Best Sounding Ancient Stereo Records

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PioneerFan
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Best Sounding Ancient Stereo Records

Post by PioneerFan » 28 Oct 2019 12:53

I cleaned a couple of early 60's Pete Seeger Columbia 360 Stereo records, that I got at thrift stores for 99 cents each. All I use is a simple mix of warm tap water, Dawn unconcentrated dishwash detergent, and dishwasher rinse aid to break the surface tension. Submerse for 30 seconds each way, using Bondo suction cup dent pullers, and then four times in each direction with a painter's edger from Home Depot. (or Lowe's, really doesn't matter). Let dry for a few hours in the strainer, and then hand dry with a couple of microfiber clothes. These ancient stereo recordings sound amazing, with only an occasional click or pop, and zero mistracking. This simple formula/method may not work for you, but it does for me. I use this for all my vinyl- but these two really came out spectacular.

What are your best sounding ancient stereo LP's after cleaning?

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Re: Best Sounding Ancient Stereo Records

Post by mvno_subscriber » 28 Oct 2019 14:30

Decca's phase 4 stereo series was what opened my eyes to 60s hifi recordings. They also taught me that a little isopropanol in the cleaning solution does wonders against grease/nicotine.

Edmundo Ros - new rhythms of the south (https://www.discogs.com/Edmundo-Ros-His ... se/2278253) is a very good example.

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Re: Best Sounding Ancient Stereo Records

Post by Tombo62 » 28 Oct 2019 16:49

I have a soft spot for many of Columbia's 6-eye pressings of Jazz recorded at their E.30th Street Studio (The Church) in Manhattan. A favourite is a rehearsal for a 1958 TV special titled "The Sound Of Jazz". The sound quality is amazing in either mono or stereo.
https://www.discogs.com/Various-The-Sou ... ter/230525

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Re: Best Sounding Ancient Stereo Records

Post by PioneerFan » 28 Oct 2019 17:40

I have several Columbia 6 Eyes, original pressings. They are spectacular. Their mono pressings were also great. My 6 Eye mono first pressing of Brubeck's Time Out is a prized possession, as are 3 copies of Ellington's Live At Newport. There must have been some kind of "secret sauce" to these early LP's.

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Re: Best Sounding Ancient Stereo Records

Post by lenjack » 28 Oct 2019 20:35

Early 60s R Vaughan Williams 2nd Symphony, Vanguard Everyman SRV134SD...a little surface noise, but otherwise, way ahead of it's time.

Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances, Turnabout Vox TV 34145S...1967. Masters made from original tape. Paid $1.99 in 1978.

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Re: Best Sounding Ancient Stereo Records

Post by vince1 » 29 Oct 2019 13:06

This thread illustrates how cleaning methods become based on non-sense. Firstly, Dawn contains detergent, the primary function of which is to break the surface tension of water. Addition of rinse aid is unnecessary and merely perpetuation of a wive's tail, as it also contains detergent. Second, nicotine is not a difficult contaminant to remove as it is water soluble. The primary contaminant from cigarette smoke is actually tar, a complex mixture of organic compounds that require special solutions to remove.
Carry on.

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Re: Best Sounding Ancient Stereo Records

Post by PioneerFan » 29 Oct 2019 15:06

vince1 wrote:
29 Oct 2019 13:06
This thread illustrates how cleaning methods become based on non-sense. Firstly, Dawn contains detergent, the primary function of which is to break the surface tension of water. Addition of rinse aid is unnecessary and merely perpetuation of a wive's tail, as it also contains detergent. Second, nicotine is not a difficult contaminant to remove as it is water soluble. The primary contaminant from cigarette smoke is actually tar, a complex mixture of organic compounds that require special solutions to remove.
Carry on.
This "nonsense" works for me.

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Re: Best Sounding Ancient Stereo Records

Post by vince1 » 29 Oct 2019 15:41

I am not suggesting it wouldn't work, I'm just straightening out the facts. There are a lot of reagents in the mix you use, it should be clear what each does. The Dawn is mostly SDS, while the rinse aid is mostly non-ionic detergent. Both act at the water interface to reduce surface tension. In fact, the SDS, being ionic, is better at it. One could use either, but the mix itself while useful for dishes, is not recommended for records because of all the other ingredients in these products (citric acid, cumenesulfonate, dyes, stabilizers, salts, etc.). Hence, it's rather irresponsible to be recommending it for these wonderful old recordings if the goal is preservation. If it isn't important to you, no worries, but for some it is so it should be noted, given this section is about record cleaning (and storage). I don't typically speak up when people are discussing using household products on lps that are common, but these older records being discussed here are somewhat special and should be treated as such, in my opinion.

