Saturday, July 25, 2009

Update on the steam cleaning process

Well, a frenzy of vinyl playing (or rather, pulling out old LP's to play and being rather disturbed by their less than pristine condition) forced my hand and I succumbed to the temptation of a steam cleaner. Today I set up the VPI 16.5, grabbed a test LP, and convinced I could do it without warping the life out of them, I proceeded to steam clean then VPI-clean (with final steam rinse) a set of old Who, Waterboys and Deep Purple albums, a mix of original old purchases from younger days and recent pick up's on e-bay. As I write, the Waterboys "Whole of the Moon" is spinning on the Aries and sounding pretty good to my ears. Put simply, I never really felt one go on the VPI did it, I ended uo doing it twice on each clean to make sure I got the benefit. The steam cleaning now replaces the double scrub, and the results seem worth it. OK, none of these LPs are audiophile wonders, but I'm never going to replace them all with new or remastered releases, and they are all recordings I still enjoy. With the new cleaning regime, I can actually enjoy spinning the LP and not feel I am gunking up my pricey new cartridge. Just don't let anyone see you do this or your sanity surely will be questioned, but then, you're an audiophile, it's probably too late anyhow.

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