I used to only dust my records too but over time I'd end up with microscopic gunk still in the grooves and static that kept the dust coming back.
What I do now is use a solution of distilled water with a splash of 90% isopropyl alcohol and a drop or two of regular Lysol, wipe the records in the direction of the grooves with a soft t-shirt, and put them in a MFSL sleeve. I've done this for about a year now and I haven't had issues with static or dust since.
This is what an owner of a nearby high-end record store uses to clean his records. In fact, that's who told me about it, and it works extremely well.
Someone reading this will think it damages vinyl becuase of something they heard somewhere a few years ago, but I challenge you to find a sourced article that comes to that conclusion. It leaves no residue, evaporates instantly, and actually works for most applications. The guy with the "pro-tips" doesn't know what he's talking about.
This method will work fine if the record is actually made of vinyl.
Alcohol will dissolve shellac 78s. Yes, dissolve. I can't find any reliable articles about what it does to styrene.
The use of soapy water to clean the record is a poor choice, what happens when soap is dried off or it evaporates?
It leaves residue, this residue then attracts other dust and grim and isn't good for the stylus either.
Also the use of a cloth, or micro fibre style cloth would seem like a perfect way to pick up the dust and grime not just on the surface, but in actual fact these cloths are never fine enough to really penetrate deep enough into record grooves to lift the dust. Also when wiping the records down your in most cases inducing a static charge onto the vinyl which in the long run will now attract even more dust then before.
I found the best cleaners that in both short term and long term are beneficial to your record are the liquids you pour over the record, let it dry and the pull off the skin almost like it's peeling, specific products also are anti-static charge and also leave no residue; with a little googling you can find a couple good ones.
But then as hobbies go it is just part of it I guess.
I only clean when I really have to. When I get a new record from a non-professional collector. A lot of hat I said damages them is what they are taught. I was told by my local record store that manufacturers of LPs and record players recommend against cleaning as it actually does more damage than good.
I searched for this when he told me and sure enough, there it was, a Rega:
Do not use any record cleaner that works while the record is playing or any cleaners that use water or solvents. If you keep your records stored in their sleeves, avoid touching the playing surfaces and keep all water and fluids away, cleaning should not be necessary. Do not worry about visible dust on the record surface, this is brushed aside by the stylus and any that collects on the stylus can be easily blown away. In general, record cleaning is overdone and one should not believe all the claims made by record cleaner manufacturers.
Now I know why we all hold themin such high regard.
If you want to get rid of static you can actually get sleeves that do that I place them in between the original paper sleeve and the LP and it also protects any of the sleeves that might get worn at the bottom
Records aren't an investment. Stocks, bonds, gold -those are investments.
This is just music, it's great, but you'll never get rich on any of these albums. As for weird indie stuff that only a few people care about? It'll likely only appeal to those who might of heard of it or might remember it -unless you love it, don't bother buying it thinking it'll be worth a mint 30 years from now.
If history has taught us anything, 95% of vinyl releases will be worth next to nothing 30 years from now. Sure, some of those 1/100 records may be worth hundreds/thousands/etc, but most won't be worth the vinyl they're printed on.
Unless an album is an absolute "must-own" (in my opinion), I don't own it. I pre-order a lot of stuff, but if I don't like at least 75% of the songs on a given record, I sell it. Not enough space for " decent" records on my shelf.
My record collection is worth much more than I paid for it, because the music itself, not the vinyl, is collectible.
I like to collect things. Well, I really only like to collect little porcelain figurines. Disney usually.
My tea habits really are not, from my perspective collecting. True it is a hobby, I am always on the look out for the right way to cook the best tea but that is more like personal development.
And it has another purpose than just sitting on my shelf.
As for records, well, people buy music for their iPod. A lot of it. I think that my records, my entire collection, cost less than the music that my nephew has on his phone.
Speaking of my nephew we have more things in common that just our taste in music. Well, we don't have anything in common in our taste in music. But he does love figurines.
These just happen to be Japanese in origin.
He is an only child and his parents saw him grow up with anime. To be honest it was my sister who initially influenced him to watch and collect manga and anime, for him it was like a little spark went off and boom the rest is history.
He has been forever collecting ever since. This (he is my godson) has given us a lot to talk about when we go on outings together.
He has been collecting for almost 10 years now and he finds it frustrating to explain to people how he lives his life worrying about what other people think. He isn't alone, there is a whole Chibilicious culture for him to connect with. And I have tried to instill a sense of not giving a flying f*ck what anyone thinks of his collection.
