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phil shields

Record Skimming

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skimming would be very last resort i've had a record that was skimmed and you loose loads of sound quality. It makes it sound realy dull and takes all the punch out of the track.

i'd rather put up with the skip.

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Sorry to turn the thread the other way round, but I'm sick of buying records, only to find they have been skimmed. It's one thing to have a knackered record skimmed for your own collection, but people are doing it to sell on fooked 45's to unsuspecting buyers. And I'm talking about well known dealers here. I have had 4 from one dealer in the states, and I just won't buy anything off him anymore. In my opinion it should be outlawed, it is actually fraud.

I have been told that it's ************** that does this ? It's a disgraceful practice, and the records just don't sound right.

Phil.

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Sorry 'bout this, but what's skimming?

it's the practice of "polishing" the record, usually by taking a layer off of the surface. if you look at a polished record, it's clear it's been polished, there are scratches that are clearly the deeper end of the scratch where the top part has been taken out, and the record has an unnatural shine.

anyways, polishing won't fix a skip, but it's not that hard to fix a skip unless there is a scratch parallel to the grooves that is causing it. i think pete s said he could fix skips for you, you might try him.

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it's the practice of "polishing" the record, usually by taking a layer off of the surface. if you look at a polished record, it's clear it's been polished, there are scratches that are clearly the deeper end of the scratch where the top part has been taken out, and the record has an unnatural shine.

anyways, polishing won't fix a skip, but it's not that hard to fix a skip unless there is a scratch parallel to the grooves that is causing it. i think pete s said he could fix skips for you, you might try him.

Thanks Bob. I'm fine with my frying pan records, just wanted to know...

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it's the practice of "polishing" the record, usually by taking a layer off of the surface. if you look at a polished record, it's clear it's been polished, there are scratches that are clearly the deeper end of the scratch where the top part has been taken out, and the record has an unnatural shine.

anyways, polishing won't fix a skip, but it's not that hard to fix a skip unless there is a scratch parallel to the grooves that is causing it. i think pete s said he could fix skips for you, you might try him.

How do you fix a skip ??

Ste.

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How do you fix a skip ??

Ste.

some skips can be removed by a little bit of extra wieght on the head shell i sometimes put a 10p piece on head shell and let it play thru the bit that skips a few times fixed a few this way

mick jay

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it's the practice of "polishing" the record, usually by taking a layer off of the surface. if you look at a polished record, it's clear it's been polished, there are scratches that are clearly the deeper end of the scratch where the top part has been taken out, and the record has an unnatural shine.

anyways, polishing won't fix a skip, but it's not that hard to fix a skip unless there is a scratch parallel to the grooves that is causing it. i think pete s said he could fix skips for you, you might try him.

Boba, could you give a bit more info please.

Polishing with what?

How does a layer come off?

Are we talking US 45s [as Phil alluded to a US dealer]

"Cleaned by a VPI[?] machine" you see in some ads. Is that it?

The only thing I know about is the hot water treatment which only works on UK EMI records from the 60's. It will make them look better but won't get rid of scratches or skips.

ROD

Edited by modernsoulsucks

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How do you fix a skip ??

Ste.

All you need are a magnifying glass, a thin needle and a steady hand.

1) Find the exact spot where the record skips (use magnifying glass).

2) If it jumps because of a scratch going cross the groove*, take the needle and slowly run it along the groove across the scratch to even the scratch. Use slight pressure only on the needle! Repeat it at few times. That usually removes the skip and only leaves a (usually minor) click when playing.

* if it jumps because of a scratch running along the grooves or a pressing fault there's hardly anything you can do I'm afraid.

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if you look at a polished record, it's clear it's been polished, there are scratches that are clearly the deeper end of the scratch where the top part has been taken out, and the record has an unnatural shine.

Another way to spot a polished record w/out even playing it, is to compare condition of the vinyl and the label. Usually only beat up/fooked up records are polished/skimmed. If a record is in bad condition the label is pretty worn/battered/dirty/whatever too most of the time. So if you hold a record with a nice shiny playing surface but a worn label, it's very likely it had been skimmed.

