: cartridge, tracking, stylus, and also damped cleaned the LP, but it continued to skip repeat in that one place. It may be time to retire this piece of vinyl, but if I could inexpensively repair or correct that skip, it would be great. However,I intend to replace this album with the Japanese SHM-CD import when the reissue is available again. All advice welcome
If you have extremely steady hands, a bright light and a good loupe (10X Tripplet minimum, glass not plastic) you can usually "pick out" the offending material or deformed vinyl wall. I have done this on several occasions. My tool of choice is usually a 24-26 gauge syringe needle, which has a very sharp point and a nice taper. Re-clean the LP after surgery. Good luck.
You bet they can be eliminated! Dump the vinyl and stick with cd's!

In 2008 you inquired about record cleaning to eliminate "pops, clicks and noise" on this thread. Did you adopt any of the ideas offered there? You never responded to any of our suggestions.

Two years later your pops, clicks and noise have become actual skips. If you'd wet cleaned and vacuumed your LP's effectively that would not have happened. I have 4,000 LPs and most are 30+ years old. None of them has a skip. Only a few have any pops, clicks or noise worth mentioning.

One of the unavoidable downsides of vinyl as a music medium is that it requires effective maintenance, which requires some effort and expense. Without maintenance it can indeed be a frustrating medium, and Sid42's advice may be best.
This is a frustrating nature of the vinyl beast. All you can do is clean them the best you can. Accept that the surface noise is a trade off for the better more natural sound of vinyl over digital. You have to train your ear to hear the music and drown out the pops and ticks while you are enjoying the natural timbre of Jon Andersons Voice, the technical guitar work of Steve Howe, the bass line of Chris Squire, etc. It is a great album, I have it as well and my copy is less than perfect. But I also have the CD and it is less involving regardless of the CD player I use.
I use the Walker 4 step and a VPI 16.5, I also use L'art du'son, MoFi Enzyme, Record Research, to name a few. You may try different methods but eventually admit, some vinyl is just scarred for life. Try Palasr's advise if you can clear the skip, enjoy. Not being critical here, just pointing out the reality of an old technology that with all things considered, should not sound as good as it does.
Try Palasr's suggestion but use a round wooden toothpick.
Good Luck, Tish
Oh, wonderful. Yet another silly digital format that's "almost as good a vinyl".
Sunnyjim... do you have a digital setup that will play 24/96 HD digital files?
Dougdeacon, Yes, I did post in August 2008 regarding record care advice. As my post indicates, I take good care of my records. This is the first time in 40 years, I encountered the "skipping" problem I described. I have no intention of dumping the collection I have as suggested by Sid42, or the Rega table which I just upgraded with their TTPSU AC regulator. However, in my recent post I ask for advice, not to be taken to the woodshed for being negligent in record care. Unfortunately, for me in September 2008, I became seriously ill which rsulted in a seizure and other attendant medical complications. My audio system lay silent for over a year as I recovered, and was not my top priority. I do recall reading the posts that were submitted in answer to my 2008 inquiry and am grateful to the members for taking the time to respond. Nevertheless, I am now less inclined to ask for advice as a consequence of your response and Sid42.....Jim
Hello Sunnyjim, I hope you're doing much better then you were in Sept '08... Your priorities are definitely in order, BTW. Anyway, my experience is: I have about 2 or 3 thousand Lp's, since the late '60's... played them all on a very nice '70's turn table with curved "S" shaped type arm.. The '70's table was a very good sounding piece and was set up properly, but some new records would skip and repeat or skip over, so, I just put those LP's away:( Fast forward to 2004, I splurge and purchase a Basis 2000 series table with Vector model-3 tone arm -which is a straight arm and, Benz Micro ACE cartridge... Now, for some reason those old LP's don't skip. Clicks and pops are something that just come with the territory.
I'm sorry to hear about your health problems and sincerely hope you've fully recovered and are feeling well. That said, I don't see how it's relevant to the condition of this LP or your records in general.

You requested record care advice, ignored it as far as anyone can tell, and are now back asking for more record care advice because you're having a problem.

