By Roland LorenzoThe crackle and pop sounds that can be heard when a vinyl LP plays mean that dirt has found its way into the grooves. To achieve the best sound, audiophiles and casual listeners alike should consider the following tips for record care.1. Store them properly, preferably upright. Stacking can lead to warping, cracking, or ring wear on the album cover. Additionally, keep records away from heat sources.2. Handle with care. Pick up a record by the center hole or between the palms of clean hands (use archival gloves if you are really particular). The body’s natural oils attract dust, which can distort sound quality.3. Take care when playing them. To raise and lower the needle on your turntable, use the cueing lever to avoid gouging the grooves with a slip of the hand. Do not lift the needle before the music ends. Always wait for the turntable platter to stop spinning completely before picking up the record.4. Clean them with the right tools and fluids. Serious collectors often invest in a vacuum record cleaner, which applies a cleaning solution, spins the record so that a soft brush can loosen dirt and oil, and vacuums away the grime and moisture. To clean an LP by hand, you can use a special solution along with a high-quality cleaning brush. Once records are clean, they require a touch up via a carbon fiber brush before and after playing.Equity finance executive and Naples, Florida, resident Roland Lorenzo enjoys a lifelong hobby of collecting and restoring vinyl records. He estimates his collection to stand at more than 750 selections.
- New York US-NY