I have been a collector for many years and have had some records
that I have encountered that are visually perfect and still with
cleanings, both manually and with a machine, the sound remains distorted
and gritty sounding. This conditions persists with every alcohol based
I have encountered.
I took a copy of a record which suffers from this disease, NRISSTB,(no
reason it should sound this bad) and I cleaned it with one tiny drop of
dishwashing soap. I made sure to add ample water to it and cleaned it
visible residue was on the disc. I then cleaned the surface again with
a record cloth to remove any late arriving airborne residue. The results
have been really amazing. These records now sound infinitely better than
the ever did with alcohol based cleaners.
These dish products are designed to "cut grease" and as I understand it,
a thin layer of oil can exist on LP's as a result of the stamping
itself. It is my belief that this oil coagulates with time and sits in
attracting all kinds of contaminants and grit and particulate matter in
When the old lemon joy gets in there it seems to dissolve the oily
and in the process let go of a lot of tiny noisy particles that have
there for decades...I have done this in the presence of other
collectors who were
horrified and then amazed by the procedure and the results.
Obviously, I suggest trying this first on a valueless, noisy record to
see if what
I am saying is true.
Has anyone else out there tried weird counter-intuitive "solutions" to
record cleaning and if so what have been your results?
I am sure many ARSC people and all polymer chemists will tell me I am
doing more harm than good in the long run but the immediate results are
in some cases nothing less than dazzling in my experience.
BTW, this seems them most effective on records from the mid-60's and
earlier, did the vinyl manufacturing process change after a certain
point, thus using less oil or something like that when making LP's?
Aaron (Don't try this at home kids) Levinson