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Record damage, what caused it?

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Record damage, what caused it?

Postby megatrends » 01 May 2012 04:48

Okay I whipped out my Alice Cooper Greatest Hits album and it has a surface melted type uniform pitted appearance.

I've seen some record damage in here but could not photograph it properly to show it. best description is it glazed over from heat but not warped.

The record sounds like tape hiss now but has its fidelity like normal. The surface is glossy and has small pits.

Anyway that is neither here nor there .... what caused it? It has a glossy paper sleeve inside a cardboard sleeve like many normal records. ALL the other records near it did not have anything? I do not use PVC sleeves also.

I'm stumped.

I can tell you that record itself is shamefully thin and very very flexible. Warner Bros vinyl, maybe bad vinyl on this batch? Quality seconds for the vinyl?

I have another copy on vinyl from a different year and batch, that one is ok.

Anything like this ever happen to any of you guys? My records are kept in a safe place in usually controlled elements in a state in Maine with low humidity and heat for most of the entire year.
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Re: Record damage, what caused it?

Postby MonkeyBoy » 04 May 2012 01:52

Was it a record you had that had been undamaged before or was this the first time you ever actually laid eyes on it?
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Re: Record damage, what caused it?

Postby megatrends » 04 May 2012 07:51

MonkeyBoy wrote:Was it a record you had that had been undamaged before or was this the first time you ever actually laid eyes on it?


It was undamaged years before. I have 2 copies of the same record and usually played the other one. I took this one out to see if needed a cleaning or not and played it after cleaning it.

I really wish I could get a good picture of it but just can't. I tried several light angles and while I can zoom well enough the damage doesn't show up well.

Best description is small pitted holes in a glazed vinyl look like the vinyl melted but uniformly over the entire record surface. I've never seen anything like it before and am stumped because as I said this record was sandwiched in between other records that had no damage.

The only thing I noticed was that this record was extremely thin compared to other records. a Warner Bros release. The other copy of the same record by the way is a thicker vinyl and has no damage so it has led me to think that this was a manufacturer defect in materials or something.

But I do know these two records are from different batches of release because one has a matte finish type paper cardboard and one is a glossy finish with more vibrant color and print.

It's just really odd, I have never seen damage like that. I have seen damage like misiting from PVC sleeves or other crap but not a uniformed glazed melt look. The record grooves held the stylus in them and it plays, has good fidelity except for a tape hiss sound. No pops, no weird noises just a tape hiss sound.

I'll probably never know what happened or caused it, I figured I would mention it here and it might have rung a bell but I guess not.
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Re: Record damage, what caused it?

Postby chosenhandle » 04 May 2012 16:30

you mention PVC sleeves, did that record have a paper or plastic sleeve around it?
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Re: Record damage, what caused it?

Postby josephazannieri » 04 May 2012 17:36

Yo megatrends:

Here is a bizarre hypothesis that may explain your damage.

I hurt a couple of records by letting them lie in one place on a turntable that was lit by a closely spaced overhead halogen lamp. In other words, I turned off the turntable and let record sit for a couple of hours under halogen lamp. Surface of record evidently got hot, but just in a small area, and I would up with about a 1 inch diameter depression in the record surface. Of course the minute I saw the damage and figured out what caused it I replaced the halogen lights with lo-temp LED's and cured the problem. Your problem sounds similar, like a localized intense heat source, perhaps an open bulb lying on the record cover?

And good luck from the old purveyor of bizarre hypotheses,

Joe Z.
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Re: Record damage, what caused it?

Postby megatrends » 04 May 2012 21:11

josephazannieri wrote:Yo megatrends:

Here is a bizarre hypothesis that may explain your damage.

I hurt a couple of records by letting them lie in one place on a turntable that was lit by a closely spaced overhead halogen lamp. In other words, I turned off the turntable and let record sit for a couple of hours under halogen lamp. Surface of record evidently got hot, but just in a small area, and I would up with about a 1 inch diameter depression in the record surface. Of course the minute I saw the damage and figured out what caused it I replaced the halogen lights with lo-temp LED's and cured the problem. Your problem sounds similar, like a localized intense heat source, perhaps an open bulb lying on the record cover?

And good luck from the old purveyor of bizarre hypotheses,

Joe Z.


Interesting thought, trying to remember what I had for a setup years ago. This could be possible given the amazingly thin record to begin with.

I will think more on this and try to remember what I had for a setup. This hasn't happened to any other records I have I should add. I absolutely never leave a record on the turntable to begin with but may have for whatever reason, someone knocked at the door etc.

chosenhandle wrote:you mention PVC sleeves, did that record have a paper or plastic sleeve around it?



It is in the glossy paper sleeve sold with the record new, I have 2 copies of this record and they both have the same glossy paper sleeve. One record is damaged and one is not.

I do not use PVC sleeves and the only clear protective sleeves I do have are because they are rare or rare and mint records. I made sure those had safe clear sleeves. I have owned those for a couple of decades at least and no damage on those.