I collect for myself and no one else. And you have to accept that people will find it strange. I don't think any hobby will be free from people telling you that it is dumb.
The fact that I collect Disney figures has led me to wonderful things in my life. I met my husband through figure collecting and as you get older the ones that accept it will be the friends that you keep. And I have even made friends who are from figure collecting. I hold down a job and I can pay my bills. Not because I am a figure collector. But it does make you more contemplative and I feel like I make better choices becuase of it. So why would I care if anyone doesn't like it, they don't live my life, I live my life and I love it.
But knowing that I can share this with my godson is one of the biggest rewards of the whole experience.
If I could instill one value on him it has been this one. I'm an adult, I do as I please and I don't have to explain myself to anyone.
Over the years I have collected litterally a housand plus records. A lot, if not most of them cost be between $1 and $5 but I do have some that were more expensive.
When people I know come to me asking to price their collections I am little help though. I like records, but I don't pay big money for them. Still I know a lot of records can be worth big money and I have discovered a couple that I only paid a few dollars for.
The thing that I have leared about selling them though is that you need to do some research, you may have some rare gems in there. But most likely they will be 1-2$ records. I use to dig a lot at flea-markets in my area, and i would see the same guys weekly there doing the same. Beware of the record store owners that go there looking for the rare records for only 1$.
Don't let them cash in by not researching a bit. Usually the amount of the record that was made, means less value.
If you have any punk, soul, jazz or hip hop mixed in there, definitely take the time to research each one. The vinyl world is like 98% unwanted Jim Nabors records and 2% of the Subhumans, Isley Brothers and Mobb Deep records that collectors actually care about and hopelessly dig through crates for.
If you've never done vinyl before there can be gold in there but you have to be in the know to find it.
These don't have ISBNs, they have catalogue numbers though, so without direct knowledge of the medium I wouldn't suggest spending the time looking each up.
Half-speed masters and pressing records at 45rpm are two completely different things. LPs that play at 45 RPM has nothing to do with high speed mastering.
Records played at 45 will theoretically sound better than at 33. Half-speed mastering refers to the speed at which the lacquer is spinning when it is cut, it's still played back at (usually) 33.
And they can both sound incredible. Many of my finest sounding vinyl records are either cut at 45rpm on 12", half speed mastered, or both. I'm talking about some of the audiophile remasters, a la Music Matters for Blue Notes, Classic Records, Mobile Fidelity, etc.
What you trade off in convenience, ie flipping records more often, you gain in high definition sound quality. Some of these specialty remasters can be eerie in how accurate the reproduction is. Full on 3D holographic imaging. Hearing the tiniest details.
The theroy is that a 45rpm record takes a longer pass than 33rpm for the same information.
Think about a tape machine at 15 inches per second (ips) vs 30 ips or at the other end at 7.5 ips. When the record turns faster, the information gets more spread out over more geographic area and hopefully more detail.
Same goes with mastering at half speed.
The cutting lathe and playback is slowed down by 1/2 speed so the cutting head can go slower against the lacquer disc to hopefully increase detail into the grooves, espcially with higher frequencies, where the head can cut half the frequency. The high end is where many want those crisp details.
So a half speed master that plays back at 45rpm is essentially double fold (theorectcally) better.
My Dawes "Nothing is Wrong" album is cut this way, and quite annoying with only two songs per side. I hear you becuase although it may sound incrimentally "better" than a standard 33 1/3 record, it is annoying that only two or three songs per side across two discs. Side A, Side B, Side C, Side D...even getting up once in the middle is bad enough.
So I hear you.
It's not for everyone, but like licorice, if you like it, you really like it.
To be honest I don't flip through my records. I have them all organized by genre alphabetically. I'm very anal about keeping my records in perfect order, it's a sickness.
Most of the spines show the artist and title as a point of reference for quickly finding the ones that don't have this info. I usually put the artist and title on the spine of all plain white jackets with a fine point sharpie (why not, they are generic and a dime a dozen.) so it's quicker to not flip. I just grab the one I want and slide it out. If you keep the stacks loose and glue felt on the shelf it makes the wax slide in and out like butter.
The ones on this shelf I can flip through but why flip when you can slide.
The only time I flip is when I'm at a store crate digging, that's cuz I don't know where anything is, that's how it's set up. The worst is not being able to flip when you are at a store cuz the owner has everything crammed in the bins, but that's another topic.