Many of you know that we only sell high quality LP and encourage you (our customers) to play only clean copies. Clean vinyl not only sound better and hence more enjoyable, it also prolongs your cartridge’s life.
To continuously achieve our high LP standard, we first have to take good care in our sourcing (garbage in, garbage out). We usually do not buy in bulk due to the usual mixing of the good stuff and inferior ones. Then, we would try as far as possible to handpick each title although this is time consuming and at times not possible due to different geographical location of the seller.
Despite of our very effort, sometimes mistakes are still made. For instance we got bumped by a Whitesnake 1987 lp in shrink wrap and everything looking unplayed but the plastic inside belonged to some Black artist. We blamed it on shopping fatigue.
Here’s another defect, a deadly one although less common:
This is no hairline scratch (picture above) but a deep fracture that could spilt the LP into two. It was a defect not detected until we thoroughly cleaned this otherwise near mint looking LP. Many times, such problem usually goes unnoticed during visual inspection due to a layer of dust masking the LP surface. So buyers of unclean LPs beware!
We made these mistakes so you wouldn’t make yours. As far as we could, each title that goes to our LP shelves are visually checked and cleaned. If they looked suspicious, we would play grade and only those really rare stuff that sometimes near-mint condition is a near-impossibility (to find) that exceptions are made. Seasoned Blue Note hunters would tell you its not easy to get NM early pressings of Blue Note records.
With such QC, your lp shopping with us is not only safe – its guaranteed.
So what concoction do we use (without stating the obvious) to clean our LP?
Another “buyer beware” advice I would give for patrons of lp cleaning service is to ask your provider the blew of soap (detergent?) used. Using the wrong soap could cause lasting damage to your precious lp. Also some lp solution would leave an undesirable sonic signature on your lp after clean. We have had experienced of a blue coloured lp solution that would make the lp sound dry and hard after cleaning.
With the right cleaning solution, the last in the arsenal of our lp QC is a powerful wet vacuum based cleaning machine (Clearaudio Matrix). Without the use of a strong vacuum to suck up all the rubbish and dislodged dirt, your lp cleaning job is only half done. So why leave it at that?
We usually leave the cleaned lp to completely dry for a minute or so before inserting it into a new inner. Of course with new outer sleeve as well.
Keeping our lp stock fresh and making them look and sound like new is a serious job. We pride in the quality we keep and I am sure you do too. We have no plans to provide lp cleaning service at Modular Audio (due to operational issues) at this moment but why bother when you can get all your cleaned vinyl from us.
Above picture is just a small sample of the rejected goods that did not pass our quality checks and therefore did not make it to our LP shelves. Some were due to noisy vinyl (playing surface that looked deceivingly perfect); some were due to insufficient disclosure of LP condition by seller and many due to a track that has a permanent blockade to the next music note. As you can see, some of these damaged goods are gem, premium stuff – Carmina Burana, Teresa Teng, 1st pressing of Counts and Sparks and the original Blue Note Horace Silver Quintet just to name a few….