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How Not to Care for Your Vinyl Records

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Whether you've been a vinyl record collector for decades or you're just beginning your journey, your collection likely holds a place in your home and your heart. Although you may have a tried-and-true method for cleaning your records there's always more to learn. Learn from these creative collectors the do's -- and don'ts -- of vinyl care.



Nail Polish Remover Nightmare

When it's time to clean your records, what do you reach for? Do you grab your trusted vinyl cleaner, a different form of cleaning fluid or nail polish remover? Yes, one unlucky collector has used the abrasive substance typically used for removing colorful nail hues to clean his collection. As the anonymous vinyl enthusiast bemoaned on a record collectors' online forum, the substance dissolved the disc's grooves, rendering it unplayable.

Minty-Fresh Methods

Many enterprising though misguided collectors and even a few independent record stores have dabbled in the supposed cleaning benefits of toothpaste. Although it is a popular home remedy for scratched compact disk formats such as DVDs and CD albums, the grooved surface of vinyl albums quickly becomes worn and clogged when treated with toothpaste. After all, the minty paste is meant to polish away stubborn substances on your teeth; the harsh impact it would have on tender vinyl is unimaginable.

Lighter Fluid Lavation

Just the thought of cleaning your records with lighter fluid may make you cringe and with good reason: The highly flammable liquid is extremely detrimental to vinyl records over time. It is also difficult to remove completely making it a hazard to your home as well as to the quality of your music. Forgo this dubious solution and reach for a proven method for cleaning vinyl instead.
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The Birth and Evolution of Vinyl Records

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The first vinyl long-playing 33 rpm, 12-inch record that was available to the public was created by RCA Victor in 1930. Some thought the product would be a failure. However, compared to discs previously made using shellac wax, vinyl showed promise.



In the Beginning

During WWII, shellac was in short supply, so 78 rpm records were also manufactured using vinyl. By 1939, Columbia Records became interested in the technology and improved upon the sound recorded and reproduced while making the product more affordable. In 1948, Columbia introduced the 33 rpm microgroove record. A rivalry between Columbia Records and RCA Victor continued, which inspired the latter company to create the first seven-inch 45 rpm extended play vinyl record. Within two years it was determined that the 33 rpm records were appropriate for recording entire music albums and the 45 rpm records were more suitable for single recordings. The 78 rpm records soon became obsolete.

Vinyl Sound Evolves

Reel-to-reel tapes were introduced in 1955 and had the ability to capture and play stereo sound. However, the equipment, process and product were deemed too expensive for commercial success. The public's fascination with stereo influenced record companies to devise a method to replicate the idea onto vinyl. Two years later stereo LPs were introduced. The preference for stereo influenced companies to discontinue manufacturing mono records by 1968. Quadraphonic sound became the next challenge as reel-to-reel tapes and 8-tracks were boasting the four-channel capability in 1970. Quadraphonic vinyl records were soon on the scene by 1972. The product was not as popular as hoped and companies largely discontinued quad records in 1976.

Vinyl Records Endure

Though 8-tracks and cassette tapes dominated the industry, record companies continued manufacturing and improving upon vinyl. Beginning in the 1980s, manufacturers starting using disc-cutting equipment designed to enhance the dynamics while reducing groove distortion. The techniques became known as CBS Discomputer or Teldec Direct Metal Mastering. Some tried implementing lathe-cutting to create the microgrooves. However, while able to manufacture records inexpensively, the sound quality proved inferior and the product was prone to degradation. Though digital music became the next phase of the music evolution, vinyl records and vinyl record accessories are still being created. The most common formats currently available include the 12-inch LP or the 12-inch Maxi Single. Today, vinyl records are often created using recycled vinyl. However, classical music is often recorded onto 'virgin' vinyl, which improves sound quality. The vinyl used is also heavier and weighs anywhere from 180 to 220 grams. The thicker vinyl also resists deformation from extended use.
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Improve Sound Quality By Cleaning Records Regularly

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Music lovers delight in superior sound quality, and many will invest in high-end sound systems and take other related steps to enjoy great sound. While this can promote a fabulous listening experience, the cleanliness of vinyl records is critical to the quality of music produced. There are several ways to clean records, but some methods are better than others. Because of this, investing in a record cleaner is a smart idea for music lovers.