If you don't wish to be "taken to task for being negligent in record care" then please consider two suggestions:
1) try describing the methods you've adopted since receiving the previous guidance, none of us is a mind reader; and
2) don't post evidence of negligent record care! ;-)

OTOH, if having your questions read and answered seriously feels to you like being "taken to task", then perhaps you should indeed consider not asking questions. Peace.
Come on, Dougdeacon, the guy asks for advice and you dig up a a two year old post, throw it in his face, and slap his hand with a ruler for imagined impoliteness and inadequate record care. Is that really helping anyone?
Man Dougdeacon, you seem to be on a rampage, judging from the responses of yours I have read lately. I may have missed some friendly post- I'm just stating what I'm seeing. Lighten up. :-)
I want to thank the membership for advice that was helpful and also "friendly". To those who ask about the state of my health, I appreciate your concern; and, I am much better. Thank you and Adios, Jim
Glad you feel better. Now, why did you post an extremely general question about pops and clicks with a "new" condition that does, quite honestly, sound like simple mis-handling? ;-) I'm just askin'!
Dan ed, In my response to DD, I used the term "negligent in record care" Though, it may have been a poor choice of words, I was attempting to explain to DD my impression of his assessment. I have approximately 65 LPS; Most were bought new; some bought as used. The MoFi in question was a gift from that company to audio salesmen who shops offered their products---this was approx 1984. The "repeat skip" problem was to me a curious anomaly which I thought worthy of discussion on Audiogon. Within that context,I offered the general question of eliminating pops and clicks. The repeat-skip problem is only on "Close to the Edge" NOT the other LPS in my modest collection. As indicated in the 2008 "thread" I had just gotten back into vinyl by purchasing a Rega P3-24. I was without a table for at least 18 months, and so did not play any records. After the Rega purchase I bought the Premier spray cleaner from Music Direct and it worked OK; I also used a Hunt Brush cleaner. After I took ill, nothing was played until October 2009. The Premier spray can languished on the shelf and also the spray cap was blocked.... I always took good care of my records. However, the Yes album cited was played at possibly 100 times, with 4 different cartridges and 3 different tables over 26 years. Some of my other LPS have some pops and surface noise, but as Theo responded, it is the "nature of the vinyl beast" BTW, I have MoFi LPS of Jethro Tull's" Aqualung" and Bowie's "Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust" which were also part of the MoFI's generosity, and that still sound excellent with seemingly quiet surfaces. I hope this clarifes your question. I hope the membership does not lapse into deconstructing posts, spooking each other to look over their shoulder That is neither fun nor courteous. Thanks, Jim
Fair enough, Jim, but I still think it possible to have started this thread with a little better premise. It sounds like you are no stranger to audio, was vinyl always been your main source or was it just another source? I ask because for one who does have some background you don't seem that experienced with vinyl. Sorry if my impression is wrong.

BTW, I love Close to the Edge but prefer the Atlantic to the MoFi. FWIW

Give Palasr's advice a try. You just might be able to salvage it.
Jim emailed me off-list and described his record care practices, pretty much what he posted in response to Dan_Ed plus a few more details.

As I suspected, those practices are inadequate and may indeed have allowed this record to develop a skip. In addition to cautiously seconding Palasr's suggestion, I gave Jim additional information and several suggestions that may help solve the problem.

Like it or not, a record which begins skipping is evidence of inadequate care. This is particularly likely when a person's previous posts suggest little or no experience with effective care. Stating this fact and seeking further information is neither "slapping" them nor "imagining" anything nor "rampaging". It's called problem solving.

Comments that offer no useable content while criticizing others which do are gratuitous. Feel-good chat will not stop record skipping. Concrete technical suggestions like those I sent Jim may.
Well, you can disown the bristling tone of your posts in this thread if you wish but the poster felt unnecessarily chastised and at least two readers thought it was out of line. You're a knowledgeable guy and contribute a lot to this forum. Thank you. But that fact doesn't mean you shouldn't be called on it when you're unnecessarily harsh to someone who reaches out in good faith. Similarly, you should know that voices asking for politeness do indeed offer usable content to a conversation, though perhaps at a pitch occasionally outside of the range of your hearing.
Skipping on a record is not always because of inadequate care. There can be setup and alignment problems, incompatibilities between the cartridge and arm, floor and room resonance issues etc. Once a groove is damaged, it will repeat itself.
Why don't you just rip off his epaulets and break his tonearm across your knee! If that ain't enough we can always shoot his dog.

The guy asked a simple question which IMO deserved a simple answer, not a personal admonishment.

