Cleaning Vinyl LPs

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

gene_stl

400 Club - QQ All-Star
QQ Supporter
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
414
Location
St.Louis
In other lives I have been involved in extreme cleaning and microscopy. I would say that given the small dimensions and complexity of record grooves , I would never ever put anything on that even had any hint of leaving residue. Not to mention how expensive cartridges have become.

The job of cleaning a dirty record does not require anything that leaves a residue. The amount of detergent required is very low on a percentage basis and a few percent of an alcohol (ethanol or propanol)also increases the wettability of water. While it is true that Dawn or Tergitol(what the purists think they have to use) would leave a little residue if allowed to dry on the record, even with tap water it would wash away cleanly. In my part of the world (midwest USA) the water is moderately hard so if you don't rinse with distilled or deI water you will have more noise than you started with but I have never seen residue on the stylus after a tap water rinse. You flush with tap water to remove the detergent and then the DeI so the calcium and magnesium salts don't precipitate out onto the record surface. Fortunately they are soluble and the DeI carries them away effectively. I like to rinse once or twice with tap water and twice with DeI.
 

par4ken

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
QQ Supporter
Joined
May 28, 2011
Messages
1,278
Location
NW Ontario
I have the stylus cleaner brush since way back. I only use it ocassionally. I still use my original Discwasher because the more recently sold ones are an instance of trademarks being bought and sold but the product having little or no resemblance to the original.

They had a cartridge headshell shock absorber that my friend and I tried. It did improve trackability of warped records and also added constant rumble of its own. The DiscTrakker. One of those ideas that sort of sounded good until you tried it.
I had a DiscTracker as well. My Garrard Zero 100 just wouldn't track any record that was warped, I forget if the little shock absorber helped or not. Switching to a different turntable with a more conventional tone arm did the trick though.
 

gene_stl

400 Club - QQ All-Star
QQ Supporter
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
414
Location
St.Louis
The DiscTrakker was one of those things where it was absolute love at first sight , for both me and my stereo best friend.
He bought one and I should have been suspicious when he brought it over and said "Here, you try it." It did help tracking but it made very much noise. It has a tangle of plastic fibers on the bottom which rode on the record surface. It did collect dust. It made a terrible rumbling sound. Constantly. Loudly Great looking idea. Totally unusable. We both really really wanted it to work. (Like the Denon Phono Crosstalk Canceller which we actually spent an entire weekend blind testing for each other. It had internal wiring and potentiometers but did nothing audible that we could discern.)

I had a Lab 80 once. I always lusted after the Zero 100. I like Linear trackers and have used a Technics SL-P1 since the eighties.
 

par4ken

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
QQ Supporter
Joined
May 28, 2011
Messages
1,278
Location
NW Ontario
The DiscTrakker was one of those things where it was absolute love at first sight , for both me and my stereo best friend.
He bought one and I should have been suspicious when he brought it over and said "Here, you try it." It did help tracking but it made very much noise. It has a tangle of plastic fibers on the bottom which rode on the record surface. It did collect dust. It made a terrible rumbling sound. Constantly. Loudly Great looking idea. Totally unusable. We both really really wanted it to work. (Like the Denon Phono Crosstalk Canceller which we actually spent an entire weekend blind testing for each other. It had internal wiring and potentiometers but did nothing audible that we could discern.)

I had a Lab 80 once. I always lusted after the Zero 100. I like Linear trackers and have used a Technics SL-P1 since the eighties.
That Crosstalk Canceller sounds much like Audionics "Axial Tilt". I didn't use it for years as it's such a pain to set up but it does work. I'm not sure that improving separation form 20dB to say 30dB would make a lot of difference in stereo reproduction but it definitely helps to improve SQ decoding. The test tone on most test records is far too short to give you time for adjustment and you really need an oscilloscope to see the null in the waveform, it's hard to discern by ear.
 

gene_stl

400 Club - QQ All-Star
QQ Supporter
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
414
Location
St.Louis
We REALLY wanted the crosstalk canceller to work and it REALLY didn't. Just like the DiscTrakker. But both caused somewhat enjoyable hobby and social activity. :LOL: :giggle:;)
On the crosstalk canceller all testing was blinded and there was no difference. We wasted a whole weekend with that piece of doodoo.
 

par4ken

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
QQ Supporter
Joined
May 28, 2011
Messages
1,278
Location
NW Ontario
We REALLY wanted the crosstalk canceller to work and it REALLY didn't. Just like the DiscTrakker. But both caused somewhat enjoyable hobby and social activity. :LOL: :giggle:;)
On the crosstalk canceller all testing was blinded and there was no difference. We wasted a whole weekend with that piece of doodoo.
Yes to work at all it would have to be carefully adjusted. The difference when listening to stereo would likely be completely unnoticeable. Back in the day 20dB (a voltage difference of 10/1) was considered to be perfect separation.
 
Top