Yes, That Flood Damaged Record Can Be Saved!

After steam cleaning the flood damaged record (see 'Can Steam Save This Record?") I used Audio Intelligent Enzymatic Cleaning Fluid and the Loricraft cleaning machine. I chose that one because only a small length of thread touches the record during the vacuuming process. The thread is refreshed with each cleaning.

The fluid remained on the record for two minutes after which it was vacuumed off followed by a rinse with Audio Intelligent Ultra-Pure Water (reverse osmosis or Aquafina would be fine too).

After so treating both sides the record appeared so clean and ready to play I didn't hesitate to first put it in the Audio Desk ultrasonic cleaner so sure was I that nothing on the record would contaminate the Audio Desk fluid.

I then played the record and recorded the sound using a LYNX L-122 A/D converter in my old Apple G5. Here's 30 seconds of it. It's "fair use" and I don't expect any legal repercussions.

So can a "flood damaged" record be resurrected? You tell me. I say "absolutely".

terrybbagit's picture

I guess it also answered the question as to whether or not steam cleaning steam cleaning deforms the record grooves great video

Glotz's picture

Clanky but clean! 

Michael Fremer's picture

What does that mean?

Paul Boudreau's picture

Michael Fremer's picture

I don't think so. Not deep enough. Some kind of chime but really prominent...

Glotz's picture

Slightly mechanical sounding.   Like percussive 'clank'!  The chime-like sound... 

Truthfully, my pc set up is less than ideal, and the headphones off of the pc are also just utilitarian.  

Clanky is a good word though!

dhyman's picture

love this mikey!!!!  hearing the record play was so godamn fun. where can i find myself a messed up record like that???

Michael Fremer's picture

I have two friends whose record collections were wiped out by Hurricane Sandy. Both said they felt saving them was impossible especially since it was salt water inundation but who knows? I told them to NOT throw them out pending this experiment. Not sure if they kept them but if so they would probably happily send them your way for resurrection. I know you have time on your hands. This would keep you out of trouble! You know what they say about idle hands...

Paul Boudreau's picture

...project!  Now imagine how much you'd charge to revive one LP that way.  Hey, I wonder if the Library of Congress uses a similar process?  They must get discs in that sort of condition. 

jjelmquist's picture

Simply amazing!  Sounds SO good!! And a lot of fun watching the project from begining to end.  Thank you for sharing this, Michael.

MikeT's picture

I had thousands of LPs damaged in a similar fashion in a flood due to Hurrican Floyd.  Most of the records, once I could get to them, had tons of black mold on them and paper (similar to the record in your test).  I saved as many as I could... although I didn't steam clean them, I did clean up the ones I could.  

It tooks MONTHS to clean up a few hundred records. I couldn't deal with it anymore - so I just left them in the basement where they got wet. 

Unfortunately, the house was sold when my in-laws passed away, and I couldn't deal with the thousands (probably 5,000) records that were all trashed. I saved about 100 more that were in the best shape and just dumped all the rest.

Life goes on. The only issue with your process, as you seem to infer, it is a lot of work to save one LP. Can you imagine trying to save 5,000 of them in the manner you did.  It would be a life's work.

Michael Fremer's picture

I guess it depends upon the worth of the records. Common ones probably not worth the time but collectibles or ones that have particular meaning to you? As they say in the credit card commercials: "Priceless". I bet you can find kids willing to work for $5 an hour or so who could clean a bunch each hour....

latinaudio's picture

Hey, Mickey:

Is that your Cobra/Caliburn combo? God, it sounds like angels, man!

So do you think was the steam or a little help from your tt?

Michael Fremer's picture

It is the entire chain and this time as opposed to cartridge survey a better A/D converter Lynx-122. More files to come in other contexts.

patreides's picture

Ive passed up buying moldy records before, next time I might not.

What cartridge did you use to make the video? sounds great over youtube... 

Michael Fremer's picture

The chain was Lyra Atlas cartridge, Kuzma 4 Point, Continuum Caliburn and Ypsilon VPS-100 Phono preamp

Jim Tavegia's picture

Very nice, Michael.  I wonder how a CD would have fared given the same bad treatment? 

The nearly indestructable LP.  Great experiment. 

Jody's picture

Which tonearm is that? And what turntable...

rosser's picture

Great job on the record. Your turntable rig sounds phenomenal. Maybe a Lyra Delos is in my future. 

williamsims's picture

I live just down the road in Princeton, and my vinyl took an equally HORRIBLE hit.  But I've held on to everything and plan to use the techniques you've all developed to bring them back.  I'll let you all know how it goes.  Cheers, Bill

Michael Fremer's picture

Keep us deformed!

Vinylghost's picture

Is steam cleaning covered under Obamacare?  

I know "clanky" isn't.