How Cleanliness Impacts Sound Quality

Vinyl records can get dirty due to a variety of factors, and these include smudges and fingerprints from touching them, dust and lint falling on them and more. A record player produces sound through a fine needle running over the surface of the vinyl record. Dirt, smudges and more interfere with the needle's ability to do this, and this creates disruptions in the sound produced.

The Easy Way to Clean Records

There are various ways that people may clean records. Some will simply spot clean them with the back of their shirt, and others may use a lint-free cloth to wipe them clean. These can remove some of the dirt and smudges, but these methods can also result in scratching. They may also introduce more dirt to the surface of the record. A special type of cleaning equipment is available that quickly, easily and thoroughly cleans the record for you using a rotating device and water.

How Often to Clean Records

Once you have the right equipment available to clean records, you may wonder how frequently to do so. This is dependent on how often you use your records and how well you care for them. If you are a person who occasionally will slip and touch the vinyl surface directly from time to time, you may find that cleaning the records frequently is necessary. For those who demand superior sound quality, cleaning a record before each use is a great idea.
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The Benefits of a Record Cleaner

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People who have vinyl records from years ago that they wish to play will probably find that their records aren't in playable condition as they are if they haven't been played in many years. Vinyl records have to be cleaned in order to remove all the dirt, dust and minerals from them that can cause the records to not play properly. While some traditional methods of cleaning records can actually lead to damaging them, a record washer offers you numerous benefits.


Increase Sound Quality

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages that a record cleaner offers you is the increase in sound quality. When records are cleaned, they can be heard in the manner that they were intended to be heard in without any disruptions in sound or quality. Cleaning a vinyl record can instantly increase the quality of the sound it emits, regardless of whether the record is a new or old one. Even new records tend to have manufacturing oils left in them that can diminish the quality of the sound, and by using a record cleaner, you can get a perfectly clean surface.

Automated Cleaning

Automated cleaning makes cleaning that much easier since you don't have to scrub or put much effort into the cleaning process. When you use a record cleaner, you simply place the record into the machine, and it does all the hard work for you, impeccably cleaning each side of the disc simultaneously. Using a brush or other handheld tool to clean records can simply lead to you grinding the dirt deeper into the record and further damaging it. The fluids used in automated cleaners prevent this from happening with a gentle cleansing cycle.

Record Life Preservation

Keeping records clean with a record cleaner not only improves the record's sound quality, but it helps preserve the life of the records. This is especially important if you have valuable old records that aren't in manufacture anymore, and you want to keep them in good shape as long as possible. Record cleaners extend the cartridge life and sonic performance of records by reducing stylus wear. 
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The Easy Way to Clean Vinyl Records

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Vinyl records can get dirty with use or even when they are not being used. Fingerprints and smudges can interfere with sound quality and may make it difficult to listen to music. In addition, dust and other debris can accumulate on vinyl records, and this can be detrimental to your listening experience. Cleaning vinyl can be a challenge, and there is always a concern that your efforts will damage the records in some way. The good news is that the right vinyl cleaner can be used to help you clean your records clean the easy way.

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Common Ways to Clean Vinyl

Most people will discover that their vinyl records need to be cleaned when they pull them out to listen to music. They may see smudges, dirt or dust on the vinyl. Some will attempt to blow the dust away, and others may use a cloth or even their own shirt to wipe the records clean. These are ineffective ways to clean vinyl records, and some of these efforts may actually damage the records and interfere with your ability to listen to the music you love.

The Better Way to Clean Vinyl

While these may be common ways to clean vinyl, they are not the best ways. Commercial vinyl cleaners help clean your records with ease and without damaging them. You simply have to insert a vinyl record into the top of the device to begin the cleaning process. All dirt, smudges and more will be removed in a safe, effective way.

Clean Your Records Today

Whether you only have a few vinyl records that you love to listen to or you have a full collection, you want to enjoy a superior listening experience. The sound of music can delight you, so taking time to clean your records the easy way lets you enjoy the sound of quality music from your records.
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Accessories for Keeping Your Vinyl Collection Safe

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If you love vinyl records, then you owe it to yourself to make sure that you have the right equipment and accessories to properly enjoy them. Having a high-quality record player isn't enough to ensure that your albums will sound great and last a long time. Here are three vinyl record accessories that can help any audiophile get more enjoyment from their collection.

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Vinyl Record Cleaners

One of the joys of collecting vinyl is finding a buried treasure at a swap meet or yard sale. However, in many cases these albums are also very dirty and in need of a good cleaning. Fortunately, you can buy vinyl record cleaners that make it easy for you to safely clean and dry your records so they sound and look as good as new.

