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Send Vinyl Records
Vinyl is experiencing its revival. Even if the discs were replaced in the 80s by cassettes and CDs, in today's days there is a movement inspired by old times, of which the discs were naturally part of it. This is why it is not surprising that delicate equipment is also increasingly shipped.
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Especially with regard to the delicacy of the product, first of all it is to clarify which material exactly it is: in general, a disc is a similar audio support for acoustic signals, which are saved in a spiral-shaped hollow. With the turntable etching needle, this sculpted structure is transformed into audible acoustic signals. While in the 19th century the discs were made of wax, shortly thereafter they became 78-round discs, named in reference to the number of revolutions per minute necessary for listening. Instead of the particularly expensive natural-based product, in the 1930s polyvinylchloride was used for the production of records, the source of the term ""vinyl"" still used today. Even if the vinyl record compared to the CD is quite delicate, if treated with care and stored in the right place, it has an almost unlimited durability. Only when used with the needle does the disc wear off, which also affects the quality of the sound. Modern turntables use optical reading, thanks to which wear is avoided. Also in reference to transport certain damages can be avoided. In general, the fact remains that with a suitable packaging the shipment of vinyl is not a problem. Europacco.com provides you with answers on the most important questions regarding your shipment of vinyl.
1. What is the packaging material suitable for shipping discs?
To pack the discs, it is advisable to use polyethylene with air bubbles, cardboard and straps for closing. Precious discs or vinyl records, where the inside cover is missing, must be placed in containers adapted for shipping, to ensure safe transport. For this type of product it is of course of fundamental importance that even the smallest graphs are avoided, which can ruin a disk. Since most of the discs need a cardboard up but still big enough (the discs have a standard diameter of 25 or 30 centimeters), even a pizza board can be useful. If cleaned, it constitutes a part of the packaging material.
2. How to properly pack a disk?
For such delicate materials, the right approach is to think from the smallest aspect to the biggest:
a) So let's start with the first layer of packaging, which is equivalent to the disk itself. In the ideal case, the vinyl is still in the original cover of the disc, which provides a cardboard cover in addition to the inside cover, in which the disk is inserted. This cover protects the vinyl from external impacts such as graphs, but also from heat and dust. For the storage of the disk is absolutely necessary. However, it may happen that the inner covers over the years are torn due to the sharp edges and must be replaced. Only in this case the inner cover is to be replaced. Normally the original cover is to be preserved, since in addition to protection for an enthusiast also contributes to the value of the disk. If this protective layer fails, we recommend buying a neutral cover, online offer or in any specialized store. Regarding this: the experts use only reinforced covers with a cardboard on the corners, to protect even the sharp edges of the discs, which otherwise can ruin the cover. If you do not even have one of these containers in hand, the disc should be inserted at least in silk paper, to protect it from graphs and dirt. If from your disk in addition to the outer cover also missing the internal one, it is recommended to insert the disc as well as in tissue paper, further in a cardboard up, which provides additional protection, as does for example the original LP cover.
b) Be careful also to the following step: if the disc is correctly inserted in the cover, in addition it can be wrapped with a layer of polyethylene with air bubbles and fixed with adhesive tape or straps. This way the vinyl is padded for transport.
c) Then you can take into consideration the classic pizza board or any other type of cardboard, which gives further stability to the padded disk. Of course you can personally make additional protection with a slightly sturdy cardboard, in which you can insert the vinyl. Given the size of the package, the disk is normally sent by parcel delivery. There are a series of online guides for how to reduce the size of the package, for example by introducing the transverse audio support, to make it pass as a document delivery, obviously cheaper. What certainly for the reference to weight seems to be sensible (a disk weighs on average from 180 to 200 grams), is not to be encouraged in terms of safety: if the vinyl is inserted crosswise in the cardboard, in the worst case all the pressure weighs on one side, causing damage or even a crack. For this reason we recommend a shipping with a cardboard cover, which does not fold, thus cushioning bumps and granting stability. Finally, given the problems in terms of safety, for vinyl, europacco.com only allows parcel shipping and not as a document.
d) When the disc is packed in a carton, any empty spaces may be filled with paper or polyethylene with air bubbles. The moment you use a package up, this step becomes superfluous, since the disk is already protected enough. It therefore remains only to close the package well and to affix the transport documents, which must be applied in a very visible way on the outside. By following this packaging process you can ship your discs securely, giving the recipient musical pleasures.
3. Additional tip: how to extract an LP correctly from the cover?
Especially beginners in the field of vinyl must pay attention while they unload the record. Not only the shipping, but also the daily use of the discs must be known, to enjoy the pleasure of the disk as long as possible. It is important to know, that powders and even digital impressions can damage the LP's narrow grooves or dirty them, thus tampering with the quality of the disc. Each extraction of the disc causes friction on the surface, which should be reduced as much as possible. If you want to take a disc out of the cover, pull out the inside cover from the cover, crushing with one hand on one side of the inner cover (with the surface up) towards your body. Doing so, the cover opens and you can put the second hand under the disc, pulling it with your fingers in the center ring. Now you can also help with the second hand, to place the vinyl on the turntable. The disc should only be touched with the open hand on the edges! If possible, do not try to touch the disc on the surface, avoiding touching the disc underneath or with your fingers. As stated: the right packaging and handling in daily use allow the longevity of your precious vinyl.
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