Good records (and to a certain extent, the bad ones too) need comfortable, protective, and in this case, relatively dapper sleeves. Pfantone, it appears, deals more in the preamp world these days, but back in the day, they were successful manufacturers of long wear, no tear, poly record sleeves. Pimping a lifetime product is always a ballsy move, but Pfantone has certainly, and without question, pulled off this ambitious claim. For quality, and yes, stylish record care, keep Pfantone in mind.
Do you own an animal? Perhaps a yippy dog that draws anger and vengeful hatred from your neighbors when it constantly yips all day and every night? Or maybe you own a furniture scratching cat, or a cannibal fish, or maybe even a pot-bellied pig whom you call “Breakfast.” If you’ve ever owned an animal, you know the inherent responsibility that tags along. Your hi-fi stereophonic home entertainment system is no different. Sure, it may not need blood worms twice a week, or it may not require you to scoop up its feces with a thin-layered bag from Ralph’s, and it may not even wake you up at 4am by sitting on your face, but your phonograph’s needle gives you years of listening pleasure, and like a money-sucking (but unquestionably worth it) house pet, it needs your care.
What I learned from this ad-sert (an advert crossed with an insert):
1) An osmium needles lasts only 15 hours. For those of you who enjoy the tedious trip to your overpriced phonograph dealer (and if you’re in LA you’d be required to brave the bumper-to-bumper to get there), then this is the needle for you. Nothing compliments a majestic, and borderline romantic dinner-date at home quiet like the phrase, “I’m sorry dear, I’ve got to head to George Meyer TV & Stereo for another osmium needle. Please put the meatloaf in the microwave, and when I get back we can finish this Burl Ives album.” 15 hours?! Are you kidding me? Why even bother making them? Why not have turntables that only last 24hrs? I struggle to see the logic.
2) Only a first-class needle can give first-class reproduction. Second, third, and even fourth-class needles don’t only cause breakage and ear-slapping skips on your favorite Hollies album, but they’ve also been known to short out the wall socket, fry your nice shag carpet, and even burn down your lovely (this is subjective, of course), and fashionably outdated bachelor pad. A wise man doesn’t fly Coach when it comes to purchasing a needle. Don’t be an unwise man.
3) Avoid damage to your records. You mean I SHOULDN’T use my Marlene Dietrich albums as serving ware at my poorly catered, and forcibly causal dinner parties? Gosh, maybe I should stop carving my initials into the grooves so as to mark my territory when I take my records to those rye and record parties. Perhaps I’ve been ignorant to the whole “take care of your records” thing.
Columbia Records is never one to miss the overbearing opportunity to point out the painfully obvious when it comes to basic, record-related audio care. Tomorrow, we’re going to focus on yet another elementary approach to securing the longevity of your music library, and once again, it comes courtesy of Columbia Records. Happy Monday, kids!
Not unlike Mercury Records thinking you’re a buffoon, RCA Victor is there to help you properly care for your record collection.
I find these Record Care inserts fairly frequently, and always enjoy the variations on the visual representations of each label’s suggestion for, well, proper record care.
For example, when applying a lint-free, damp cloth, hold said cloth between your thumb and index finger very daintily while flailing out your remaining fingers as wide as you possibly can and never, EVER rub! Got that? No rubbing records, you damned record rubber! STOP IT! After all, “this record is designed to give you many years of trouble-free listening pleasure,” but you’ve got to follow directions. Because, who enjoys trouble-ridden listening pleasure? Not this guy. Ok, moving on.
This suggestion leaves me scratching my head. “Never store records at an angle…” How would one store records at an angle? Do they rest their stack of Harry Belafonte LP’s on top of their dirty whites? Do they rest their Bob Seger albums against the cat? Help me out, somebody! The flower, however, is a nice touch.
This one I actually dig, but it does however raise a very psychological question: is the record going INTO the sleeve, or is it coming OUT? Not unlike a “glass half full” question… I’ll allow you to ponder as I conclude by stating: How iconic is this image? I mean, this insert is probably nearing 60 years old, and the simplicity of a circle protruding from a square is just as recognizable and distinguishable today as it was in the late 1950’s. Crazy.
The remaining suggestions for the most part make sense: Get your stylus checked (by a guy with a microscope) and never touch the playing surface (hold that record as if it were a hot potato). Never, EVER forget these suggestions and you will have many years of trouble-free listening pleasure, courtesy of RCA Victor.
Do you own records? Do you use them for flatware when all your dishes are dirty, then wonder why your favorite Yes song constantly skips? Are you lazy and order your kids to flip to the B-side of Moe Bandy’s Greatest Hits just after they’ve housed an entire box of Klondike Bars? Are you just not too fond of common sense? If you answer “yes” to any of these, you’re EXACTLY like me and are in desperate need of an easy to follow, step-by-step guide to help you best manage the quality of your record collection.
Thankfully, Mercury Records is there for us nitwits in our record neglecting times of need.
Your Records are Worth Caring for…
(Courtesy of Mercury Records)
You buy a record because you like it. Each time you add a record to your collection, you’re building up your personal library of musical favorites. Here’s how to make sure each record you own gives you maximum pleasure each time you play it.
1. Avoid getting fingerprints or smudges on the playing surface. Handle the record by its edges, or by one edge and the center label.
2. Hold the record jacket against you and buckle it when removing or replacing records.
3. Remove surface dust before playing records. Do this by gently wiping the record with a slightly damp soft cloth or a specially treated record cloth available at your record dealer.
4. Store record albums upright as you would books. Single records should be kept in a rack but may be staked or stored vertically with your albums.