Spare Inner Sleeves

The inner sleeve helps to protect an album from damage that can occur when it is placed directly inside a cardboard LP cover. Unfortunately, the inner sleeves are often lost or become torn and damaged. You can make sure you avoid having your records get damaged by having several spare inner sleeves handy to use in case one of your records needs one or you purchase a used album with a sleeve.

Carrying Cases

If you are a DJ or just want to take your albums on the road, you need a way to transport your collection. Too often, this means putting albums in milk crates. This solution is awkward, not aesthetically pleasing and can lead to damaged albums. A better solution is to invest in a solid carrying case specifically designed to store and transport albums.
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Reasons Why You Should Not Toss Out Your Old Records

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The numbers never lie; statistics have indicated that record sales have increased steadily over the past decade. This is in spite of compact disc sales steadily diminishing over the same period of time. In fact, annual record sales were just at one million in 2007 but escalated to six million in 2013. While it is quite evident that record sales continue to remain promising, the reason why might be a much more interesting topic of discussion.

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They Tend to Last Much Longer than Traditional CD's

Vinyl records tend to last much longer than compact discs because they are more durable in nature. While CD's are known for scratching, if your record becomes scratched, there are amazing record cleaners that can restore it to like-new condition, which means your investment will be protected for years to come.

It Allows You to Have a Better Physical Experience

One of the biggest arguments for why vinyl records are better to invest in than compact discs or digital music is that it provides a good sense of ownership. Purchasing a record provides people with a physical experience that tends to be more fulfilling than purchasing a CD and one of the primary reasons why is because a record is larger and feels more substantial. Then there is the art of actually putting the record on, listening to one side then flipping it over that is more satisfying, because there is a greater sense of connection to the music artist.

How the Future of Music Might Play a Role in Record Sales

The goal every music executive and artist has is to provide the listener with a unique experience. Many famous musicians are turning to companies that specialize in creating a unique sense of connection with their fans, and record-breaking sales are the proof that the concept works. This is a good reason why record sales will most likely increase as well; there is a unique bond people experience when they hold a record that they simply can't find anywhere else.
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Classic Metal Albums to Own on Vinyl

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Heavy metal has been a symbol of rebellion and aggression since its inception in the early 70s, and it has expanded outward to spawn dozens of sub-genres with thousands of bands putting their own spin on a musical form that is both technical and brutal. Let's look at some of the best examples of the genre that will enrich any heavy metal vinyl collection.

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Metallica - Master of Puppets

When American thrash metallers, Metallica, released their third studio album Master of Puppets, they established themselves as the golden standard for fast-paced, aggressive, and technically accomplished music. With such hits as "Battery," "Master of Puppets," and "Leper Messiah" the album is a classic of the genre that still stands as a shining example of the best of thrash metal today.

Black Sabbath - Paranoid

The album that inspired legions of fans and followers, Black Sabbath's second album came out in 1970 and established the heavy riffing and dark lyrics that would become a staple of metal. With such stand-out hits as "Paranoid," "War Pigs," and "Iron Man," Paranoid is one of the most influential and widely revered metal albums of all time.

Opeth - Blackwater Park

Combining the brutality of death metal with the more melodic sounds of progressive rock, folk rock, and even jazz, Swedish metal outfit Opeth put out a monumental work in 2001 that takes listeners on a dark--yet beautiful--journey full of dynamics that established the band as one of the most innovative and respected metal bands in the early 21st century.

Whatever heavy metal classics you pursue, be sure to take care of your vinyl. Invest in a good turntable, a reliable record washer, and be sure to store things in a safe place away from excessive dust or dirt.
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Musicians Who Support Vinyl Records

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Not just audiophiles and collectors appreciate vinyl records. Some of the leading musicians in the industry go out of their way to release album on vinyl and support fans of vinyl records. These musicians appreciate the nostalgia of vinyl and the great sound of a high-quality LP.

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Jack White

The former White Stripes frontman is a noted lover of vinyl and has used his Third Eye label to support the resurgence of vinyl. In 2014, he produced the "World's Fastest Record," as he recorded his new single "Lazaretto" and a batch of singles in a four-hour timespan. He also purchased the original copy of Elvis Presley's first recording for $300,000.

