I got here a few records which looked if they are scratched. The scratches (if they are scratches) look like grooves. (They lay exact in the same direction as the grooves) But if I listen to this records, you hear nothing, just music. No cracks or jumps or something in between, only music.

I tried to make two pictures, where you can slightly see the scratches.

Can someone tell me what this is. Are these light scratches or do they only look like scratches.

Regards LStrikevinyl scratch onevinyl scratch 2

  • You're not just talking about the gaps between the tracks, where it's darker, are you? – user16 Mar 30 '15 at 19:28
  • No, I am not talking about the gaps. – LStrike Mar 30 '15 at 19:29
  • OK sorry just checking as that's where the red was! actually I do see what you mean now... – user16 Mar 30 '15 at 19:31
  • No problem, maybe a little bit complicated to explain my issue. – LStrike Mar 30 '15 at 19:36

It's hard to tell from the photos, but there are two possibilities I can think of…

  1. Random chance of frequencies
    Sometimes frequencies in the recording do just seem to highlight better than others. If there is a particularly board-spectrum sound at that point, white noise or something high & 'fizzy' there's a chance that could do it.
    Also, possibly very quiet or even silent passages may produce a highly reflective surface.

  2. Damage to the top of the groove but not its entire depth
    An extremely blunt or cracked/split stylus can damage the very top of the 'valley' of the groove; or something got jammed around the stylus at that point, but then moved away or was left behind; or at one time extra pressure was applied just at that point on a shallow-point stylus; or if it was a frequently-used cue-drop-point…. or something was spilled, a tiny droplet that the stylus took with it & spread for a few seconds, subsequent passes would clean out the stylus-path but not the top of the groove.
    In all these, if only the top of the groove was affected, a good, clean stylus wouldn't 'see' it on the way past, so it would still sound fine.

  • 1
    If it runs around the entire circumference of the record (as it appears to do), Tetsujin is likely correct. I've seen that happen in quieter passages of a song as well where there is less instrumentation, which aligns with reason #1 above. – Johnny Bones Mar 30 '15 at 19:06
  • ah, ty @JohnnyBones - I hadn't thought of quiet or even silent passages, as a particularly reflective surface. Will tweak answer – Tetsujin Mar 30 '15 at 19:08
  • Re point 2 - I used to buy, as a poor, starving student, ex-jukebox records - some of them had almost white surfaces with the amount of blunt needle damage they'd had, but a good stylus would simply 'see' below where the worn styli ever reached & they didn't sound too bad. – Tetsujin Mar 30 '15 at 19:13
  • To add further weight to #1, a groove on a record is shaped exactly like a wave form in the digital domain. So, music that needs a wider wave form is going to have grooves spread out further to accomodate them in a concentric circle. Music with a more condensed wave form (like quiet music) can have those grooves closer together, which will make them look shiny. – Johnny Bones Mar 30 '15 at 19:21
  • Your answer sounds good. Maybe it is light damage on the grooves. The next time I will listen more closely to the record to check if in that area are high frequencies or maybe some light cracks. Thanks so far. – LStrike Mar 30 '15 at 19:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.