This damage just seems so random and the only clue I have is that record is an unusually thin flimsy record and as stated the other record that is the same artists and same album title has a thicker vinyl.

Maybe as suggested above it lay on the turntable under a lamp and because it was so thin and probably a factory second poor quality batch of vinyl damaged easily. The factory that manufactured it may have had the press set wrong and made the records too thin?? They were not caught by quality control during inspection, if they were even inspected.

It isn't warped at all, straight a ruler. it is just glazed like it melted slightly and it gave it a gloss sheen and sounds like tape hiss in between songs and when songs are playing.

truth is I'll probably never know, was hoping someone in here encountered this before.

I am certainly not worried about my other records. This is one single record that was sandwiched in between other records all these years and those records are fine which adds to the mystery.

EDIT, I FINALLY DID IT!! It took literally 70 pictures just to get these few but you can see what I am talking about with some photoshopped text directional arrows etc.

Okay tell me what did this or if you have seen it before. To repeat the record was stored in between others that got no damage, the paper sleeve is a glossy type sleeve, nothing special and no clear sleeves have ever been around this record. The vinyl record is unusually thin compared to other vinyls.

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Re: Record damage, what caused it?

Postby josephazannieri » 04 May 2012 22:19

Yo megatrends:

Looking at your oicture I have an alternative, "new and improved" bizarre hypothesis. I now hypothsize that you have a defective pressing. I think what happened is that insufficient vinyl was injected into the mold and what you have is what got pressed with insufficient vinyl and quality control didn't catch it. May have been the last pressing in the batch and understimated the amount of vinyl for the number of records to be pressed, or the pressing machine operator was watching too many machines at once, and one ran out of vinyl. Explains thinness and lightness of record. Normally there is excess vinyl on edge of record that is removed because the press squeezes the vinyl down and it is pushed into mold and squeezed out.

I would say insufficient vinyl for a good pressing, which would also explain pits and lack of smooth surface, and insufficient thickness of pressing. Not good enough, but not so bad that quality control bounced it, and just marginally playable.

And good luck from that insufficiently inflated old conjecturer,

Joe Z.
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Re: Record damage, what caused it?

Postby megatrends » 04 May 2012 22:50

josephazannieri wrote:Yo megatrends:

Looking at your oicture I have an alternative, "new and improved" bizarre hypothesis. I now hypothsize that you have a defective pressing. I think what happened is that insufficient vinyl was injected into the mold and what you have is what got pressed with insufficient vinyl and quality control didn't catch it. May have been the last pressing in the batch and understimated the amount of vinyl for the number of records to be pressed, or the pressing machine operator was watching too many machines at once, and one ran out of vinyl. Explains thinness and lightness of record. Normally there is excess vinyl on edge of record that is removed because the press squeezes the vinyl down and it is pushed into mold and squeezed out.

I would say insufficient vinyl for a good pressing, which would also explain pits and lack of smooth surface, and insufficient thickness of pressing. Not good enough, but not so bad that quality control bounced it, and just marginally playable.

And good luck from that insufficiently inflated old conjecturer,

Joe Z.



I think we are onto this now .... the record used to be normal by the way. This happened over time. I think it is just too thin and basically a weak record that should not have been allowed to pass as a sellable record.

1. BOTH sides are the same way so I eliminated the heat from a lamp theory. This looks more like some chemical reaction or something. Maybe because the vinyl was bad that normal summer heat was enough to damage this though I use AC in the summer when it is hot.

2. This is one of TWO identical records and the other is just fine and also has a thicker vinyl.

3. I have a couple thousand records, not many compared to some of you but this is the ONLY record this has happened to. I have no other damaged records and this record was sandwiched in between the other records happy as pie. And this just "happened" inexplicably.

My records are cared for and not left in heat or even in humidity. I have never been very impressed with Warner Bros and also mercury Records vinyl quality to begin with.

I have had water damage before and some sleeves have the result of that. Pipes break etc ... what can you do really. The neighbors tub overfilled because kids were in it and ruined some of my record jackets. Not many but enough. I am in my own house now so no neighbors to deal with thankfully any longer.

Who knows what contributed to causing this when it was a good record before but just too thin."Something" must have affected the bad vinyl since it was ok before.

But I think it is safe to say as you say, this was just bad vinyl as the root cause.
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Re: Record damage, what caused it?

Postby james73_2008 » 05 May 2012 01:33

Personally, a pet-hate of mine is paper or (worse) cardboard inner sleeves.
I fail to see how these do nothing other than scuff the surface of the vinyl.

I buy polylined inner sleeves - the ones with the paper outer with the hole
where the label is. They are cheap, yes, but they do the job. Every new LP I
buy goes into one of these straight away. I cant believe companies are releasing
and re-releasing vinyl on 180gm vinyl - and then sticking it in a hard cardboard
inner sleeve. I bought David Gilmours 'On an Island' a few years back and to
this day cant believe so much cardboard was used on the packaging. It's absolutely
mental.