The Flaming Lips

Fans of the indie rock darlings, The Flaming Lips, receive plenty of extras when they purchase vinyl versions of the band's albums. Past releases have included special artwork, notes and even DVDs of live performances. The band's singer Wayne Coyne told Reuters that vinyl releases have a visceral appeal that digital releases can't match.

Reasons Musicians Love Vinyl

Musicians want their fans to have a special connection with their music, and a vinyl recording can provide that. When a record that has been cleaned with a vinyl cleaner and is played on a quality turntable, it has a warmth and depth of sound that can't be beat. In addition, full albums allow musicians to provide memorable front and back cover artwork, liner notes, song lyrics and other special features to their fans that simply can't be done with a digital release.
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The Best of the Golden Age of Rock

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The golden age of rock music brought with it some of the finest vinyl albums ever pressed, and if you're a vinyl collector, you owe it to yourself to check out some of the classics. When out shopping for new records or vinyl record accessories, take the time to track some of these timeless treasures down.

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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II

Led Zeppelin had a hit on their hands with their self-titled first album, and their follow-up album brought fans more of the hard rock blues sound that had made them a success; however, not content to rehash the same thing, Zeppelin began incorporating new sounds into their repertoire. While tracks like "Whole Lotta Love" and "What Is and What Should Never Be" carried much of the blues-tinged rock sounds of the original album, tracks like "Ramble On" and "Thank You" found the band exploring ballads and folk tunes--sounds that would come to dominate their polarizing third album a year later.

Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

In 1975, Pink Floyd unleashed "Wish You Were Here" upon the world. With only five tracks, psychedelic rockers Pink Floyd created a tapestry of sound that would go on to influence legions of progressive and art rock groups. Two massive tracks bookend the album and take listeners on a synthesizer and guitar filled journey across an incomparable musical soundscape. The rest of the album is filled out with the classic tracks, "Welcome to the Machine," "Have a Cigar," and "Wish You Were Here," all of which still receive substantial radio play.

Rush - Moving Pictures

Moving Pictures, released in 1981, saw Rush at the pinnacle of creativity. While not getting overly pretentious, the band created an unforgettable blend of hard rock riffing and prog-rock stylings that cemented them as one of the greatest rock bands of all time. The incredible song writing and musicianship found on Moving Pictures would go on to influence thousands of budding musicians. Fan favorites such as "Tom Sawyer" and "Limelight" are rock staples to this day.
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The Reasons Why People Love Vinyl Records

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Vinyl records have seen quite the resurgence over the last couple of years. Audiophiles swear by vinyl, and casual listeners are starting to embrace this classic audio format. This means that more record players are being sold, and new technologies make the records sound even better than they did during their heyday. Doomsayers have predicted the death of vinyl records and turntables for years, but they've been proven wrong time and again. People love their records for the following reasons.

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Records Have A Natural Sound Quality

Records have a naturally warm and inviting sound; there's nothing like turning on a record and hearing the crackle of the vinyl. CDs and digital music have more impressive technical specifications when it comes to their sound quality, but the sound is just too clear. It makes it sound artificial and overly produced. Music is about heart and soul, and records do a better job of conveying this through their imperfections.

Inexpensive Variety

Records have been around for years, and this makes it easy for you to buy a variety of music without having to spend thousands of dollars. You can buy an old turntable and a record cleaner, and you'll be able to clean up and listen to old records that you find at yard sales and record shops.

Enhanced Album Art

When you buy a CD or download an album, you miss out on a big part of the artist's vision; you don't get a chance to look at and appreciate the artwork and notes that come with the album. If you want a total album experience, then a vinyl record gives that to you. You get to see the album's artwork in its full size, and some records include bonuses like posters and lyrics that you can't get with CDs or digital downloads. When you buy a vinyl record, the artist's message isn't condensed and cheapened. Buying a record is the best way to listen to music; you get to enjoy the music the way it was meant to be heard, and your listening experience is never hindered by compressed, chopped or digitized music.
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The Warmth and Depth of Music on Vinyl

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Part of the thrill of listening to your favorite album on vinyl is experiencing music the way it was heard for decades in the past. There's also a strong case to be made that music, especially rock, sounds better on vinyl than it does when listening to an MP3 or a track from a streaming media site. Many music fans feel that the vinyl album provides a aural depth to the music that simply can't be found from a digital file.

