Many of us consider vinyl crackle to be a “signature sound” of playing a record on a turntable. However, if you hear a lot of it, it means that the record is dirty and requires cleaning. Take a look at why exactly this sound that you know and love might be a warning sign for you to start using a fitting record cleaning liquid.
Vinyl crackle: your best friend and your worst enemy
The most beloved and cherished sound to any fan of analogue audio is the signature “crackling” and “popping” noises that one hears when a vinyl record is played on a turntable. A lot of times this particular sound is an actual argument in the whole “analogue vs digital” holy war that has been transpiring ever since CDs were introduced; devotees of analogue almost treat the record as if it’s a living, breathing creature, and that particular noise is, in a way, its form of communication. For a casual listener this might seem a bit over-the-top, but to audio aficionados, listening to music feels like a transcendental spiritual experience, akin to the sensation devout Christians feel in the midst of a prayer, or Indian gurus during meditation. Therefore, it would only make sense that putting a record on the turntable and setting up the stylus feels like a magical ritual, where every action and noise has profound deeper meaning.
Transcendental procedures aside, there is a fairly mundane explanation of the “language” spoken by the record when it’s being played. Simply put, this has to do with the imperfections of the technology of pressing vinyl records: density and age of the material, size of the disk, even the type of dye used on the record contributes to the overall effect. Thus, the initial crackle is cause by the stylus tackling these imperfections head-on. But can all of the noise heard during playtime be attributed only to these technicalities?
The answer is rather blunt – of course not. The remaining noise (which, unfortunately, doesn’t have any spiritual value and is there to just spoil your listening experience) is caused by two primary factors: dust and static. Their origin is pretty obvious: grooves that are present on the surface of the disk make a perfect place for accumulating dust (and other foreign substances); as for static, its appearance is caused by the spinning motion of the record combined with the friction of the stylus touching the disk. So far, so simple, right? Now let’s see how we tackle fixing this issue.
Reducing vinyl crackle
At first glance this doesn’t seem all that complicated: we have to deal with various surfaces collecting dust all the time in our houses, so we should just use a brush and remove it, correct? Well… No. See, most surfaces in your house don’t have microgrooves (and usually aren’t meant to be played on a turntable), which is why brushing works. In this case, you’ll ensure the presence of noise upon further use of the record, as the dust will be pushed further into the depths of the disk beyond the point where it would actually be possible to remove it. Only a really good ultrasonic record cleaner would be able to help, but these machines aren’t exactly cheap to acquire, either.
When we switch our attention to static, the problem looks simple as well: we’ll just use a special brush and viola, no static. Again… If it were that easy, we wouldn’t have to write this article. Most brushes don’t magically get rid of static, and even the ones suited for the task give only a temporary effect, as you can’t really stop friction with something as simple as a brush. To truly affect the amount of static, a powerful static killer is necessary.
Now, you might be thinking, “Jeez, this whole “being an audiophile” thing seems like a real headache”. Don’t be discouraged so easily! (Although you have a point.) We at Chisto have thought about it a bit (a decade or so), and after countless series of tests we have concocted the most effective vinyl record cleaning solutions you’ll find on the market, all of which are a part of our Easy Groove Superset. The secret lies in the specific set of chemicals we used, which has a perfect set of features to solve all problems related to cleaning and even preserving LPs.
First, we’ve put an emphasis on deep cleaning, as the grooves are the cause of most trouble related to crackle. Our vinyl record cleaning solution removes all foreign substances accumulated in the record and safely decomposes, leaving no traces, stains or surfactants behind, thus leaving the disk intact and causing no harm.
Second, our list of record cleaning liquids includes a static killer, which instantly dissipates static and has a lasting effect on the record’s performance.
Finally, we’ve included a special formula for disinfection to go along with your cleaning procedures, as different bacteria loves to turn your vinyl vault into an ecosystem and then be a cause of illnesses to you and your family. Thus, our LP cleaning fluid will also protect your health.
So, if you want to experience the religious-like ritual of playing and listening to vinyl and feeling the joy of analogue music without having it spoiled by excessive noise and audio artifacts, Chisto has created the ultimate kit armed to the teeth with the best record cleaning liquids to do all of the dirty work, so you can relax and surf the sound waves to your heart’s content.