Hi-Fi Corner - Vinyl, CD, Cassettes and the rest

Habbinalan

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*Kefs :hypo:

As my tidy up progesses, I came across these beauties that I picked up on the market for peanuts (not literally but such a deal was possible I think) in Mahajanga, Madagascar a couple of years ago. No music CDs available (all into downloads!! to their phones) but these music DVDs were a shock to the system with interesting contrasts - from tourist stuff to "pop", to Dub Step and Reggae.

15056342_1218976144826440_1791682003026669662_n.jpg




 

Vanni

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Yeah yeah, Kefs ;) I'm one of those who wants to get things over in a hurry and so do tend to make a lot of spelling and pronunciation mistakes.
 

Vanni

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Don't forget that speakers need break in time too Alan. You're lucky if you already like their sound, but things will get much better once they're fully broken in. But, I'll be frank here, unlike cartridge BIT which is generally 30-50 hours, I don't exactly know how long this will take. All I know is that I have an Allsop CD lens cleaner* and it's not just a cleaner as it also has some tests one could run to check everything's ok. One of these is a pink noise test for Speaker BIT which you run whenever you get a new pair.

*which I've only used 2/3 times as I prefer cleaning the cd lens myself with a cotton bud and some Isop.Alcohol.
 

Habbinalan

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Don't forget that speakers need break in time too Alan. You're lucky if you already like their sound, but things will get much better once they're fully broken in. But, I'll be frank here, unlike cartridge BIT which is generally 30-50 hours, I don't exactly know how long this will take. All I know is that I have an Allsop CD lens cleaner* and it's not just a cleaner as it also has some tests one could run to check everything's ok. One of these is a pink noise test for Speaker BIT which you run whenever you get a new pair.

*which I've only used 2/3 times as I prefer cleaning the cd lens myself with a cotton bud and some Isop.Alcohol.
It's not so much I like their sound as they're all working - that's the level of my tech savvy.

I've been browsing to find if I should insert my foam plugs ;). They'll stay out for now.

I've been running whenever I'm around to get the break in - currently working through some Van Morrison that hasn't been heard since I bought them on spec. Which leads me to another point.......

I have some really good well preserved vinyl (including a lot bought new along with some second hand from Cobb Records in the early 70s) but I also have some that I've bought over the years coz I wanted to own the album. Many are/were unplayable despite conventional pad cleaning and static removal. I took the plunge and bought a cleaning bath - I've put the worst dozen through the treatment (with all the horror stories I read on the forums, I'm taking it slowly) and have been enjoying Moondance, Hard Nose the Highway and Benefit (Jethro Tull) on vinyl for the first time in decades. Ten Years After, Chris Farlowe and The Turtles (the last two in the collection but unplayed since the 70s) are next up.

In due course, I'll give an update as to how they're doing - I see it as a one-off rescue rather than routine at the moment. Have you (or any other browsers?) got any experience of rescuing vinyl or using these clean ups? My choice was Knosti Disco-Antistat. It claims no residues (basically distilled water and isopropyl alcohol I assume) and encourages multiple use but I've been warned off that.

As a reward for reading through all that

 

Vanni

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I have no experience with the Knosti, or other similar cleaners like the Spinclean, but I've read about not using the supplied fluid and making your own concoction. But I'm unclear on what you mean by "multiple use"? If you're referring to re-using the cleaning fluid, then I don't think that would be a smart idea.
 

Habbinalan

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I have no experience with the Knosti, or other similar cleaners like the Spinclean, but I've read about not using the supplied fluid and making your own concoction. But I'm unclear on what you mean by "multiple use"? If you're referring to re-using the cleaning fluid, then I don't think that would be a smart idea.
They're recommending re-using the fluid and re-treating the records, both of which had me worried.

I've seen some "recipes" and will explore further. The joy of being time rich, especially in the winter, when not on our travels, is that I can pick up some vinyl at Emmaus (adding to their funds) and do some experimenting................until I get bored and go back to photographing birds or seeking the best pint/pub/birding/match combination.

The joys of retirement.
 

