Will an RCM make the Rice Krispies go away?

The two step RRL cleaning process and my Nitty Gritty make a big improvement in lowering record noise and enhancing clarity. However, there are some records that still have varying degrees of "snap, crackle and pop"! Is this residual dirt, a damaged record, a manufacturing defect? I'm thinking about investing in a Loricraft but am wondering if this instrument will cure the cereal syndrome.

A corresponding issue is the greater degree of noise on initial tracks. I notice the closer the record is to the end, the less noise. Does anyone else find this unusual?

As always, your insight is most appreciated.
Good question. I opened a sealed LP today. Vacuumed it. Cleaned it with 2 step Audio Intelligent solution using Record Doctor cleaning brushes.

Played the LP, and it was snap, crackle and pop from beginning to end.

Talk about a reason to play a CD.
Cleaning records will only make the noise sound cleaner. Some records are noisy when new because the manufacturer used crappy vinyl to begin with.

Perhaps static electricity?
If the LP is damaged, cleaning it will not make the noise go away. If the noise is due only to debris on the record, cleaning is a miracle in improving sound.

I have records that I purchased in the 1960's that are free of snap, crackle and pop but recently bought some off Ebay that sound more like the ice cream flavor "Rocky Road."

I have hundreds of LP's that are quiet as my CD's but when you buy used and the previous owner has trashed them, there's no fixing it.
Hi all,

In addition to the above good advice, consider your entire analog front end.

Some turntables are noisier than others.

High resolution systems are for the most part quieter. I know this seems parodoxical, but think about this from a resonance control perspective.

Listening to snaps, crackles and pops can be likened to looking at a square wave reproduced by different electronics on a scope.

As a playback system better controls resonance, the duration of the snaps, crackles, and pops is shortened (less ringing), and you here a dramatic reduction in noise.

As far as quick fixes, I've found the Dynavector stylus profiles to be the quietest I've heard to date. The humble 20x is extremely quiet, and the XV-1s is shockingly so.

I can now enjoy my RCA Dynagrooves.

Thom @ Galibier
Even when I use a cleaning machine, sometimes hand washing is far more effective, I have used the hand held shower wand on a higher pulse setting then finished cleaning as usual and it has really helped with used records...........its a more time consuming process for sure.
I don't have a RCM but I do use an Orbitrac for everyday cleaning. I have a used version of Steely Dan's "Katy Lied" that when played was noisier than I like. I gave it a good scrubbing with a MoFi brush and my DIY solution (4 parts distilled water, 1 part 91% isopropyl alcohol, half of an ounce of hydrogen peroxide, 2 drops of Dawn liquid soap){parts = 1/2 cup}. After scrubbing/rinsing/drying with microfiber towel, the LP is dead silent.
Rice Krispies are a delicious snack, and I hope they never go away.
I have had some luck with steam cleaning and the removal of those damn ticks. It can take 4 or 5 cleanings. Each time knocks more of the pops out.
I don't have a "Rice Krispies" problem; when people come over to hear my system they are really surprised to learn that I have a album playing. I have a VPI record cleaning machine that does a superb job. Curious; what kind of turntable, arm, cartridge and phono preamp are you using?
How about this?
Thank you everyone for the suggestions...I think. Actually, I was hoping to throw some $$ at the problem and sail off into listening heaven. I'm certainly willing to put forth some effort but, showering and steam cleaning???

Maybe establishing realistic expectations would be in order at this point. What percentage of new albums can be cleaned so they are relatively listenable? Same question for used albums. My experience is approx. 80% for new albums and about 50% for used. Probably 40% of the albums I have are unlistenable. Sure would like to resurrect these babies.
Hi Rballdude,

If this is your first turntable you may well be in for a period of adjustment.

While I share Albert's comments about many of my LPs being quiet on my Galibier with a Dynavector XV-1s on the business end of either a Schroeder or Triplanar Tonearm, I know people who go nutty when they hear a single pop.

Now I'm not arguing for the sound of a crackling yule log when I write this, but at the same time, a well set up analog rig should draw you into the music to the point where a few ticks and pops become only a minor annoyance ... like someone coughing in a concert hall.

Tell us about your system. As I mentioned above, this has a lot to do with how prominent record problems will be.

Thom @ Galibier
FWIW I've found that phono preamps with feedback, particularly transistor units, will often enhance ticks and pops. When I started listening to zero feedback (passive EQ) preamps, I found that my LPs were a lot quieter than I had thought they were.
A good enzyme cleaner will take care of most pops and ticks. when cleaning ecords in bad shape, the enzyme should be left on for 5 to 10 minutes.


