General Question

Breefield's avatar

How do I keep my record player / records in good condition?

Asked by Breefield (2733points) June 26th, 2008 from iPhone

I just bought a record player (used) and some new records. I’d like to make them last as long as possible, what are some tips for making records / record players last?

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16 Answers

gr8drmrs's avatar

keep them flat, out of the heat, in there jackets and away from moisture, I have had some now for 38 years. Hope that helped.

marinelife's avatar

This question makes me feel old. Although it decreases their collectible value, if you want them playable, take off the cellophane sleeve. Keep dust off the records and the turntable. Replace the needle as needed.

gailcalled's avatar

Can one still buy a new diamond stylus?

eambos's avatar

Where did you find a needle for the turntable? I’m searching for one :/

Breefield's avatar

Marina, I don’t know why I would buy a player and records if I didn’t want to play them :p
Gailcalled, I have no clue :p
Eambos, it came with one. Try a record exchange store?

gailcalled's avatar

Diamond stylus is high-end turntable needle. Lots of sources online, apparently.

marinelife's avatar

@Breefield Some people want them as collectibles. I had a guy at a garage sale say to me in scandalized tones, “But these have been played a lot.” I said, “Yes.” He said, “But that decreases the value.” I just shook my head. Imagine that, actually playing one’s records.

Breefield's avatar

Hmmm….I just got one dusty by accident. Should have cleaned the records player better.
And I almost burnt down the house (blew a breaker) trying to plug the older one in :/ and the carpet got burnt a little **sigh**
Well, is it ok to touch the face of the record with my fingers, paper? etc, I want to blow the dust off but I don’t want to get it wet!

marinelife's avatar

There were special record cloths for removing dust. Your fingers will leave oil.

marinelife's avatar

I can’t believe I had to use the past tense!

gailcalled's avatar

What about a hairdryer at low and cool? Or the chamois clothes used for cleaning eyeglasses or binoc. lens?

@Marina: I know the feeling, since I grew up with first 78s and 45s then the 33.5” long-palying records.

Breefield's avatar

Ack…I was talking to my music buff friend and managed to clean the record more or less, but I’ve got to get this larger record flattened back out because my car was a little hot and now the record is a little wobbly.

marinelife's avatar

Hate when that happens, Bree! Once warped by heat, I am not sure it will ever be quite the same.

@GC Yeah. Sigh. Can we say O.F.?

gailcalled's avatar

edit: cloths for cleaning things, not clothes.

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

The best way to preserve your collection is to buy the best phonograph possible.

This won’t be cheap, good record decks are the result of expensive ultra high precision engineering and production.

Cheap players ruin records by subjecting the record groove to excessive and incorrect forces from the stylus. The stylus is slamming into the sides of the groove. The groove as well as the music is then mutilated.

A good record deck’s platter is held as rigidly as possible in relation to the tonearm and with as little friction as possible. This costly accuracy insures minimal wear and the best possible distortion free sound.

Fortunately, the technologies and innovations that produce superior sound also insure reduced wear.

Another positive effect of running quality hardware is that used records in questionable condition become more listenable. That poorly treated gem you got at that garage sale for 50 cents has now become a pleasure to hear.

If you must skimp on hardware to save money do it as far away from the platter as possible in this order: speakers, wiring, amplifier, preamp, tonearm, stylus cartridge. (the finest speakers cannot improve on a poor source but good sound from a good player will be listenable on not so good speakers.

I reccomend this product get one used for between 2 and 3k. It is fully upgradeable and the sound quality has to be experienced to be believed.

Store your records upright, not packed to tight, in a cool dry place. Friction free innersleeves are available.

Dont use cleaning devices or products. Brushes force surface dust into the groove. Wet cleaning produces bubbles that make noise when they dry on the record.

The stylus will clean the groove as the record plays. Use stylus cleaning paper to remove dust and loose vinyl buildup from the stylus.

A dirty stylus will damage the groove as will a worn one, replace as needed.

Make sure the tonearms tracking weight is correct, you don’t want the needle pushing into the delicate groove more than needed.

Happy listening.

OnaBoat's avatar

@Noel_S_Leitmotiv Great answer, but if you do not use cleaning devices or products, then how do you get dust and fingerprints off vinyl records – for example, when cleaning a record you bought used?

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