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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2012
     (10439.121)
    So, I've just bought my first record player and a few vinyls to go with it. I really do get what everyone's always going on about now. However, this really is my first go with vinyls, and since two of the records I bought were used, and who knew how well they were taken care of before they were delivered into my tender care, I would like to put the question of

    #vinylcare

    on the board. What do you guys suggest for cleaning, storing, caring, and basically keeping up a collection of LPs, and the needles that love them?
  1.  (10439.122)
    #vinylcare

    1) A major problem with vinyl is that it builds up a static charge that attracts all manner of dust and small grit. Decent record stores will sell you a soft camel hair brush for wiping all the accumulated fluff off your records (don't even think about using a rag to clean them). You should wipe each disk down before returning it to its sleeve, so it's not grating around inside with crap all over it. My old record player had a little brush that rode on the playing head and cleaned the record ahead of the needle, but you'd be lucky to find one of those now.

    2) Store your records as perfectly vertical as you can manage, with bookends to keep them upright if necessary.

    3) Your storage space should be away from sources of heat, including sunlight coming through the windows. A nice even temperature of about 20C is perfect, and you want a humidity level of around 40%. It's large fluctuations in these conditions which cause vinyl to break down.

    4) Some collectors use mylar sleeves for their records (ie the same as comic book sleeves) because the manufacturer's original plastic sleeving can shrink over time and warp the records.

    5) A blunt needle will fuck up your records faster than almost any other lack of maintenance. A new diamond needle will reasonably last you a thousand hours of play, but some people change needles after 500 hours or less.

    6) The rest is common sense. Avoid rough handling, don't let people eat, drink or smoke around your vinyl collection, and don't bump the floor or the stereo while there's a record playing.

    7) There are loads of vinyl collector's message boards online where you can find information about finding stuff that's rare.
  2.  (10439.123)
    #vinylcare

    Greasemonkey's right about all that as usual, but I'd add one thing - if you buy a record second hand, if it's really dusty/mouldy either don't buy it (if you could possibly get the same thing in better shape elsewhere) or research proper cleaning procedures and clean it before playing. Playing dirty records knocks hundreds of hours of use off your needle.
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2012
     (10439.124)
    #vinylcare

    Don't do what i did which was to borrow some LP's from a girlfriend and accidentally leave them standing near a radiator.Some LP's used to be so flimsy-warp city.

    I used to buy loads of secondhand 12 inch white-labels from filthy bargain basements.Dance music,mostly.Some of these where so dirty i had to end up actually cleaning them in the bath with luke-warm water and washing-up liquid.The vinyl was so thick and tough it didn't do more damage than what had been already done to them.I think some had beer spilt on them.

    I reckon Greasemonkey's and Kay's advice is a lot more safer than mine.
    •  
      CommentAuthorGreasemonkey
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2012 edited
     (10439.125)
    #vinylcare

    Yeah, I should've listed the bit about not buying records in shitty condition. Hold them using the fingers of both hands on the very edges, and look at them in the light. You're looking for dirt, dust, scratches and scuffs, discoloured areas, stains, bumps or excessively warped spots in the vinyl.

    Where it gets really fun is when you get to researching rare collectibles with coloured vinyl or extra posters, inserts and gimmicks inside, or big double albums with stunning cover art. Pink Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here', for example, came with a couple of photo postcards inside (and I think there was a poster as well), and almost nobody kept them. Originals of the album in good condition sell for a couple of hundred bucks now, if the extras are intact.
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2012 edited
     (10439.126)
    #vinylcare

    @Greasemonkey:Damn.I used to have Wish You Were Here with the postcards and it had a sticker(maybe more than one) too.

    Dark Side Of The Moon-I think that had a nice blue photo poster of pyramids.Or that could also have been Wish You Were Here.

    Things like these and the covers made collecting vinyl fun.
  3.  (10439.127)
    @Flecky - yeah, gatefold double albums were always like Christmas weren't they
  4.  (10439.128)
    Help me Whitechapel - I am writing something that involves much of the Eastern seaboard of the US being covered by rising sea levels. Thinking specifically about the state of Maine, would the flooding turn it into a swamp or a marsh? I can't work it out from the info I have looked up.

    #swampormarsh
  5.  (10439.129)
    #swampormarsh

    I'm not a biologist, but I did grow up on a marsh, not far from a swamp, and there's no problem with the two environments being near each other, so you'd probably get both in the lowlands, with the high ground turning into islands. In fact, I believe Maine already has some of each. So the vegetation of the current marshes and swamps would simply spread as the plants that required dry ground to survive died off. Also, forested areas would probably be more likely to become swamps, while grasslands would more readily become marshes. But again, not a biologist.
  6.  (10439.130)
    I had hundreds of albums on vinyl, lost them all in a house fire. Everything by Floyd up to Momentary Lapse Of Reason, including a copy of Piper At The Gates Of Dawn that was autographed by the band.
  7.  (10439.131)
    #vinylcare

    Don't vomit on them.


    I learned the hard way.
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2012 edited
     (10439.132)
    Piper At The Gates Of Dawn-signed!Damn...

