By Neil Tufano
Despite the proliferation of CDs and the popularity of digital downloads, collecting records is reportedly enjoying a resurgence of interest, not least amongst dance music enthusiasts and Hi-fi purists. And of course, most of us have a record collection in the attic – even if we’ve already duplicated our favourites with CDs or MP3s.
It’s easy to care for your record collection
Caring for vinyl records is surprisingly simple. From private collectors to record shops specialising in classic albums and singles, whatever the reason for having vinyl records, there are simple things you can do to help protect them. Not least is making the right choice of sleeve or case. You might be surprised at the value of those old Beatles or 70s ska collectors records so look after them well. As serious record collectors know, whether it’s Led Zeppelin or Bartók, caring for vinyl can make the difference between a long life and the untimely ruin of prized records:
- Rule 1 of record collecting: handle vinyl records carefully
- Clean your vinyl record collection carefully
- Store them in new, clean inner sleeves
- Consider using protective outer sleeves (especially for record albums)
- Store records vertically (but not packed too tightly)
- Vinyl records storage should always be in a cool dry place
- Always replace the record in its sleeve after playing
- Ensure that playing equipment is well-maintained and properly cleaned and adjusted
Choosing vinyl record sleeves When choosing the best vinyl record sleeves, various options are available, including paper sleeves and clear plastic outer sleeves. Both are available in the popular sizes (7-inch and 12-inch) to protect singles, 12-inch singles, LPs and EPs. People who are seriously into vinyl collecting can debate the relative merits of different materials for hours.
Source sleeves and wallets from a reliable source
For singles and LP storage alike, make sure that you source your sleeves and wallets from a reputable source and don’t skimp on quality. High quality record sleeves are available at very competitive prices (especially if you buy in bulk to protect a collection) so there’s no excuse for not giving your treasured records the care they deserve.
Treat your record collection before it’s too late
If you still enjoy the warmth and feel of vinyl, maybe it’s time to treat your collection to a clean up and a set of new protective sleeves. And if your vinyl collection is gathering dust in the loft, why not do your grandchildren a favour and invest in good record care so they can one-day experience the magic of a real record, proper sleeve notes and the thrill of playing a vinyl record. Of course if you are a CD collector then it will be CD cases that you’ll need.
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