The Beginners Guide to Vinyl
If you’ve made the decision to start collecting vinyl records, you’re part of an ever-growing group of people. When it comes to collecting and maintaining vinyl, there are some tips and tactics to bear in mind. What follows is an essential beginners guide to vinyl.
Proper Handling of a Vinyl Record
Although a vinyl record has an outward appearance of being durable, it demands care when being handled. There is a myriad of things that can be harmful to vinyl. These include dust, dirt, fingerprints, smoke, liquids, or damage occurred through the delivery process of your records if not packaged well.
When handling vinyl, always gently remove a record from its cover. You need to ensure that you only touch a record by its edges. You absolutely must be very careful about keeping a record from falling to the floor.
Once a record is out of its protective sleeve, you must be vigilant about following these directives. The fact is that even one errant finger smudge can impact the sound quality of a vinyl record. The most general types of mistakes you need to avoid with vinyl are stacking records, leaving records out of sleeves, packing records too tightly together or losing the original sleeve and cover or jacket.
Provide Proper Maintenance of Your Vinyl Collection
A key component of properly maintaining your vinyl collection is to make sure your individual records are properly stored and protected. There are protective coverings available specifically for protecting vinyl records (and record jackets).
Beyond protecting vinyl from getting scratched or damaged, the next most important maintenance task is preventing the accumulation of dust. If dust does collect, the mission then becomes eliminating it. The ultimate objective of eliminating dust is removing it from the grooves and not driving it further in. Heavier duty cleaning might necessitate the use of a cleaning solution. You can make your own solution or buy one; there are many on the market.
Safely Playing Vinyl Records
The first step associated with correctly playing a vinyl record is to make certain you are using the right needle for a particular record. You also need to make certain that you never play vinyl using a dull needle.
You should dust a record both before and after use. You should also keep a turntable covered between uses. Finally, if a record gets stuck while being played, you need to tend to it immediately. The failure to do so can result in serious damage to a record in some instances.
Preserve the Value of a Vinyl Record
If you are interested in obtaining vinyl records to build an ultimately valuable collection, there are issues to pay attention to when it comes to the preserving the value of individual records in a collection.
In addition to protecting the vinyl record itself, you also need to take all steps necessary to protect and preserve the covers in good condition. This necessitates ensuring that the entire album, record and cover, are properly engulfed in a protective sleeve.
Written exclusively for Duplion, by Jessica Kane, a writer for SoundStage Direct, the number one online source for the best vinyl records and turntables.