Posts Tagged ‘records’

WARNING- Read this if you collect records

Friday, February 20th, 2015

I recently saw a link to this article about PVC sleeves and how they might be affecting the records within:

Can PVC record sleeves damage vinyl

Comparison of good vs damaged records

Reading through pretty much the whole thread has just convinced me to throw away many hundreds of PVC sleeves that I’ve had my most prized/expensive records stored in.

Searching around, this knowledge has been around for a while, but none of the people I’ve spoken to who collect records were aware of the issue, so it seemed sensible to write this post to help spread the word.

If you can’t be bothered with reading through the whole thing, I’ll summarise: it’s mainly the outer sleeves that are the issue- the thick, fairly rigid ones, normally textured around the edge. Yep- the very things that we’ve bought to protect our records could be irreversibly damaging them. The consensus seems to be that something (plasticisers, oils?) is leeching out of the PVC, transferring through the cardboard & inner sleeves (even plastic inner sleeves in some cases) over time and affecting the vinyl of the record itself. This is referred to by some as “off-gassing” or “out-gassing”. Some people say that plastic inner sleeves are a potential problem too. Acid free paper inner sleeves are safest from a chemical perspective. Other people avoid paper like the plague due to the the dust it transfers to the record. It seems the whole subject of record preservation is a minefield.

Sure, it’s inconclusive and seems to be more likely in hotter/more humid climates and seems to depend on the manufacturer of the record, but there’s around 10 people from around the world in the thread that I linked to above that have lost lots of records from having them stored in PVC sleeves. I decided the safest bet is to ditch all of mine. Just not worth the risk.

Thin polythene sleeves like they often have in record shops are fine. Mylar (trade name for polyester) are the best, but expensive and hard to find. According to people in that thread who sound like they know what they’re talking about, the most inert and cost effective are polypropylene. I’ve just bought 100 of these to try and I prefer them to the polythene sleeves as they are slightly thicker, so don’t tend to slide off so easily when putting records back into place on the shelf. I’ll be getting more.

Sadly, the PVC sleeves are still widely available. I used to prefer them as they offer more protection to physical damage. Let’s help spread the word about these potential vinyl killers. Please pass this on this to anyone you know who collects records. Too much vinyl has been lost already.

Further reading

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Posted in All things vinyl, analogue | 4 Comments »

Back to Analog: Vinyl Holds On

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

No matter how many times people have predicted the death of vinyl over the years, it refuses to go away. Many releases by bands old and new, on small and large labels, are still pressed up as records. It’s not just the older generation that are continuing the tradition, but younger generations are discovering the joys of vinyl’s great look and feel. In a world of the virtual, it’s a reassuringly real medium.

“Analog (or analogue) recording (Greek, ana is “according to” and logos “relationship”) is a technique used to store signals of audio or video information for later playback.
Analog recording methods store audio signals as a continual wave in or on the media. The wave might be stored as a physical texture on a phonograph record, or a fluctuation in the field strength of a magnetic recording. This is different from digital recording, which converts audio signals into discrete numbers. “


Fed up with the music industry’s rip-off tactics: buy it on vinyl, throw away your vinyl & rebuy it on CD, throw away your CDs & rebuy it on MiniDisc, throw away your MiniDiscs & rebuy it on Audio DVD, throw away your ADVDs & rebuy it as a digital download… People are now realising that the whole cycle is an unnecessary waste of money where the main beneficiary is the music business (rarely the musicians).
Many who dumped their old LPs wish that they hadn’t.

“Remember all that talk in the Eighties when shiny, allegedly indestructible CDs came out, about how the days of the LP were numbered? Well, just recently exactly the opposite has started to happen: it’s the CD, the experts are now saying, that will soon be obsolete. It’s vinyl that’s here to stay.”
The Daily Mail (16/7/09)
“I think it’s very possible that the CD might become obsolete in an age of download music but the vinyl record will survive.”
Alex Needham (NME) via Crave

With companies like The Vinyl Factory keeping the production going, it looks like there’ll be no shortage of great records to play on our trusty turntables.

“This may explain why the archaic LP is enjoying an odd surge of popularity among younger listeners: it’s a modest rebellion against the tyranny of instant access.”
Alex Ross, The New Yorker
“Best Buy is giving vinyl a spin.
The consumer-electronics giant, which happens also to be the third-largest music seller behind Apple’s iTunes and Wal-Mart, is considering devoting eight square feet of merchandising space in all of its 1,020 stores solely to vinyl, which would equate to just under 200 albums, after a test in 100 of its stores around the country proved successful.
Though vinyl represents less than 5 percent of Best Buy’s music sales, the format is growing while CD sales continue to shrink. “

Peter Lauria, The New York Post 27/4/09

Further Reading

A Canadian scientist recently discovered that teens prefer vinyl to CDs.

Rock dinosaurs keep plodding along.

Time: Vinyl gets its groove back

The Guardian (UK) about the increase in UK vinyl sales in 2007.

BBC Blog: Vinyl Hope.

BBC: Oxfam cashing in on record collectors.

BBC: Vinyl production back in fashion.

CNET’s The Audiophiliac Vinyl: Not just for audiophiles?

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Posted in All things vinyl, Retro | 1 Comment »

How Vinyl is Made

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009


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Posted in All things vinyl, analogue | No Comments »

Novel Way To Clean Records

Monday, July 6th, 2009

There have been times when I’ve bought records which could do with a really good clean. In future I might use this approach: to spread a thin layer of PVA wood glue over the record with a credit card, let it dry and peel it off. More information at Audio Karma.Via HiFi Tubes.

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Posted in All things vinyl, Weird & Wonderful | No Comments »