Why vinyl deserved to die, part 73 (1 Viewer)


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Ah, Sound Guard!

Anyone besides me remember ruining a bunch of records with it?

From CREEM, June 1976.

how did it ruin the records? did it eventually erode the vinyl? I have to admit that by this time, I was listening to 8-track tapes...

A friend of mine had two record cleaning kits, so he gave me this one back in about '79. It appears that the cleaning fluid that came with it is from a different cleaning kit, so I got lucky. Never had any problems, but then again, I still have some fluid left, so I couldn't have used it much. Genrally, a couple of dabs of saliva were enough to remove the static charge and get the dust off.

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That looks familiar...


That's the discwasher pad/block, and I probably bought it in 1976 or 77. Though admittedly that might be my second or even third bottle of cleaner. It probably dates from the mid 80s.

I think everyone used (still uses?) the discwasher stuff. But I tried the Sound Guard system when I was a teenager and all it did was fuck up the records. You had to apply it in some mythical dust-free zone that I think only existed in their laboratories.
how did it ruin the records? did it eventually erode the vinyl?
No, it just permanently sealed in all the imperfections. Unless the record was absolutely clean it was useless. When I applied it to new records it seemed to make them sound worse than if I'd left them alone. I think it was just some wrongheaded shit.
Ah yes; that was the other kit my friend had. You use the u-shaped brush to fit over the bottle cap and sort of wedge it in there so the bottle doesn't come out of the hole. The D4 always worked OK when I used it, so I'm glad my friend didn't give me the bad solution with the sound guard pad. I have a vague memory that perhaps he knew that Sound Guard solution was crap, but I can't be sure.
The only thing I've ever used to clean records is plain water. If a record has dirt or dust, I'll gently wash it off, careful not to get the label wet, and dry it with a soft cloth. That's always seemed to work well and done no harm that I can tell.
The only thing I've ever used to clean records is plain water. That's [...] done no harm that I can tell.
Depends on your water. Most tap water has a lot of minerals in it, and you wouldn't necessarily want that on your records.

But I know a lot of 78 collectors wash with water. But then those records may be a bit more rugged. And they already sound like shit, so you could probably wash them with peanut butter.
True. Our water is very clear. I don't know if that has anything to do with minerals, but it looks and tastes pure. The water in the L. A. area was like brown sludge.
Maybe it would help boiling the water first. If you want to be on the safe side, you could buy distilled water, or even sterile water, at the pharmacy.
Y'all are missing the most important thing, the Major Mojo Cleaning Juice!

It was a gift, never tried it, probably wont. I've always used the old disc washer one, seems fine. I've also tried making my own via directions online, using distilled water and a certain percentage of alcohol. That also seemed fine.

The new disc washers they sell at stores, or on amazon seem to be different than the original, I've heard it can damage records. But you can get the original on eBay for pretty cheap.

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I used to be religious about cleaning my records with the staticmaster de-ionizing cleaning brush. HAs a strip of radioactive polonium to perform the de-ionizing chore. These days a staticmaster costs about $130 to $160 and just the polonium refill is $90. One advantage though is that I no longer need a night light as I glow in the dark due to the long term exposure to polonium.

I can't quite agree to the title of this thread - I have a nostalgic fondness for LP's. There was a romance there too. It started with going through my shelves for a particular album. Then I would pull it out of it's plastic sleeve ( I always stored each album in it;s own protective sleeve so that the cover would not get so worn). Then the record was removed from the cover and it's paper sleeve and placed on the turntable where it was cleaned with the staticmaster. Then the stylus was cleaned with a size 00 camel hair paint brush. Then the tonearm was carefully lowered onto the record. I would then sit on the sofa, dead nuts in the stereo sweet spot, and listen, perhaps while reading the album cover and liner notes. I miss that ritual of listening to music these days. Some of that ritual sounds like a pain in the ass I know, but there was a reverential meticulousness to it that attached me to the process. The part I miss especially is reading the liner notes while listening - I find the print so small on most CDs that I have to have the lights turned up full and need my reading glasses, both of which detract from the listening ambiance. Even worse is that a significant percentage of my music collection these days is downloaded and doesn't even have liner notes. (Of course I could read artist info from my kindle or ipad). But still it's just not the same. Oops, gotta go now - load up my ipod and go for a bike ride with my dr dre's.
I understand nostalgia for the experience, but that nostalgia does not magically transform a bad technology into a good one. Vinyl as a medium for reproducing music was, and is, third or fourth rate at best. Hence the thread title.

I think some people mistake nostalgia for their youth as nostalgia for the technology of their youth. If you don't sit down and listen to music and read liner notes anymore it's not because the technology changed, it's because you aren't 15 years old anymore. You don't have the same amount of time to dedicate to such things. Music serves a different purpose in most people's lives after a certain point.

And music certainly serves a different purpose in the lives of modern kids. I think it's safe to say that very few of them have ever sat still long enough to listen to an album's worth of music. We probably wouldn't have either if we'd had as many distractions as they do.

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