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Static On Records, Solution to Alleviate.
Engelsstaub
post Jul 13 2012, 06:22
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Hey, guys: I was just wondering what some of you use to get rid of static on your LPs. I've been getting a few lately (usually from EU manufacturers) that are just loaded and impossible to play (and record) without an obnoxious amount of crackle. I try to kill it with an anti static cloth and some distilled water and it only seems to partially mitigate the problem.

Has anyone ever tried Static Guard? I'm not so eager to spend $99 USD on that static gun-thing, but all advice is appreciated.


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AndyH-ha
post Jul 13 2012, 11:24
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I'm sure I've written on treating static in at least two threads. I don't have the energy to do rewriting, or searching, right now, so it's up to you.

I'm sure there are disagreements, but I've never found the Zerostat to do much of anything useful.

Static from static electricity, such as one might hope to fight with a Zerostat, attracts dust , Styrofoam, bits of paper, etc. to the LP surface. It can be prevented with an anti-static treatment. See the first sentence above.

A crackly sound that is part of the disk or the recording thereon will not be effected by any such treatment. It might be remedied with software decrackling, after recording. I've written on the steps of the Younglove technique, or the Younglove script, as it is often called (because Younglove developed a script to do it in CoolEdit). It should be easy to accomplish in most editors if one understands what needs to be done. I don't know if I referred to it as Younglove or just as decrackling when I explained how to go about it. Then, various software packages include their own methods of decrackling.
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mzil
post Jul 13 2012, 18:58
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You might try playing the records wet by misting the top surface with distilled water. [Actually, making the water slightly condcutive with say a tiny pinch of salt (per gallon) may be helpful in your "static problem" case , IDK, just don't use enough salt such that once dried it leaves any residue]

I've never done this but I've heard it has several advantages but also a major disadvantage. Once a record has been played wet it may have trouble being played back on any alternate needle configuration [spherical, elliptical, HE, micro line, etc] to the one you play it wet with, and never again can it be played dry without new issues which may be even worse.

The explanation given to me was that the water and the existing dirt/debris forms a "mud" which is successfully scraped through by the first needle but then deposits in areas the needle doesn't touch, and once hardened there makes that surface terrible for any other needle configuration which might attempt to use that soiled surface.

This post has been edited by mzil: Jul 13 2012, 19:16
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mixminus1
post Jul 13 2012, 22:33
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@OP: Are you sure it's static and not just lots of surface noise from imperfections in the vinyl itself?

I've had a few newer records have surprising amounts of surface noise that no amount of cleaning (with a vacuum machine) eliminated, and static didn't appear to be an issue (the records were perfectly shiny black after cleaning).


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Engelsstaub
post Jul 14 2012, 01:11
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Thanks for the posts guys.

mixminus1:I'm not certain if it was the static it just seemed to always happen with such records. I dread putting them on my TT when they are that loaded (wish I had a rubber mat rather than a felt one.) It's like nails on a chalkboard to me and I keep thinking it has to be terrible for the needle and everything that comes in contact with it.

Andy: I will snoop around and look for your older posts. Your help is always appreciated here so it's worth searching for IMO smile.gif

mzil: That sounds like a good reason for me to stay away from wet-playing. I want to experiment with different needles in the future.


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splice
post Jul 14 2012, 02:40
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Breathe gently around the stylus area while the disc is playing. The intention is to make the air around the stylus high in humidity. If this momentarily reduces or eliminates the crackling, static is the likely cause and you should proceed to try the usual cures.


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Engelsstaub
post Jul 14 2012, 11:56
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QUOTE (splice @ Jul 13 2012, 20:40) *
Breathe...


I'll give that a try. I only have but one that is still pretty loaded with static at the mo, but it's not my intention to play it anytime soon. (Waiting to move next month and buy some new equipment for recording it on the first play.) FWIW I've noticed that some of the most egregious examples in the past are those that are in conventional inner-sleeves. The type that are semi-glossy and have lyrics and liner notes.

I hope RonaldDumsfeld reads this. I'd love to hear what he has to say. I've been thinking of using Static Guard spray, but I don't dare unless I can be reasonably sure it won't damage the vinyl.


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AndyH-ha
post Jul 15 2012, 08:08
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From some notes I found, this is the antic-static treatment I use, applied after I clean the LP. It will have no effect on a sound problem that does not arise from static electricity.

I've been using an anti-static treatment for some years now. It is one-time and permanent (can be cleaned off with a bit of effort). It reduces static below anything I can detect. It makes dealing with LPs much more pleasant: no longer the inner liners sticking to the LP, no longer the LP trying to take the mat off the turntable's platter, no longer dust being sucked in on the LP at every exposure.

