Re: vinyl storage (not really U2 related)

Elizabeth Platt ([email protected])
Mon, 31 Aug 1998 00:50:08 -0700 (PDT)

On Thu, 13 Aug 1998, matthew tate <[email protected]> wrote:

> Hi. My collection of U2 vinyl is steadily growing, and I was wondering
> what is the best way to store it without damaging the records or
> sleeves. I am only 20, so I kind of missed the vinyl era. Right now I
> just have them stacked in one of my closets, with most of them in the
> little plastic covers from the record stores. I do play most of these
> records occasionally.
> Thanks,
> Matt

Hi Matt: Dunno if anyone has answered your privately, but I do think this
is a subject worthy of a bit of bandwidth on this list!

A couple of random tips for handling/storing vinyl:

--> Need I remind you: Never touch the surface with your fingers! Oil!
Grease! Grit! Dirt! Handle by the edges only.

--> Also in the need-I-remind-you category: Never lay a vinyl disc
that's out of it's sleeve/jacket on any surface other than your turntable.
This may sound obvious, but I recall a lot of my peers (siblings, kids at
school, etc.) who would flop their records onto the floor, table tops,
etc., as if it wouldn't damage their records. It did--and that's why some
older vinyl is so hard to find these days....

--> Related to this, don't stack vinyl on a turntable. Most modern
turntables don't have a spindle that would accommodate this, but in the
dark ages, when I was a kid, it was actually encouraged. You could buy
special spindles/adapters that let you stack 45's and even albums like
pancakes. Grind, grind, grind! Another reason why old vinyl in good
conditions is hard to find, etc. I have seen vinyl neophytes try this,
even with newer turntables!

--> Always store records (of any size) in an _upright_ position. Laying
them flat will make them warp. Vertical is good. Horizontal is bad.

--> Avoid extreme temperatures, especially heat. Any source of heat
coming too close to your vinyl is a no-no: sunlight through windows, a
car on a hot day, a car trunk, lighting fixtures, etc.

--> Leaving the shrinkwrap (the plastic) on your vinyl is OK, _unless_ you
get a batch that keeps on shrinking as it ages. This will eventually warp
your record (at any temperature). Remove any overly tight or
ever-shrinking plastic; you can replace it with a polyethylene/plastic
sleeve for more protection.

--> Consider getting a simple record-cleaning kit, like the "Discwasher
D4" brush + fluid set. There are some incredibly expensive
record-cleaning devices out there for serious collectors and audiophiles,
but they run to the hundreds of dollars. Then there are folks who make do
with anti-static cloths and home-brewed cleaning solutions. I figure
spending $20 for a Discwasher kit is a reasonable choice!

--> Consider buying a turntable felt; this may be a bit of overkill for a
home system (for DJs or anyone who cues up records, its a necessity), but
it does give a bit of extra cushion to things....

--> Replace your stylus/cartridge/needle as needed--it used to be figured
based on number of hours of use of the turntable, and/or once a year. Now
that I spend a fair amount of time listening to music on CDs (and
occasionally on tape), I can stretch it to "every other year" (or so).

Does all this work? Well, look at it this way: I have vinyl older than
you, that's still in great-to-mint condition, despite being moved all over
the place, a house fire, and the odd earthquake or two (I live in San
Francisco), etc. Yes, a few albums over the years have gotten dinged or
damaged, but frankly, I've lost more records to light-fingered siblings
and roommates than physical damage!

By the way, there are places that cater especially to collectors, where
you can buy poly sleeves, special-sized storage boxes, mailers, etc.
I just ordered up a batch of boxes for my albums and 7" records from a
place that regularly advertises in Goldmine magazine, called Bags
Unlimited. They list their Web site at:

Hope this helps a bit!


Elizabeth Platt
[email protected]

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