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The Warmth of the Sound

One of the main reasons that people love listening to rock and roll music on vinyl is that the sounds seems to have a particular "warmth" that sets it apart from a digital version of the track. A big reason for this is that the nature of a vinyl recording is similar to how humans hear music. Vinyl records emphasize the mid-range sounds, which creates a warmth and improves the "fuzzy" nature of rock guitars.

Easily Get Great Sound Quality

Vinyl recording is the only audio format that is completely analog. This means that there is absolutely no compression of the audio file when it is transferred to the recording media. With digital files, there will always be some level of compression, and this compression can be significant depending on the length of the track and the desired file size.

Keep Your Records Clean for the Best Sound

Vinyl provides a unique audio experience that many people find superior to digital music. One way to ensure that you are getting the best audio quality possible from your vinyl albums is to invest in a record washer. Having clean and well-maintained records will make the music sound great and the albums last as long as possible.
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Three Reasons Why Vintage Vinyl Records Are Making a Comeback

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Turntables that play vinyl records reached their heyday in the 1970's and then began a slow decline as cassette tapes, compact discs and finally digital MP3 players rose in popularity. In recent years, vintage vinyl records have made a strong comeback in music lovers of all ages. Those who have maintained their albums using vinyl cleaner will find that their records sound just as good as they did 30 or 40 years ago. Consider these three reasons why vintage vinyl records are making a comeback in the 2010's.

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Better Sound Quality

If you listen to a song on your iPod with earbuds and then listen to the same song played on a vinyl record played on a turntable, you'll immediately notice the difference in sound quality. Vinyl records offer a depth of sound that is unparalleled when it comes to playing music on other media. This is especially true for songs that have a wide range of sounds, from deep bass to the high notes of an acoustic guitar.

Cover Art

The size of an album cover lends itself to being a fantastic canvas for cover art. As early as the 1950s and 1960s, music groups began to create elaborate logos, portraits, crests and other types of cover art. Many of these album covers are so beautiful that collectors sought them out as artwork rather than for the music on the vinyl record. Even current releases on vinyl feature artwork that is not included on CD cases.

Retro Appeal

Anything that is retro or vintage has had a resurgence in popularity. Baby Boomers are pulling out their collections from the 1960s through the 1980s, and their children are interested in these records as well. Classic rock groups such as Led Zeppelin and Queen continue to remain popular, with newly released material in 2014.

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Get In the Groove with Clean Vinyl Discs

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Care and preservation are key to enjoying vintage recorded materials; vinyl record accessories are essential tools for audio enthusiasts. Cleaning vinyl discs is among the vital tasks. Not only does dust and dirt interfere with sound reproduction, but the particles can also damage the imprinted surfaces and cause permanent loss of quality.

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Collectors to the Rescue

For collectors and fans of vintage vinyl recordings, care and attention to the condition are important. Collectors expend considerable time and effort to maintain the condition of their precious collections. Further, when obtained, many items require a deep cleaning to counter the effects of use and neglect. Reclaiming an old disc from poor condition to like new is a rewarding experience for vinyl record collectors. The surfaces of vinyl records are meant to handle the light pressure of a stylus. If improperly stored, the surfaces can bend and warp; if handled carelessly, oils from hands and fingers cause dirt build-ups in the grooves.

Cleaning and Preserving Vinyl Discs

Effective cleaning is a matter of lightly touching the surfaces and getting some action in the grooves to remove dust, dirt and particles. Harsh chemicals can affect the surfaces and render them more prone to dirt build-up. The most common approach is a soft cloth and a mild solution; however, effective cleaning requires a lot of rubbing. The grooves resist cleaning with soft damp cloth, and many materials leave lint in the grooves.

There are two recorded sides to most vinyl discs, and handheld cleaning techniques usually involve cleaning one side at a time. Many collectors use the spinning motion of the turntable to help clean discs, and some add a small brush near the stylus to track along the grooves.


Clean Sounds

The quality of a vinyl recording and a collection depend on the condition of the vinyl surfaces. Cleaning and maintenance are critical tasks for successful collectors. For those who simply enjoy vinyl discs that capture the style and music movements of past eras, clean discs add much to the experience.

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Reasons Why Vinyl Is Known as the Comeback Kid

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If you've paid a visit to a music store recently, you may have noticed an increasingly large vinyl section. This isn't just old vinyl the store is trying to unload, however, but new vinyl that has just been pressed. Classic albums are being re-released to reach a new generation, and many new bands are putting out special editions of their newest works on vinyl. To be sure, the current generation's fascination with all things retro contributes to the recent explosion of interest, but there is more to vinyl than just the hipster retro factor.

