• regenerativemusic over 6 years ago

    I know there is a lot of discussion on playing wet records, but what about records that have been lightly cleaned by distilled water? It's hard to get them completely dry with the microfiber cloths I bought. I've heard that a special brand of paper towel I bought, Viva, is supposed to be good when wet, but I imagine there are mixed opinions about them in general, and in particular, as a drying agent.
  • DarreLP over 6 years ago

    Don't use paper towels. They likely won't damage the grooves, but they can still scuff and leave paper fiber all over the place.

    I suggest you just have some patience and let it air dry for an hour.

    Barring that, go ahead and play them a bit damp...like many things in the audiophile world, there are conspiracy theories all over the place that range from 'absolutely nothing bad will happen' to 'your record will melt'.
  • DJMONEYMIKE29 over 6 years ago

    DJMONEYMIKE29 edited over 6 years ago
    DarreLP
    I suggest you just have some patience and let it air dry for an hour.


    +1. Less if you live in a dry climate, like me. Here in AZ, 5 minutes usually does it. Obviously, not in direct sunlight (ESPECIALLY if you are in Phoenix. Next 4-5 days forecast shows 119F to be our lowest daytime temp!.)
  • DarreLP over 6 years ago

    DJMONEYMIKE29
    Obviously, not in direct sunlight


    Ha! For sure! I should have mentioned that.

    What I use is one of those desktop curved wire file organizers. Mine holds 10 records. I wash my record, give it a quick wipe, then prop it up in the organizer with a fan pointed at it. By the time I get to the 10th record, the first one is completely dry.
  • regenerativemusic over 6 years ago

    Thanks for the replies. This gets into another question, can playing a record that has been decently cleaned sooth out any minor scratches? It seems like if a bit damp there is more of a chance to pry up the debris that's still on the record. Does anyone think there is any truth about the idea that water plus playing records equals serious damage? At what level would that occur? Theoretically, a moist record might carry enough water to help clean the record but not enough to damage it?
  • AskeladdenBlack over 6 years ago

    AskeladdenBlack edited over 6 years ago
    Because some people on Discogs dislike opinions about cleaning records etc etc I will keep it short and without bias to avoid opening up a can of childish abuse.

    Wet play is something which has been the subject of debate in the hifi world for some time now.

    Some say that if you don't have access to a vacuum RCM the build up of dust deep in the grooves (along with less than perfect cartridge, tonearm, counterweight, VTF etc etc set up) wears your stylus a lot faster and in turn damages your records quicker.
    One "possible" way to avoid this is wet play where the liquid acts as a buffer between the stylus & the dust.

    You will find that your stylus gunks up quicker and will need cleaning but your stylus should last longer than if you play records dry.

    However the best thing for your records, stylus & listening is having your turntable set up properly by a turntable techy that knows what they are doing along with a decent clean stylus.

    Again this is just an opinion I don't want to offend anyones personal vinyl cleaning or handling or playing or whatever.
  • emptycyb1 over 6 years ago

    How about wet playing a record you want to digitally record? It seems to always smooth out light pops and crackles as well as getting most static away.
  • SecretSquizza over 6 years ago

    emptycyb1
    How about wet playing a record you want to digitally record?


    I actually use play the record when damp through once with a cheaper stylus so its gunks up as sorenfissure describes which would be some of the remaining "muck" being removed from the grooves, then play it again with my "ripping needle" to do the recording. I've found this to be a pretty effective method and I am a real stickler for removing all the extraneous noise from any rip i do, so I know this helps lessen the noise as i tend to have to do less "post-ripping" work to clean up the recording if i use this method.
  • Corisco over 6 years ago

    SecretSquizza
    I actually use play the record when damp through once with a cheaper stylus so its gunks up as sorenfissure describes which would be some of the remaining "muck" being removed from the grooves, then play it again with my "ripping needle" to do the recording.