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All you need are a magnifying glass, a thin needle and a steady hand.

1) Find the exact spot where the record skips (use magnifying glass).

2) If it jumps because of a scratch going cross the groove*, take the needle and slowly run it along the groove across the scratch to even the scratch. Use slight pressure only on the needle! Repeat it at few times. That usually removes the skip and only leaves a (usually minor) click when playing.

* if it jumps because of a scratch running along the grooves or a pressing fault there's hardly anything you can do I'm afraid.

That's my method also, except I've always used an artists scalpel, or rather I did before my eyes deteriorated.

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if the record been skimmed the vinyl looks dull. also look for marks in the run out can see where its been done. i bought some ska off a guy at a boot sale and they have all been done, being early morning didn't notice at the time . and they all play shite still. .

there's a guy from the peterborough area who does them he's a rock n roll dealer.

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All you need are a magnifying glass, a thin needle and a steady hand.

1) Find the exact spot where the record skips (use magnifying glass).

2) If it jumps because of a scratch going cross the groove*, take the needle and slowly run it along the groove across the scratch to even the scratch. Use slight pressure only on the needle! Repeat it at few times. That usually removes the skip and only leaves a (usually minor) click when playing.

* if it jumps because of a scratch running along the grooves or a pressing fault there's hardly anything you can do I'm afraid.

i got as far as holding a magnifying glass over a record but finding the skip was too tricky. I think i'd need something with much stronger magnification and a clamp that held the record.

Edited by dylan

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Sorry to turn the thread the other way round, but I'm sick of buying records, only to find they have been skimmed. It's one thing to have a knackered record skimmed for your own collection, but people are doing it to sell on fooked 45's to unsuspecting buyers. And I'm talking about well known dealers here. I have had 4 from one dealer in the states, and I just won't buy anything off him anymore. In my opinion it should be outlawed, it is actually fraud.

I have been told that it's ************ that does this ? It's a disgraceful practice, and the records just don't sound right.

Phil.

Been told or know through experience? I wouldn't name names on a public forum without proof .

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so, how are they skimmed, on a machine, or by hand,

Hi Trev, thought i'd told you the story of when i found a cashmers for $3, looked like it had been skated on & only fit for the wall, i tried all sorts to get it to play & last resort was T cut , worked a treat thumbsup.gif, mind you that was 10yrs ago & don't let the door is still a work in progress , Arthur. Oh! don't think this would work on styrene no.gif

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You Can Use A number of different things to polish with!! :hatsoff2: 3m Finesse-it :thumbsup: But Stay Away from styrene sad.gif

Edited by mrtag

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if the record been skimmed the vinyl looks dull. also look for marks in the run out can see where its been done. i bought some ska off a guy at a boot sale and they have all been done, being early morning didn't notice at the time . and they all play shite still. .

there's a guy from the peterborough area who does them he's a rock n roll dealer.

Unfortunately I ran into him too, at Birmingham Record Fair, bought about £100 worth of Island and Blue Beats off him, every one skimmed, so I reported it to the fair organisers VIP, in fairness they did contact him but no doubt he's still at it. Incidentally, he was using T-Cut.

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I had some in the past that were very obvious, but lately the ones I bought were very well done, with no signs on the dead wax at all. To me, it's just as bad as bootlegging..............:rolleyes:

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Sorry to turn the thread the other way round, but I'm sick of buying records, only to find they have been skimmed. It's one thing to have a knackered record skimmed for your own collection, but people are doing it to sell on fooked 45's to unsuspecting buyers. And I'm talking about well known dealers here. I have had 4 from one dealer in the states, and I just won't buy anything off him anymore. In my opinion it should be outlawed, it is actually fraud.

I have been told that it's ************** that does this ? It's a disgraceful practice, and the records just don't sound right.

Phil.

Just to help us, whose the dealer, so that we can at least ask before we buy.

DJ

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Just to help us, whose the dealer, so that we can at least ask before we buy.

