LP wear, tear and care: an experiment

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

Post by SSoundLtd » 26 May 2019 23:55

I'm currently listening to a used 42 year old record that I got for $1. I also have the CD of this particular album but since getting the LP I listen to that more because it sounds great. My first exposure to recorded music was the LP but by the time I started buying music as a teen cassettes followed by CDs is all I bought until recently getting back into records. I've always heard people throw around the phrase "I wore out the grooves I played that album so much". I've heard plenty of albums that sound bad due to surface damage but I don't think I've heard an album that is pristine but sounds bad due to worn out grooves. (Or maybe I didn't notice?) I'd be curious to hear if anyone who has always listened to LPs experienced this firsthand with a favorite record that was well cared for, but after years of playing it is no longer listenable.

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

Post by dysmike » 27 May 2019 02:24

I've had a couple that I had to replace. Mostly as a teenager, when I'd sometimes listen to the same album 3 or 4 times in a day. Also, let's face it, I probably was remiss on maintenance of my turntable at 13.

Other than that kind of play, I generally agree. Well taken care of records sound great, even 40 - 50 years later.

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

Post by spfffan » 19 Jun 2019 01:12

I have some records that are worn. We have to remember that back in the 1950s through the 1970s, consumer grade playback equipment typically tracked at 4 or more grams. And most folks didn't bother cleaning records, except for perhaps a wipe with a tissue. This is not to say that higher grade turntables and record care didn't exist, but, particularly for pop music, the treatment records were subjected to would be considered abuse by most of us here and now.

That said, some of my records purchased new in the 1970s and cared for reasonably well, played mostly on at least halfway decent equipment, are in very good shape. Not so much for my sister's original mono Beatles albums, which were played on lousy equipment, and, also played over and over and over again.

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

Post by lenjack » 19 Jun 2019 01:34

I disagree that consumer grade equipment was tracking at 4 grams through the 70's. The ADC1 cartridge tracked nicely at 1 gram at the end of 1960 in the right arm and table, and by the end of the 60's it was quite common for a number of arm/cartridge combos to track quite cleanly at under 1.25 grams.

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

Post by spfffan » 20 Jun 2019 01:14

lenjack wrote:
19 Jun 2019 01:34
I disagree that consumer grade equipment was tracking at 4 grams through the 70's. The ADC1 cartridge tracked nicely at 1 gram at the end of 1960 in the right arm and table, and by the end of the 60's it was quite common for a number of arm/cartridge combos to track quite cleanly at under 1.25 grams.

What I mean by consumer grade equipment is not component stereo systems consisting of a turntable and a magnetic cartridge and separate amplifier and speakers. I'm talking about things like the GE Wildcat and Magnavox consoles. That is what the typical pop record was subjected to at least until the very late 1970s.

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

Post by lenjack » 20 Jun 2019 01:18

OK. In that case, you're probably looking at well over 5 grams and ceramic cartridges.

Mrs Ritchie Valens
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Re: LP wear, tear and care: an experiment

Post by Mrs Ritchie Valens » 28 Jul 2019 22:38

Well, nothing lasts forever. If records get wrecked from playing them, what would be the point for recording artists and the like? We all need to just take care of all our records the best that we can, and get enjoyment out of them.
Like it's already been stated on here, if we have good turntables, and good needles, and clean and take care of everything; our records will be fine. Another thing that has already been stated on here is that most portable record players of the 50's and a little later weren't taken care of, along with the records themselves.

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

Post by billoconnor » 14 Oct 2019 02:50

I read once that, when old, worn 78's are being transferred to modern media, recording engineers will experiment with different size styli to find a part of the groove that is not worn. I've also heard that conical and elliptical styli have different radii and ride higher or lower in the groove. So if you play an old LP that was played with a conical stylus, using an elliptical, you may be playing an unworn portion of the groove wall. Also it has been said that an elliptical wears the groove less than a conical.

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

Post by circularvibes » 14 Oct 2019 03:21

There are quite a few sizes of 78 styli for that purpose. It wasn't just for worn records, early cutting styli had no standard as long as a broken size 16 sewing machine needle could fit in the groove and be ground to fit by playing. That was from Emile Berliner himself. The differnce between conical and elliptical (and newer profiles) is that the conical is a ball that only touches a small portion of the groove wall. An elliptical will cover over some of the wear from conicals kinda like using a putty knife to apply spackle to a crack, bridging the two sides of the damage with better portions of the (groove) wall. Better profiles than elliptical are like wider putty knives, only made of thinner material where it contacts and bridges the side wall. That is what gives the better detail and extended highs from better styli profiles.

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

Post by lapratho » 14 Oct 2019 04:06

I have indeed badly worn out one of my fav LPs first track, Rough Boys on Pete Townshend's Empty Glass.
That LP was played in the early days using a few ceramic styli for lack of a better table.
NEVER run a ceramic system!

Cheap conicals are also bad, no matter what people say. These fatter diamonds with the spherical tip have a smaller contact surface than ellipticals and line contacts, because they cannot do a deep dive into the groove, so what they contact gets more pressure per square micrometer. It makes a difference in wear over time.

My experience with Ortofon under the 100 dollar mark has also not been a blessing when it comes to wear and tear. The DN155, Dual'sOM10 version, ultimately killed what was left from the ceramics of "Rough Boys".
The best and kindest diamonds to my records have been Audio Technica ML styli and Jico SAS in Shure bodies, both of which have played for years now without deteriorating my records. Both started affordable and are now way expensive though.

The AT440ML in particular started out as my beater cart for cleaning records! Seriously. It was only 99 dollars at around the year 2000, and I bought 2 at the time, and they are still in service. If you use a dish-soap solution to soak the record, wipe it semi-dry, and run the stylus on the record still damp, it will dig out all the dirt in the groove, and then you can wipe it clean, and brush the lint ball off the stylus. Do that 2 or three times and hear the results.
This works only with an ML, SAS, or other line contact type stylus.
I have recovered records that sounded like crud, into a HiFi state that way.
Would I do it with a new 200 dollar system? No. But there is that Vivid Line option for around 79 bucks now :D