Project VCS - I might be disappointed....

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mrjaffa
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Project VCS - I might be disappointed....

Post by mrjaffa » 22 Nov 2019 18:22

I was hoping it would clear up some old records, but it didn’t. Most likely as they’re actually badly scratched.

But, I’m cleaning brand new records and listening to one now, and in between songs or when the track goes quiet, there is quite a lot of crackling.

I’ve used it on some 1-2 year old records, so relatively new and still getting crackles. I say ‘still’, but I’m even thinking in some cases I didn’t even notice it before. So I’m then paranoid that this could be making it worse. But maybe I’m just listening out for this now.

But I’m asking you all. When listening to a clean record. Not scratched. Will you still get a lot of crackle when it goes quiet?

I don’t think so as I have some records I guess where I don't hear it. If these are just bad pressings, well I seem to have had a fair share and it is rather disappointing.

spikey_w
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Re: Project VCS - I might be disappointed....

Post by spikey_w » 22 Nov 2019 20:26

What cleaning fluid are you using? We need more detail to help.

I normally first apply cleaning liquid and let it get spread around for about 2-3 rotation before vacuuming it up. The number of rotation is just what you think is enough as I don't have a good microscope to scientifically determined. Next apply distilled (not tap water due to impurities) and let it spread around again for about 2-3 rotations and vacuum it up. You may be doing this already, also doing it again can be beneficial.

For cleaning fluid, you can make it yourself which is very good, look for posts by Vince1 in this forum.

Here's a link for a DIY cleaning fluid recipe from Vince https://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php ... st-9452715

mrjaffa
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Re: Project VCS - I might be disappointed....

Post by mrjaffa » 22 Nov 2019 20:41

I’ve used the fluid that came with mean the machine. Before I got the VCS I made my own solution when manually cleaning the records.

I normally apply what I think is enough, it can sometimes overflow, and then use the goats hair brush that came with it and spin the record 3 times or so each way. I’ve tried applying the brush very lightly and also using a scrubbing motion which I’d seen someone else do.

I then have some distilled water in a spray bottle and spray a little on and spin each way again 2-3 times using the brush again to ‘mop’ up.

Then vacuum for 2-3 spins each way.

spikey_w
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Re: Project VCS - I might be disappointed....

Post by spikey_w » 22 Nov 2019 21:41

The method you're using seems OK.

Make sure using the goat hair brush held lightly above the record, just letting the weight of the brush act as pressure on the record (don't push it down), whilst the record is spinning on the machine. I haven't used goat hair before but am using Mofi brush instead but I doubt there's much difference in result. I also use another Mofi brush, avoiding cross contamination, to brush the record with sprayed distilled water whilst the recording is spinning.

I'm unfamiliar with the Project fluid but check you are using the recommended amount. One other thing, when the fluid is applied and being brushed on, is it pooling or create a complete sheen across the record without any gaps? If is not completely covering the record and is pooling, perhaps try the DIY recipe. I only use the Triton X, isopropyl and distilled water as a mixture as a basic cleaner.

mrjaffa
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Re: Project VCS - I might be disappointed....

Post by mrjaffa » 22 Nov 2019 21:59

Thanks for the replies.

The only thing I could try different from what you’ve said is to be much lighter with the brush as I do apply some force. And maybe to get a separate brush for the distilled water.

I really am finding that I won’t go back to some records because of the crackling. It is only when the track goes quiet but will be very annoying for me.

Tombo62
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Re: Project VCS - I might be disappointed....

Post by Tombo62 » 22 Nov 2019 22:03

Yes, you do seem to be having more than your fair share of crackling problems. In general, a new record or a NM condition older one should not have "quite a lot of crackling" in the silent grooves between tracks. There is always a very low level of steady state surface noise, sort of a hiss, from the stylus groove interface that's barely audible and maybe an occasional very low level tick or two. However, not all records are created equal, audible crackle on clean new records can be due to poor quality vinyl compound, poor quality plating of the metal parts, or worn out stampers. There has been much discussion on which record labels and which pressing plants produce a quality product and which do not. If, as you said, some of your records play fine with no crackle, while others have quite a lot, then the assumption is that the problem is with the record. However, with all the problems that you have been experiencing, there is also an assumption that your system is accentuating the surface noise on your records. The cartridge, tonearm and phono preamp can all notably affect the degree to which surface noise is audible. Other considerations could be, make sure your cartridge is properly aligned and the tracking force is correct, that the stylus is not damaged or worn out, your turntable and tonearm are grounded, if possible. Older records can be visually inspected under a bright light to ascertain their condition, deep scratches cause ticks and pops, but crackle would be caused by ground in particulate matter, heavy scuffing or poor quality vinyl. Best of luck, and please try not to be discouraged, this hobby is intended to bring joy into your life, not disappointment. Kindest Regards, Tom

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Re: Project VCS - I might be disappointed....