The material is Cyastat SN, one of a number of probably equally effective cationic surfactants that should be available in quantity from many chemical supplies distributors. It was, and possibly still is, available from Old Colony Sound Labs (PO Box 876, Peterborough NH 03458), either by itself or as part of the "Williamson Record Care Kit."

The Cyastat is mixed after purchase with distilled water and isopropyl alcohol to make a 0.5% solution. I found that this solution dried before I could get the few necessary drops spread over the LP surface, so I diluted it 100% with more water to make a 0.25% solution. This is more convenient and works without any problem. I apply it with a Last brush, as that brush's small surface area absorbs the least amount of solution, but any record cleaning brush should work.

People have raised the fear that this treatment will somehow 'color' the sound, or produce some other undesirable effect. I have done what comparisons I could, including making before and after recordings both for a normal de-static treatment and for a multiple application treatment in which I applied six times the normal amount of Cyastat (allowing complete drying between applications).

The recordings were made through a quality 24 bit, 96kHz soundcard and analyzed with audio software. I can neither hear any difference nor measure any difference in the audio; the treatment just eliminates static from the disk surface.
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Engelsstaub
post Jul 15 2012, 09:19
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Thanks, Andy. I'll settle on your advice and give it a go that way. smile.gif


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cliveb
post Jul 16 2012, 08:43
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QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Jul 13 2012, 11:24) *
A crackly sound that is part of the disk or the recording thereon will not be effected by any such treatment. It might be remedied with software decrackling, after recording. I've written on the steps of the Younglove technique, or the Younglove script, as it is often called (because Younglove developed a script to do it in CoolEdit).

For more info about the Younglove technique, see here:
http://delback.co.uk/lp-cdr.htm#clean_decrackle
That discussion in turn has a link to an archive of the original thread where Younglove described their method.
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Engelsstaub
post Jul 16 2012, 11:43
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I just finished reading that, cliveb, and it was very interesting. I'm going to try it out. I also bookmarked the page so I can read the whole thing later. Thanks for your valuable input.


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DVDdoug
post Jul 16 2012, 17:22
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I never had any noise that I would directly attribute to static electricity. The only problem for me was the attraction of dust.

As far as the static-like crackle, that's part of the "vinyl experience". biggrin.gif
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RonaldDumsfeld
post Jul 28 2012, 18:03
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At the grave risk of offending an infinite # of TOSses and based on a totally inadequate not to say unscientific sample I think it's people who have a differing tendency to attract static not records.

The g/f is always getting mildy shocked by random doorknobs, elevator handrails, 1990s Detroit Techno and the like whilst it rarely happens to me. Shame really.

My vinyl hygiene routines are pretty basic. Clean it thoroughly on first acquisition. Lighter fuel for bad cases, simple brush and lint free cloth for brand new stuff. Very occasional wet clean with distilled H2O rinse for old friends. Quick brush up every time they get played (both sides). Replace plastic inner sleeve with paper. Inspect, clean and replace stylii regularly. If you cannot afford to get a new one often enough it's too expensive.

Anything that doesn't respond to the above usually gets binned and replaced, usually by a digital version. I do have a system of identifying personal favourites which I'd be embarrassed to play publicly but cannot bring myself to put out of their misery.

There is a surprising amount of old stuff, particularly in my case 6Ts soul, that just sounds crackly and there is nothing you can do about it 'cause they lost the masters decades ago and the only surviving copy belongs to some bloke living in Hebdon Bridge. Still brilliant music though. You just gotta embrace it in all it's glory.
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Engelsstaub
post Jul 28 2012, 19:21
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I've never thought to try lighter fuel before.

I guess I learned that (static aside) there's just certain labels I won't buy vinyl from. Usually after they burn me twice with low-quality overpriced crap I won't even reconsider no matter how much I want the album. Most really egregious examples get traded in at my local record store for credit towards other vinyl and CDs. Like you, I have a few that I can't bring myself to part with even though they are in "poor-like new" shape. Luckily I have digital copies of all of them.

FWIW: I'm not having so much trouble with the static anymore. I was a bit foolish to attribute excessive surface noise to static and didn't realize that I was just fighting the dust that the static brought with it.


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stephan_g
post Aug 4 2012, 14:17
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You may want to dig through this thread.

Once I get my new (well, ~32-year-new) turntable and it's got a decent cartridge, I'll definitely be trying wet playing.
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Engelsstaub
post Aug 4 2012, 22:08
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Thanks, Stephan. I'll check that out. I would consider wet-playing too if I can be convinced that it isn't damaging the records.

What sort of TT are you getting (if you don't mind me asking?)


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