The analogue sound storage continues to provide immersive listening experience to this day. Vinyl disks, the timeless phonographic records, dominated the music industry starting the early 1880's until they left mainstream market after the 1980s. To date, vinyl records still circulate among a niche crowd of audiophiles, disc jockeys, collectors, and the likes.
A resurgence of vinyl CD popularity occurred in 2016, as people young and old started to crave for the tangible musical experience that comes with every vinyl CD. Sales were at a 25-year high.
So, if you have vinyl CDs that you would like to store, here are a few things you need to know.
The Value of Vinyl CDs
There are plenty of storage options for vinyl records. Are you considering storage boxes or storage rental? Maybe you plan to store the records in your home somewhere in the attic? Before you even start to sift through these options, here is one thing you should keep in mind: vinyl CDs carry monetary value, and not just sentimental value (although that is important too).
Vinyl CDs is a music storage medium that can give you a good return on your investment. Vinyl CDs, new or old, hold value depending on the music it contains, and the condition of the record.
Needless to say, the value of vinyl CDs can also be very personal. In whatever way you value vinyl CDs, it is best to keep them in excellent condition by considering the right storage options.
The Fundamentals of Storing Records in Tip-Top Shape
As vinyl records are in analogue format, they are one of the most durable physical music storage around. However, neglect equates to surface noise, scratches, and warped sound. Here are useful tips to avoid these signs of neglect.
Tip 1: Inner Sleeves, Outer Sleeves, and Vinyl Bags
Dust and friction spell disaster for your vinyl CDs. Consider getting inner sleeves and outer sleeves to preserve your vinyl CD. This is not only useful for long-term storage, but also when you are regularly using it.
Inner sleeves protect the record itself from the small (but compounding) friction that it faces when being taken in and out of its original card sleeve. Meanwhile, outer sleeves protect the original card sleeve from the elements. One main warning though: choose wisely, some outer sleeves can stick to the artwork on the card sleeve over time and damage it. There are outer sleeves that are open on the sides and there are also ones that can be sealed. These sleeves usually come in packs if you buy them online.
Tip 2: Yes to Plastic Storage Boxes, No to Cardboard
Cardboard is not water resistant and may not be physically strong to preserve vinyl CDs in case another box (or boxes) is placed on top of it. In choosing a plastic storage box, study the dimensions of the card sleeve. You do not want those precious artwork-bearing sleeves to be bent!
Tip 3: A BIG NO to Stacking
It is never advisable to stack records. The vinyl CDs at the bottom of the stack would be pressed down by the weight of those on top. Over time, this can damage the grooves of the record and cause warping.
In storage boxes, the records must not be too tightly packed with other stuff. To keep them vertical in a big plastic tub, consider using bookends. And one important note: it is best not to mix up differently sized vinyl records together.
Tip 4: Avoid Temperature Extremes
The main chemical component of your prized records is polyvinyl chloride. Depending on the additives used, the melting point of PVC is around 100°C. Slightly lower temperatures, however, can cause micro damage.
The best temperature for storing vinyl records is 7-10° F with 30-40% relative humidity. Somewhere below room temperature is also fine.
Tip 5: Thorough Cleaning Before Storage
The grooves on vinyl records are prone to accumulating dust and other substances that touch the disc. It cannot be stressed enough that wiping the record does not clean it thoroughly. Vinyl record enthusiasts will regularly clean their records with vinyl-friendly cleaning agents. This is a MUST before long-term storage.
The Right Space
Sometimes, there simply isn’t room at home for vinyl CDs. Maybe there is a space in the attic, but then again, that may not be the best place for a precious vinyl CD collection. If you are looking at storage rental, among the points of consideration are security, physical conditions, and price.