VINYL POPS AND TICKS

By Jennifer Berdan

 

This is actually not preferred! Can’t tell you how many times we get customers referring to the ticks and pops of vinyl, sometimes positively (nostalgia), but mostly in negative regard. CLEAN, well-cared-for vinyl doesn’t sound like this. It may have its nostalgic qualities…when you hear it you know its vinyl, but in the Audio Element world, we grab another record.

 

This licorice pizza… it’s special. Its ability to transport you to the realm of audio nirvana is something to be handled with kit gloves. Remember the effects of tossing your CD into the mile high stack of others without jackets, only to amount to a wealth of fingerprints and scratches…resulting in the eventual annoying “skip” you get after 1 month of playing it non-stop? The same goes for wax. It’s soft, and delicate. It’s like the girlfriend that always needs a sweater because she’s cold. She needs her jacket!

 

When you care for your vinyl, it gives back to you just as you gave to her. She keeps all her glory that allured you in the first place. Here are some very simple ways to keep your vinyl happy and without “ticks and pops.”

 

  1. Use a quality/ maintained turntable and cartridge. What you put in, you get out. Crosley (Easy-Bake-Oven) is not a real turntable!
  2. Have your table properly set up. The tracking force (how hard the needle presses on the record) and SRA (the angle as which it presses on the record) will impact how she “feels.” Don’t upset her before you actually go on your date.
  3. Clean your records. Any debris on top of the record, not removed prior to playing, will be caught by the stylus and pushed into the grooves or even worse…scratch your records. Scratches and debris equal “pop.”
  4. Store your records with care. Put them back in their sleeve, store them upright in a manner that resists dirt getting into the record jacket, and by all means keep them at an even temperature… moldy wet basements do not make her happy. If grandma gave you a bunch of her records, and tells you they are in the garage…beware!! Politely decline and let someone else experience the “ticks and pops.”
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