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Re: Best Sounding Ancient Stereo Records

Post by PioneerFan » 29 Oct 2019 15:55

vince1 wrote:
29 Oct 2019 15:41
I am not suggesting it wouldn't work, I'm just straightening out the facts. There are a lot of reagents in the mix you use, it should be clear what each does. The Dawn is mostly SDS, while the rinse aid is mostly non-ionic detergent. Both act at the water interface to reduce surface tension. In fact, the SDS, being ionic, is better at it. One could use either, but the mix itself while useful for dishes, is not recommended for records because of all the other ingredients in these products (citric acid, cumenesulfonate, dyes, stabilizers, salts, etc.). Hence, it's rather irresponsible to be recommending it for these wonderful old recordings if the goal is preservation. If it isn't important to you, no worries, but for some it is so it should be noted, given this section is about record cleaning (and storage). I don't typically speak up when people are discussing using household products on lps that are common, but these older records being discussed here are somewhat special and should be treated as such, in my opinion.
They're my records, and I will do what I want with them. But thanks for the input.

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Re: Best Sounding Ancient Stereo Records

Post by Tombo62 » 29 Oct 2019 18:43

Apparently, so many record collectors are using dish soap, that we are now experiencing a nation wide shortage:
http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companie ... id=UE07DHP

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Re: Best Sounding Ancient Stereo Records

Post by mvno_subscriber » 29 Oct 2019 18:53

vince1 wrote:
29 Oct 2019 13:06
This thread illustrates how cleaning methods become based on non-sense. Firstly, Dawn contains detergent, the primary function of which is to break the surface tension of water. Addition of rinse aid is unnecessary and merely perpetuation of a wive's tail, as it also contains detergent. Second, nicotine is not a difficult contaminant to remove as it is water soluble. The primary contaminant from cigarette smoke is actually tar, a complex mixture of organic compounds that require special solutions to remove.
Carry on.

This is interesting. I can elaborate a bit on the case of the isopropanol. Suggesting that it was nicotine it removed was a bit careless of me to assume. At the time I used my Audiodesk Vinyl Cleaner Pro ultrasonic cleaner with the appropriate cleaning solution meant for the machine. I also had a Knosti anti-stat which is a solution containing alcohol. I experienced that for some of the records, cleaning them with the Knosti after US did make a marked improvement.

I later experienced with using Triton X as per your recipe on another forum (was it Audiogon?). Adding isopropanol to the mix (i.e. Triton X and iso, quats I have no idea how to obtain) seemed to fix the issues I had had and a secondary cleaning in the Knosti was no longer needed.

I guess my bottom line was that having some alcohol in the mix seemed to make a lot of difference on certain records, and for those where I couldn't see much grease I assumed it was other things (like nicotine or something). I guess now it wasn't, but the stock alcohol-less Audiodesk solution did not do the records justice. Your mix (or as close as I could come), however, did.

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Re: Best Sounding Ancient Stereo Records

Post by lenjack » 29 Oct 2019 19:12

Folks aren't answering the question. The topic is not about cleaning records.

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Re: Best Sounding Ancient Stereo Records

Post by PioneerFan » 29 Oct 2019 19:18

lenjack wrote:
29 Oct 2019 19:12
Folks aren't answering the question. The topic is not about cleaning records.
Agreed. Anything even remotely related to cleaning continues to stir up a hornet's nest.

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Re: Best Sounding Ancient Stereo Records

Post by Tombo62 » 29 Oct 2019 19:30

Without meaning to be off topic, Vince is absolutely correct in cautioning about the effects of household cleaning products on the long & short term preservation of vinyl records. A product that's designed to rapidly solubilize a thick layer of bacon grease or baked on vegetable oil will undoubtedly be an effective cleaner for the trace amounts of fatty acids found on records. Dish Soap is probably also quite effective at removing plasticizers, mold release agents and stabilizers from the surface of the vinyl and may also tend to leach out the same from the vinyl compound itself. Dish Soap will also leave the vinyl negatively charged which will increase the potential for static. The only advice in the use of dish soap would be to absolutely minimize the contact time and to thoroughly rinse any traces of soap from the record. Dawn dish soap was often recommended in the recent past as a wax remover and degreaser by auto body and auto detailing shops, but the consensus now seems to be that Dawn "dries out" the plastic trim components on the auto body causing a loss of gloss and for them to become brittle and more subject to brakeage on removal.

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Re: Best Sounding Ancient Stereo Records

Post by vince1 » 29 Oct 2019 19:55

lenjack wrote:
29 Oct 2019 19:12
Folks aren't answering the question. The topic is not about cleaning records.

Maybe the moderators can move this to the general "music and records" section then. I mistakenly thought it was about cleaning "ancient" records that were rare and getting the best sound out of them. I'll apologize for misunderstanding and move on.

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