Post By: Alan
It's unfortunate, but true. While vinyl records provide the sweetest sounds, they won't for very long if you do not maintain them properly. Vinyl records are victims to many of the same ailments as CDs, particularly scratches, and exposure to sunlight and heat. Vinyl records also suffer from various other problems as well. Here are 9 tips that will keep your vinyl in great shape...
Maintenance Tip #1: Store Vinyl Records Vertically
The first thing to consider when storing your vinyl is the direction. You should always store your vinyl records vertically. By storing them vertically, there is significantly less stress put on the record, ensuring that they don't bend or deform over time.
Maintenance Tip #2: Don't Store Vinyl Records Horizontally
Vinyl should never be stored horizontally, especially under a pile of other records, or other heavy object(s). The weight causes damage to the grooves over time, degrading the sound quality over time.
Maintenance Tip #3: Don't Let Vinyl Records Lean
Vinyl should not be allowed to lean either. This can cause them to warp, and you can imagine the difficulties this causes.
Maintenance Tip #4: Don't Store Vinyl Records Too Tightly
One other tip, don't store records too tightly, even vertically, as this also puts pressure on the grooves, deforming them over time. This is the same reason why you shouldn't store vinyl records horizontally under other records or heavy objects.
Mainteance Tip #5: Keep Your Records Cool!
Vinyl should also be stored in a cooler portion of your house. Heat causes the records to get softer, and prone to bending and damage. You should never store your vinyl near a window or heater.
Maintenance Tip #5: Keep Your Records Away From Humidity
Take care to keep your vinyl away from humidity. Humidity eventually causes mold to grow, which can lead to damage to your record and cover sleeve. It's really difficult to get mold and dirt out of those tiny record grooves. Treat your vinyl with respect! Don't throw it in your basement or attic for 20 years and expect them to come out looking good.
Maintenance Tip #6: Always Store Your Records in their Sleeves
Vinyl should not be stored outside of its liner or sleeve. This makes it easier for the record to get dirty, and more prone to scratches. Dirt is one of the main things that scratches records. In addition to dirt causing damage, exposed vinyl can be damaged by the sun's UV rays. This is another reason not to store your vinyl near a window or natural light source.
Maintenance Tip #7: Always Handle Vinyl Records by the Edges
When handling your vinyl, the same rules apply as with CDs. Be careful to handle the record only by its edges. Don't be careless with the record in hand, if it drops, you could cause a bad scratch, causing the record to skip, and damaging the record permanently.
Maintenance Tip #8: Be Careful With The Stylus
If you don't have an automatic turntable, be gentle with the stylus (needle). Don't set it down too heavily. Be mindful while the record is playing too: Try not to shake the turntable, causing the needle to skip across the record, causing minor scratches that degrade the sound of the record.
Maintenance Tip #9: Brush the Record, and Return It To Its Sleeve
Lastly, when you're done playing your record, you should give it a quick brush to remove any dust and static. Finally, return it to its sleeve. If you plan on listening to your vinyl for any decent period of time, you should absolutely invest in a carbon fiber record brush.
That's it, folks! 9 Tips for keeping your vinyl LPs in great shape.
Enjoy the music!
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