Still crackling vinyl

anything better than project was it?
beeb cleaning with project vc .records look really clean but Im still crackling!
Any bright ideas on vinyl cleaning fluid please?

All or some albums? Some are simply poor pressings that no amount of cleaning will fix

On 6 good condition s/h of various label. Look very clean after the project. Thanks

You can clean vinyl but you can’t repair damage. A damaged LP can crackle like mad, clean or not.


Noted but are some fluids better than others?
Don’t you have a day off to quaff nice wine?

Never a day off.

The fluid will make a difference so long as the vinyl is not damaged. Are you using proper distilled water in the mix? Deionised water iOS not good enough. Try APC.


Distilled Water - 100% Ultra Pure Water (Blue) amazon inevitably!

For the dirtiest records an enzyme based cleaner is the only effective way, spread on, left for a bit, then vacuumed off, followed by a distiller water rinse. I had one from Nitty Gritty that did the trick on a disc that was leaving a mat on the stylus even after several water, water/anionic surfactant, 25%(aq) isopropanol cleans and even a trip through an Audiodesk ultrasonic, but I’m not sure if it’s still available.

Not all cartridges, or cartridge arm combinations highlight the noise from a scratch to the same extent, something to do with the clicks exciting resonance and getting prolonged. Even how tight the cartridge bolts are can influence it. You never get rid of the click entirely but they can become less intrusive.

If you cannot find the Nitty Gritty enzyme fluid, Keith Monks do fluids for vinyl, shellac and mould removal.

The art du son is one of the best.


So I can order APC but to give me a better start point what fluid do you use / what’s your ‘method?’
Thank you

I use distilled water from APC Pure. I mix it with the fluid Project supply for use with their machine (Wash-it). I apply the fluid to the spinning record and give the whole side a really good scrub with the brush so the entire side is white and foamy. I then vacuum off. If it’s quite dirty I’ll do it again. Juts be sure that you vacuum all the fluid off and that there’s nothing left in the grooves - you should be able to see this and even hear this sometimes as the pitch of the noise of the cleaner is slightly different when the LP is totally dry.

thanks for this guidance!

I use a Project washer/vacuum machine too. If I buy second hand vinyl I always give each side a good scrub and vacuum off. The vacuum bit tends to be about 7 rotations min. I’ll often do it a couple of times per side, then into a new clean inner sleeve.

I’ll assume the vinyl has spent the past 20 to 40 years out of a sleeve and under someone’s bed gathering dust. These days I play nothing second hand until its been cleaned. Even new stuff gets a wash and vacuum when the machine is out next.
Once clean that’s it. It tends not to seen the cleaner again.

Saying that I have one newish record that has distortion/sibilance on one part of the first track. I’ve washed this a few times with no real improvement.


Agree. Great stuff :+1:

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Same here. If it’s really dirty VPI clean a few times then onto Audio Desk ultrasonic both with distilled water and AD solution that helps to keep the static down.

I also use a DS ioniser while the record is playing on the TT which helps to calm some of the noise down.

I have a project cleaner and have used their fluid and my own alcohol-based recipe to much the same effect as each other. I do have one or two records that although improved do still crackle. One is a Bruckner and Mendelson Violin Concerto recording. Visually it looks mint but still crackles and further cleaning cycles has not improved it much. I do wonder if trying an ultrasonic cleaning device would help further but have no access to one and really do not wish to spend the kind of money to buy one.

Perhaps some records are beyond help in any case.

You can’t clean up groove damage. Sometimes the crackles are ground in. What you can try though is a different stylus profile. Sometimes this finds an undamaged part of the groove.

I have tried a couple with these records one elliptical (an old ADC MC 1,5) and one nude Shibata (Hana SL) but neither gets rid of the crackle. To try others is an expensive way to avoid buying a new copy!


I think the cantilever material can also affect surface noise. Got a new Linn Krystal last year with aluminium cantilever, surface noise far higher than an older AT OC-9 with boron cantilever as well as the Dynavector with boron cantilever I suspect I should have got instead.