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Below are answered your questions about looking after your collection


STORAGE
How/where should I store my vinyl records?
Can bright light damage my vinyl records?
Can excessive heat and/or cold damage my vinyl records?
Can dampness damage my vinyl records?
Can dust damage my vinyl records?

How/where should I store my compact discs?
Can bright light damage my compact discs?
Can excessive heat and/or cold damage my compact discs?
Can dampness damage my compact discs?
Can dust damage my compact discs?
How/where should I store my cassettes/videos?
Can bright light damage my cassettes/videos?
Can excessive heat and/or cold damage my cassettes/videos?
Can dampness damage my cassettes/videos?
Can dust damage my cassettes/videos?





Where should I store my vinyl records?
In this answer we only tell you how best to store your collection. If you need to know about a specific potential risk and cannot find it in the list at the start of this page, please email us and we will do our best to answer!
    Vinyl records should be stored:
  1. Upright. specifically NOT leaning.
  2. Away from heat sources.
  3. Away from Bright light sources, particularily sunlight.
  4. In a cool dry place.
  5. With the inside sleeve turned at right angles to the outer
  6. Preferably in a closed cupboard or box to reduce dust
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Can bright light damage my vinyl records?
Bright light can damage both your records and their covers.
If the covers are exposed to light for long periods of time, the arwtork will fade and the paper will brown
Even if only the spines are exposed they can brown and split
If the light is very bright it will generate
heat and this can warp the records inside their covers.
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Can excessive heat and/or cold damage my vinyl records?
Heat is very damaging. It will cause the record itself to warp.
A warped record will sound woozy and in bad cases will become unplayable. Cold should not do any damage, but sharp changes in temperature are likely to cause moisture to condense on the record and this will do damage to both cover and record
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Can dampness damage my vinyl records?
Ooh Yes! the vinyl of the record itself will not be damaged easily, but the paper sleeve will
Even small amounts of dampness will, after time result in mould. this will cause foxing (brown spots) and in more severe cases white mould will grow and rot the cover away.
Mould will also form on the surface of the record, it gets right down into the grooves and can be hard to remove.
While records can be cleaned the damage to the packaging will be permenant
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Can dust damage my vinyl records?
Not Directly, if its just sitting there but the minute you handle the record, you rub the dust between the record and the sleeve then you put it on the turntable and the needle grinds it into the grooves (this bit is making my skin creep).
The worst bit is that no matter what you do some dust is going to get on your records.
Check the Cleaning section for some hints on getting it off.
Regarding prevention, here are the more easily applied methods of stopping dust.

  1. Always return records to there sleeves immediately after use.
  2. Turn the inner sleeve up at right angles to the outer
  3. Keep the lid on your turntable closed at all times.
  4. Store your records in a closed cabinet.
  5. Invest in anti static inner sleeves and possibly a static remover (Peisiometric crystal) though the expense of the latter may outwiegh the gains.
  6. A carbon fibre brush to run over the grooves before playing is also a good investment.
Where should I store my CDs?
In this answer we only tell you how best to store your collection. If you need to know about a specific potential risk and cannot find it in the list at the start of this page, please email us and we will do our best to answer!
    CDs should be stored:
  1. Away from heat sources.
  2. Away from Bright light sources, particularily sunlight.
  3. In a cool dry place.
  4. Inside their cases. the most common source of damage to CDs is leaving them outside cases
  5. Preferably in a closed cupboard or box to reduce dust
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Can bright light damage my compact discs?
CDs are more vulnerable to bright light than other formats, The silver layer whithin the disc will decay rendering the disc useless.
the most likely visible damage will be small holes when you hold the disc up to the light. In extreme cases the whole silver layer will flake away from the disc.
The damage caused by light is irreversable...Keep 'em in the dark!

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Can excessive heat and/or cold damage my compact discs?
Actually, normal changes of heat will do little damage.
Sudden changes in temperature may cause condensation on the disc, this can cause it to stick to the packaging (CDs in card sleeves). I have suffered this problem working in hot nightclubs

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Can dampness damage my compact discs?
Your CD itself is not going to suffer from getting wet at least not in the short term, but the packaging will.
The inlays to CDs tend to be printed on glossy paper which wrinkles if it gets damp, also the pages of the booklet are likely to stick together
Long term dampness leads to another fairly rare problem, this is a white mildew which grows on the disc itself.
The mildew is quite distinctive, having an appearance similar to frost on a window. If caught early it can be removved with solvents such as lighter fluids or alcahol. Once well established it appears to damage the surface of the disc.
It certainly will not clean off.
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Can dust damage my compact discs?
Dust on your CD will cause no immediate damage. The CD will probably work fine, but if you are constantly putting dusty CDs in your player the dust will get into the players workings.
CD players have lots of things that go wrong and dust causes a lot of them. The Lazer head tracks accross on very delicate runners, dirt on these will cause the player to regularilty skip, even on new discs. If it often sticks a few tracks in this could well be the problem.
Dust can also get on the lens of the lazer, this will make tracking less accurate, the player will be more sensitive to scratches or dirt on the discs. It may not play at all.
Please do not open up your CD player because of the above advice. it's a nasty little black box with 1,001 things that can go wrong, if you undo the screws on the casing you will probably not solve any problems and you will also nullify your warranty!
Regarding prevention, here are the more easily applied methods of stopping dust.

  1. Always return CDs to there boxes immediately after use.
  2. Store your CDs in a closed cabinet.
  3. Don't leave the CD players drawer open when it is not in use
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Where should I store my cassettes/videos?
In this answer we only tell you how best to store your collection. If you need to know about a specific potential risk and cannot find it in the list at the start of this page, please email us and we will do our best to answer!

    Tapes should be stored:
  1. Away from heat sources.
  2. Away from Bright light sources, particularily sunlight.
  3. In a cool dry place.
  4. Inside their cases.
  5. Away from magnets REMEMBER all electrical appliances including your Hi-Fi generate magnetic fields.
  6. Spooled to the end.
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Can bright light damage my cassettes/videos?
Oh Yes, it'll damage both tape and packaging.
The artwork of the packaging will fade., the tape will also decay, this can lead to a loss of sound.

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Can excessive heat and/or cold damage my cassettes/videos?
No, normal changes of heat will do little damage.
Leave a tape on the cooker and yes the casing will warp, making the tape unusable, but that is just common sense
I have seen tapes that have spent years getting cooked and frozen in cars and still work well
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Can dampness damage my cassettes/videos?
Tapes have lots of fiddly bits inside, once water gets into the casing, it's curtains.
If a tape has got damp, there will probably be mould inside, and playing it will transfer broken bits of this into the workings of your tape player.
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Can dust damage my cassttes/video?
Dust on your tapes will transfer onto the playing head of your player.
In the short term this can push the tape away from the head, lowering the sound quality.
In the Long term, the dirt will cause wear on the tape and the playing head. bits of the magnetic tape will stick to the head causing background noise. Needless to say bits falling off your tape won't help the quality of the tape itself!
Prevention Keep the tape in its box when not in use and don't leave the player open when not in use.
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