Wetting LPs before copying them

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Marvin, Sep 6, 2001.

  1. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

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    A while back someone mentioned something about wetting LPs before copying them to CDs. I can't find that post anymore but I think it said that this would wreck the vinyl but produce one good copy. Has anyone out there tried doing this? Does this get rid of all surface noise or does it just reduce some types? Can it really be done only once? How wet is the LP supposed to be? Thanks...
     
  2. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Depends. Try www.audioasylum.com and search for "wet play" in the vinyl forum. There are conflicting opinions on this - the most prevelant one that I can find matches what you've heard - wet playing does seem to reduce surface noise, but once a record has been wet played, it needs to be wet played forever. It may also just redistribute the dirt on the record's surface, which would probably be a bad thing.
    As for "how wet", a few revolutions with a damp cloth/brush should be enough, you don't need to have it dripping wet.
    How much surface noise this will reduce depends a lot on your equipment, I think. I was pretty surprised when I discovered this, but my cartridge couldn't play some records on my old turntable at all, and now on my new turntable the same cartridge plays those same records with no problems - no noise, no distortion, nothing. I wasn't prepared for such a dramatic difference.
     
  3. Burke Strickland

    Burke Strickland Second Unit

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    In my experience, a much better alternative to "wet play" (which can damage the stylus mount, if it gets wet, by the way) is to do a "professional" cleaning job with a wet-clean/dry vacuuming system such as the Nitty Gritty Record Cleaning System http://www.nittygrittyinc.com/ , or competing units from VPI.
    The Nitty Gritty uses a "turntable" to rotate the disc past a set of velvet "lips" which are wetted with a special cleaning solution, which is then vacuumed off alomg with the dirt for a dry, clean playing surface. The devices from Nitty Gritty vary in price based on how many of the various steps of the process are automated, ranging from manual application of the fluid and manual turning of the disc while cleaning and vaccuming to automating the fluid application and motor drving the rotation.
    The net result is a clean disc that is safe to play (and store) and that will sound much better because the debris has been removed from the grooves. Of course really heavily soiled records may need a couple of treatments to get it all, and it does not restore scratched records, but it is a valuable addition to the equipment of anyone serious about vinyl LPs or shellac 78s (different fluid is used for each, but the process is the same.)
    Burke
     
  4. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I have heard the same thing, that once you've played a record wet, it must always be played wet after that. But it's certainly good for more than 1 good spin.
    One thing to be careful of, is if the record is wet, that the end of the record *stays* wet through the time spent getting through the beginning of the record (20 min or so).
    And I would also agree, that a better way to go, is to just clean the lps really well, rather than play them wet.
    Stupid question: [​IMG]
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  5. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Oops!
    Q: Wet with deionized or distilled water? I can never remember.
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  6. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the responses. It sounds like this isn't a unanimous recommendation.
    I currently use a wet-cleasning method (Discwasher) though it's nowhere as elaborate as that nittygritty cleaner. But it does seem to get the records clean.
    But this will, at best, get rid of dirt that's currently on the LP and wouldn't do anything about surface noise from other sources (e.g record wear). Maybe I can apply more of that discwasher fluid so it doesn't dry right away or, more likely, try the water method on an LP that can be sacrificed.
    Any other opinions out there?
     
  7. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I would recommend *not* using Discwasher fluid for the all-wet playback. It is supposed to be water, but whether dionized or distilled, I can't remember.
    I am pretty sure that the Discwasher fluid has surfactants, light detergents, maybe even a solvent or 2 in it. I wouldn't think it's a good thing to play a record with that stuff on it.
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  8. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  9. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I've never heard of such a thing. I use the old Discwasher and I think it works just fine for the LP recording that I do. But I'm not very critical.
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    Philip Hamm
    Pat's the best!™
    AIM: PhilBiker
    click on the little green house to see the evolution of my home theater!
     

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