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The Sound

Any fan of vinyl knows that sound is all important. MP3s, while the current king of the musical world, have compressed sound that comes across as flat and lifeless. This may be adequate for someone blasting the latest pop hits on a pair of cheap earbuds, but for anyone who appreciates audio quality, the warmth and dynamics of vinyl -- when played on quality speakers--presents an unparalleled audio experience.

The Look

Album artwork represents some of the most creative pieces of art of the 20th century and beyond. Soulless digital files rarely come with art included, and even compact disc cases are far too small to effectively display some of the fantastic artwork found on albums.

The Collectability

While so much entertainment today is presented in a solely digital format, some people have rediscovered (or discovered for the first time) the joys of tangible collections of music. The satisfaction of having a large physical collection of music can't really be quantified, but those who collect know the emotional satisfaction of having their favorite music on display. Vinyl can be shared and passed down to later generations, though it is absolutely essential to care for a collection through proper handling, storage and a high quality record cleaner
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Yard Sales Can Turn Vinyl to Gold after Cleaning

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A lot of collectible items can be found at yard sales. In some cases, record collections are dismantled and sold for a very low price. Most of the time, the owners just want to get rid of everything they can to make room for other stuff. Since technology provides alternative methods for listening to music, record owners often don't realize the value when putting a sticker on the cover at a yard sale.

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Prolonging the Beauty of Vinyl

After buying the albums that interest you most, keeping them clean is of utmost importance. Over the years, the records could have experienced a great deal of abuse. This is where a record washer could come in handy. In moments, you can revitalize the album to look good while playing without debris in the grooves.

Storage is important once you've cleaned the records purchased from the yard sale. Many collectors will store their vinyl in sealed chests free from humidity. In any event, you don't want the covers to become pressed together tightly for extended periods of time. The ink used could cause them to stick together. Some people will use separators while the records are in storage keeping the covers from touching.

Clean the Records When Selling to Collectors

Collectors usually want the album cover to be in prime condition. Depending on the environment the records were in, pristine condition may be out of the question. However, a washer can clean the vinyl restoring some of its allure. It may not be worth the entire amount from a collector without a mint album cover, but it can still be of value.

Keep the Vinyl in Superb Condition

Even if you don't play your records on a regular basis, it's still not a bad idea to wash them periodically. While being handled, particulates can become trapped within the cover. Perhaps the collection experienced a flood while being stored or other natural disaster. Oil from your fingers could also degrade the quality over time. Keep the vinyl in the best condition by using a washer for your records now and then.


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Why Cleaning Vinyl Records Regularly Is Vital

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Regardless of your motivation for building a record collection, it's in your best interest to protect it via regular cleanings. Preserving aesthetic appeal is hardly the only reason to bust out the vinyl cleaner and give your LPs a good polishing every now and then. In fact, there are at least two very good reasons to clean off your vinyl regularly that have nothing to do with maintaining that shiny, "fresh out of the plastic" look.


Loss of Resale Value

First of all, failure to clean vinyl records can result in damage to the discs that will ultimately hurt their resale value further down the road. Even if you don't plan on parting with your vinyl any time soon, neglecting your cleaning schedule can have a negative impact on other expensive pieces of equipment. For example, grungy records can damage highly sensitive turntable components. Therefore, keeping your vinyl clean is a good idea all around.

Reduction in Audio Quality

More important to most vinyl owners is the loss of audio quality that comes with forgetting to clean up those records. Vinyl is highly sensitive to dirt, dust and even skin oils left by fingerprints. Even small amounts of crud on your vinyl can make those 45s sound less than stellar. Fortunately, it's usually possible to reverse that audio degradation with a thorough brushing and a special liquid cleaner bath using a spin wash machine.

Cleaning Vinyl the Right Way

Generally speaking, cleaning vinyl is hardly rocket science. As long as you have the right tools for the job, it only takes a few minutes to make vinyl look and sound brand-new. The biggest mistake that you can make when caring for your records is using the wrong vinyl cleaner. Only use vinyl-specific cleaners to shake off the cobwebs, and your collection should be just fine.

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Where to Find Vintage Records

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on Monday, 23 March 2015
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Recent sales figures indicate a strong rise in the number of people shopping for records today. Some credit the hipster generation with this rise, while others point out famous artists like Lana Del Rey who release records in combination with digital media and physical media. Those looking for LPs can shop online, but online sellers don't always highlight the damage associated with those records. The vinyl may have small scratches or other damage the keeps the music from playing. If you want the best records for your collection, you'll want to examine each LP in person. Find out the best places to find records.

