the home of the turntable

Wet playing revisited

the thin end of the wedge

Re: Wet playing revisited

Postby steve195527 » 21 Dec 2011 18:00

never tried wet playing any records,but I remember years ago when ever it was discussed in the "hi-fi press" the consensus of opinion seemed to be once you started play records wet you had to continue due to the way the stylus/lubricant(water water/alcohol)affected the muck always present in the grooves,it is liquefied under high pressure of the stylus and after playing sets like cement,the only way to move again is to wet play,something like that was the idea behind once started had to continue theory
User avatar
steve195527
long player
long player
 
Posts: 1267
Images: 1
Joined: 05 Jun 2010 01:35
Location: Near Manchester

Great Britain

Re: Wet playing revisited

Postby luckydog » 21 Dec 2011 19:19

So goes the urban legend, but my experience is that, mostly, condition remains as it was, and sometimes improves. I now have a permanent TT set up for the job, which I use for records with poor surface noise. Where there is generally a very worthwhile improvement. Sometimes that improvement is permanent, but typically not. Very seldom worse. However, personally, I don't use it for records in good condition, it's pointless. But when I have, have not noted degradation, and Flavio81 (AFAIK) still uses it extensively, as per this thread.

Although it's pretty simple, it's a useful thing to know how to do, but I could imagine it not going well just because it's messy, and process matters. Perhaps hence the urband legend?

I don't know why the hifi press didn't take to it, perhaps it's an embarassing leveller beyond their control, outside the comfort zone, who knows ? The line about muck in the grooves and high temperatures/pressures doesn't cut it though, plainly nonsense. And besides, there is an upside ! And now perhaps with an explanation as to why.

It's not as if dry play is exactly noise free sometimes. And, on occasion, there is nothing to lose and much to gain. These days, I use just distilled water and a tiny amount of surfactant, BTW, and still rinse off and leave to dry afterwards. It's worth it though, when it's necessary.
luckydog
 

Re: Wet playing revisited

Postby avole » 21 Dec 2011 19:42

Although, it has to be said, if wet playing is really the best way to get the most out of your LPs, it's no wonder CD and now streaming have taken over.

What a hassle!
avole
member
 
Posts: 1580
Images: 3
Joined: 31 Jul 2008 21:02

Re: Wet playing revisited

Postby luckydog » 21 Dec 2011 19:49

Hence why I only go there for vinyl with degraded surface noise.

But I'd also venture that, in a 'play off' between vinyl and CD/streaming, wetting would help level the noise floor issue, and vinyl's better mastering would sweep it !
luckydog
 

Re: Wet playing revisited

Postby steve195527 » 21 Dec 2011 19:53

ld wrote:So goes the urban legend, but my experience is that, mostly, condition remains as it was, and sometimes improves. I now have a permanent TT set up for the job, which I use for records with poor surface noise. Where there is generally a very worthwhile improvement. Sometimes that improvement is permanent, but typically not. Very seldom worse. However, personally, I don't use it for records in good condition, it's pointless. But when I have, have not noted degradation, and Flavio81 (AFAIK) still uses it extensively, as per this thread.

Although it's pretty simple, it's a useful thing to know how to do, but I could imagine it not going well just because it's messy, and process matters. Perhaps hence the urband legend?

I don't know why the hifi press didn't take to it, perhaps it's an embarassing leveller beyond their control, outside the comfort zone, who knows ? The line about muck in the grooves and high temperatures/pressures doesn't cut it though, plainly nonsense. And besides, there is an upside ! And now perhaps with an explanation as to why.

It's not as if dry play is exactly noise free sometimes. And, on occasion, there is nothing to lose and much to gain. These days, I use just distilled water and a tiny amount of surfactant, BTW, and still rinse off and leave to dry afterwards. It's worth it though, when it's necessary.


Only passing on what I remember from 80's when it was discussed:-I have no opinion of my own as never tried or been inclined to try it,only thing I ever applied to any albums was permostat(think it was called that:-supposed to get rid of static for good)
User avatar
steve195527
long player
long player
 
Posts: 1267
Images: 1
Joined: 05 Jun 2010 01:35
Location: Near Manchester

Great Britain

Re: Wet playing revisited

Postby ipapb » 21 Dec 2011 19:54

OK to all the advantages cited for reading wet but... somebody say that the water can rise to the coils into the cartridge ??
That say, water is a very good lubricant for the diamond.
Hi
ipapb
senior member
senior member
 
Posts: 253
Joined: 20 Apr 2009 14:05
Location: Saint-Etienne, FRANCE

Re: Wet playing revisited

Postby steve195527 » 21 Dec 2011 19:58

ipapb wrote:OK to all the advantages cited for reading wet but... somebody say that the water can rise to the coils into the cartridge ??
That say, water is a very good lubricant for the diamond.
Hi

there is water in almost all stylus cleaning fluids so doubt that would be an issue with wet playing or it would also be when cleaning stylus
User avatar
steve195527
long player
long player
 