    I have an old belt driven turntable with a cheap stylus (correctedly balanced and adjusted) that I remove the belt and manually rotate the record on the oposite direction - left to right, and this has given me better results than just playing the record once before ripping. Afterwards I use the RCM and the only thing that remains are the clicks and cracles, if they were present on the vinyl before the wet cleaning. As I only have to do this once for every second-hand record (after that they would never get that dirt again), if there is any damage, it's minimum and mostly to the cheap stylus (never noticed any, though) and my regular player won't make that worse.
  • emptycyb1 over 6 years ago

    Ok, but how about recording from a wet record, even if already cleaned, as it seems to smooth out those crackles and clicks.
  • Sombunya over 6 years ago

    Sombunya edited over 6 years ago
    Using a stylus to remove "gunk" from a wet record sounds completely bizarre to me. If a needle is chiseling crap out of a record groove then that record should either be:

    1. properly cleaned before play
    2. don't clean it before play and don't worry about it
    3. don't play it

    I have some expensive soundtrack LP's from India that I will not play until I can have the disc cleaned properly.

    I was at an audio show in Newport Beach, CA a few weeks back. Plenty of million dollar systems, $50,000+ TT's, etc. I saw a RCM that cost $4000. I won't go into how it worked but it was quite cool. The other side of the coin is, my pal has a Spinclean for around $75 and he assures me it does make an audible difference on dirty records. Spinclean also says you can see the dirt laying at the bottom of the unit after cleaning. I don't doubt this.

    SecretSquizza
    I actually use play the record when damp through once with a cheaper stylus so its gunks up as sorenfissure describes which would be some of the remaining "muck" being removed from the grooves, then play it again with my "ripping needle" to do the recording.


    I would need a definition of a "cheaper" stylus. Is it not shaped carefully? Is it not polished properly? Most of the time when referring to a stylus the cartridge itself is considered integral. Expensive carts can be re-tipped but the suspension may not be be in good condition. Conversely a ten year old cart may have only played 100 records but the suspension is worn out, dried out or otherwise compromised.

    Prices for cartridges run between $5 - $15,000.
    Lower-end carts have user replaceable styli. High-end carts do not.
    A stylus will travel around 1/2 mile playing a 20+ minute record.
    Many different factors contribute to stylus wear.
    A stylus should be replaced after 800-1000 hours. Obviously this can vary for a number of reasons.

    Here's the bottom line: Do whatever you want. I'm just lending my opinion here. As far as spinning records backward or whatever that was, I can do that on either of my TT's as they're both full manual. But the carts cost $250 and $750 respectively and I don't think they were engineered for that kind of use.
  • Sombunya over 6 years ago

    emptycyb1
    Ok, but how about recording from a wet record, even if already cleaned, as it seems to smooth out those crackles and clicks.


    Lots of "interesting" opinions and suggestions here.

    I would suggest that if playing wet records was advisable, there would be many accommodations available.
  • regenerativemusic over 6 years ago

    I'm trying to distinguish between a wet record and a moist record.
  • hootenanny over 6 years ago

  • AskeladdenBlack over 6 years ago

    AskeladdenBlack edited over 6 years ago
    Sombunya
    Using a stylus to remove "gunk" from a wet record sounds completely bizarre to me


    I just wanted to clarify that I don't suggest using the stylus to remove gunk in any way whatsoever because your right it is a bizarre concept that I don't understand, I just mentioned that if you play wet you will need to clean the stylus more often.

    To clean gunk properly from deep within the groove you really....need...to...........ahhh thats right sorry I forgot myself.
  • doctor_trance over 6 years ago

    Wet or moist, it definitely degrades the sound quality. I've had 3 different cartridges over the past few years, and no matter which of the 3 that I was using, I can definitely hear when I'm playing a record I just cleaned and didn't wait long enough for it to dry. The music sounds splotchy or slightly fuzzy.
  • AskeladdenBlack over 6 years ago

    doctor_trance
    The music sounds splotchy or slightly fuzzy.


    Because the liquid is stopping the needle from picking up the finer details of the higher frequencies as well as the needle sitting ever so slightly high in the groove. I dare say that playing wet requires extra weight on the stylus.

