This is how used, new, cleaned, and ultrasonic cleaned grooves look like when inspected with a 15usd "1600x" :^o microscope. The scale may be off, but I didn't change it through all the pictures, so they can be safely compared.
Some of the used records have been used and abused a lot, and they show signs of being used with broken needles, or with a very high weight on the vinyl. These are records I got as gifts, or that I found in the trash, so I can't complain.
About the clean_state:
The attachments that say "ultra" or "ultrasonic" have been cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner, with periods of 27 seconds between disc rotation, with a cycle speed that takes 5 minutes to completely clean the vinyl, and they have been left in the cleaner for as much as 20 minutes. (I wrote code to control a stepper, and I can manually set up how the disc moves when cleaning.)
The ones that simply say <cleaned> were cleaned using a off-the- shelf vinyl disc cleaning solution. Nothing special other than extra care.
The rest are either new, or not cleaned at all.
If you wonder about the disc before and after the ultrasonic cleaning... my verdict is: Meh... It does make a different for some recordings but it isn't magic. If you clean your records properly, you will hear a small difference. Scratches caused by age and bad handling are not going to go away, and sometimes having a better sound in other parts of the record makes the scratches FAR more noticeable.
Preview from the collection. New (2 plays) vs Used (bought used, played many times). Apparently the forum is converting them to JPEG, so the quality is a little bit lower than the ones I shared above.
PS: I printed a base from thingiverse in order to help me focus this very cheap microscope, since the original mount is terrible and impossible to use. And yes, I know it's not 1600x, but it's nice enough to see the grooves.
anything and nothing
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