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RE: [AV Media Matters] Mould on 78 Records

Richard Warren wrote in response to Graeme Jaye's enquiry...

>Here we use the Disc Doctor's cleaning method (Lagniappe Chemicals), fluids and
>velvet-pad like applicators, done by hand. There's nothing one can do about
>damage caused by the byproducts of fungus, which etch shellac; but if the spots
>are small, there may not be damage enough to be heard. Many people use one or
>another of the record-cleaning machines and express satisfaction with the
>results; we don't at Yale because we need our shelf space for other equipment.
>The Disc Doctor work can be done on any table.

I agree with the use of the Disc Doctor's chemistry and brushes for
manual cleaning of phonograph records.  It produces results equal to
the more expensive cleaning machines like the Keith Monks, but at
the considerable expense of elbow grease and time.  A machine like
the Monks will do wonders for the time issues, and also it allows
the absolute minimization of the "wet" cycle of the records, plus
you can use any chemistry you choose, Disc Doctor's or otherwise.
The Doctor's brushes are a welcome accessory to use with the Monks
machine for some cleaning tasks.  You will find a link to the Disc
Doctor on my web site SOURCES page.

Sorry for the somewhat blatant promotion of cleaning machines,
specifically Monks, but here it is: I am concerned with the
statement about Yale not having the shelf space to run a Monks
machine... you don't want to run it on a shelf, but any table will
do just fine, as was pointed out for the Disc Doctor's procedures.
The footprint (roughly 19" x 19") is no more than the space needed
to use the Disc Doctor's methods, and without a doubt it does a
better job of removal of the spent chemistry than the Doctor's
manual methods.

Library of Congress bought three of the Monks "Archivist " machines
and Boston Public Library bought two.  Surely Yale doesn't want to
be wasting their time doing manual cleaning of their collection?
This may be more of a budgetary issue than one of space, but someone
is wearing blinders to the manpower savings that are achieved, which
in the long term will exceed the cost of the machine by many times.

The Monks machine can be seen on my web site at:-


>Here at Yale we studied the question of pitch quite a bit and gave up.
>We do re-recordings at A=440 unless our "customer" requests some other
>standard. Most people who work on reissues of commercial records have the
>capability (I guess it's a computer program) to change "speed of playback" and
>thus key in the digital domain and don't care at what speed a disc is dubbed
>because they can "fix" it; but I like to do playback work at or near proper
>speed because that way the records sound better in many ways.

Pitch issues are more dependent on the original recording equipment
than what a given orchestra or artist considered correct "concert
pitch".  It is simple to consider it to be A=440 for all purposes,
and I doubt that you would go wrong, or have even a trained musician
complain about it.  Since I regularly record large symphony
orchestras, I put these questions to the conductors, concert masters
and a few of the older musicians who agreed with me.

I have seen more commercial release recordings where the speed
varies from the outside of the disc to the inside, requiring
constant compensation as the recording is played.  This was a major
consideration in the restoration of a Columbia Viva-Tonal release
from 1927 of the Halle Orchestra playing Beethoven's 4th symphony.
In order to match the sides, it was necessary to adjust pitch as
much as 3% from beginning to end of a side, and all the sides of
this 10 side set needed compensation.  A precision variable speed
turntable like a Technics SP-15 is very desirable for this purpose.

... Graham Newton

Audio Restoration by Graham Newton, http://www.audio-restoration.com
World class professional services applied to phonograph and tape
recordings for consumers and re-releases, featuring CEDAR processes.

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