Are toothpicks really thin enough to correct groove defects?
Why don't some of you hand-wringers offer some advice of your own? This topic has been beaten to death many times in many ways on this forum. It does get old, especially when the question gets asked more than once in very general terms. Doug can speak for himself, these are my thoughts.

Matter of fact, the first time I read this post the thought that came to mind was this will either turn into another assault on vinyl by digit-heads (they ALWAYS start with the pops and clicks), or simply a way to tout some new material for ceedees. I'm thinking "ok, this guy has obviously mishandled this lp so what is the real point of this?"

Had the original question been something like "I have this lp that just started skipping badly, I know I probably caused it, but can I fix it somehow?" the tone of this thread would be much different.

I just thought I would offer this advice since we're schooling each other on what should or shouldn't be done in posts.

Zargon, agreed. However the OP says this just happened suddenly and he's not offering if other LPs are showing signs of new noises. Any way you slice it, the answer is stop mishandling your LPs.
Good question about the toothpick. Like you I'd guess the answer is "no". It's been decades since I tried that and I don't remember ever successfully removing a skip without causing collateral damage.

BTW, if "the question is so simple" then what's the answer? Why insult the OP by posting a condescending opinion of his question while providing no help? Surely someone with your experience could offer something useful.

Agree it could be a damaged record. Still, most record damage results from owner actions or inactions, which constitutes "inadequate care".
About a week ago or so, a thread in this forum caught my eye. It was on a subject related to a piece of gear that I own. Having very little time at that particular moment, I quickly perussed the opening comment and a few of the responses. It wasn't until a couple of days later, when I returned to that same thread, that I realized that the OP was none other than ME (!). I had completely forgotten that I had initiated that thread two years ago.

What's my point? Simple:

-Some people have lives outside of audio.
-Sometimes s@%t happens.
-And lastly (and this is the part that is, apparently, difficult for some of us to accept), audio is a HOBBY, should be fun more than anything else; and in the scheme of things, is not that important. Please notice I said audio, not music.

I think some of us could stand to lighten up, and not be so quick to apply our own lofty standards, nor so quick to judge the way that other members choose to use this forum. I see absolutely nothing wrong in the OP's question; even if he had asked the question once before. It was not, BTW, the same question. To excoriate the OP in the way that some have done is totally out of line, and not in the spirit of this forum. To feel the need to "police" the forum when there is no obvious pattern of abuse on the part of the OP is self-serving, and demonstrates a kind of self-importance that is not helpful. I respectfully suggest that the OP is owed an apology.

The issue of adequate vs. inadequate record care is a subjective thing, to a degree. It relates to my earlier comment about this being a fun hobby. I personally practice what I consider adequate record care. But there are times when I just want to listen to music and not have to be so careful with my records that it impinges on already very limited listening time. If my occasional less-than-perfect record handling leads to minor playback noise, so be it. I will not lose sleep over it. If this "negligence" disqualifies me from seeking answers from other Agon members to questions about record care, I would suggest the problem is not mine.

Now, lest I be accused of "hand-wringing":

If we consider all the influences on a stylus' traversal of a record groove, it is not that difficult to imagine a record developing a skip without having been subjected to inadequate care. Vinyl is a relatively soft substance. I have had records that were very carefully stored at all times, and still developed warps. Sometimes the warps have been minor, subtle, and have not affected playback to a very significant degree (although just about any visible warp is audible). Is it that far-fetched to surmise that a record that has developed a very subtle warp, perhaps one that is not even visible, could cause an existing imperfection in the groove wall to now become a skip-causing "bump in the road"? We are talking about a decades old, and well played record. Vinyl does get worn, even when handled perfectly, and played back with well set-up gear. Is it that far-fetched to surmise that an existing imperfection in the vinyl, after several dozen plays, could turn into a skip-producing "bump in the road"? I don't think so.

I have experienced misterious record skips over the years. If thorough cleaning on my RCM did not solve the problem, on at least two occasions I have "fixed" the skip this way:

I identified the spot on the record that skipped. I then mounted one of my old cartridges (cartridges that while still in good shape, are inexpensive, and I will probably never use again). I then set the tracking force to as high a VTF as the cartridge will stand before bottoming out, and I carefully played the cartridge over the skip on the record a few times. Why this has worked should be easy to understand. You should use a low compliance cartridge, so that it will not bottom out too readily.

Good luck, Sunnyjim. And please don't let this experience deter you from participating on this forum.