Taking Care of Vinyl Records

Vinyl records are a niche market. There is a subculture of record collectors who love vinyl LPs.

I have no particular commitment to vinyl records. I shall now state what I think should be obvious. If digital imagery had been invented in 1850, no one would have invented film. Similarly, if digital recordings had been available in 1880, Edison would not have invented the phonograph record. If the transistor had been available in 1900, nobody would have invented the vacuum tube.

You may own some old albums that you bought in your youth. Or you may have inherited a collection from your parents. I don’t recommend throwing them out. At the same time, I much prefer a CD or even a downloaded MP3. I don’t like clicks and pops. I never have. So, I am not an aficionado of 50-year-old LPs. But I own a lot of them, and I don’t mind listening to them as background entertainment.

Nevertheless, if you happen to go into a thrift store, and you see a bin full of LPs, you might flip through them rapidly. In all likelihood, your time is worth more than any LPs you are going to find, but maybe you’ll find something that you would like to listen to, and you don’t want to spend $10 or $15 on buying a CD. Maybe you don’t even buy CDs anymore. So, you may be willing to spend a dollar to buy an album. Open the album, and take a look at the grooves. If the album is dusty, you may decide to put it back. But if you really like the music, you probably should not put it back. You should take it home and clean it. I am going to tell you how to do this.

From 1956 until 1959, I had a job in a record store. I loved to buy records. I could buy them wholesale: $2.50 instead of $4. LPs were a big part of my life from the mid-1950’s until the mid-1970’s. I spent…

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