Everyone knows how important is the quality of the record in order to get
good results from our stereo system.
Simply put, our hi-zoot stereo systems can do nothing if the record
we're trying to listen to is poorly recorded or damaged.
And while there's nothing we can do to improve the performance of a poorly recorded disc, there are many things we can do to keep our good records in perfect condition.
Now that we know how to avoid dust we should learn the best ways to
remove it. The No.1 rule of record cleaning is to avoid that the dust
reaching the bottom of the grooves.
In other words we should take extreme care to NOT worsen the situation.
There are poorly cleaned records which are only apparently dust-free. Actually the dust has been moved from the surface to the bottom of the grooves where it is more harmful and difficult to remove.
A lot of devices have been developed to avoid this problem. Among these are the carbon fiber brushes (Decca-style) and some self-adhesive rollers.
Some of these carbon fiber brushes have the handle made out of a conductive material in such a way that static electricity can be easily moved from the record to our body and then grounded. This trick works thanks to the conductive properties of the carbon fibers.
Speaking of rollers, one of the best of them -dunno if it is still
available- is the Rolling Cleaner by Nagaoka. It is made of a very strange
sticky rubber compound that literally detaches the dust from the surface
of the disc.
Once the roller gets dirty it can be washed with water et
voilà it is ready
to stick again as new.
I must say that after 10 years of regular use it still works as efficiently as the first day.
If you can find one, buy it. It's a bargain (usual disclaimers apply here, eh).
When the dust combines with moisture, fingerprints and other agents it's time to take a shower.
The market is overcrowded with dozens of magic fluids that promise to be the ultimate solution (pun intended) to our cleaning problems. Normally these magic bottles don't come cheap. So audiophiles all around the World have started to make their own cleaning fluids at home at a fraction of the cost of the official ones.
Thanks to the Analogue-Addicts mailing list, particularly to the ubiquitous :-) friend Steven -Enjoy the Music- Rochlin) and to Bruce Kinch, Editor of the renowned newsletter "Primyl Vinyl Exchange" (PO Box 67109 Chestnut Hill MA 02167 Tel/Fax 617-739-3856) here are some secret recipes for you:
The following recipes are for a 4 liter (1 gallon) solution unless otherwise stated.
|1 part||1 part isopropyl||none|
|1 part||1 part isopropyl||a drop of Triton X-100|
|1 quart (~ 1 liter)||1/2 quart denatured||10 drops Photoflo|
|3 parts||1 part denatured||a few drops|
|3 parts||1 part rubbing||a few drops|
|4 parts||1 part ethanol||some (Genie in the Bottle)|
|3 parts||1 part isopropyl||1 drop Triton X-114 or Monolan 2000|
|4 parts||1 part isopropyl (91%)||7-8 drops dishwashing detergent w/o additives|
|1 part||1 part denatured alcohol.|
|3 parts||1 part NON-lanolin isopropyl||10 drops Photo-Flo + 10 drops "Direct" tile cleaner|
I know there are more "solutions" but these are just meant to be starting
points and/or examples.
After washing the record with one of these fluids it is wise to rinse
it with pure distilled water. This way any remaining particles of dirt will
be washed away
from the grooves.
Then you can dry the record using a soft chamois leather or a soft cotton cloth.
Esoteric drying can be done by clamping the record to a drill and turning it at the highest speed possible. Seriously :-)
The bottom line is: keep your records as clean as possible, use antistatic inner sleeves, try to remove dirt with brushes or rollers and do some home-washing once they get very dirty.
DISCALAIMER: if you're not confident with the use of the ingredients cited above, AVOID preparing these recipes at home. Ask someone who knows how to safely use those or purchase commercially available disc-cleaning fluids.
© Copyright 1997 Lucio Cadeddu - Translation supervisor: Earl Dunbar