I had the record doctor cleaner and did not think it was to effective. I bought a VPI 16.5 and it made a big difference, plus the brush that comes with the VPI is great. I also purchased a Zerostat gun and that made an improvement. If you can set up a clamp on the Rega go for it.
I have a Rega 3, modified, with an older Benz 3 low output MC. I use a Nitty Gritty 2.5 cleaner which works great, and there is no need for a Zerostat ( I still have the one I bought in the late 70's) because the wet vac. cleaner removes static. As far as I know Record Clamps are not recommended for Regas. My suggestion: buy import LP's (english, german, Japanese) whenever possible--these almost always are pressed better w/less surface noise to begin with. Imports are just hard to get. MFSL lp's are the best. Also, don't you have noise problems with a Grado mounted on a Rega? that always was the case years ago.
86 the Record Doctor and carbon fiber brush (even the best shed fibers into the grooves and they tick). Buy and use a good record cleaning machine - Nitty Gritty or VPI (even a manual model if cost is a factor). For damaged disks (from playing while dirty or mishandling), treatment with LAST can help. Severely damaged or poorly pressed disks of standard vinyl have limited recovery. Wet cleaning with a machine takes care of static adequately. You do not have to clean with every playing if you handle carefully and return to good sleeve immediately after play. Of course, ensure that your tonearm/cartridge are aligned properly (vta, tangential) and stylus pressure is correct. Keeping humidity correct and vacuuming with a machine that retains dust rather than spreading it (Rainbow) provides a better vinyl environment especially for uncovered tables. Use a good record mat and keep it clean - mild detergent and water, shake and air dry. There are probably disagreements and other suggestions, but these work. Ex audiophile vinyl dealer.
I am a little confused. Often times there are posts like these. I understand it when someone has a problem with some albums but when the problem appears to be greater, i.e., like a majority of a persons collection, it throws me. In the past I have recommened various ways to combat surface noise, most of which are posted above with the acception of wet playing. Although, when the complant appears to be more pervasive I can only assume that the quality of the vinyl the person is purchasing is seriously compromised. Know your used sources! I have a decent play back system; CLasse' CA101-Classe'DR5-Well Tempered Record Player- Benz Glider- Maagie MGIIb's-M&K 150-Meridian 563-Magnovox 650-Sony PCM 2600- Maranz CDR630-Sony D-10 pro II and I won't bore you with the cables, and when friends listen to my system, and I'm talking your average music loving non-audiophile person, they comment on how clean the albums sound. They often can't believe that albums can be so quiet. Then when I do a non-scientific a/b with the CD they hear the difference in texture, depth and soundstage. This without any coaching. Anyway, I'm off on a little tangent, but the point I'm trying to make is that my system is a decent playback system that would not mask any ticks, pops or other surface noise. Therefore, if anyone feels that their surface noise is pervasively problematic they may need to find a better copy of the album they are attempting to play. Albums are more delicate than CD's and you do need to ensure that the albums you are buying are in the best condition. You can't always tell by looking at them. Some can be bad pressings and some could have been chewed up by a Sears Silvertone with $.78 worth of change taped to the top. Again, if you have tried cleaning and to no avail there is still a large amount of surface noise you need to give up on that album and find a better copy. If the album is rare the only other means of quieting it down is by wet playing.
Your definition of surface noise differs from mine. I use all of the treatment items you use, but "ticks and pops" are generally permanent surface scratches or pits that can't be removed. MY DEFINITION OF SURFACE NOISE IS MORE AKIN TO WHAT MANY CALL "GROOVE RUSH", and even that varies from one record to the next, depending on a host of factors like vinyl formulation, how quiet the cutting amplifiers were, the quality of the cutter, how well the pressings were done from the stamper, etc. and so on... THE THING I CAN'T STAND IS RECORD WEAR. That's where you have an old used record you've bought, and there's terrible distortion that varies with the loudness of the music. The louder the music, the more distortion. ALL THE TREATMENTS IN THE WORLD WON'T CURE THIS...THEY CAN SOMETIMES HELP A LITTLE, BUT YOU JUST CAN'T EXPECT MUCH AT ALL FROM THIS. One thing that DOES have TOTAL EFFECT on how EXAGERRATED the "ticks and pops" are (besides the quality of your cartridge and its "trackability") is VERTICAL TRACKING ANGLE. If your arm doesn't allow fine adjustments to be made here, you'll never get all you can out of your vinyl collection. Not that you need to adjust it often, but if you can't adjust it at all, that's a problem. I DO AGREE WITH "RAMSTL" THAT IF THE NOISE IS QUITE BAD ON PARTICULAR RECORDS, YOU JUST NEED TO BUY A BETTER COPY.