Post by spikey_w » 24 Nov 2019 16:36

For the process of elimination, what cartridge and tracking force are you using with your Rega 3.

How many brand new records have you tried? From experience, some new records come in cardboard sleeves resulting in a high chance of scuff records. Do your records come in this type?

I've just got a new record which came in a paper sleeve. Noticed last night it had quite a bit of surface noise and a scratch causing clicks. After a clean the surface noise has reduced but not eliminated but the clicking remains, which I'm going to return. So new records are not perfect either.

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Re: Project VCS - I might be disappointed....

Post by countingteeth » 25 Nov 2019 10:19

mrjaffa wrote:
22 Nov 2019 21:59
Thanks for the replies.

The only thing I could try different from what you’ve said is to be much lighter with the brush as I do apply some force. And maybe to get a separate brush for the distilled water.

I really am finding that I won’t go back to some records because of the crackling. It is only when the track goes quiet but will be very annoying for me.

Use Vince's formula or derivitive or similar (London Jazz collector)

There is always the problem with cross contamination. It can occur on the brushes and the wand felt strips. 2 Sets of each are desirable ie one for cleaning, one for rinsing. As a wand is bloody expensive (as are the felt thingies), you can clean a whole batch without rinsing (keep them on plastic dish drying trays away from dust ... make sure the felt is clean by using a baby's toothbrush under running water, then rinse the batch. I still have the original felt ones on mine [Its a very early model...]...if you look after them they seem to last a bit...3000+ cycles here and still fine...

The other problem is that as it is a Vac is might be stirring up additional dust from the floor or room....ie from the outlet back onto the LP.

The Bad... The version 1 uses a cheap Chinese motor. Handle with care. i.e. don't leave any fluid anywhere after using it (pour out fluid in the tank into a storage container. Leave it in sunlight or pass is through a UV lamp with an aquarium pump as a diffuser). Let the motor run for a few minutes until dry...I squirt in a bit of silicon oil if I'm not going to use it for a week or so). It will rust..and where I am ...very quickly. The good....Cheap Chinese motors are plentiful..you can replace with a more powerful version if it does go to s**t.. The 1200W version of the motor is more effective...You can probably get a buck or 2 from the local metal recycler for the rusted one...its not about the buck, its about the recycling...[Look for a 2 stage 1200W tangential motor ].

Those "f*cking" plastic things at the ends of the wand are a design nightmare....They like to jump off and hide anywhere...I eventually just jerry rigged a coin (its SA currency so probably about 1/20 of a pence and I suspect its mostly aluminium anyway ) at each end with some tape...(better suction and less noisy)

Make sure the wand is adjusted properly....there is an Allen key under the spindle plate. Don't set it all the way down, just enough that the wand can lock in place. Too low that wand will want to suck itself to the thing its connected to and warp the LP down...too high and it wont vacuum properly.

Don't put them back in the original sleeves (This applies to new and old : I've had new LP's that make the Afrika Corps dust making tactic look like an amateur play at the local )....Look at squaredeal records on Amazon...he sells an inner sleeve similar to the mofi ones at a decent price...alternately get a pack of anti-static inner sleeves..or both....I like the mofi style ones as I tend to keep the old sleeves with the album after a quick burst of compressed air to remove dust and debris ...outside, so it can return to nature with its other friends....cheaper anti-statics are for VG and lower. I have a hobby compressor....cans are too expensive in the long run.

When inserting with a new inner sleeve, make sure the open end is facing away from the open jacket end i.e.: if the jacket opens to the left, keep the inner sleeve open to the top. Outer sleeves should open to the top, if the jacket opens on the top, make sure the opening is placed right (basically keep the spine facing outward). This forms a barrier against dust and having outer sleeve opening to the top makes it easier to pull and insert the LP in the rack.

Keep a --->slightly damp<---- microfibre cloth handy... you will need it to wipe down the label... (I use different colours...green for cleaning labels). To remove any moisture accumulated around the label (blue) and use after rinsing and drying. General (yellow)....I use it to wipe down jackets. If you are European, and are worried about the environmental impact of microfibre cloths, you can note, as you will only be using these indoors, any variation in colours, hues and cut, season to season, will not necessitate that you buy an entire new set every year. It's not your wardrobe. A decent (read low shedding) well looked after set should last a while.