DJ

Im sure there would be a law suit in the offing if OP stated who he thought it was, i too was told bout a certain dealer doin the same thing when i lived in the west mids bout 7 yrs ,this ws told to me by a dealer who knew of the guy that did the skimming for said dealer ,no way id be saying who it was tho :rolleyes:

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Unfortunately I ran into him too, at Birmingham Record Fair, bought about £100 worth of Island and Blue Beats off him, every one skimmed, so I reported it to the fair organisers VIP, in fairness they did contact him but no doubt he's still at it. Incidentally, he was using T-Cut.

pete he was at the vip norwich fair. he's been with them for over 20 years , i used to see him regular at the peterborogh fairs,. i thought he had a machine ? i'll ask a local guy who does some deals with him.

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Im sure there would be a law suit in the offing if OP stated who he thought it was, i too was told bout a certain dealer doin the same thing when i lived in the west mids bout 7 yrs ,this ws told to me by a dealer who knew of the guy that did the skimming for said dealer ,no way id be saying who it was tho :(

I did say who it was...........but there is obviously more than one person involved in this practice..................:D

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I did say who it was...........but there is obviously more than one person involved in this practice..................:D

We thought we'd better remove the name 'just in case'.

The person you mentioned does do it - for other people - he doesn't sell the items, he gets them 'cleaned'.

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if the record been skimmed the vinyl looks dull. also look for marks in the run out can see where its been done. i bought some ska off a guy at a boot sale and they have all been done, being early morning didn't notice at the time . and they all play shite still. .

there's a guy from the peterborough area who does them he's a rock n roll dealer.

I've got some that look absolutely immaculate, no dulling of the vinyl at all. Sound very distorted and level so low they're unplayable. Won't name the dealer I got them off (at Keele in the mid 90s) but they're still in the card sleeves they came in containing the title of the record, the condition stated as Mint and the dealers sticker.

Edited by Ian J

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Please don't think for a moment that I carry out or even condone skimming, but I can tell you exactly how most of it is done these days and, indeed, before T-Cut became a 'skimming agent' in the mid-90s. When I first started visiting record fairs in the late '70s, it was a rife, unscrupulous practice even then.

Skimming is the effect caused by holding a record up to steam until it almost buckles. Then the vinyl is pressed down on, flattened, and cleaned in a circular motion. This buffs the vinyl, melting superficial marks in so that they are no longer visible, and making scratches a bit smoother to the touch (to the point of them looking like scars). The fact that most skimmed records play terribly is because the grooves become compressed, and/or dirt becomes trapped in the grooves, as a result.

Contrary to much belief, a layer is NOT removed, neither is a lathe used - just two hands, a cloth, and a steaming hot pan / kettle is all that's used.

However, this does not appear to work on American vinyl, so there's another question waiting to be answered. :thumbsup:

Edited by Gene-R

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some skips can be removed by a little bit of extra wieght on the head shell i sometimes put a 10p piece on head shell and let it play thru the bit that skips a few times fixed a few this way

mick jay

Quite literally one of these on the Head shell thumbsup.gif with a steady hand, no good on a sunday after a nighterlaugh.giflaugh.gif

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Unless you've suffered at the hands of a dealer who has skimmed a disc and sold it to you, unless you have proof and can back up your claims then you really shouldn't be naming names on a public forum, no good saying "I was told..." or "I heard such and such does it". It could get us and you in trouble. thumbsup.gif

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Unless you've suffered at the hands of a dealer who has skimmed a disc and sold it to you, unless you have proof and can back up your claims then you really shouldn't be naming names on a public forum, no good saying "I was told..." or "I heard such and such does it". It could get us and you in trouble. thumbsup.gif

I edited out the name yesterday so hopefully the majority of people didn't see it.

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Unless you've suffered at the hands of a dealer who has skimmed a disc and sold it to you, unless you have proof and can back up your claims then you really shouldn't be naming names on a public forum, no good saying "I was told..." or "I heard such and such does it". It could get us and you in trouble. thumbsup.gif

I presume this is aimed at me? OK then, I KNOW he does it. Because the person that told me is totally reliable, and he watched him do it. The problem is, this practice is obviously rife, so not just the one person involved. But that name has been mentioned to me on many occasions, by many different people.

