janradder: (Default)
And, because the E and A on our keyboard was sticking, I decided to take it apart tonight and give it a thorough cleaning. Two and a half hours later, after cleaning each nook and cranny and key with rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip, the keyboard is shiny and new and works like a dream. And in spite of the length of time it took, it was a hell of a lot easier than taking apart the Mighty Mouse and cleaning it out like I did about a month ago.
janradder: (watt)
One perk of doing it, though, is that I've been listening to a ton of records that I haven't heard in years.  Today I found myself listening to Talking Heads' More Songs About Buildings and FoodI'd forgotten what a great album it is.  Years ago, when I was fifteen, a friend played it for me and I couldn't stand it -- too dancey was my opinion.  It took about ten or more years before I finally changed that opinion.  So I've spent half the day obsessively listening to it over and over again and if I could travel back in time I'd  probably track down my fifteen year old self and smack some sense into him.  Too dancey?  What the hell was I thinking?
janradder: (dork)
I am still totally freaking out over how great my records are sounding.  They have never sounded this good -- not even new.  I just cleaned Black Flag's My War and played the first track on the first side.  Bill Stevenson's tom fills were actually truly inside my left speaker.  I am not speaking in hyperbole.  My new record cleaning kit has actually placed Bill Frickin' Stevenson inside my speaker just to play his tom fills.  How cool is that?
janradder: (dork)
As [livejournal.com profile] haddayr can agonizingly attest to, I can get pretty obsessive compulsive about cleaning.  One of my favorite things is to polish up scuffed boots or go to town on my guitars, picking out all the crud around the frets, using naptha to remove any difficult sticky crap, buffing the finish up nice so it shines.

Well, as she can also testify, I get especially compulsive and anal when it comes to records.  Today I have combined my two OCD joys as I purchased an enzymatic cleaning kit for my vinyl collection.  Starting on the first records, I was a little suspect about what the result would be, yet kind of hopeful after reading some online reviews by audiophiles.  After cleaning the first lp -- PiL's Second Edition -- I put the needle in the groove for a test drive.  The sound was absolutely, positively amazing!  Not only were all the tiny pops and crackles gone, the bass actually seemed to pop out of the speakers more than it did before the cleaning.  The high and low ends were both deeper and better heard.  I really couldn't believe it.

To put the cleaner to the real test, I set out to clean some old 45's that had been sitting in a stack, uncleaned in nearly fifty years (if they ever were cleaned, that is), covered in greasy fingerprints.  Before the cleaning the pops, hiss and crackles almost made the record unlistenable.   After the cleaning there was no longer evidence of any finger smudges on the vinyl.  When I put the single on the platter and dropped the needle, I could still hear some slight crackling (due to the fact that they'd been stored unsleeved in a stack most  of their life and had developed little nicks and scratches) but the vast majority were gone and the sound was incredible.  Needless to say, I am utterly delighted!

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janradder

March 2012

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