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Graphite Powder is good for 78 records ?
https://forum.talkingmachine.info/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=48008
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Author:  soundgen [ Wed Dec 30, 2020 12:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Graphite Powder is good for 78 records ?

John sleep recommends WD40 !

Some 78s get dirty with age and can slow down the motor of your gramophone. This is often put down to weakness of the spring, but is often just drag caused by dirt. I find that cleaning the record surface with WD40 usually solves the problem like magic! I know some experts say that you can cause damage to some of the materials used to make certain 78s, but I have never found this to be so. Use very little WD40 and wipe off thoroughly before playing. You will see that the needle becomes clogged with the embedded grime which can easily be wiped off.

I prefer Pledge or Mr Sheen the difference on worn records is astonishing :D Old tins of Mansion Polish are also great :D

Author:  Curt A [ Wed Dec 30, 2020 11:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Graphite Powder is good for 78 records ?

I have been using WD40 for at least 30 years with great results and absolutely no problems...
The problem with furniture polish or wax is that it attracts and holds dust and dirt. WD40 cleans the grooves, lubricates and improves worn records...

Author:  epigramophone [ Thu Dec 31, 2020 4:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Graphite Powder is good for 78 records ?

soundgen wrote:
John sleep recommends WD40 !

Some 78s get dirty with age and can slow down the motor of your gramophone. This is often put down to weakness of the spring, but is often just drag caused by dirt. I find that cleaning the record surface with WD40 usually solves the problem like magic! I know some experts say that you can cause damage to some of the materials used to make certain 78s, but I have never found this to be so. Use very little WD40 and wipe off thoroughly before playing. You will see that the needle becomes clogged with the embedded grime which can easily be wiped off.

I prefer Pledge or Mr Sheen the difference on worn records is astonishing :D Old tins of Mansion Polish are also great :D


I have used Mr Sheen multi-surface cleaner (i.e. not wax furniture polish) for years with excellent results. It is even safe to use on record labels as well as the playing surfaces.

Far from clogging the grooves, the first playing with a fine steel needle removes the accumulated dirt and debris.

Author:  Marco Gilardetti [ Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Graphite Powder is good for 78 records ?

Orchorsol wrote:
I believe so, yes! I've uploaded a video to YouTube about its use, and Marco has uploaded a much better one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2u1D5bJKGJ8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbpOUAIZd0I


Dear Andy, thanks for having mentioned one of my modest videoclips. Since we're again on this topic, I quickly assembled the "episode 2" which is now available for those who might want to see what ibota wax can do:

https://youtu.be/Q4je4VVt0es

I think I might be the perfect "testimonial" for ibota wax as I was pretty much skeptical at first (not about the compound per se, but rather about the improvements it might effectively deliver, which I wronlgy assumed had to be barely noticeable) but later turned into one of its most irreducible fanatics after having experienced first-hand what it's able to do with the most critical records. Had all issues in the world have such an effective cure, we'd be in heaven.

Back to what Charlie Phone has written, it might indeed be more expensive than graphite powder in absolute terms, but it also has to be said that in general a negligible amount of ibota wax is needed to treat each record. 1 gr of flakes lasts nearly forever.

I have extensively used graphite powder on locks and keys until it was easily available (for some reason it disappeared at a point in time) and although it might be effective in lubricating also the records' surface, I can only imagine the stains it would leave on turntables' felts, and for some reason they're usually not the kind of stains that can be cleaned easily. Very frankly: as long as ibota wax is available, I see no reason to try anything else.

Author:  CarlosV [ Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Graphite Powder is good for 78 records ?

Marco, both videos are quite impressive! I had bought a little pack of ibota some years ago, tried on a record, and besides messing it I heard no improvement at all. After watching your videos I will try again - if I find the pack!

By the way, the song that she sings is known as the Hungarian Suicide Song (apparently because someone committed suicide and the police found that song being repeatedly played on the turntable), Gloomy Sunday, recorded by Billie Holiday and Billy Eckstine among others.

The burning effect of thorn needles is related to the composition of the record material: some US dime discs from the 20s like Grey Gull do not tolerate thorns, as well as most of the US records pressed after WWII. English and French pressings are more robust and even records issued in the 50s will play with thorns. Same with German records, except for Kristall and the ones made in the DDR. Compatiblity with thorns is a matter of trial-and-error.

