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Record Cleaning Techniques -- Objectivist Comparison Protocol or Audiophool's Folly?

cjfrbw

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#41
I still love vinyl, but guilty as charged on the nostalgic angle. When I was a poor student, I would go to the record stores that were laced with burning incense and horn loaded honkers mounted in the corners playing records and bask and sift through the piles of unaffordium.

When I saw the records going for 25 cents to 50 cents decades later in thrifts barely a step from the dumpsters, it did make me a little collector crazy. Now that vinyl is 'in fashion' again, the thrifts hold no treasures any more that I can find, they are picked through.

Vinyl is still my favorite medium. However, something strange happened somewhere in the "ten years ago or so" range where I noticed that digital suddenly got better. I can now have enjoyable listening sessions with 128kbs media. Either the media and digital playback have gotten that good, or my ears have become tin for good and I am in audiophool senescence.

On my big rig, it used to be 90 percent vinyl listening and 10 percent digital. Nowadays, it is more like 50-50.

I did play a joke on a guy who came to listen once:

Me: "I am going to play some hi-rez digital now."
Him: "OK"
Play music for a while.

Him: "That sounded really good, who was that playing?"
Me: "It was ***** in 128kbs AAC."
Him: "I thought you said it was hi-rez?"
Me: "Well, it is compared to 64kbs."

I watch as he knots his eyebrows and re-evaluates his listening experience.

Him: "That was mean."
Me: "I know, I am a bastard, sorry, I just wanted to see if you could actually tell."
 
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#43
The weeks (and then months, years) following when I ditched vinyl I noticed my musical enjoyment went up countless fold. Appreciating performances, looking forward to listening to music and so on.

Bizarrely the most interesting thing about vinyl was looking forward to buying it, the used bargains, etc.

Maybe I am a romantic, and ignorant of the relevant principles of physics, but to me it is amazing that we can drag a stylus through a groove and get an intelligible noise, let alone an often-convincing sonic image. That gets me every time I play a record. And we are tactile creatures. The process of cleaning a record and putting it on a turntable in preparation for a music session seems . . . . right. The effectively zero marginal effort needed to start a digital music file just doesn't seem consequential enough in relation to the miracle that is music itself. I don't think I'm completely alone. My 5 year old granddaughter loves playing LP's with Papa. Surely, it's not my charming countenance. As always, YMMV.

Cheers, Alex
 

Guermantes

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#44
Yes, much about listening to recorded music has to do with the rituals of care involved. Do you treat your music like fine champagne or like tap water?
 

Wombat

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#46
I try to adhere to the Golden Mean. So more like a good $25 bottle of wine.
Distilled water. Transparent and pure - contaminants removed. No plankton or artificial colouring. ;)
 

Fitzcaraldo215

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#47
Distilled water. Transparent and pure - contaminants removed. No plankton or artificial colouring. ;)
Not really. It also requires surfactants to really get down into the grooves and lift the debris, including oily fingerprints. Ever try washing really dirty clothes in just water with no soap?
 

TBone

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#48
I really don't know. Although the "concept" is appealing, I have never really found anybody with data on the topic as opposed to conjecture and hypothetical opinion. I guess ASR makes it OK to ask the question....
Records out of the envelope come with some "stamper" lubricant and vinyl has plasticizers to keep it supple. Vinyl without plasticizers apparently is quite hard, brittle, and can have surface crazing.
Stylus wear is a well known reality, IME, even after playing pristine records: a typical stylus will show signs of wear (and measurable decrease in high freq tracking) usually ~300/400 hrs. Add a bunch of foreign obstacles/dirt/friction to that journey, well ... I'd consider it folly that one would think wear wouldn't increase.

If you consider that nothing more than conjecture, well ... your expectations, your stylus, your records, and your money ...
 

TBone

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#49
Not really. It also requires surfactants to really get down into the grooves and lift the debris, including oily fingerprints. Ever try washing really dirty clothes in just water with no soap?
Exactly ... surfactants (just a bit, or not too much) are required, especially so with well played used LPs that require a really good clean.

I've tried with & without.

Fingerprints especially, but removing them, is yet another RC discussion ...
 

cjfrbw

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#50
I think people just like to clean and detail their beloved objects. Records are no different and are eminently "cleanable" by any rationale.
 
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