I'll second Psychicanimal's comment. Sharp, intermittent clicks and snaps that bear no relation to the music can often be removed by an enzyme-based cleaner. I use RRL fluids too, but Vinyl-Zyme (or something similar) is also an essential step. Neither RRL nor any other non-enzymatic cleaner will remove certain biologicals, and these often make "snap, crackle, pop" noises. Try it.

Ralph's (Atmasphere) observation is also consistent with my experience. The better the phono stage the less it rings and emphasizes the sudden transients of certain record surface flaws. Some cartridges are also much quieter in the groove than others. As Thom suggested, posting your system would ennable others to comment more specifically about that.

Don't give up!

P.S. A Loricraft is a large improvement over a NG, or any machine with vacuum wands and felts. I strongly recommend them. But if you're throwing money around throw a few bucks at some Vinyl-Zyme first. You'll need it no matter what RCM you use.
So it seems Vinyl-Zyme is in my future, based on all the positive comments. I use a Herron VTPH-1 phono amp, with a Kuzma Stabi table and Kuzma Stogi arm along with a Benz Glider. I was planning on upgrading the Glider until I replaced my old Yamamura interconnects with H.T. Magic and now have all the detail and soundstage I could ever want. Bass is far tighter, as well. I'm also using an Audible Illusions M 3a pre-amp and AP Scorpio speakers. All possible connections have been treated with ESST.

Sure appreciate all the suggestions. Thanks,

Questions and call for clarifications:

When you say steam-clean, what kind of device or process do you mean? I have a Scunci Steamer. If I sprayed an LP with record cleaning solution, swished it around with a pad or brush, and then, instead of rinsing or suctioning, blasted it with the steamer, it should really melt and blow out the grunge, but would the heat damage the record?

Concerning enzyme cleaner, would it have to be Vinyl-Zyme, or would an enzyme cleaner such as you get at a pet store work as well?

I have a lot of used records that have been pleasant surprises. I just played a couple records I found in 99-cent bins that are dead quiet and play like new. OTOH, there's that used MoFi pressing of SuperTramp's Crime of the Century that I just got off eBay. It makes constant noise throughout both sides.

Mike - while not intending to side track this thread, how do you like your AP Scorpios?

On topic, my Loricraft regimen (similar with Doug's, I believe) is Premier, VinylZyme, RRL wash - in that order. The VinylZyme definitely helps.

Hi Rballdude,

Great comments from Doug, Ralph (of course), and others. Yes, I didn't emphasize enough that ringing can come from many sources - both mechanical and electrical.

I take it that the A-I is only serving a line stage function - being fed by the Herron? I only know the Heron by its good reputation. Perhaps other Herron owners can comment about its unique strengths and weaknesses (nothing is perfect).

Benz cartridges in general tend to track more quietly than most ... getting quieter as you work your way up the food chain.

Assuming the stylus isn't trashed, I'd look into a thorough cleaning regimen - including the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Properly adjusted, your system is at a level where even a couple of plays without cleaning will be audible to a greater or lesser extent. Now, I'm not looking at this being a silver bullet, but it certainly won't hurt to cover your bases here.

Thom @ Galibier
As for the enzyme cleaner, try Walker Audio Prelude or Audio Intelligent. I agree w/others that a vacuum cleaning machine (e.g. VPI or Loricraft) is 95% required. If you don't have one, plenty of elbow grease will be needed.

If you are looking at cartridges, IME the stylus on the ZYX line will allow you to enjoy your beat up LPs with less noise than most of the competition. ZYX's other attributes are many, but that's for another thread.

As Thom noted, Magic Eraser for stylus cleaning(read the archives) is a superior method, and a critical part of my routine for LP playback.
Don't worry, the old LPs have plenty of music in them. Cheers,

Initially, the Scorpio's delivered a marginal improvement over my previous speakers. I bought them primarily because my search for speakers was becoming tedious and I'd always appreciated the characteristics of the Virgo's, (warm, liquid mids, precise, crisp highs and acceptable bass). Since the Scorpio's appeared, I've completed four tweaks that enabled them to achieve their potential: ESST, cable elevators, RRL and H.T. interconnects. In fact, the speakers have surpassed my expectations with their accuracy, clarity, soundstage and unbelievable amount of tight bass. They are claustrophobic though, and prefer lots of personal space.

Again, thank you for the recommendations to quell the cereal syndrome. I'm looking forward to the pursuit.