Nina and the art of record cleaning

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This is really just a postscrpit to my words on record cleaning of a few evenings ago.

Do you think cleaning sealed unplayed records is worthwhile?  Here is perhaps an extreme example, but illustrative, of what you can get “fresh” out the packet.

Today a sealed copy of Nina Simone at Newport arrived in the post – nobody else bid for it, even at a low starting price.  From what I have gleaned from some searching, the look of the cover and the brittleness of the shrinkwrap, I would say it has been sealed for getting on for 50 years since manufacture.  On opening it I found the record in a paper inner sleeve and vinyl has all the tell-tales of the era i.e. strange horrible marks all over it

ImageTo start with I applied the carbon brush on either side. I removed the resultant dust line with a fresh piece of blu-tack about an inch long (25mm). The photo shows the dirt collected from just one side – I guess it is the effect of sitting in a paper inner sleeve for so long.

I then did a quick manual clean using Disc Doctor Miracle Cleaner – which is a clear solution – and you can seen the result – a murky brown colour – urgh.  A second clean with some left over Walker Audio Enzyme cleaner also resulted in a discoloured solution – albeit not nearly so bad – before a machine clean.

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I didn’t play the record before cleaning so cannot say what it would have sounded like – but after cleaning  there is some surface noise and some odd glitches but generally it sounded great – very listenable.  The recording  is variable, but it is a  live recording so it does depend a bit on the performer –  there is also some left and right stereo separation common of early stereo records.

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