To Gene R, I say this, the 45's that I bought, had been done buy a professional, and had definitely been skimmed, which has nothing what so ever to do with steaming. First of all, the patina of the grooves in sunlight look very strange. Then when the record is played, particles of vinyl build up behind the stylus until the record won't play properly without removing it. But great trouble has been taken not to mark the dead wax.

I have bought records off two dealers that had been skimmed, and I returned them and got my money back, and I have the emails to prove it.

Phil.

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Reading this with intrest ...people seem to be confusing issues here . 1. Cleaning enhancing or restoring a record you own is not a crime , plenty of people have antique clocks and the like done . 2. Selling something that is second hand that may of been enhanced is also not a crime again plenty of people polish scratches etc. on a cars paint work before they sell . May not be very nice but its a "buyer be aware" scenario im afraid .

All that said I do agree that if a record is described as mint- I would expect it to be this way ie: naturally without blemishes- not enhanced ! personally if i purchased a record from a dealer described as being mint , but I suspected being skimmed or polished I would just ask for my money back , most proper dealers will do this. I f they dont you aint buying from them again so in the end they are the losers.

Finally a word on the practice of skimming . I have skimmed or experimented with skimming hundreds of records over the years . not for dealers or to sell on I would add ...before someone says " I BET " here is the reason why- skimming records is just too inconsistent with the results to bother .

1. Forget skimming styrene it gets too hot and will affect the playing surface

2.. It will not remove sratches you can feel with your fingernail or jumps or clicks.

3. Over skimming will affect the run in a dead give away it will jump quickly into the track also if you skim into the run out it will go misty another give away.

4. There are so many different grades of vinyl out there some poor some good again inconsistent with skimming results.

5. British vinyl is usually good quality and responds well to skimming. Be aware if you collect this stuff.

6. If you buy a record that looks over shiny , simply wipe round the vinyl with a strong mix of washing up liquid and wipe off dry with a tea towel it will soon undo enhancing and then reveal skimming.

In truth the best that can be achieved with skimming is taking a record with light scratches that is say vg/ vg+ to maybe ex/ex+ its not really gonna make it that much better just take the edge of a few crackles ....my advice leave well alone or save your money and buy mint from someone reputable

:thumbsup:

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It is aimed at everyone Phil, the original post I made, maybe as you were the only one who named anyone and your words were that you had been told and not had first had knowledge or experience of this, just because someone told you is no reason, it is simply hearsay. If you or anyone else has proof then that might be different.

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I presume this is aimed at me? OK then, I KNOW he does it. Because the person that told me is totally reliable, and he watched him do it. The problem is, this practice is obviously rife, so not just the one person involved. But that name has been mentioned to me on many occasions, by many different people.

To Gene R, I say this, the 45's that I bought, had been done buy a professional, and had definitely been skimmed, which has nothing what so ever to do with steaming. First of all, the patina of the grooves in sunlight look very strange. Then when the record is played, particles of vinyl build up behind the stylus until the record won't play properly without removing it. But great trouble has been taken not to mark the dead wax.

I have bought records off two dealers that had been skimmed, and I returned them and got my money back, and I have the emails to prove it.

Phil.

If there's shit coming out of the grooves then that's not a proper skim, it's the T-Cut method, what you have to do is wash them in soapy water and it will get all of the crap out, unfortunately it means that the record will revert to how it looked before it was treated but will actually sound better.

The person you mentioned; everyone knows he does it. If I wanted a record 'cleaned' thats where I'd go. I'd rather sell them in their real state though.

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so are there also varying degrees of skimming or is it simply skimmed or not skimmed.

I had one record that was very obviously skimmed and sounded realy dull. Is it also possible to lightly skim a record and not loose much sound quality ?

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so are there also varying degrees of skimming or is it simply skimmed or not skimmed.

I had one record that was very obviously skimmed and sounded realy dull. Is it also possible to lightly skim a record and not loose much sound quality ?

