Vinyl surface noise

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nicholasdover
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Vinyl surface noise

Post by nicholasdover » Thu May 14, 2020 2:46 am

I have a few records which are modern and virtually new but have an unlistenable amount of surface crackle noise throughout - I don't understand how it's so bad!? Yet I have lots of 70's records that are fine. I neither care for them meticulously nor abuse them. Joanna Newsom "Divers" has probably had 20 plays and is ridiculously bad now, noise louder than music. Stylus replaced, no change - even playing with a worn stylus wouldn't make particle noise would it? Would it not be more a loss of definition? I don't know if somehow atmospheric conditions have adhered a dust to the surface while left out? Can anyone recommend a cleaning method? I know some who swear by wax.
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Scodiddly
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Re: Vinyl surface noise

Post by Scodiddly » Thu May 14, 2020 5:36 am

I'd put my wager on shitty materials for a music souvenir. Or maybe the lack of whatever toxic ingredient they used in the 70's.

One of the more drastic cleaning methods I've heard of is wood glue, like Titebond. It sticks to the dust but not the vinyl, you just paint on a layer and then peel it off after a day. I've actually tried that on really noisy garage sale records, didn't notice a huge difference.

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Re: Vinyl surface noise

Post by markjazzbassist » Thu May 14, 2020 6:05 am

how serious are you about vinyl? they have those VPI cleaning machines that are the best in the biz, but pricey.

honestly i agree with scodiddley, it's the crap manufacturing. some of the pressing plants take it seriously, others are churn and burn type operations. this was likely from the latter.

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Re: Vinyl surface noise

Post by nicholasdover » Thu May 14, 2020 3:59 pm

Given the calibre of people that worked on that album, an unplayably shit pressing would be a travesty!

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Re: Vinyl surface noise

Post by drumsound » Thu May 14, 2020 10:59 pm

I remember something called a zerostat gun. A buddy had one. It supposedly removed the static charge. Amazon has them for $85... They also have an anti static brush.

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Re: Vinyl surface noise

Post by markjazzbassist » Fri May 15, 2020 5:16 am

drumsound wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 10:59 pm
I remember something called a zerostat gun. A buddy had one. It supposedly removed the static charge. Amazon has them for $85... They also have an anti static brush.
i have the anti static brush, you can get them for 15 bucks. they work to take away the static (small) but large noises they will not fix.

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Re: Vinyl surface noise

Post by vvv » Fri May 15, 2020 12:50 pm

I went thru a cuppla those Zerostat guns, at about US$20 back in the day.

They were also awesome for removing static from yer wool pants. :twisted:
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Re: Vinyl surface noise

Post by jimjazzdad » Fri May 15, 2020 5:56 pm

You can't beat wet cleaning and vacuuming your vinyl with a machine like the VPI. The chemistry of the wash liquid is important too - detergent and/or surfactant and maybe a little alcohol plus a distilled water rinse - there are many recipes out there. You'll be amazed what a good record cleaning does to eliminate crackle and other background noise.
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Re: Vinyl surface noise

Post by nicholasdover » Sat May 16, 2020 6:47 am

Thanks guys - will try a few things out!

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vernier
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Re: Vinyl surface noise

Post by vernier » Sat May 16, 2020 1:10 pm

Old records on decent turntables are fine. Modern vinyl isn't analog unless 100% of the recording process was analog from beginning to end. Meaning, no digital processing or conversion whatsoever.

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Re: Vinyl surface noise

Post by markjazzbassist » Sun May 17, 2020 7:08 am

also not sure what type of needle you have. if it's elliptical or something like that you might want to try changing to a Conical (also called spherical) needle. i have one that works great on old records with lots of wear/dirt/etc and it has significantly less noise than the previous needle.

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Re: Vinyl surface noise

Post by Packy » Mon May 18, 2020 11:03 am

Lots of new records can still have junk/particles on them straight from the plant. Have manufacturing/materials gotten more half-assed in recent years? Probably...Anyway check out the Spin Clean, it's like a brush/bath for discs. Does a great job at a tiny fraction of the price of a VPI etc.
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Re: Vinyl surface noise

Post by nicholasdover » Tue May 19, 2020 12:10 am

I decided to experiment a bit on one side of a disc (I have quite a few records in this state where I just avoid playing them) so I first tried a brand new soft pile cleaning cloth with hand soap and warm water - definite improvement. Then I went harder core (more reckless) and used a new toothbrush with washing up liquid and warm water, brushing in line with grooves to try and get right in there. This was a bit better I think, but still not gone. I think it seems something is right in the grooves that isn't being dissolved with water/soap, and maybe the tips of the toothbrush bristles don't make it the the valley floor! Will maybe try the PVA glue trick?! And/or look into getting a Spin Clean. Thanks for help on this.

Oh, yes - I'm on an Ortofon Stylus 10 which is elliptical.

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Re: Vinyl surface noise

Post by cgarges » Wed May 20, 2020 12:35 am

I've heard about A LOT of people rejecting test pressings in recent years. At least people who have done this for a while and know what to listen for. If you care about how your record sounds, know who is doing your cutting and plating, use a reputable pressing plant, and make sure that A) the person doing your cutting gets a copy of the test pressing to check out and B), YOU give your test pressing a good listen on a decent turntable and system with NO distractions, you should be okay. If you don't care and go the quickest and/or cheapest route you can find, this is what you can get.

The art on all this is quickly becoming lost. There are a lot of steps where this can go way wrong.

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Re: Vinyl surface noise

Post by losthighway » Wed May 20, 2020 9:26 am

cgarges wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 12:35 am
I've heard about A LOT of people rejecting test pressings in recent years. At least people who have done this for a while and know what to listen for. If you care about how your record sounds, know who is doing your cutting and plating, use a reputable pressing plant, and make sure that A) the person doing your cutting gets a copy of the test pressing to check out and B), YOU give your test pressing a good listen on a decent turntable and system with NO distractions, you should be okay. If you don't care and go the quickest and/or cheapest route you can find, this is what you can get.

The art on all this is quickly becoming lost. There are a lot of steps where this can go way wrong.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC
Yes. Many of the current plants are churning out low quality pressings, both in their plating process, and their pressing. Carl Saff pretty much talked me out of a few of my gang's go-to vinyl companies when he cut the lacquers for my band's album a few years ago. I had a collector approach me at a show saying that he religiously buys everything that comes out on our label, and that we're the only band that has decent sounding vinyl in the catalog. I didn't quite know whether I should share this with our label dude cause it's instructive, but kind of a burn.

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