    There is always the debate as to whether it damages the needle & the glue which binds it to the cantilever, some say it doesn't/can't some say it definitely does.

    Playing wet is last on the list of things to do to get the very best out of vinyl listening. I have known mates who have spent huge amounts on MC cartridges yet their turntable isn't sitting perfectly level. Just like spending $10,000 on speakers just to plonk them anywhere in the room.
  • allenh over 6 years ago

    This is only my opinion but wet or moist playing of records can't be good. What's needed here is mechanical engineering and physics understanding as this is fundamentally a mechanical function.

    You have a hard item (the stylus) moving within a soft groove (the record) that is definitely not smooth at a constant speed which with the best will in the world will always contain some form of dust or other contaminant. This dust or other debris when mixed with a liquid will surely just make a grinding paste, a low abrasive one but abrasive all the same. So whilst it won't be obvious I would expect by doing this you will be more quickly than intended smoothing the profile from your stylus as this is the constant in the process not the records themselves although I expect it won't do them much good either.

    The other issue is on signal capture. A cartridge/stylus combination is an extremely accurate transducer that relies on good contact between the stylus and groove wall to retrieve as much information as possible and putting a liquid in between the stylus and groove wall surely can't make that information retrieval better.

    playing a record no matter how good the mechanics of the components doing it or how clean all the parts in the process are is always slowly damaging the stylus and record itself so doing something that in my understanding would speed this process of damage up doesn't make a lot of sense.
  • emptycyb1 over 6 years ago

    It seems you guys don't understand what I'm talking about : I was only adressing a specific case which is playing a slightly worn (crackles and pops) record wet for a recording of the audio because this seems to smooth out the audio effect of those crackles and pops. I would therefore only do this once on that specific record that I'd have cleaned beforehand. The fact that this might damage/wear the stylus faster in the long run is irrelevant to my question as the point of this method is not the preservation of a needle but obtaining a recording with less background noise/crackles/pops.
  • AskeladdenBlack over 6 years ago

    AskeladdenBlack edited over 6 years ago
    emptycyb1
    It seems you guys don't understand what I'm talking about


    I would love to comment and say how I was responding to the thread starters post but now that you bring your question to my attention I'd say there is nothing wrong at all with what your saying but I would record a dry version & a wet version and check which sounded better OVERALL as not all records play well wet as groove depth plays a part.
    Hydroplaning of the needle raises it slightly coupled with shallow grooves equals less information.
    But really if it was me I would record dry and manually go into the waveform and write out the clicks or if I was feeling lazy run the audio through a noise reduction plug in like the Waves X Click and then into the Z Noise or the X Noise to take out the surface noise.
    With well executed settings those plug ins can work absolute miracles with minimal compromise.

    However I seem to remember you "blocking" me so I guess you won't see this message.
  • kurts.ear.candy over 6 years ago

    AskeladdenBlack
    emptycyb1It seems you guys don't understand what I'm talking about

    I would love to comment and say how I was responding to the thread starters post but now that you bring your question to my attention I'd say there is nothing wrong at all with what your saying but I would record a dry version & a wet version and check which sounded better OVERALL as not all records play well wet as groove depth plays a part.
    Hydroplaning of the needle raises it slightly coupled with shallow grooves equals less information.
    But really if it was me I would record dry and manually go into the waveform and write out the clicks or if I was feeling lazy run the audio through a noise reduction plug in like the Waves X Click and then into the Z Noise or the X Noise to take out the surface noise.
    With well executed settings those plug ins can work absolute miracles with minimal compromise.

    However I seem to remember you "blocking" me so I guess you won't see this message.


    This is probably the best method suggested so far, imho. I tried wet playing back in high school in the 60's and abandoned it shortly after trying it. Didn't help enough to be worth the hassle and mess. Moist won't do anything but help create a sludge. I once read somewhere that the momentary localized heat at the point of contact between needle and vinyl is in excess of 200 degrees, or enough to boil water.