I have 20+ year-old vinyl and the ones that still sound in best condition are
the ones whose original inner-sleeve-with-lyrics was polylined. Most of them
seem to be WEA Records, and staggeringly few are by EMI... :roll:


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Re: Record damage, what caused it?

Postby megatrends » 05 May 2012 03:58

james73_2008 wrote:Personally, a pet-hate of mine is paper or (worse) cardboard inner sleeves.
I fail to see how these do nothing other than scuff the surface of the vinyl.

I buy polylined inner sleeves - the ones with the paper outer with the hole
where the label is. They are cheap, yes, but they do the job. Every new LP I
buy goes into one of these straight away. I cant believe companies are releasing
and re-releasing vinyl on 180gm vinyl - and then sticking it in a hard cardboard
inner sleeve. I bought David Gilmours 'On an Island' a few years back and to
this day cant believe so much cardboard was used on the packaging. It's absolutely
mental.

I have 20+ year-old vinyl and the ones that still sound in best condition are
the ones whose original inner-sleeve-with-lyrics was polylined. Most of them
seem to be WEA Records, and staggeringly few are by EMI... :roll:


James H


I just bought 2 Rhino records reissues of Black Sabbath on 180 gram vinyl and they came with the clear sleeve inside a paper one like my classical record collection has. They always used these better sleeves on good classical records. Classical records with scratches and pops makes for misery, they must sound clean to sound good.

A lot of my heavy metal records in the 80s used clear plastic sleeves that have held up. There was a European record distro i used to buy records from that had clear sleeves that were junk so I replaced those.

tricky business with all this stuff. You are correct in thinking that companies would be wise to this now. I have some Led Zeppelin records where they came in cardboard record sleeves and it is seriously uncool to do that. You are right they just scratch records with surface scratches and are quite literally useless.
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Re: Record damage, what caused it?

Postby ripblade » 05 May 2012 19:52

I've seen this before. I believe it is an accumulation of some sort on the stampers. Surface should be very noisy.
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Re: Record damage, what caused it?

Postby scrutney » 05 May 2012 20:37

megatrends, i believe that you're overthinking this.
the record you posted the pictures of looks like it was pressed that way.

do you have any dodgy friends who are both vinyl addicts and alice cooper fans?
is it possible that someone pulled the old switcheroo?

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Re: Record damage, what caused it?

Postby megatrends » 05 May 2012 21:05

ripblade wrote:I've seen this before. I believe it is an accumulation of some sort on the stampers. Surface should be very noisy.


The surface IS noisy indeed. Not staticky but instead like a tape hiss with imperfections of tape hiss.


scrutney wrote:megatrends, i believe that you're overthinking this.
the record you posted the pictures of looks like it was pressed that way.

do you have any dodgy friends who are both vinyl addicts and alice cooper fans?
is it possible that someone pulled the old switcheroo?




It wasn't, bought this record new back in the day and it was fine. This happened from that time until now, like I said I have 2 copies of this record as I got a good deal on the other one in a cut out bin. I always buy cutouts even if I own it already if the deal is good enough. Good thing i did eh? Now I have a replacement to listen to.

Thanks to you guys I have a better idea of what kind of thing happened but still no definitive proof and i never will I don't think. The only clue I have to go by are that NO other record has been damaged that this sat is with and that this record is in fact unusually thin compared to other records I own. In fact it is ridiculously flimsy and thin like it bends right over easy when wiping it in your hands.
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Re: Record damage, what caused it?

Postby josephazannieri » 05 May 2012 22:34

Yo megatrends:

Yet another bizarre theory. Perhaps something in chemical composition of this particular record? It's almost as if the darn thing deflated. Air in the middle of disc that eventually got squeezed out?

I am running out of ideas now. Maybe the solution is to just get another copy and get rid of this thing. I remember that there was a time when those RCA Dynagroove records were REALLY thin and REALLY flexible, but they sounded OK. Surfaces were about the same as other records.

And good luck from that REALLY flexible old guy,

Joe Z.
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Re: Record damage, what caused it?

Postby megatrends » 06 May 2012 07:01

josephazannieri wrote:Yo megatrends:

Yet another bizarre theory. Perhaps something in chemical composition of this particular record? It's almost as if the darn thing deflated. Air in the middle of disc that eventually got squeezed out?

I am running out of ideas now. Maybe the solution is to just get another copy and get rid of this thing. I remember that there was a time when those RCA Dynagroove records were REALLY thin and REALLY flexible, but they sounded OK. Surfaces were about the same as other records.

And good luck from that REALLY flexible old guy,

Joe Z.


Well something happened for sure. I do have another copy of the same record as I mentioned above so I am all set with that aspect of it.

I'm just glad I found no more in my collection, I went through a good chunk of it looking things over and all were ok.
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