Signs It's Time To Replace (or not) That "Worn out" LP

name that tune
Gravitar8
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Signs It's Time To Replace (or not) That "Worn out" LP

Post by Gravitar8 » 05 Jun 2019 16:02

Just occurred to me that degradation via mechanical abrasion is a slow process....but a process none the less. Now factor in that we may listen often to the same LP (just now RUSH Grace Under Pressure original pressing) and it sounded 'different' than I remember...different in the sense that it seemed shrill, bright, and mid-rangey (a criticism that the album suffered when released due to its production and regardless of the format). But this time something was different... I tried another 'fav' LP or two (YES 90125) which has been played less but is a regular performer. It sounded fine.... same for another and then another. SOOO here is the question: in your experience, when and how do you know when it's time to replace a record in your collection? What are the qualitative and quantitative factors? Are there any measurement tools that can hint etc?

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Re: Signs It's Time To Replace (or not) That "Worn out" LP

Post by Gravitar8 » 05 Jun 2019 16:04

Part 2 to this question: IF an LP is worn out, and noticeable via let's say a conical stylus, then would changing to an elliptical/shibata/line contact 'track deeper' and into the vinyl that is not worn out?

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Re: Signs It's Time To Replace (or not) That "Worn out" LP

Post by philbrown » 05 Jun 2019 18:08

Don't play your disc twice in a row. Let it rest, hopefully for 24 hours. The disc is plastic in the technical use of the term and while the stylus will deform it it will rebound if left to rest.
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Re: Signs It's Time To Replace (or not) That "Worn out" LP

Post by Gravitar8 » 05 Jun 2019 18:48

Interesting! and of course also dependent on room temperature etc. But to clarify I didn't mean 'play repeatedly back to back (though I could with the repeat switch on the SL-15) but to play perhaps 2 x over a day or a few times over a week...
philbrown wrote:
05 Jun 2019 18:08
Don't play your disc twice in a row. Let it rest, hopefully for 24 hours. The disc is plastic in the technical use of the term and while the stylus will deform it it will rebound if left to rest.
Phil Brown

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Re: Signs It's Time To Replace (or not) That "Worn out" LP

Post by music_mota_beer » 05 Jun 2019 19:45

philbrown wrote:
05 Jun 2019 18:08
Don't play your disc twice in a row. Let it rest, hopefully for 24 hours. The disc is plastic in the technical use of the term and while the stylus will deform it it will rebound if left to rest.
Phil Brown
Thank you for that info.

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Re: Signs It's Time To Replace (or not) That "Worn out" LP

Post by Bob Dillon » 06 Jun 2019 02:13

When it's so worn that when you set the stylus down to play side 1, it actually plays side 2. :P

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Re: Signs It's Time To Replace (or not) That "Worn out" LP

Post by pivot » 06 Jun 2019 02:44

If you are wearing out LPs to the point you hear degradation reexamine you cleaning regimen. Also think about a new/better stylus.

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Re: Signs It's Time To Replace (or not) That "Worn out" LP

Post by Gravitar8 » 06 Jun 2019 12:25

What types of (improper obv's) cleaning procedures degrade vinyl? We all know there are lots- but can anyone think of specific ways that will erode grooves? That sounds to me like blatant idiotism. Like cleaning with abrasive powder or acids or......(shudder!).
In terms of stylus- that question was posted at the beginning of this thread- who has experience in compensating for aging records via use of specialized styli and what types for what applications?
pivot wrote:
06 Jun 2019 02:44
If you are wearing out LPs to the point you hear degradation reexamine you cleaning regimen. Also think about a new/better stylus.

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Re: Signs It's Time To Replace (or not) That "Worn out" LP

Post by Estragon64 » 06 Jun 2019 17:49

I don't think I've ever actually worn out a record - at least, not to the point where the listening experience was degraded in any noticeable way. I have on occasion *damaged* a record (scratched or warped).

I did an experiment recently which led me to conclude that, if you take good care of your records & equipment, wear & tear really shouldn't be an issue. I described it here:

https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... 3&t=111952

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Re: Signs It's Time To Replace (or not) That "Worn out" LP

Post by Gravitar8 » 06 Jun 2019 19:32

Excellent post! Looking fwd to reading your description (at day job atm)
Estragon64 wrote:
06 Jun 2019 17:49
I don't think I've ever actually worn out a record - at least, not to the point where the listening experience was degraded in any noticeable way. I have on occasion *damaged* a record (scratched or warped).

I did an experiment recently which led me to conclude that, if you take good care of your records & equipment, wear & tear really shouldn't be an issue. I described it here:

https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... 3&t=111952

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Re: Signs It's Time To Replace (or not) That "Worn out" LP

Post by vinyl master » 06 Jun 2019 21:18

Just a couple thoughts here, but I think the reason I've never really worn out an LP is this...My music collection is so vast that just playing an album once can be hard to do...I also try to play some of those albums that DON'T get enough love in the collection from time to time, to keep things interesting...Another thing...If you have a REALLY favorite album, having an extra copy or two of it can help, so you don't have to play the same album over and over again! :D

I think of it like having an extra work uniform or two...If you're washing the same one over and over, it's bound to show some wear, but if you have more than one of the same uniform, you can get away with not washing as much...

