Vinyl Saturdays and Spin Clean
As digital convenience grows in the form of the digital player, be it an iPod/iPhone, MP3 player or a network player, we in the industry have seen an explosion and re-discovery of what is becoming the most natural form of music reproduction our species has developed.
The almighty record player.
There has been a massive surge in interest in record players. The motivations for this are plentiful:
In the evolution of music reproduction there’s been a gradual dumbing down of our musical listening experience in the interest of convenience or portability.
Think Vinyl>CD>Tape>Cassette>Mini Disc>MP3>iPod>iPhone>…
There is an appeal in both the retrospective, and the romantic aspects of listening to a record.
The concept of owning something physical to admire and handle has great appeal. Right down to reading sleeve notes, getting free posters. Many new pressings give you a free digital download so you can have the best of both worlds.
The care associated with handling a record could be symbolic of either the deliberate nature of listening to an album in full, or can be treated with the recklessness of the true rock stars from the golden age of vinyl, that ultimately lives and breathes in their music.
My Early “Hi-Fi”
As i was growing up, I had in my room some hand-me-down “Hi-Fi”. I had my father’s old Phillips receiver (I‚Äôve tried to find photos from Google images, but it appears it‚Äôs a bit rare, and not to be confused with modern Philips equipment), that never got to breathe it‚Äôs full glory. My speakers, with their hand-built-by-my-brother cabinets and the ‚Äúwide range‚Äù speakers in said box were ok in the mid range but not very good anywhere else. The best part about speakers set up was the hand built cabinet, a rudimentry affair, solid, but proudly showing off it‚Äôs particle board construction.
I quickly established there was detail missing and resolved it by turning up the treble. (That‚Äôs the only resource I had at the time). This not withstanding, my biggest frustration was dirty records and a dirty stylus and the fact that my record player (also a hand me down) got worse towards the end of the record. It‚Äôs no surprise (in hindsight) that I‚Äôve ended up advocating the concept of investing in good gear!
A decent cartridge stylus upgrade makes a big difference to getting the information rather than noise off the record, but it needs to be clean first!
Enter Spin Clean.
Spectacular low cost record cleaning
As a result in our unprecedented levels of interest and therefore sales of turntables, at The Listening Post Wellington we‚Äôve decided to hold ‚ÄúVinyl Saturday‚Äù, where our shop music consists of playing records exclusively. (Currently on a Project 2-Xperience Acrylic Superpack with an Ortofon 2m Blue cartridge) throughout the day. Of course we‚Äôre still doing demo‚Äôs with whatever source you want!
We‚Äôve got a few cool records around the shop but I decided to bring in a few classics from home. I was reminded how many of these are hand-me-downs from the folks‚Äô collection from when I was knee high to a grass-hopper.
There was a large amount of distortion from either being over-played, or they were plain dirty.
Around the time of my birthday, Mother was ringing asking what she could do for that little gift. We had just started vinyl Saturdays and as I could think of nothing else, suggested a Spin Clean Record Washing System would be a great idea.
Spin Clean claims to remove dirt from the grooves of your record instead of trying to wipe it away or grinding it in. This reduces wear on your records and needle, but more importantly, it makes your records sound better.
How much better?
One of the records I brought in was a 20 year old Blues Brothers album that sounded, frankly awful. It was low volume, noisy, tinny, and the embodyment of all that people have against vinyl. It was the first one we gave the Spin Clean treatment to. Once we gave it a good bath and dried the record off, it certainly
Vinyl Saturdays and Spin Clean