    Bottom line is that every record is different, so what may work on one may not work on the other. So try a dry rip and a wet rip and compare. I do the same as you (sorenfissure) in regards to treating the rips. Draw the clicks out manually in the wav form and when its full of noise, I'll use a plugin, too.

    Then again, there is no substitute for a proper cleaning. I have a VPI Cyclone that cleans in both directions and have experimented with solutions as well. The solutions matter just as much as the machine. At some point we all have to settle and accept what we have to work with and just do it to the best of our capabilities.

    Being an optician, when someone comes in and asks if we can fix or buff out scratches on lenses, my quick answer is that scratches are like diamonds, they are forever.
  • kurts.ear.candy over 6 years ago

    kurts.ear.candy edited over 6 years ago
    regenerativemusic
    I know there is a lot of discussion on playing wet records, but what about records that have been lightly cleaned by distilled water? It's hard to get them completely dry with the microfiber cloths I bought. I've heard that a special brand of paper towel I bought, Viva, is supposed to be good when wet, but I imagine there are mixed opinions about them in general, and in particular, as a drying agent.


    So like any thread, you forget the original question and my answer above does not address it, so ... Patience, let them air dry and in a very still air environment. Otherwise you just end up attracting flying dust which you just rinsed off. Do not use paper towels, period. They are linty and could scratch the vinyl. Once again drawing on my experience as an optician, I've heard about the properties of Viva towels 10 years ago. When cleaning a soft surface such as plastic or vinyl or polycarbonate eyeglass lenses, which is the same material CD's are made out of, always use something softer. Paper towels are wood. Wood is harder than plastic. Always use a lint free cotton or microfiber cloth that has never seen any kind of fabric softener. The softener always leaves a film behind that never comes off no matter how hard you rub. And the softener also makes the cloth repel water making it less absorbent.

    Lastly, if you're just rinsing your records with distilled water and not cleaning them using some kind of detergent / cleaner, there is very little gained other than just rinsing off surface dust that is attracted by static electricity. Rinsing only will not get rid of that static electricity.

    Hope this helps :)
  • emptycyb1 over 6 years ago

    kurts.ear.candy
    Being an optician, when someone comes in and asks if we can fix or buff out scratches on lenses, my quick answer is that scratches are like diamonds, they are forever.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYZHkDhad54
  • regenerativemusic over 6 years ago

    kurts.ear.candy
    This is probably the best method suggested so far, imho. I tried wet playing back in high school in the 60's and abandoned it shortly after trying it. Didn't help enough to be worth the hassle and mess. Moist won't do anything but help create a sludge. I once read somewhere that the momentary localized heat at the point of contact between needle and vinyl is in excess of 200 degrees, or enough to boil water.


    Isn't this absurd, because vinyl melts at much lower temperatures?
  • Sombunya over 6 years ago

    regenerativemusic
    Isn't this absurd, because vinyl melts at much lower temperatures?


    kurts.ear.candy is correct. Look around on the net and you'll find that Shure Corp. did a lot of testing on this. If you compare the actual contact area of a stylus to a disc with the entire mass of the record and stylus assmebly, it is like dragging a pencil through a crack in a sidewalk. The heat generated is immediately dissipated into both the record and cantilever. And as someone who wears glasses with coated lenses, kurts.ear.candy's comment about using paper, tissue or any other wood pulp based medium echos everything I've ever heard about cleaning lenses. (camera lenses?)

    kurts.ear.candy
    So like any thread, you forget the original question and my answer above does not address it, so ...


    This post here contains the most sensible advice in this whole thread, imo.

    regenerativemusic
    I know there is a lot of discussion on playing wet records...


    This is the first I've heard about it. And I'm not real sure if the OP is asking is it ok to play wet records, what happens if I don't let them dry out, or what?

    It's just generally a strange discussion on an obscure topic.
  • DarreLP over 6 years ago

    If you google "Wet play LP" you will find hours and hour and hours (and hours) of content written both for and against. Like many things audiophile, there's a whole lot of heated opinions out there, and sometimes a tiny bit of science.

