Friday, 28 March 2008

More housekeeping for my Hi-Fi

My speakers and record deck have both been waxed and polished 'til you can see your face in them, but that is by no means all that is demanded by the wish to enjoy good music.

CDs. Perfect sound forever (huh!), remember that? Sooner or later you will find yourself playing your favourite music and suddenly it starts jumping or sticking. When you take the disc out of the player you may be lucky and find a speck of dirt that is causing the problem; easy to wipe away and the problem is solved. But you may be unlucky; there may be a small scratch in the plastic, or you may have used a spirit-based cleaner to remove that earlier speck and find that the disc itself has turned opaque as a result.

Help though is at hand. Because 'Brasso' ('By appointment to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II) does a wonderful job of polishing out blemishes from the playing surface of the disc. Just use sparingly with a soft clean cloth, and be sure to polish all the residue away.

Then there's the so-called 'jewel' case, a uselessly fragile assembly that acquires scratches almost as a riposte to the most careful handling. It cracks. Or it breaks entirely, most often the hinge for the lid but sometimes the entire case (as per the one in my photo, utterly irrecoverable damage courtesy of her Majesty's Royal Mail). Brasso certainly doesn't fix cracked or broken cases, and you simply have to decide what degree of damage you are comfortable with. But you can get used to taking damaged cases apart, and only discarding the broken parts. The salvage can often be used to repair the next case that would otherwise bite the dust. Scratches and unwanted opacity do respond wonderfully to Brasso though, just as with the discs themselves.

I love the distinctive and traditional tin that Brasso comes in; if only they'd kept the small metal cap rather than switching to the plastic one.

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