the record dr. IS a nitty gritty, which i know by experience, isnt that good. im going to splurge th $400 on the less expensive one. the fan blades on my rdII came off and tghe whole thing is put together with hot glue. such crap. anyway, i dont think that is your problem. you havent revealed you speakers and electronics; im sure theyre fine if you were smooth enuf to buy rega. if the rega was used, are the bearings properly adjusted. i know they dont go out of adj as often as a grace arm but its a thought. tweeter level could also be a problem. my ohter thought is vta. difficult to adj on rega but dont they supply shims? you could use wedges between the cart and shell. if you cant find the plastic ones that used to be avail, try making them out of balsa. i have recently seen where someone makes a commercially avail vta adjuster for rega for reasonable, ill try to find where i saw that. search al the rega posts on this site. dont bother with LAST, you wont after you buy it. too much of a pain like cd stoplight ti do every disc. yes, im from outer space where we can actually hear the cd stoplight difference, and cables too. am i wierd or wut? if you have a normal record collection, or a very large one, only a small fraction can be "audiophile" and at that , many times the selections avail on those labels arent what youd wanna listen too. windham hill is audiophile qual and who can stand geo winston imitate keith jarrett for more than one side? the truth is most record are not bad and actually pretty good. forgetr retutrnig copies, youre lucky to find vinyl to begin with. if i got a bad copy of say tom waits mulle variations, i wouldnt give up the vinyl until a replacement came..chances are they will be depleted before you get a replacement. if it tuirned to be that horrible, then you would have to settle for polycarbonate. another item to comnsider is that some import labels reduce noise by EQing it out. yes, some imports are better, the japanese ones ususally are. the self titled "Osamu" is an example. this is before mr kitajima actually rolled over into the genre he was grouped into: NEW AGE. its his best if you can find it. minnie ripperton vocalizes on it, soooo beautiful. it was cutting edge when it came out. theis was way before new age existed as a category. he deteriorated into that style a few albums down the road. keep the zereostat if you have it and USE it to kill the 50kv charge excited upon lifting the black thing off yur rega. the static draws sust and dirt particles right into the grooves wher the stylus hammers it into the vinyl at 40,000#/sq.in. zero or milty every record right as you remove it from the platter while groundingt your had (i sue my little finger) to the spindle so the static has a pathway to drain. hope you get to the bottom of this, vinyl is so much better sounding than 44.1.
If you have not used Record Research fluid to clean your LP's, you are in for a treat. I have tried all the fluids, and it is by far the best. As far as noise, all the comments are correct. You should not have that much problem with good, clean LP's. Most of my LP's, even the ones that are 40 years old are fairly quiet, provided they have not been abused. I use a Zerostat after cleaning with my VPI 17F. I did own the Nitty Gritty machine, and got rid of it. The VPI is almost as much better than the Nitty Gritty as the Nitty Gritty was to not using anything at all. By the way, the Last treatment works well, especially if you wash again after treatment. The effect has already taken place, so washing does not remove it. However, the Last gets UNDER some of the crap, and then it washes away on the second cleaning. Again, the Record Research cleaner, including the stylus cleaner is quite a shock after using the Toromat and Nitty Gritty fluids.
Albert: What do you think the difference is in the formula, between VPI's cleaning fluid and RRL's?
albert.....i never considered washing after last but it sounds logical. most of these things are so damn expensive, that ists nearly not worth using more than dawn+water. the parastat and vpi brushes are a real necessity imho. too bad preeners arent avail any more, not as the only brush but you can tell if there is really any fine dust that needs to be washed off. an aq or equiv is also handy properly used. forget about the fibers getting in the grooves as one responder mentioned. i think youd have ot work fairly hard to accomplish that; sounded like speculation to me. nothing like experience, eh? wish i ahdntg given away the last now, but it probably would have dried up by now. their little stylus brush isnt bad although i prefer the real estate on the discwasher stylus brush. my friend and i have found that very dilute dawn in distilled water is about the best and safest on styluses, alcohol could damage the suspensions. keeping the dawn water fresh is a key too.
I thought the key was distilled water. Still wainting to hear about the RRL solution. About the AQ carbon fibre brush: I've decided not to use mine very often anymore, since I tried it on a blank side (reverse of 12" 45 rpm reissue), and could see fine circumferal scratches when held to the light, that were NOT there right before I used the brush. I used only very light pressure. I saw no loose bristles, of course. I'll try to get one of the horsehair ones. I think applying Gruv Glide every third or fourth play is better than applying Last record preservative, and then washing again to get the residue off. I don't think a multitude of machine washings for compulsive's sake is the way to go, either. Just my grumble opinion.
About a month ago I ran into an old Audiophile friend who I hadn't seen in about 25 years. He recognized me and asked if I still made my record cleaning solutions. ( I used to be a Chemist working with delicate devices that used vinyl compartments to analyze chemicals. I had access to the best vinyl detergents known) I still had 2 quarts that I had made 15 years ago. I use them on record collections that I buy. He offered to set me up with a lab in his house. In order to make this worth while, I'm going to have to get some distribution. I am working on that now. If anyone wants to help me get some distribution, contact me. Here is the proposed retail price schedule that I have set up Every Day Cleaner ( Remove dust and loose dirt ) $13.95 per qt, $9.95 per pt, $6.95 per 1/2 pt Deep Cleaner ( Really clean filthy records ) $24.95 per qt, $17.95 per pt, $12.95 per 1/2 pt Preservative ( Puts an ultra thin layer of protectant on your records helps fill in tiny imperfections ) $29.95 per 8 oz, $19.95 per 4 oz, $13.95 per 2 oz