LP wear, tear and care: an experiment

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Estragon64
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LP wear, tear and care: an experiment

Post by Estragon64 » 12 May 2019 18:25

I'm interested in hearing about other people's experiences with this. Like a lot of collectors, I always heard that "every time you play an LP, you damage it!" But I had read other sources stating that, with proper care of the record and correct set-up of the equipment, record wear & tear can be so minimal that you won't even notice it.

I had the opportunity to get mint, sealed copies for cheap of a couple of records I had bought used and played dozens of times. I had taken good care of these used records, cleaning them in the Spin-Clean when I first got them, and giving them a brush before and after every playback. I did A/B listening of tracks from the used records and from the mint records.

Conclusion: there was almost no audible difference between the mint records that had never been played, and the used records that had been played dozens of times. Wear & tear was hardly audible at all. In fact (and this may just be one of those odd psychological factors), I felt that the used records sounded a bit more ambient and comfy than the mint records.

So it appears that record wear & tear is something of a myth, provided you take care of your records properly. Anyone else have this or a different experience?

Shadowman82
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Re: LP wear, tear and care: an experiment

Post by Shadowman82 » 13 May 2019 21:39

I would agree with this . I've bought used records that were released in the 80s which obviously have been played numerous times that sound just as good as new ones .

SSoundLtd
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Re: LP wear, tear and care: an experiment

Post by SSoundLtd » 23 May 2019 01:08

I only have about 10 or so brand new records that I paid $15 to $25 for. The rest are old records I bought for $1 to $5 and are mostly 30+years old. The ones that have little surface damage play and sound as good as my new ones. So I think people can get a little ocd (and I can be ocd with the best of them!) when it comes to record wear. I admit there are times I will think, especially with my more expensive records, man I shouldn't play this again I'm putting wear on it. And as morbid as this sounds, I then tell myself if you were to die tomorrow someone is going to take those records and play them anyway. So I say play your records often and enjoy them! Otherwise someone else eventually will. Or worse, someone will see your collection and say records?! No one wants these anymore! And then take them to the trash.

Estragon64
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Re: LP wear, tear and care: an experiment

Post by Estragon64 » 23 May 2019 15:57

SSoundLtd wrote:
23 May 2019 01:08
So I think people can get a little ocd (and I can be ocd with the best of them!) when it comes to record wear. I admit there are times I will think, especially with my more expensive records, man I shouldn't play this again I'm putting wear on it.
I admit I was thinking that from time to time, which is one reason I did the experiment. I now doubt if "record wear & tear" even really exists at all. On the one hand there is damage, like a scratch or warp that affects playback, and which you probably can't fix. On the other hand, there's dust and other detritus that piles up on the surface, and which we hear as wear & tear.

For what it's worth, here's someone else's experience, from another forum:

FWIW, I once set my Denon DP-47F turntable on "Repeat" and ran it all night using an Audio-Technica AT440ML. I recorded the first pass and the last pass to the PC and couldn't measure or hear any differences. High-frequency response and noise levels were the same for the first and last passes.

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Re: LP wear, tear and care: an experiment

Post by SSoundLtd » 25 May 2019 01:56

That's interesting about playing a record constantly for that long. Someone on a forum asked whether or not you should replay a record again right after playing it. Something about the friction and heat and the need for the grooves to "cool" down. Okaaay. I never gave that a thought because records aren't hot when you take them off the turntable. I think that experiment shows that is something definitely not to worry about. Right now I'm listening to a 39 year old record that is in terrific shape and sounds great. I'm not really thinking about the wear and tear. I think more about how cool it is to listen to an original recording from when the album was new and not a rerelease "remastered".

lenjack
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Re: LP wear, tear and care: an experiment

Post by lenjack » 25 May 2019 02:17

I agree with the OP's initial premise. However, as to quickly replaying, that's another animal. Microscopic studies done in the 70's show that there is a definite amount of deformation of the groove when a record is played, but with a 24 hour rest period, there is virtually complete recovery. With short rest periods, some of the deformation is permanent.

In any case, we are talking about the lowest tacking force that will give no mistracking.