Posts: 1267
Images: 1
Joined: 05 Jun 2010 01:35
Location: Near Manchester

Great Britain

Re: Wet playing revisited

Postby luckydog » 21 Dec 2011 20:13

Yes, everything gets wet. Well, one has to be prepared for water to get places it was probably never intended to. That's why I set up a seperate, fairly modest, TT and cartridge. Nevertheless, results are excellent, and it makes otherwise unlistenable pressings enjoyable (occasionally miraculously), and adds a lot to my overall rig.

My point in kicking this thread was to cross reference a possible mechanism for how wetting does its stuff, and point to some insight into the whole aspect of surface noise and the mechanisms behind it. Posted a few posts back.
luckydog
 

Re: Wet playing revisited

Postby steve195527 » 21 Dec 2011 22:11

ld wrote:Yes, everything gets wet. Well, one has to be prepared for water to get places it was probably never intended to. That's why I set up a seperate, fairly modest, TT and cartridge. Nevertheless, results are excellent, and it makes otherwise unlistenable pressings enjoyable (occasionally miraculously), and adds a lot to my overall rig.

My point in kicking this thread was to cross reference a possible mechanism for how wetting does its stuff, and point to some insight into the whole aspect of surface noise and the mechanisms behind it. Posted a few posts back.

I would think any form of lubrication between any 2 surfaces is going to reduce friction and as a result noise,try running an engine without oil:-really noisey before it seizes(and I don't mean from hydraulic tappets rattling!)Do you seem to lose any info from music wet playing,was wondering if the "lubricant" may nullify some fine detail by "filling" the small amplitude signals up
User avatar
steve195527
long player
long player
 
Posts: 1267
Images: 1
Joined: 05 Jun 2010 01:35
Location: Near Manchester

Great Britain

Re: Wet playing revisited

Postby luckydog » 21 Dec 2011 23:15

This is a long thread, but posted earlier are metrics that support what one hears, that nothing gets worse. And there's no loss of detail, in fact the improved noise floor enhances it, especially in quiet sections.

It's obviously impractical, that is the disadvantage. Though Flavio81 managed it, perhaps still does. I think if I had to play only one track to demonstrate what vinyl is capable of, I would play it wet.

But, horses for courses. Personally, I struck a balance, and only use it for playback where surface noise is degraded.
luckydog
 

Re: Wet playing revisited

Postby steve195527 » 22 Dec 2011 19:45

ld wrote:This is a long thread, but posted earlier are metrics that support what one hears, that nothing gets worse. And there's no loss of detail, in fact the improved noise floor enhances it, especially in quiet sections.

It's obviously impractical, that is the disadvantage. Though Flavio81 managed it, perhaps still does. I think if I had to play only one track to demonstrate what vinyl is capable of, I would play it wet.

But, horses for courses. Personally, I struck a balance, and only use it for playback where surface noise is degraded.

I find it hard to believe,not saying it isn't so though,that adding a lubricant,which wet playing is,which must by definition must introduce a film between the stylus and the grove doesn't cause a loss of low level information,it is removing some:-the bits that give you the clicks and pops,so why does other information escape this?
User avatar
steve195527
long player
long player
 
Posts: 1267
Images: 1
Joined: 05 Jun 2010 01:35
Location: Near Manchester

Great Britain

Re: Wet playing revisited

Postby luckydog » 22 Dec 2011 20:23

I think it's fair to say no-one knows how thick the film is.

But, one might guess at a number of scenarios in which the film does not adversely affect traceability. As is the case. e.g :

1. The film is thin so as to fill micro voids, but otherwise preserve contact

2. The film is thick, so as to preserve an incompressible fluid layer

3. The film is effectively a thin vapour layour between groove and stylus surfaces

etc etc etc

Who knows. But imperically, it works.
luckydog
 

Re: Wet playing revisited

Postby Twinhit » 19 Jul 2012 08:40

I may late to the party fight but......
In this corner we have the fearful and in that corner we have the cheerful.
Call the toss.

IF anything is going to ruin a record, it's those nails used on the older 78s!
You can build a house with those things!

Wet/Dry (no pun intended)humor aside, As one who has owned and used a metal cutting lathe and universal knee lift milling machine, I can vouch that using coolant will cool down both the High Speed Steel (or diamond) cutting tool and the workpiece. IF the cutting tool gets hot, it will dull and it's effective cutting properties will diminish.