    The arguments are typically:

    Wet playing sounds better v. We playing sounds worse
    Wet playing ruins your record v. Wet playing doesn't harm your record in any way
    Once you wet play a record, you always have to wet play a record v. That's not true at all.

    And so on.

    Ultimately, try it. All that matters is *your* opinion as they are *your* records. Experiment. Report back!
  • DarreLP over 6 years ago

    kurts.ear.candy
    I once read somewhere that the momentary localized heat at the point of contact between needle and vinyl is in excess of 200 degrees, or enough to boil water.


    This is a common citation, alas, I have yet to find any scientific backing to validate it. I chalk it up to being an Old Audiophile's Tale. :)

    It should be pointed out that Vinyl melts at 160 degrees...so it seems implausible.
  • kurts.ear.candy over 6 years ago

    emptycyb1
    kurts.ear.candyBeing an optician, when someone comes in and asks if we can fix or buff out scratches on lenses, my quick answer is that scratches are like diamonds, they are forever.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYZHkDhad54


    Fair enough, I have seen that before. There will still be something audible in most cases even after that kind of repair.
  • Sombunya over 6 years ago

    Some interesting links:

    This is especially interesting:
    http://shure.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/392/~/temperature-of-stylus

    I think posts #3 and #5 make some sense in this link:
    http://forums.linn.co.uk/bb/showthread.php?tid=29073

    One more:
    http://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_forum/viewtopic.php?t=27421

    If you want facts vs "Old Audiophile's tales" go to http://www.whatsbestforum.com/.

    Without getting too specific, there are a lot of very knowledgeable people there. I once asked a question (discussed here) about the speed a stylus travels vis-à-vis the inner part of the groove and the outer part. Simple question, right? Outer diameter is obviously greater so therefore the stylus travels faster for each revolution of the disc. There were about 3 pages of posts discussing this question.
  • regenerativemusic over 6 years ago

    regenerativemusic edited over 6 years ago
    I wonder if there is a fuzziness found with moist playing verses wet playing? In wet playing, dislodged debris may be suspended in the water, but in moist playing it sticks to the stylus.
  • paulisdead 6 months ago

    I think by “moist” it means the record doesn’t have puddles of liquid when playing (which is not a good idea), but is still damp enough to wet clean the build up in the grooves.

    The idea being that the stylus itself collects the gunk (which is now wet and easier to collect) out of the grooves. Just like cleaning anything wet vs dry, obviously when dirt/paper/lint etc is wet, it devolves or is easier to dig out of the grooves.

    Does work? Technically, yes, BUT be careful if you do decide to this as you should be cleaning your stylus every track to clear off the gunk with a stylus brush. Too much gunk build up on the stylus and it will jump and could damage your records (also be CAREFUL when cleaning your stylus - use a magnifying device of some kind when cleaning).

    As far as damage to your stylus, wet gunk will be easier on a stylus than smashing into the dried on gunk that causes pops, but it’s obviously safer just to clean repeatedly in the more traditional ways (not wood glue) until the offending crackles and pops are minimised.
  • vernoy 6 months ago

    Cold water and Ivory soap thoroughly rinsed works wonders
  • kurts.ear.candy 6 months ago

    Having just reread most of this thread I find one glaring omission of the mention of surface tension. Just because there is water or a fluid of any kind present on the surface does not mean that it has broken down and made actual contact with the surface. Liquid with a high surface tension will merely sit on the surface, not break down and actually wet or coat the surface. Therefore all liquids with a high surface tension just form puddles, tiny as they might be and do nothing to the actual surface or grooves. The stylus just splashes through the puddles and hydroplanes above the grooves.

    A liquid that has something like Ilfotol added to it will break down and actually wet coat the surface. There will still be indirect contact with the grooves due to the liquid which is now a lubricant but still alters the surface contact between stylus and groove.

    I'll stick with a thoroughly dried record after a proper cleaning with my VPI Cyclone.

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