AsOriginallyRecorded
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Re: LP wear, tear and care: an experiment

Post by AsOriginallyRecorded » 25 May 2019 03:27

:D SsoundLtd......I totally agree with your overall take on the matter. If I were to die tomorrow, I would like to die knowing that I had enjoyed everything in life, including a particularly good album. To have it sitting in my collection, but not truly enjoying it's recorded treasure is worse than taking a miniscule chance on degrading it by enjoying it. There is no perfect moment, anywhere, any time....there may be an eternity of regretting decisions made or not made in one's past. Adjust the TT to the best of your abilities, clean the lp well, cue it up, and enjoy. Following generations will have to look out for themselves anyway they can. Rock on! Cheers! =D> =D> =D>

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Re: LP wear, tear and care: an experiment

Post by Sinsonido » 25 May 2019 04:00

Michael Fremer demonstrated this very topic at the beginning of this recent video (@ about 2:45):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6omFwnrMn0

My problem usually is buying used vinyl from this vintage that already had various stages of groove damage long before I ever touched it. And sellers who lie and say it grades NM. Even if there's no bad scratches, groove damage is still damage.

aardvarkash10
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Re: LP wear, tear and care: an experiment

Post by aardvarkash10 » 25 May 2019 06:11

lenjack wrote:
25 May 2019 02:17
I agree with the OP's initial premise. However, as to quickly replaying, that's another animal. Microscopic studies done in the 70's show that there is a definite amount of deformation of the groove when a record is played, but with a 24 hour rest period, there is virtually complete recovery. With short rest periods, some of the deformation is permanent.

In any case, we are talking about the lowest tacking force that will give no mistracking.
Yeah, really? Sounds right up there with cable burn-in to me.

I'm calling bs unless someone turns up with some data. And a plausible mechanism.

lenjack
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Re: LP wear, tear and care: an experiment

Post by lenjack » 25 May 2019 15:55

aardvarkash10 wrote:
25 May 2019 06:11
lenjack wrote:
25 May 2019 02:17
I agree with the OP's initial premise. However, as to quickly replaying, that's another animal. Microscopic studies done in the 70's show that there is a definite amount of deformation of the groove when a record is played, but with a 24 hour rest period, there is virtually complete recovery. With short rest periods, some of the deformation is permanent.

In any case, we are talking about the lowest tacking force that will give no mistracking.
Yeah, really? Sounds right up there with cable burn-in to me.

I'm calling bs unless someone turns up with some data. And a plausible mechanism.
Yeah, really! I didn't make this up. The studies were very detailed, and iirc, were reported in audio journals and in Audio Magazine. I'll try to find them for you. As for cable burn in, I totally agree with you. I'm not a believer in Audio BS.

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Re: LP wear, tear and care: an experiment

Post by ripblade » 26 May 2019 03:39

Records don't wear? Sure, and styluses don't, either.

aardvarkash10
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Re: LP wear, tear and care: an experiment

Post by aardvarkash10 » 26 May 2019 04:39

lenjack wrote:
25 May 2019 15:55
aardvarkash10 wrote:
25 May 2019 06:11
lenjack wrote:
25 May 2019 02:17
I agree with the OP's initial premise. However, as to quickly replaying, that's another animal. Microscopic studies done in the 70's show that there is a definite amount of deformation of the groove when a record is played, but with a 24 hour rest period, there is virtually complete recovery. With short rest periods, some of the deformation is permanent.

In any case, we are talking about the lowest tacking force that will give no mistracking.
Yeah, really? Sounds right up there with cable burn-in to me.

I'm calling bs unless someone turns up with some data. And a plausible mechanism.
Yeah, really! I didn't make this up. The studies were very detailed, and iirc, were reported in audio journals and in Audio Magazine. I'll try to find them for you. As for cable burn in, I totally agree with you. I'm not a believer in Audio BS.
Did they find the effect is worse in warmer climates?

Keen to see this study (although, now studies plural). Was it the actual research you saw or a breathless audiophile magazine write-up?

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Re: LP wear, tear and care: an experiment

Post by aardvarkash10 » 26 May 2019 04:43

its already been discussed it here apparently.

https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... hp?t=27421

lenjack
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Re: LP wear, tear and care: an experiment

Post by lenjack » 26 May 2019 12:43

aardvarkash10 wrote:
26 May 2019 04:39
lenjack wrote:
25 May 2019 15:55
aardvarkash10 wrote:
25 May 2019 06:11


Yeah, really? Sounds right up there with cable burn-in to me.

I'm calling bs unless someone turns up with some data. And a plausible mechanism.
Yeah, really! I didn't make this up. The studies were very detailed, and iirc, were reported in audio journals and in Audio Magazine. I'll try to find them for you. As for cable burn in, I totally agree with you. I'm not a believer in Audio BS.
Did they find the effect is worse in warmer climates?

Keen to see this study (although, now studies plural). Was it the actual research you saw or a breathless audiophile magazine write-up?
Research I saw. I said Audio Journals and Audio Magazine, not audiophile magazines. It's probably somewhere in the link aardvarkash10 posted. I'll try to find it there.

Estragon64
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Re: LP wear, tear and care: an experiment

Post by Estragon64 » 26 May 2019 17:36

ripblade wrote:
26 May 2019 03:39
Records don't wear? Sure, and styluses don't, either.
Not saying that it doesn't happen, but I've never worn out a stylus either. I don't know when exactly a stylus wears out, but with proper care it should last longer than the expected life given in the specs.

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