Fatal Flaws to Look for When Buying Used Vinyl Records

Nothing beats the thrill of discovering a great deal on a used vinyl record at your local neighborhood music store or a rummage sale. While buying your records online is a great way to find rare releases, it’s also a bit of a gamble. If you’re buying used vinyl, you’ll want to inspect it in person to ensure that it’s going to play well. Carefully inspect any potential vinyl purchases for the following imperfections.

Disc Warping

The first thing that you should do when pulling a vinyl record out of its sleeve for the first time is to check it for warping. Stick a finger through the spindle hole and ensure that the record features a uniform, level surface. Look for a noticeable bulge closer to the center of the disc. Note that certain kinds of vinyl such as RCA Dynaflex may appear to be slightly warped without affecting playback.

Scratches and Dings

The second and most important potential imperfection to look for is scratching. Depending on the type of disc, a slight scratch may not be picked up by your turntable. Inspect discs with a flashlight held at a 45-degree angle. What you really need to be on the lookout for are scratches that run diagonal to the grooves. These are far more likely to cause skips and distortion. Disregard slight accumulations of dust and grime as these can be washed off.

Looking After Used Records the Right Way

Once you’ve found a used record in acceptable condition, it’s vital that you take care of it to avoid scratches and warping from cropping up. Store those discs in a climate-controlled room kept at roughly 65 degrees Fahrenheit with 50% humidity. Regular cleaning using a record cleaner and the correct liquid solution is equally important. As long as you put a little effort into vinyl maintenance, those used records will put out excellent sound for many years.


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