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Re: Signs It's Time To Replace (or not) That "Worn out" LP

Post by pivot » 07 Jun 2019 15:45

Gravitar8 wrote:
06 Jun 2019 12:25
What types of (improper obv's) cleaning procedures degrade vinyl? We all know there are lots- but can anyone think of specific ways that will erode grooves? That sounds to me like blatant idiotism. Like cleaning with abrasive powder or acids or......(shudder!).
In terms of stylus- that question was posted at the beginning of this thread- who has experience in compensating for aging records via use of specialized styli and what types for what applications?
pivot wrote:
06 Jun 2019 02:44
If you are wearing out LPs to the point you hear degradation reexamine you cleaning regimen. Also think about a new/better stylus.
Did not mean to imply the cleaning method directly damages vinyl. HOWEVER there are "cleaning"methods that don't really result in a clean LP. To name names, while others here have praised the Discwasher in it's various versions, original through D4, in my experience this "cleaner" often creates more issues than it solves. After a few weeks of use the pad gets contaminated and merely moves the dirt around. If folks can get good results from the Discwasher more power to them. All my Discwashers have long since gone to the land fill and I will never have another. VMMV

Playing a dirty disc causes premature wear to both the disc and stylus. Also a contaminated disc can sound worn out especially played with a dirty and/or damaged stylus. A stylus can be contaminated enough to effect playback without having a wad of visible fuzz on it.

A cleaning method that actually gets the dirt off the disc and a clean undamaged stylus are necessary for playback. i collect used discs and a really good cleaning can often make an LP that sounds "worn out" come back to life.

Get a decent vacuum based RCM if you can budget for it but Discdoctor brushes and method work too if you have the patience for the drying period. Newer tools, ultrasonic and rotating bath cleaners, may work as well but I have not played with them.

http://discdoc.com/

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Re: Signs It's Time To Replace (or not) That "Worn out" LP

Post by Estragon64 » 07 Jun 2019 17:01

pivot wrote:
07 Jun 2019 15:45
A cleaning method that actually gets the dirt off the disc and a clean undamaged stylus are necessary for playback. i collect used discs and a really good cleaning can often make an LP that sounds "worn out" come back to life.
Very true. When I got serious about cleaning, it was a whole new world of sound!
Get a decent vacuum based RCM if you can budget for it but Discdoctor brushes and method work too if you have the patience for the drying period. Newer tools, ultrasonic and rotating bath cleaners, may work as well but I have not played with them.
I have a Spin-Clean (a rotating bath). It looks like a cheap hunk of yellow plastic, but I tested it on some records I was preparing to throw out because they sounded so bad. To my amazement the Spin-Clean made them sound almost like new. There are some vastly more expensive options out there, but I'm guessing the law of diminishing returns applies.

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Re: Signs It's Time To Replace (or not) That "Worn out" LP

Post by vinyl master » 07 Jun 2019 18:00

Estragon64 wrote:
07 Jun 2019 17:01
pivot wrote:
07 Jun 2019 15:45
A cleaning method that actually gets the dirt off the disc and a clean undamaged stylus are necessary for playback. i collect used discs and a really good cleaning can often make an LP that sounds "worn out" come back to life.
Very true. When I got serious about cleaning, it was a whole new world of sound!
Get a decent vacuum based RCM if you can budget for it but Discdoctor brushes and method work too if you have the patience for the drying period. Newer tools, ultrasonic and rotating bath cleaners, may work as well but I have not played with them.
I have a Spin-Clean (a rotating bath). It looks like a cheap hunk of yellow plastic, but I tested it on some records I was preparing to throw out because they sounded so bad. To my amazement the Spin-Clean made them sound almost like new. There are some vastly more expensive options out there, but I'm guessing the law of diminishing returns applies.
I'll agree with the Spin Clean...It's one of the best things I've bought for my collection! Even with a vacuum RCM, the Spin Clean still works well for a rinse, so a sound investment no matter what!

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Re: Signs It's Time To Replace (or not) That "Worn out" LP

Post by Bob Dillon » 07 Jun 2019 19:49

pivot wrote:
07 Jun 2019 15:45
. HOWEVER there are "cleaning"methods that don't really result in a clean LP. To name names, while others here have praised the Discwasher in it's various versions, original through D4, in my experience this "cleaner" often creates more issues than it solves. After a few weeks of use the pad gets contaminated and merely moves the dirt around.
The Discwasher is ok for light dusting duty, until it gets contaminated. Then you can fuss with it's own little plastic cleaning brush, etc. Smutz that D4 fluid all on there and let it dry on the record. :-" Very 1970's bit of kit.

I just use an inexpensive soft microfiber sponge instead. Spritz a little distilled water on it if needed. Costs a buck or two. Works as well or better than DW for dusting. Then when dirty the sponge can be rinsed and reused or replaced.

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