The evidence from your second video suggests that the application of ibota reduces the temperature at the contact area of the needle with the groove, enough to prevent the burning of the thorn.

Author:  Marco Gilardetti [ Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Graphite Powder is good for 78 records ?

Dearest Carlos, thank you very much for your positive comments!

You possibily set aside your stock of ibota as most of your records may be in excellent conditions. The more I chat with fellow collectors, the more I am persuaded that 78 records are genereally in much better conditions *everywhere* than in Italy. If a record plays fine with thorns, I think I would also advise to leave it as-is (although arguably an ibota treatment might improve distortion towards the last grooves, and also speed stability on loud passages).

But as most records in Italy are found in the conditions shown in the videoclips, I was necessarily interested in experimenting to what extent ibota can help, and much to my susprise I've found that it helps greatly. For such extreme cases however, as I think I also stated in the clips, several treatments with ibota may be necessary to do the trick. A final pass with a soft tone needle greatly helps in definitively "heal" the grooves. I really don't know why it is so, but records that still can't be played with thorns after many passes, all of a sudden get perfectly playable after a final pass with a steel needle.

Of course this process is overkilling when the thorn can just barely play up to end of the record: in those cases, a quick pass with ibota is sufficient.

I am quite persuaded that the surface "burning" is not only due to the original composition of the record, but also by the way in which it was stored and later found. Records with a dull, "soapy" surface seem to me prone to develop surface burns. My educated guess is that some kind of essudation forms over the surface of the record in some storage/humidity/temperature conditions. I'm looking forward to read experiences from fellows who own records that are known to most likely develop surface burns (and of course not of much interest for their collections), maybe one side can be treated and the other played "as is" in order to see what happens.

However, when I play a record I usually have to cast out the background consciousness that the record might be to some extent degraded by the passage of the needle. But with the records featured in these videoclips, I had the unusual feeling that the combined action of the ibota wax and the needle was actually *improving* their condition. :o

Author:  AudioFeline [ Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Graphite Powder is good for 78 records ?

Graphite powder can be purchased from hardware stores. It will come in a small plastic container with a squirt attachment at the top. It's used to lubricate locks.

Author:  poodling around [ Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Graphite Powder is good for 78 records ?

AudioFeline wrote:
Graphite powder can be purchased from hardware stores. It will come in a small plastic container with a squirt attachment at the top. It's used to lubricate locks.



Very good, thanks for the information, I will buy some (fairly) soon and try it.

Author:  Orchorsol [ Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Graphite Powder is good for 78 records ?

poodling around wrote:
AudioFeline wrote:
Graphite powder can be purchased from hardware stores. It will come in a small plastic container with a squirt attachment at the top. It's used to lubricate locks.



Very good, thanks for the information, I will buy some (fairly) soon and try it.

Be warned, it's filthy! I tried it on one record myself, and I have some others which historical owners used it on, and I've found it impossible to wash off. It looks like a thin, glistening film of powdered pencil lead rubbed in (unsurprisingly) - quite disfiguring visually. I've also seen a record from the late Douglas Fitzpatrick's collection - he used it liberally, and it may have been of benefit, but the record looked really terrible! Not recommended.

Author:  poodling around [ Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Graphite Powder is good for 78 records ?

Orchorsol wrote:
poodling around wrote:
AudioFeline wrote:
Graphite powder can be purchased from hardware stores. It will come in a small plastic container with a squirt attachment at the top. It's used to lubricate locks.



Very good, thanks for the information, I will buy some (fairly) soon and try it.

Be warned, it's filthy! I tried it on one record myself, and I have some others which historical owners used it on, and I've found it impossible to wash off. It looks like a thin, glistening film of powdered pencil lead rubbed in (unsurprisingly) - quite disfiguring visually. I've also seen a record from the late Douglas Fitzpatrick's collection - he used it liberally, and it may have been of benefit, but the record looked really terrible! Not recommended.



Very interesting indeed and a great informative description/recollection. Really appreciated.

Thanks Orchorsol !

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