    I too lost vinyl,along with some rare comics,in a fire.Years after that i had hundreds of early 2000AD trashed in a flood.Next i lost a great comic collection when i was made homeless.I was so traumatised by it i couldn't look at a comic for 3 years.Seriously.

    I eventually got over it when a friend put it into perspective.No matter how many books,comics you got you can only read one at a given time(well,you can read a few but i knew what he meant)

    I've seen people get so wrapped up and obsessed with possessions that they end up owning the possessor.It's happened to me.
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      CommentAuthorGreasemonkey
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2012 edited
     (10439.133)
    Piper At The Gates Of Dawn-signed!Damn...

    Yeah, was given it by my uncle on my 21st birthday. He'd won it in a radio contest back in the late sixties. I had a load of ELO singles as well, on their original Jet label, and a Supertramp novelty disk on yellow vinyl.

    I too lost vinyl,along with some rare comics,in a fire.Years after that i had hundreds of early 2000AD trashed in a flood.Next i lost a great comic collection when i was made homeless.I was so traumatised by it i couldn't look at a comic for 3 years.Seriously.
    I eventually got over it when a friend put it into perspective.No matter how many books,comics you got you can only read one at a given time(well,you can read a few but i knew what he meant)
    I've seen people get so wrapped up and obsessed with possessions that they end up owning the possessor.It's happened to me.


    The worst loss for me was 20 years worth of paintings and drawings, stuff I'd been collecting since I was in the first grade. My whole portfolio burned.
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      CommentAuthorBeamish
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2012 edited
     (10439.134)
    #VINYLCARE

    Find an early copy of Miles Davis - Birth of the Cool, whatever problems you have will be fixed. A good backup plan is a pressing of Porgy and Bess by Satch Summertime is also a fixer.
  8.  (10439.135)
    New question...

    #FAKEGEETARGADGET

    Any guitarists out there recommend the Line 6 Pod HD desktop bean thing? I want to buy something better than the horrible (and now pretty old - 2004) Behringer V-Amp that I've never really liked very much for practicing in the house, and probably recording. I am quite luddite when it comes to amp modelling and generally want things I record to have had real air moved at some point in them, but needs must and my amp isn't convenient to use during the week, and I'm willing to believe that things have moved on in the last eight years.
  9.  (10439.136)
    #VINYLCARE

    Charles Mingus. Play him at dinner and you WILL get laid after.

  10.  (10439.137)
    #FAKEGEETARGADGET

    it's been a minute or two since I seriously played around with gear, but so long as you're trying to stay within fairly established bounds, you're not going to go wrong with anything line6 makes. they're not the same as grabbing, say, a tiny terror and cranking the shit out of it, but if you're looking for something that hits all the big sonic points without murdering your bank account, you're going to be hard pressed to find something at the same price. it'll blow your V-amp out the water at a minimum. hell, whastshisname... billy corgan? duder from smashing pumpkins? first album he put together after "re-forming" the pumpkins with the original drummer and nobody else, most of the guitar parts went through a POD, so it's not a bad thing, to an extent. then again, I'm very much of the camp that says buy a tube amp and maaaybe an Ibanez ts808 or three and let things happen how they happen, so I might not be the best person to voice an opinion here...

    all things said, unless they've done something exceptionally stupid in the past three years (which I doubt, they know where their money comes from), the line6 gizmo is pretty much guaranteed to be at least three or four steps up from your behringer V-amp. they make legitimately studio quality stuff. I wouldn't murder for one of their multi reverbs, but i might hide a body.
  11.  (10439.138)
    #FAKEGEETARGADGET

    @Shannon.gilly.3 - thanks - I've got a nice Vox Cambridge tube amp in my study, but that's at the bottom of the garden and is too cold to exist in at this time of year, and I can't get down there during the week when I've just got about half an hour in the evening to play. I want something to work with in the house (I've got a guitar in the bedroom) that I can perhaps record with as well, and the behringer - well, it's just uninspiring and I really don't like the sound of it at all, everything's got this nasty honk to it.

    Balls, might have to just go for it. Hell, my credit is good so far...
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2012
     (10439.139)
    #RAW Processing

    I like to keep my photographic exploits as simple and snap happy as i can, spending ages on post processing requires more time and effort than i'd like and feels intrinsically wrong somehow, as if i'm cheating in some way. Still, i'm faced with the fact that i've seen pictures produced from RAW files that have a clarity and depth that surpasses the corresponding camera JPEGs. I'd sometimes like to be able to achieve that with my pictures and have tried using Silkyypix, which came with the camera, and Lightroom3, which, thanks to a well timed special offer, also came with the camera. Of the two, i find silkypix easier to understand and Lightroom easier to get spectacular instant results with. Unfortunately while my Raw processing efforts may sometimes surpass the camera JPEGs in some ways, overall the camera JPEGs usually come out on top, even after ages spent fiddling with RAW files.

    What i'm after is a good beginners guide to RAW processing using either Lightroom3 or Silkypix, either in print or on the web or even from someone here with the patience to go over it all bit by bit with my grumpy, semi-senile self.

    Any suggestions?
    •  
      CommentAuthorSlick
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2012
     (10439.140)
    #RAW Processing

    I have about 1GB of video tutorials that I used to learn adobe camera raw, I could stick them on a dvd and send them to you if it helps.