Do I need to clean new vinyl?

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Knieriem
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Do I need to clean new vinyl?

Post by Knieriem » 26 Feb 2018 19:34

This has probably been answered before but I'm starting to lose my patience with this, the more I research vinyl the more it feels like there are endless problems and that anything will damage the records.

Do I really need to buy a Knosti just to play my new vinyl without damaging the records? Or is a carbon brush enough? Sure, they may sound better with a Knosti but will they actually wear out faster if I don't get one? I just want to play these damn things without damaging them.

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Re: Do I need to clean new vinyl?

Post by sunderwood » 27 Feb 2018 15:01

Most new vinyl I buy I can see some small particles on it. I have a vpi 16.5. It is nice to have, but it is not mandatory to get the dust off your records. This dust is there, because the rooms where the record is pressed are not dust free. I used to not wet clean new records at all. I just ran the brush over them on the platter while they were spinning before I set the tonearm down. I don't remember any problems arising because of it. Another thing you could do is just hold the groove section under your kitchen faucet , then lay it down on a lint free towel and pat it dry. There are a lot of videos on you tube about cleaning records. Some involve little money. Others involve expensive machines.

mockduck
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Re: Do I need to clean new vinyl?

Post by mockduck » 27 Feb 2018 21:20

I tend to give my new vinyl a quick spritz of cleaner and a wipe down, then run the brush across it, before playing. There is some minor leftover dust and debris from the manufacturing and distribution process that is worth cleaning up prior to a first listen, not so much to preserve your record long-term, but to have the best possible listening experience on that very first listen of a new record.

Knieriem
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Re: Do I need to clean new vinyl?

Post by Knieriem » 27 Feb 2018 21:47

Went ahead and bought a knosti and will make my own cleaning fluid. Hopefully this is the final step before being able to actually enjoy my collection. And maybe replacing the paper inner sleeves with anti-static ones

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Re: Do I need to clean new vinyl?

Post by lreneat » 27 Feb 2018 23:14

I have never cleaned brand new records in the last 50+ years. You will know if the vinyl is virgin and the pressing good by how the record sounds when played with a quality cartridge set-up. A lot of the vinyl in the mid-1970's was pretty bad. 1973 oil embargo assured that most vinyl going forward was a flip of the coin with most vinyl being anything but virgin vinyl. The 1980's were generally good vinyl years. I guess with the introduction of the CD record companies drove LP prices up with better quality sound as well.

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Re: Do I need to clean new vinyl?

Post by JDJX » 28 Feb 2018 00:25

I never wet clean any LP new or old LP unless it needs it

Contrary to what some think, no mold release is ever used for vinyl pressing.

Whenever I get a used LP, if it looks pristine and sounds pristine, I leave well enough alone.

BTW, I have found that vintage classical LPs almost never need wet cleaning but rock and pop LPs almost always do.

I attribute this to much better handling of the classical LPs by their previous owners, and that they were also usually played on better TTs
On the other hand, rock/pop LPs were often treated like yesterday's newspaper.

Knieriem
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Re: Do I need to clean new vinyl?

Post by Knieriem » 28 Feb 2018 07:26

Surprisingly chill attitudes in this thread compared to other threads I have read about the subject!

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Re: Do I need to clean new vinyl?

Post by lreneat » 02 Mar 2018 17:42

Knieriem wrote:This has probably been answered before but I'm starting to lose my patience with this, the more I research vinyl the more it feels like there are endless problems and that anything will damage the records.

Do I really need to buy a Knosti just to play my new vinyl without damaging the records? Or is a carbon brush enough? Sure, they may sound better with a Knosti but will they actually wear out faster if I don't get one? I just want to play these damn things without damaging them.
I don't know what a 'Knosti' is. My suggestions are pretty simple with regard to playing records. Keep records clean. I use old vintage stock of Radio Shack record cleaning clothes. I typically lightly coast over record surface from end to start of record upon turntable start before tonearm sets down. Record cleaning clothes are not especially cheap anymore, but can be found via internet search. Only use cartridge set-up that tracks at 1.5 grams or less. Keep needles clean. Check needle from time to time with scope to see if any wear on needle is happening. Fine tune anti-skate so that music sounds equally good in each channel. Enjoy!

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Re: Do I need to clean new vinyl?

Post by Fire99 » 03 Mar 2018 01:01

It all depends on your tolerance factor- I started off not wet cleaning albums but eventually got tired of the noise and decided to buy a Spin Clean which lead me to a Music Hall RCM which finally lead me to a Loricraft. It’s been an expensive journey for me but I’m glad I did it. The end results have been astonishing, that I will not listen to a new album without a wash first. Just my experience and two cents. Dave

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Re: Do I need to clean new vinyl?

Post by reynolds617 » 04 Mar 2018 11:48

Fire99 wrote:It all depends on your tolerance factor- I started off not wet cleaning albums but eventually got tired of the noise and decided to buy a Spin Clean which lead me to a Music Hall RCM which finally lead me to a Loricraft. It’s been an expensive journey for me but I’m glad I did it. The end results have been astonishing, that I will not listen to a new album without a wash first. Just my experience and two cents. Dave
I would echo Dave's comments. This is a very controversial topic. There are threads out there on other forums (and quite possibly here as well) which will make your head explode. 10,000 word screeds on the subject which can get pretty nasty.

Here's my personal experience and opinion: wet cleaning definitely makes a difference. Some new vinyl needs it more than others due to dust, paper particles from the sleeve it came in, static (I live in New England, so this is a real problem), or possibly some unidentified coating of schmutz from the factory.

