Really, records who had dirt that could not be removed by wiping them with cleaning fluid, sound like clean when wet played (more on that later), no tics&pops, plus the sound clarity does not seem to suffer at all!!
Of course this assumes i've cleaned all kinds of grease away from the record, and that the record has no fungus/mold in it, nor scratches. Just common dirt. Dirt which won't go off using a carbon brush or a wet cloth.
So, researching the internet i see wet playing of records have gotten a bad rap, by the following pseudo-scientific reasons:
1. "Vinyl heats to hundreds of degrees when played, which is necessary so vinyl flexes under play, so water would prevent this flexing by cooling, and thus it will damage the grooves"
It has been proven on this forum, with calculations, that the temp rise cannot be more than 1 or 2 degrees celsius. Which is almost nothing. So the flexing (or non-flexing) of the vinyl will happen (or not happen) regardless of if the surface is wet or not.
2. "Water will make the stylus lose contact with groove walls on the higher frequencies and thus this mistracking will damage the groove.
If it were mistracking, it would be audible, or the higher frequencies would be damped at the very least. What i hear, and i trust my ears, is no changes in tracking with good high frequencies, and this with a lowly conical stylus, the worst of trackers. It actually seems to track better when playing the record wet, even on inner grooves.
Or maybe i wasn't hearing mistracking but dirty grooves when playing dry.
3. Dirt will stick to the record when playing wet
4. This is bad to the stylus!!
Why a dirty record sounds with ticks & pops? Because the stylus is riding OVER the dust, thus the stylus is suffering abrasion from the dust, which is very hard (it is like sand!!)...
Water performs as a very low viscosity lubricant plus anti-static fluid, so the stylus, instead of riding over the dust, it DISPLACES the dust away. The result? No tics and pops, and the stylus is not damaged, because it is NOT being sanded off by the dust.
When playing a record wet for the first time i notice a build up of dirtiness behind the stylus, which i remove once the stylus starts to mistrack (because the dirt ball is starting to counteract the VTF). This is a GOOD thing, it means that the record is being CLEANED WHILE PLAYED!!
5. Wet playing is bad to the vinyl compound!!
Go tell that to the plastic water bottles. Vinyl records are made from PVC with other ingredients, so far the ingredients i've seen on record compound patents do not look like water-soluble.
I have records from the mid 1950s in very good shape, and i live in one of the most humid cities. If vinyl records had water soluble components, the humidity on the air would had already damaged those 55 year old records.
6. If you play a record wet then it will always had to be played wet
This one is repeated even by advocates of wet playing. If the dirt would stay there, then it can also be removed by other means such as wood glue cleaning (which works great but takes a century of time). And then, be played dry as usual.
Also, still i've found no one that can support this claim with a good argument.
7. Dust will stick to the grooves after that
No good argument to support this claim. The opposite appears to be true, since, as i've written, the dust is flying off the surface.
8. It will damage the stylus
Now, for the ones that seems to be more credible:
9. It will sooner or later dissolve the glue that keeps the stylus bonded to the cantilever, thus rendering the styus useless.
This one seems to be more credible, but water is not a solvent, and i think stylus is held in place by epoxy glue. Epoxy should be water-resistant after curing, though.
BTW I don't think any sane manufacturer would bond a stylus with an hygroscopic glue such as animal glue.
10. It can rust the cantilever
Aluminium is rust proof. I don't know about titanium or boron, though.
11. It can damage the cantilever rubber on the long term
Might be true, but i thought dryness was the thing that damaged the rubber, not humidity.
Great tip for audiophiles who wanna try it:
Use the EVIAN water that comes in spray, the one the beauty salons use. It will sound even better than using staight water. Why? Because evian water is MUCH more expensive, and, since it is MUCH more expensive, it will sound MUCH better. Better pacing, timing, staging, speed, imaging, and that sh...