Vanni

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They're recommending re-using the fluid and re-treating the records, both of which had me worried.

I've seen some "recipes" and will explore further. The joy of being time rich, especially in the winter, when not on our travels, is that I can pick up some vinyl at Emmaus (adding to their funds) and do some experimenting................until I get bored and go back to photographing birds or seeking the best pint/pub/birding/match combination.

The joys of retirement.

Re-using the fluid doesn't sit right with me, even though the Knosti can apparently filter the used fluid. If you're getting satisfactory results with the supplied fluid, then I'd wait until I run out and then make my own recipe (there are several different recipes out there, but generally it's a mixture of I.A. and distilled water) which would probably be better than the supplied fluid and also cheaper.

Also have my doubts on the re-treating the records as it seems to me that Knosti only recommends this so they can sell more bottles of their own fluid. Like I said before, I have no experience with the Knosti but I know how they work, and it doesn't make any sense to me. The only time I wash/clean a record again is when it's very dirty and would need multiple cleanings to get rid of all the gunk embedded in the grooves. I won't go into my cleaning regimen right now, but will offer this piece of advice - with the Knosti method, start with the least dirty record. It's just common sense but sometimes it's easy for one to forget. However, there is a lot of info out there on the Knosti (and the Spinclean which is more or less the same product), and that's always a very good thing in my book.
 

eightiesrobin

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I have a Knosti, had it for a few years now. While I've never compared it to one of those expensive machines, I think it's well worth the dosh. I must have rescued hundreds of dirty LPs over the years.

I make my own fluid now. In an entirely arbitrary fashion, I mix 500mls Isopropyl alcohol (the 70% stuff, or rubbing alcohol) and 500mls deionised water (the stuff you buy from the supermarket) and (v important) about 3mls of a wetting agent - I have a bottle of "Phototec" I bought from a camera shop years ago. I think it had been in the back of the shop for a few years. The wetting agent stops streaks when drying. A litre of Isoprop costs about £8 on Ebay, the water costs a quid. 2 Litres of that should do 60 LPs. I reuse a few times (until I see it's turned yellow!), and I don't bother filtering it, just goes straight back in the bottle.

Other recipes are available, as Vanni says, but it seems to me it's all just variations on a theme.

I can hear all the normal folk backing out of this thread.
 

Vanni

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Robin, if I may. If going the IA/DistilledWater route then I suggest 99.9% IA as it's better than the 70% stuff, which may have some impurities in it. As for rubbing alc/surgical spirit, while some say it's not a good idea (again, for any impurities it may contain), I've used it sometimes when I ran out of IA and it did a good job too.

The use of a wetting agent is a good idea, however I strongly disagree with your 50/50 method. I read an article on a HIFI mag once, and the author warned about using too much IA in a homemade recipe as too much IA is not good for vinyl and can damage your records, even though one doesn't see or hear any damage immediately after cleaning/washing. In fact, some of the better commercial record cleaners do not contain any alcohol at all. The guy claimed that the alcohol-based commercial cleaners (which after all is what we all trying to replicate) only have some 10-20% of IA. He also said that only a handful of commercial cleaners had a higher % of IA (25-30%) but these cleaners made it clear that these should only be used on those VERY DIRTY records. I agree with this guy as one look at some of the stronger cleaning products out there all recommend to proceed with caution when using their stronger products.

But perhaps the most important thing about alcohol is that in reality it doesn't do a very good job at cleaning very dirty records. For instance, Fairy liquid or hair shampoo/conditioner will do a much better job. When cleaning a dirty record I give it a good clean up with Fairy and then rinse it off. When the record is more or less dry, I then turn to the IA/water mixture and clean it again, but I do this mainly to remove static build up. When the record's not so dirty I just go with my IA and water recipe, which is 20% IA or rubbing alcohol and 80% water.

Apologies for the long post, but then again this is a thread for the dedicated vinyl lover :p
 

Habbinalan

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Having read all the (often contradictory) guff on various forums, I was going back to first principles and aiming for minimal reaction with vinyl and minimal residues when drained and dried - which gives you lab quality de-mineralised de-ionised water (still cheap and slightly better than battery/iron de-ionised water) with a non-ionic wetter (Ilfotol seems less likely to have residues than some of the other suggestions I've seen).