Considering the metalcutting lathe, cutting the face on the end of solid billet of x material yields a spiral pattern that is not unlike that found on a vinyl record. The difference is the waveform in the groove. When the lathe's carriage are gear driven, there are minute imperfections that can be found somewhere in the machine. I've run a lathe in which the drive belt was connected by means of "pin and staple" which made for a bump across the belt. Every time that belt joint came across the spindle pully there would be tap that you could feel in the machine. That tap would actually transmit a very slight gouge on an otherwise perfect turn. Cooled or not. IF one were so inclined, they could make
a record out of a disc on the lathe and play back all the imperfections of the machine.

Vinyl, being what it is, is far softer than a diamond stylus. I honestly cannot see how play wet will damage the groove.
IF anything, playing wet would insulate the vinyl from the needle. The solution would be akin to water and the needle akin to a water skis pulled behind the tow boat. Whatever wake is caused by the tow boat is the groove wall profile.
As a result, the only downside to playing wet is that the highs would be slightly muted.

I clean my records 1st, then drown the vinyl with a dripping drenched horsehair bristle brush along the path the needle will follow. Never had a problem with electrocution or shorting my blasphemous Technics SL-1200 MKII.

So... I guess I am in the cheerful corner.
Twinhit
member
member
 
Posts: 50
Joined: 02 Dec 2010 10:11
Location: San Diego, Ca

United States of America

Re: Wet playing revisited

Postby DustyDave » 20 Jul 2012 02:27

I admit I haven't read all 20 pages, but I have a couple of thoughts about this that I didn't see anyone else expressing. One is regarding what seems to be a silly claim that playing a record heats the vinyl to hundreds of degrees. Surely someone in this forum owns one of those laser thermometers. Could anything be easier to test? It's "point-and-shoot"!

Of course, direct observation would seem to contradict the heating idea, anyway. The vinyl used in records softens enough to make those god-awful "bowls" out of records at less than 250F. So, if you're starting at any reasonable room temperature and adding 200 degrees, you'd end up with a record as soft as putty.

That softness that would probably cause the stylus to remove most, if not all, the modulations from the grooves on the first pass. It would be like dragging a trowel across wet cement. You'd end up with no signal left. So, I'm not buying that one, until someone shows me convincing proof.

I think someone over-extrapolated from the knowledge that ice does melt and refreeze as a skate blade passes across it, but the physics are completely different. Which reminds me... whoever said water isn't a solvent must have flunked out of school. Water is "the universal solvent". It just doesn't disolve vinyl or epoxy.

Another is, I suspect that those who claim wet playing ruins a record for dry playing mode weren't using distilled water, and were suffering the effects of mineral residue left behind. There wouldn't be a multi-billion dollar industry devoted to removing those minerals, aka water softening, if they weren't pervasive.

I've never tried it, myself, but the idea has always intrigued me. I might have to give it a whirl on one of these bargain bin crackle-fests.
DustyDave
junior member
junior member
 
Posts: 12
Joined: 25 Feb 2012 19:47

United States of America

Re: Wet playing revisited

Postby Marcie » 20 Jul 2012 12:46

This has been a really excellent thread, thanks much to Flavio and ld & others!

Back in the seventies, I used the wet Lencoclean method too. And yes, the records I played wet became unplayable dry afterward. Now I have become convinced that it must been because of deposits that resulted from using Lencoclean, probably not just mineral deposits.

The Lencoclean system is still being sold by another company, but I would stay away from it as it claims to use the original Lencoclean fluid. There's now a competing product called 'Superclean' from a German company called Analogis that is apparently using superior fluid while the handling of the cleaning 'arm' and refill system seems to be much better too, according to customer reviews.

Meanwhile, I have carried out some experiments of myself as well as some outlined by ld and Flavio. For instance, I was able to use wet hygienic alcohol-based household wipes to remove loud pops from records, which were evidently due to dirt being stuck in the grooves. These pops wouldn't go away with normal washing, so I tried this. It worked, with no ill effects afterwards.

I also duplicated some of ld's experiments; again without any ill effects afterwards. Quite the reverse, actually. I would agree with DustyDave that demineralized water is a must. I used a mixture of max 20% denat 97% alcohol, demineralized water, and a few drops of washing up liquid as surfactant. I found that the quantity of washing up liquid is critical in that too much will leave deposits. I will be trying wetting agent (Photoflow or some such) later.

The vinyl-heating argument is obviously nonsense, and thoroughly busted here.

This thread also led me to think we should have a part of the VE website dedicated to "Audio Mythbusters" or maybe even a separate website called http://www.audiomythbusters.com !
User avatar
Marcie
member
member
contributor
 
Posts: 65
Joined: 05 Feb 2008 12:43
Location: Netherlands

Netherlands

PreviousNext

Return to Cartridges and Preamps