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Thrift Stores

Thrift stores are a gold mine for collectors, but you want to get away from chains like Goodwill and focus on independent thrift stores and mom and pop shops. Not only do those shops have lower prices, but you'll also find a wider selection and may even locate some hard to find releases. Thrift stores will also let you open each box and check out the vinyl inside. Make sure that you check the condition and ensure that the right record is inside.

Yard Sales and Flea Markets

Yard sales and flea markets are another great place to find records. Some flea markets even have vendors who specialize in LPs. Though you might find that you need to pay a little extra, you can track down records you never saw in real life before. You'll find even lower prices when you shop yard sales. Make sure that you get there early to beat all the other collectors in your city. Even if you find vinyl that isn't in perfect condition, you can use vinyl record accessories to restore those albums.

Why Shop Offline

Shopping online lets you search for specific artists and locate hard to find albums, but shopping offline fills you with excitement and lets you enjoy the hunt. While it might take longer for you to finish your collection, you'll have fun tracking down all the vinyl on your list.
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Fatal Flaws to Look for When Buying Used Vinyl Records

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on Monday, 16 March 2015
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Nothing beats the thrill of discovering a great deal on a used vinyl record at your local neighborhood music store or a rummage sale. While buying your records online is a great way to find rare releases, it's also a bit of a gamble. If you're buying used vinyl, you'll want to inspect it in person to ensure that it's going to play well. Carefully inspect any potential vinyl purchases for the following imperfections.

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Disc Warping

The first thing that you should do when pulling a vinyl record out of its sleeve for the first time is to check it for warping. Stick a finger through the spindle hole and ensure that the record features a uniform, level surface. Look for a noticeable bulge closer to the center of the disc. Note that certain kinds of vinyl such as RCA Dynaflex may appear to be slightly warped without affecting playback.

Scratches and Dings

The second and most important potential imperfection to look for is scratching. Depending on the type of disc, a slight scratch may not be picked up by your turntable. Inspect discs with a flashlight held at a 45-degree angle. What you really need to be on the lookout for are scratches that run diagonal to the grooves. These are far more likely to cause skips and distortion. Disregard slight accumulations of dust and grime as these can be washed off.

Looking After Used Records the Right Way

Once you've found a used record in acceptable condition, it's vital that you take care of it to avoid scratches and warping from cropping up. Store those discs in a climate-controlled room kept at roughly 65 degrees Fahrenheit with 50% humidity. Regular cleaning using a record cleaner and the correct liquid solution is equally important. As long as you put a little effort into vinyl maintenance, those used records will put out excellent sound for many years.



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Two Simple Ways to Prolong the Life of Your Vinyl

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on Monday, 09 March 2015
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If you're going to go to the trouble of assembling a superior vinyl collection, you owe it to yourself to take care of that investment. Contaminants like dust, fingerprints and even atmospheric moisture will gradually degrade the fidelity of your vinyl if you let them. In order to guarantee that records remain pristine over time, there are two crucial things that every hardcore audiophile and vinyl collector must do.


1) Store Them Properly

Firstly, vinyl records should only be stored in a controlled environment where they're not exposed to excessive moisture, heat or light. Get a decent humidifier or dehumidifier if need be to ensure that records don't warp. Furthermore, records should be stored standing upright rather than stacked one on top of another. Finally, be sure to store records inside clean paper inner sleeves. Double up on protection by storing records in outer sleeves as well.

2) Clean Them Regularly

Besides proper storage, vinyl records require cleaning on a regular basis to remove dust, lint and other gunk. Before and after playing a record, it's a good idea to use a chamois cloth, a microfiber cloth or an anti-static record brush to wipe off any debris. If you really care about your vinyl records, you'll need to actually wash them with a specialty fluid. A dedicated record washer machine is beneficial for larger collections. They're fairly inexpensive and speed up the cleaning process.

The Right Tools for the Job

One of the best reasons to buy vinyl records is the fact that they'll give you a lifetime of listening if you treat them right. Don't make the same mistake that so many casual vinyl collectors make by neglecting to properly care for your hardware. A small investment in the right storage and cleaning gear will ensure that your vinyl is still producing beautiful sounds decades from now.
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