Optics cleaning seems to gives a good steer on the residues and coating damage issues and I've plenty of experience cleaning up cameras,lenses, binoculars and telescopes. They get pretty mucky in the places I take them.

I've gained sufficient confidence to add up to 1:5 easily available 99.9% pure IPA (not from Greene King) but will probably see how 1:10 goes first.

If, with my new found confidence, I find some gems in a really bad state, I can give it a go with extra detergent and/or IPA before quickly rinsing off with water then a treatment with the standard mix.

Today's reward for getting to the end of that is a version of my recently cleaned Chris Farlowe with The Hill

 

eightiesrobin

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Potayto, potahto!

Although, tbf Vanni, if I used less Isoprop in my solution, it would accordingly last much longer, and I wouldn't have to drive to Hyde so frequently to replenish my stocks (they eye you with some suspicion when you turn up at the trade counter to buy it)
 

Vanni

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Potayto, potahto!

Although, tbf Vanni, if I used less Isoprop in my solution, it would accordingly last much longer, and I wouldn't have to drive to Hyde so frequently to replenish my stocks (they eye you with some suspicion when you turn up at the trade counter to buy it)

Yep, apparently it's because I.A. is used in the manufacturing of home lab drugs. Also, when these guys run out of IA, they turn to Rubbing Alcohol instead so buying RA also gets you a suspicious gaze.

Expect a visit from your local friendly plod anytime soon ;)
 

eightiesrobin

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Yes, a few signs up in the reception area, exhorting staff to look out for any signs of dodginess. I figure 1 litre a year puts me under their radar...
 

Vanni

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Alan, and any others who might be interested (though I seriously doubt that :lol:), Fairy liquid and 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner is perfectly safe to use on records. In fact, a lot of the 80's/90's record cleaners had some kind of shampoo as their main ingredient. I was a Record Collector subscriber and I used to see all kinds of adverts for cleaners, so I ordered a few to check 'em out and yep - looked and smelled like hair shampoo to me. But Fairy dish washing liquid works better I think.

I know these products are safe only because I've tried literally everything there is under the sun. And what better way to test cleaning products on than brand new vinyl? So I went to a car boot sale and this guy had 17 copies of some Arabic spoken word record, all sealed, and I gave him a fiver for the lot, and boy was he glad someone took them off his hands! Still have a handful of sealed copies so I can experiment without fear of ruining a good record ;)

Here, I found a video of a guy who uses Fairy, but my method's a bit different to his. But some things are the same - like the label protectors and the paint brush. Plus, I go one step further as I then use a MOFI brush with some I.A./Water and then vacuum dry with a homemade vacuuming wand like this -
8757499.jpg



I'll be copying Alan and giving you a tune too for reading all this!

 

eightiesrobin

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I found that LP in mint condition at a car boot once. I paid 50p for it and sold it for £10.50 on Ebay. Goes for a lot more now I see. I hate auctions.
 

Vanni

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I found that LP in mint condition at a car boot once. I paid 50p for it and sold it for £10.50 on Ebay. Goes for a lot more now I see. I hate auctions.

I'm done with auctions, although there are times when people get caught up in a bidding war and you end up getting much more than the market value. But equally so is stuff selling for far less, see your ND record for example. I find Discogs.com better for whenever I have something to sell. Discogs takes an 8% commission I believe, but I think it's fair enough considering one can leave his listings up indefinitely.

I had that ND record, and literally hundreds of other mostly punk-related stuff, but I sold them when I wasn't listening to them anymore. Nowadays, I consider this as one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made, esp. those records which are yet to be reissued. I mean, I don't miss ND's Scum, or other grindcore stuff, but I dearly miss quite a lot of the others. If only I had heeded the old man's advice which was never to sell anything unless you've got multiple copies of it. The way he saw it was this - you may sell your 'insert artist's name here' records because you don't like them now, but in 5 years time there's every chance you'll be seeking out not only all the records they've ever released but you'd also want all their b-sides, outtakes and boots.
 

eightiesrobin

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I also sold 3 Crass LPs for much less than they fetch now, again all in mint condition. Even though I didn't much like them, I kind of regret it.
 

eightiesrobin

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Got any other good stuff you don't much care for?
Sadly not, at least not in that vein Aber. You don't find that sort of thing very often. The Crass albums I found in a box of Lieder and string quartet records, believe it or not. If I ever find any more I'll let you know.
 

