Here is some useful information that I found around the 'net of some FAQs about proper care and storage that will give you some awesome sounding and looking vinyl records. This is not written by me. Chad Vice, but I felt that this was some important and useful help for all of the fellow LP lovers out there! So here you go!:
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: My record plays faster/ slower than it should. What’s wrong?
Answer: Your turntable is likely set to the incorrect speed. Most 12” and 10” vinyl records are cut at 33 1/3 rpm. Some LPs are actually cut at 45 rpm and contain fewer songs per side and usually more discs per set. The LP jacket or a sticker on the package usually indicates if a 12” or 10” LP is cut at 45 rpm. Smaller 7” records are cut at 45 rpm and usually have one song per side. If you play a 45 rpm 7” or 12” record at 33 1/3 on your turntable, it will sound too slow. If you play a 33 1/3 12” or 10” at 45 rpm on your turntable, it will sound too fast.
Most turntables have at least two speeds, 33 1/3 and 45 rpm, with 78 rpm also available on some models. If your turntable does not have a speed adjustment, your 45 rpm and 78 rpm albums will not play properly on that equipment. Some direct-drive turntables also have pitch control so you may need to adjust the pitch variation on your record player. This is usually a slider on the surface of your turntable but may be a small knob near the back or underneath your turntable.
Question: My record continuously skips throughout all tracks and makes it almost impossible to listen to. Is it broken?
Answer: This can sometimes occur if your tonearm is not weighted properly, and you may need to make a slight adjustment to your turntable’s anti-skating mechanism, which is usually a weighted knob or spring mechanism at the back end of the tonearm. If this is occurring and your turntable does not have an anti-skating mechanism, you can always try taping a penny to the top of your stylus – it actually works!
Also, try and make sure your turntable is on a level, non-resonating surface prior to play. Do not place the turntable on a receiver or speaker. It is also not recommended to place your speakers on the same shelf as your turntable. Even though new records are essentially scratch free, they can sometimes come with residual dust from the plant, particles from the paper sleeve, etc., that cannot always be seen with the naked eye. You can use a dry carbon fibre or anti-static brush prior to play to help eliminate any dust or particles. This can improve performance and greatly reduce skipping.
Question: Will a different size or weight of record impact play-ability, or cause the sound quality to be different?
Answer: Vinyl records with heavier weight are often more desirable simply because they are more sturdy and are less likely to warp. The size of the grooves is the same. Records come in three standard sizes: 12″, 10″, and 7″. There are some other odd-sized and die-cut records, but all should play on most turntables.
Heavier weight vinyl simply feels more substantial to hold, is less flimsy, and thus is psychologically more appealing to the music fan. The quality and care put into mastering, pressing, and plating has more to do with the sound quality of a record than the weight. Pressing plants will normally put more effort into quality control of heavier weight records as they realize anyone ordering 180g or higher is likely looking for an audiophile product.
Question: My white/colored vinyl has smudges on it that won’t come out even when I wipe it. This looks like a manufacturing defect. What’s wrong?
Answer: As with any manufacturing process, there are always going to be some oddities. Variations in the color of your colored vinyl is normal, and will not impact the play-ability of your record.
Question: The sleeve the vinyl came in leaves paper reside that gets in the grooves of the vinyl disc. What can I do? What is the best way to clean my record without damaging it?
Answer: Purchasing a slightly more expensive inner sleeve such as rice paper or poly-lined sleeves can reduce scratching, static, and dust/particle attraction. Never store vinyl records directly in their jackets without an inner sleeve as this will cause damage to the record and the jacket over time. With new records, a wet cleaning method is not always needed. A good dry carbon fibre brush applied prior to play can help eliminate residual particles, dust, hair, paper, etc. that can cling to LPs.
Question: My record has scratches on it. What do I do?
Answer: Some minor scratching on the surface of a record can occur from placing or removing the record in its paper sleeve and does not impact play-ability. If there are more significant scratches that are impacting play-ability on a brand new record, please reach out to customer service.
Light, non-feel-able scratches happen over time, but normally do not affect play-ability of a record. When handling a record, do your best not to touch the playing surface with your hands, do not lay the record down on anything other than the turntable, and return it directly to its inner sleeve and jacket when finished. Storing records outside their jackets or stacked is another way to increase scratches on the surface of vinyl.
Question: My vinyl is warped. What do I do?
Answer: The fragile nature of the medium, temperature fluctuations, the way and location you store your vinyl, and even the manufacturing process itself can all cause warping in vinyl. Minor warping will oftentimes not impact play-ability; however, more significant warping may impact play-ability. If you’ve purchased a brand new record and there is significant warping, please reach out to customer service. Vinyl should always be stored vertically, never horizontally. To repair warped vinyl, there are a few methods that may work. One is to place the record between two heavy books for several days. Another method is to place the record between two pieces of glass and place it in an oven set to warm for a couple minutes. Allow the vinyl to cool down before removing it from between the pieces of glass. Please note: these are just suggestions, and there is no guaranteed method to fix warped vinyl records.
For some turntables, there is an option to purchase a record clamp or weight that can improve play-ability of a warped record by holding it down tight against the platter during playback. It does not fix the actual warp in the record, but can help fidelity issues during play. Extreme warping of a record can happen if your record is hit with direct sunlight for an extended period of time, so don’t keep your albums in a hot car for too long!
Question: The album skips on one side, but not on the other. What can I do?
Answer: If your vinyl record skips in one specific location, there may be dust or debris stuck in the groove of the record. First try cleaning your album. If the problem persists, or is occurring on a brand new album, this may be indicative of a manufacturing defect, at which point you may want to reach out to customer service.
Question: How should I store my vinyl collection?
Answer: You should always store your records in a cool, dry place, standing up vertically. If you stack them horizontally on top of one another, you run the risk of warping the vinyl
If you have any vinyl care or storage/maintenance questions that you would like to hear more about, or have some stories about some of your vinyl titles or issues/defects that you’ve seen in records that you’ve purchased, I’d love to hear from you to tell me all about it! Send me an email at: ChadVice@sebcamco.com. Here is a video I found on YouTube from the Vinyl Community channel (Craig) who has some other great videos about archiving and how to buy vinyl records when shopping for them used. Enjoy!