Keep some cotton swabs (The kind that the you or partner use for make up) handy, and a solution of 50/50 ISO and RO water. Dampen the swab with said solution and use it to clean the knife edge of the LP while the spindle motor is running. It may seem obvious, but this is where you handle the LP and ergo crap and lots of it collects here.

Have reasonable expectations ie you cant polish a turd and you cant clean broken. Learn how to grade. Avoid visually graded items and treat all purchases as G (10 percent of NM price) until you grade yourself (by cleaning and listening). Note the grade and deadwax number on the outer sleeve with a sticker of sorts...never put these on jackets...

I also play damp. What this means is I use one of these on the lowest setting so the surface of the record is damp...It doesn't need to look like Bangladesh in the Monsoon season.

http://www.analogis.eu/6101_en.html

with my own fluid...which is basically 0.01 percent solution BAC50 in RO water (anti static) ....I have reservations about ISO and the stylus glue....

My wife is always pointing out how men solve problems with bigger guns..I think she is onto something here..So I sometimes use a zero stat. Otherwise its fairly superfluous given the quat.

I also stopped using felt mats about 20 years ago..they are dust collectors....Where applicable as a replacement, I use cork and prefer the heavy rubber on Japanese Turntables or Delrin and Glass platters and the like..they can be wiped down easily.

I think the cartridge/arm/preamp advice is a bit dodge. Not because it isn't true. it is. I just hate playing turds on expensive kit. The whole point of cleaning is for longevity of both the medium and the equipment (crackle = stylus wear). If its a turd, and doesn't play well on my at-3600l test rig...it will never see anything more expensive that I own. I just add it to my wanted list for better condition..in the long run its cheaper...

Keep an eye on your stylus. It tells you important things. If its picking up s**t while playing, investigate. I don't clean my stylus on every side of play, rather I inspect it after a side or 2 and see if anything is accumulating and take appropriate action (eg if its white and waxy, it means to much soap in the cleaning fluid, if its stringy with debris, check the microfibre cloth, if its black tar like stuff, a wipe down with that 50/50 ISO water might be in order....if its dust...it needs the Carbon fibre brush or a new clean...). If its not picking up s**t, it starts pointing to damage or embedded stuff that would require another cleaning method (Ultrasonic might help....).

mrjaffa
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Re: Project VCS - I might be disappointed....

Post by mrjaffa » 02 Dec 2019 11:39

Thanks for the in depth replies.

I’m using the Elyss (sp?) cartridge and don’t recall what tracking force I set up. Will have just been the default and recommended.

I’ve just bought 4 new records over Black Friday. All have some crackle but not too bad apart from one. Fleet wood Mac Rumours on clear vinyl. It sounds dreadful.

I’m giving all records a clean first before playing and I do already have some Mofi sleeve to then use.

One of the albums, Stone Roses, was very difficult to get out of the plastic sleeve. Very tough. And once I pulled it out I couldn’t believe what it looked like! I can’t seem to add a picture here, but take my word for it. It was awful. Anyway, that one doesn’t seem to play too bad.

I think we just have to accept that some new copies are just really bad. And so maybe I’m not going to see the big difference from the Project VCS as I thought. Although I haven’t noticed any crap building up on the stylus since I started using it, so I guess it is doing its job.

Maybe we should have a thread in here of bad pressings and what copies to avoid! That’ll teach those careless factories and music companies 😜

countingteeth
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Re: Project VCS - I might be disappointed....

Post by countingteeth » 02 Dec 2019 15:59

mrjaffa wrote:
02 Dec 2019 11:39
Thanks for the in depth replies.

I’m using the Elyss (sp?) cartridge and don’t recall what tracking force I set up. Will have just been the default and recommended.

I’ve just bought 4 new records over Black Friday. All have some crackle but not too bad apart from one. Fleet wood Mac Rumours on clear vinyl. It sounds dreadful.

I’m giving all records a clean first before playing and I do already have some Mofi sleeve to then use.

One of the albums, Stone Roses, was very difficult to get out of the plastic sleeve. Very tough. And once I pulled it out I couldn’t believe what it looked like! I can’t seem to add a picture here, but take my word for it. It was awful. Anyway, that one doesn’t seem to play too bad.

I think we just have to accept that some new copies are just really bad. And so maybe I’m not going to see the big difference from the Project VCS as I thought. Although I haven’t noticed any crap building up on the stylus since I started using it, so I guess it is doing its job.

Maybe we should have a thread in here of bad pressings and what copies to avoid! That’ll teach those careless factories and music companies 😜
A vacuum goes a long way...but to be honest, after I started with the ultrasonic, I only use it to dry....

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