Classical LP Clean-up

So over the last 3 weeks or so I've been going through my records and giving a listen to all of the classical LP's that I have (a fringe benefit of working from home). Not a listen listen, but putting it in the background so I can gauge the condition of the disc. For a while now, I've been mostly neglecting all the classical music I have on vinyl because probably foremost with these kinds of recordings, you want clarity of sound and no noise. I've got a lot of classical music on vinyl that's in really terrible shape, and it doesn't even need to be that bad of shape to make it unlistenable. Visual assessments are hit and miss as some LPs look pretty pristine except for one scratch, but that scratch is deep enough to make a loud pop at regular intervals throughout the entire playback, making the listening experience complete crap (the SL-1200mk2 is especially unforgiving of irregularities on the grooves so anything like that will be loud and noticeable). Then you have some that look like they've been dragged around on the sidewalk but sound perfectly fine because none of the damage is deep enough to make a difference.

So I've been slowly going through them all and marking the playback conditions per side on a little sheet of paper that I slip between the sleeve and the plastic cover. So when I want to listen to one of them, I'll know immediately whether it's worth it, or how much noise I can expect. The upside is finding a couple of pristine copies of some albums. Almost all of these albums are pretty old, as the market for classical music on vinyl was one of the first to immediately adopt the DDD of CD's; most of them are probably over 50 years old. So after cleaning any of the discs that looked like they needed them, then running them through the carbon fiber/velvet static brush, there's a couple that looked literally brand new, and sound great:

1965 Decca release of Mendelssohn and Shubert with the original inner sleeve.

1961 Everest release of Brahms.

Neither are cheap pressings either.

Still have a ton to go through but these two where perfect. Not that they're worth anything, but it's a treat to listen to a perfectly clean LP of classical music.

Filed under: Music