The varying degrees depends on how much pressure you apply while skimming , depending on the quality of vinyl will have an affect on end result , best example i can give is say a british tamla motown 500 number (good quality vinyl ) with lots of light scratches will respond well to a medium skim. and would not affect sound quality . as long as chemicals were not applied during process

Edited by gogopro

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people keep talking about the "boiling method" which is apparently specific to UK discs. There definitely are a bunch of US sellers that polish records and I don't think they're using steam. I don't think they're using T-Cut either (which isn't available in the US as far as I know, although maybe there is a similar product). I don't know how they do it but I have gotten lots of obviously polished records in the mail, I can think of 4 california sellers alone that do it (not going to name names here). You can tell the record has been polished as there are dull scratches that look like they used to be deeper. I also have gotten more and less polished discs, sometimes trashed records have clearly been highly polished where there is little left in the grooves versus records that clearly just have a little bit taken off. Also, some of the records I've gotten that have been more heavily polished have wear on the label that looks like it might be from the process.

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I'm not sure if the topic here is skimming or polishing, they seem to be two different things. I don't think there is some secret polishing machine that you can buy on the black market. I'm guessing that it's more like a manual effort. Polishing of records in the US goes back to the 1960s and the original wave of vocal group and rockabilly collecting. There were a couple well known US dealers (in the northeast) doing this consistently. One of them had his surname incorparated into a perjorative statement about record condition ("that record was ......-ized"). In the 1980s a Michigan based dealer who primarily sold garage records brought the process into the next generation of collecting (said collector also revived the fake acetate scene). I'm sure there were plenty more. Now that record collecting in the US has moved into the realm of the Entitlement Generation, it's back on the upswing. I rarely get polished records, OTOH most of my eBay buys are from dealers who I know don't do it because they are too lazy to bother cleaning the records, let alone polish them, or scroungers.

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If there's shit coming out of the grooves then that's not a proper skim, it's the T-Cut method, what you have to do is wash them in soapy water and it will get all of the crap out, unfortunately it means that the record will revert to how it looked before it was treated but will actually sound better.

The person you mentioned; everyone knows he does it. If I wanted a record 'cleaned' thats where I'd go. I'd rather sell them in their real state though.

Pete, the crap comes out after washing. I always clean every record I get before playing.

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Personally I know of two dealers. And they both told me (without me even me asking LOL !) One is in Germany though and not really a Soul 45 dealer.

My advice would be: Do not skim and try to avoid skimmed ones when buying. Amongst others I had one I always thought it could have been a victim of skimming (in fact I believe it was) played well until very recently it started to jump unbelieveable badly. I suspect because of (too) heavy skimming not enough groove left for the needle to find a steady hold in it.

I am with Phil, skimming is :yes: good.

Marc

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Boba,

The hot water treatment only works on 60's EMI distributed UK 45s as far as I know.

Gogo has confused me as he talks about applying pressure but he is right that it will make a VG [heavily marked but NOT scratched] record presentable. Never noticed any loss in sound quality though unless you f**k up in some way.

Basically you boil a kettle.

Leave for 2-3 minutes.

Hold record upright slightly tilted, and pour water down one side and then lay flat

Repeat other side.

Dry off by wiping with record cleaning cloth.

ROD

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All This Sounds To Risky To Me Unless The Record Is Totally Fooked Anyway!! yes.gif

I agree. Nothing wrong with giving a record a really good cleaning or trying to remove skips. But if a record is so battered only skimming would help I'd rather leave and simply accept it as it is

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I agree. Nothing wrong with giving a record a really good cleaning or trying to remove skips. But if a record is so battered only skimming would help I'd rather leave and simply accept it as it is

Exactly, and that's the point. Dodgy people are selling skimmed records and not describing them as such. At one time, a very famous dealer who shall remain nameless :rolleyes: , actually did have 45's for sale with "skm" in the description. I actually bought one not knowing what the abbreviation meant. Needless to say he got it back once I'd seen it. It's wrong.............stop it..............:D

Phil.

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