Vanni

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Sadly not, at least not in that vein Aber. You don't find that sort of thing very often. The Crass albums I found in a box of Lieder and string quartet records, believe it or not. If I ever find any more I'll let you know.

Bit strange as Crass were not only a punk band but also an acquired taste among punks themselves, in fact I know quite a few punk fans who never got into Crass at all. So I've googled up Crass(music) and came across this baritone singer Franz Crass so that could be it, ie. the guy bought the punk Crass records by mistake, which is plausible especially back in the day when a lot of record shopping was done through Mail Order. I think I had better take a look from now on whenever I come across some classical music collection instead of just swiftly moving on!

This reminds me of when I once ordered 2 indie releases from Gema Records and they sent me five Tygers of Pan Tang Lp's by mistake :sna:
 

Aber gas

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Bit strange as Crass were not only a punk band but also an acquired taste among punks themselves, in fact I know quite a few punk fans who never got into Crass at all. So I've googled up Crass(music) and came across this baritone singer Franz Crass so that could be it, ie. the guy bought the punk Crass records by mistake, which is plausible especially back in the day when a lot of record shopping was done through Mail Order.

This reminds me of when I once ordered 2 indie releases from Gema Records and they sent me five Tygers of Pan Tang Lp's by mistake :sna:
Have you still got them?
 

Vanni

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Not really my bag but going for money ( the picture discs especially)

Really? Though I shouldn't really be surprised as NWOBHM releases have always been highly collectible. But looks to me that lately everything's going for silly money ever since vinyl became this hipster thing.
 

Aber gas

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Really? Though I shouldn't really be surprised as NWOBHM releases have always been highly collectible. But looks to me that lately everything's going for silly money ever since vinyl became this hipster thing.
Not all of it. I think it's all down to how much was produced. Stuff like venom, Tygers, Celtic frost is always going to go up in value because they were relatively modest in release. Same as oi and punk.
 

Vanni

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Not all of it. I think it's all down to how much was produced. Stuff like venom, Tygers, Celtic frost is always going to go up in value because they were relatively modest in release. Same as oi and punk.

:shut: I had all the Frost albums and 2 or 3 of Venom's, and yes I know what they're worth now. But I don't think they were as limited as people think. The first pressings were still available in the 90's*, and I for one certainly didn't buy these in the early 80's. I think it's just a case of everyone wanting to own a first pressing that's the real reason. Go onto any vinyl forum and all the board members will about how the reissues aren't mastered from the original master tapes and all that- and sometimes they're correct- , and all this talk does is make people pay more for an original pressing.

*same goes for a lot of punk releases too, even though some were only pressed in the hundreds.
 

Aber gas

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:shut: I had all the Frost albums and 2 or 3 of Venom's, and yes I know what they're worth now. But I don't think they were as limited as people think. The first pressings were still available in the 90's*, and I for one certainly didn't buy these in the early 80's. I think it's just a case of everyone wanting to own a first pressing that's the real reason. Go onto any vinyl forum and all the board members will about how the reissues aren't mastered from the original master tapes and all that- and sometimes they're correct- , and all this talk does is make people pay more for an original pressing.

*same goes for a lot of punk releases too, even though some were only pressed in the hundreds.
Oh you are so right. So much nonsense spoken and believed about first pressings. Cheeky bastard at a record fair quoted me 35 quid for a four skins ep. Suffice to say he didn't make a sale.
 

eightiesrobin

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First pressings eh? You should meet the jazz and classical buffs....

Oh, the Franz Crass connection seems a tad unlikely. The title "Penis Envy" would surely have given that away :eek:
 

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