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Q: What exactly
is "Hand Select" vinyl from TheMusic.com?
Select" is borne out of the desire to deliver the highest quality LP
products to our consumers. To that end, TheMusic.com has desided to increase
our level of customer service and deliver to our customers new LP's that
are hand inspected for visual defects, label tears, and flatness.
Further, these "Hand
Select" LP's are professionally cleaned and repackaged in deluxe outer
sleeves to protect the jacket and record. All of this extra care comes at
no additional charge on audiophile pressings and at a nominal charge on all
other LP's sold by TheMusic.com. You can now rest assured that the new record
you receive from TheMusic.com will provide the highest level of sound quality
and longevity from having all the impurities left over from the pressing
process washed and vacuumed clean. "Hand Select" vinyl - another
innovation in the pursuit of audio excellence brought to you exclusively
by TheMusic.com - insist on it.
How the Hand-Select
- Hand selection
of an early pressing. TheMusic.com has arranged to receive early pressings
from the first pressing run of all Classic Records titles from this point
forward. Those LPs will be used for customers who purchase Classic Records
and choose to receive this Hand-Select process, although all vinyl sold
through TheMusic.com is eligible to receive Hand-Select care.
- Initial visual
inspection. Our Sales Director Brian Tipton will visually examine each
LP prior to it’s cleaning, inspecting for dishing or warping as well.
cleaning. The disc is then placed on our state of the art cleaning machine
and given a thorough brush applied cleaning with our revolutionary L’Art
du Son cleaning solution. Our cleaning machines adhere to the same high
standards of today’s industrial cleaning machines while still being
as quiet as a mouse! Using a thread based suction pump, the dirty fluid
is vacuumed safely away.
- Last visual
inspection. Once the disc has been sufficiently cleaned, it is again visually
inspected for flatness and quality assurance.
The freshly cleaned LP is then re-sleeved and placed, with cover, into
a high quality slightly oversized more-durable outer bag, which is then
ready to ship off to you!
Harry Pearson says:
dirty windshield and a dirty record have something in common. They not
only obscure your view of the world, but they distort it as well. Anyone
who loves LPs and doesn’t have a good cleaning device deserves the
bad sound (s)he will surely get.”
To amplify on
these sage remarks by one of the most respected analog experts on the planet,
the bottom line is that a record can just never be too clean. As Mr. Fremer
points out, a brand-new record may look pretty pristine, but there is mold
release agent lurking in the grooves. This stuff is definitely needed to
make new records pull cleanly away from the metal parts of the record press,
but it does you absolutely no good when it comes time to play that nice,
expensive new record. It is capable of fouling the stylus and causing audible
distortion, and it needs to go to be sure that you are really playing the
groove, not a contaminant.
When a record
is dirty, either from oily fingerprints or dirt and dust, it also needs to
be well cleaned to play back with the highest fidelity. Any little bit of
grime or grunge can contaminate your stylus and, if a deposit builds up on
the needle from constantly playing filthy records, it can be really hard
to remove. Plus a dirty record just plain sounds bad. Your pickup system
is optimally designed to play a clean groove, and anything that detracts
from that goal will result in less-than-top-shelf performance.
ingredients for a thorough LP cleaning are a quality wet-cleaning machine
and a specially formulated detergent that is both gentle and effective for
all LPs and 45s. We use the L’Art du Son cleaning fluid. Mike Hobson
of TheMusic.com experimented with the solution and decided that we should
import and distribute the stuff, and we are now the exclusive source for
the L’Art du Son cleaning fluid in the USA.
who used to professionally clean records for a major library in Germany,
developed the L’Art du Son cleaning fluid over a two-year period. After
many months of cleaning, she became physically ill and determined that she
would have to come up with a less toxic and more effective solution for cleaning
LPs. After much experimentation, she finalized her formula and went to market.
L’Art du Son has the following features:
makes up to 5 liters of cleaning fluid when added to ordinary distilled
- Contains NO
alcohol which can damage LP's
- Use of Environmentally
friendly formula components
- Dramatic increase
in dynamic contrasts from LP playback
- Improved bass
response from LP playback
- Vast improvement
in overall soundstage clarity from LP playback
stage depth and sense of musical ease from LP playback
in LP noise floor resulting in improved clarity and instrumental definition.
Michael Fremer says:
records are usually contaminated with a mold release agent that does for
hot off the press vinyl, what PAM does for scrambled eggs. Used records
are just plain dirty. That's why both new and used records need to be wet-vacuum
cleaned. Not doing so is like not cleaning your glasses and then complaining
that you can't see...”
Q: How do
I get Hand-Select vinyl?
would like to offer you the opportunity to have your records cleaned with
this high quality Hand-Select process, so from now on we’ll be offering
this process at no extra charge with the purchase of all audiophile
LPs. Non-audiophile LPs sold through TheMusic.com will also be
eligible for this Hand Select process at the low cost of $1.50 per record
by simply checking the box next to the item at checkout. For further questions,
TheMusic.com Groove Shop
(323) 466-9694 x26
Contact The Groove Shop via email