For me, it comes down to peace of mind, and a best practice that I just implement so I don't have to think about it. I invested in a VPI 16.5 and haven't regretted it. Yes, it adds a small cost to the price of each LP you clean, but the sonic differences, particularly for used vinyl is noticeable. It's just part of my ritual whenever I get a new record for my collection (new or used). I have various fluids I use depending on condition (a one step for new vinyl, three step for used, and an extra step to add to the three step if the vinyl's in really bad shape). I then put it in an anti-static sleeve, and stick it in the back of the 5 mil bag I use to protect the sleeve.

Overkill? Maybe. But I only buy stuff I know I'm going to listen to, I don't try to bolster the collection with titles I'll never use just to make it as big as possible. Once it's been cleaned, I know I won't have to do it again, and I know that it's going to sound as good as it can sound given the condition it came to me in. I also enjoy the ritual of cleaning (yes, what a gripping life I do lead).

From everything I've read, you don't want to use tap water given the things that are added to it. YMMV, but IMO, it's worth investing in a wet-clean system given how much most people on this forum spend on gear, your media may as well sound its best. If you don't mind the noise or gunk getting on your stylus, then you probably don't need to bother. If you don't clean your vinyl, then I'd recommend an Onzow Zero Dust stylus cleaner at minimum. Does a great job of removing junk from the stylus that gets picked up in the grooves.

Fire99
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Re: Do I need to clean new vinyl?

Post by Fire99 » 04 Mar 2018 12:51

reynolds617 wrote:
Fire99 wrote:It all depends on your tolerance factor- I started off not wet cleaning albums but eventually got tired of the noise and decided to buy a Spin Clean which lead me to a Music Hall RCM which finally lead me to a Loricraft. It’s been an expensive journey for me but I’m glad I did it. The end results have been astonishing, that I will not listen to a new album without a wash first. Just my experience and two cents. Dave
I would echo Dave's comments. This is a very controversial topic. There are threads out there on other forums (and quite possibly here as well) which will make your head explode. 10,000 word screeds on the subject which can get pretty nasty.

Here's my personal experience and opinion: wet cleaning definitely makes a difference. Some new vinyl needs it more than others due to dust, paper particles from the sleeve it came in, static (I live in New England, so this is a real problem), or possibly some unidentified coating of schmutz from the factory.

For me, it comes down to peace of mind, and a best practice that I just implement so I don't have to think about it. I invested in a VPI 16.5 and haven't regretted it. Yes, it adds a small cost to the price of each LP you clean, but the sonic differences, particularly for used vinyl is noticeable. It's just part of my ritual whenever I get a new record for my collection (new or used). I have various fluids I use depending on condition (a one step for new vinyl, three step for used, and an extra step to add to the three step if the vinyl's in really bad shape). I then put it in an anti-static sleeve, and stick it in the back of the 5 mil bag I use to protect the sleeve.

Overkill? Maybe. But I only buy stuff I know I'm going to listen to, I don't try to bolster the collection with titles I'll never use just to make it as big as possible. Once it's been cleaned, I know I won't have to do it again, and I know that it's going to sound as good as it can sound given the condition it came to me in. I also enjoy the ritual of cleaning (yes, what a gripping life I do lead).

From everything I've read, you don't want to use tap water given the things that are added to it. YMMV, but IMO, it's worth investing in a wet-clean system given how much most people on this forum spend on gear, your media may as well sound its best. If you don't mind the noise or gunk getting on your stylus, then you probably don't need to bother. If you don't clean your vinyl, then I'd recommend an Onzow Zero Dust stylus cleaner at minimum. Does a great job of removing junk from the stylus that gets picked up in the grooves.
Yep, we have the same ritual/disease :D

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Re: Do I need to clean new vinyl?

Post by VinylDan1 » 04 Mar 2018 15:50

I tend to look over the new albums I buy, if they look like they are dirty, I clean them, If they don't, I don't.

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Re: Do I need to clean new vinyl?

Post by JDJX » 04 Mar 2018 16:17

When I said that I do not clean some LPs, I meant wet cleaning.
However, I am meticulous with dust removal on every LP, old and new, before and while playing it... particularly before playing an LP for the first time.
While playing all LPs, I use a "dust bug" type of thing.

All LPs have micro dust on them that you can not see
This micro dust is everywhere and can not be avoided.
Unless you live in a "clean room", a wet cleaned LP will have micro dust on it soon after wet cleaning it.

Micro dust can cause crackles on an otherwise clean and totally pristine LP. :)

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Re: Do I need to clean new vinyl?

Post by Roberto C2H3 » 04 Mar 2018 17:46

Do I need to clean new vinyl?

This question reminds me of my dentist: "Do I need to floss between all teeth?" I asked. "Only in between the ones you want to keep", he answered.

New vinyl comes at USD 20 a pop or more these days. If you want to make the best of your sonic investment, by all means do clean it before the first play. If not, don't... Vinyl record plants are by no means dust free environments. I can vouch for seeing dust on some brand new albums purchased in the past few years.

Best from the Pampas,
roberto

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Re: Do I need to clean new vinyl?

Post by readargos » 06 Mar 2018 00:08

Yes, you will get different opinions. It depends on your comfort and tolerance levels. "Tolerance" may also depend on how revealing your system is. As your system improves, you may find that records that used to sound dead quiet no longer do.

I have owned a VPI HW-17f as well as having built a DIY-vacuum, and have used both professional (Mobile Fidelity, Disc Doctor, and L'Art du Son) and DIY fluids. I keep coming back to the GEM Dandy pressure-spray cleaning system. I use it with a high-quality quality inline water filter and dry with micro-chamois cloths (which tend to be almost completely lint-free compared to woven microfiber).

Nothing is going to get your vinyl 100% clean, including ultrasound. As JDJX point out, there is mirco-dust that you can't see that will be attracted to the vinyl as soon as you complete any cleaning regimen. You have to be comfortable with whatever method you choose.

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