Skip to main content

Need Help!

Record Cleaning
Author Last Post
Cavitation cleaning:

Fremer has posted links ( https://www.analogplanet.com/content/cleanervinylcoms-reasonaly-priced-multi-lp-cavitation-based-recod-cleaning-system)
and a hobbyist-seller (http://cleanervinyl.com/ ) has created a budget cavitation style record cleaner,
demonstrated on Youtube ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_owUDRiM5k&t=318s ),
sold on eBay as a buy-it-now for about $160. 

You buy the recommended, already manufactured cavitation well/motor (another $150),
and this hobbyist's arm holds and rotates the records (up to 8 at a time) in the vat.
 
Scott and Markus - am going to email you separately and includes some others from the Club (the analog interest group) as I am interested in the commercial ultrasonic cleaners despite having a VP! 16.5 and a homemade Ultrasonic cleaner a la the one Markus describes - note the current issue of The Absolute Sound has a rave follow up review by Robert Harley on the KLaudio KD-CLN-LP200 @ $4000.

While I do not plan to buy this for myself, I may be interested in getting maybe 8 or so members of the Club to go in together for $400-500 each so one of these could then be shared and checked out like a library book - think there might be any interest? 

I have corresponded with John Morrison re: this idea - he has suggested I seek interest and maybe he could take it to the Exec Committee - my only concern here is that I think the # of people that buy in needs to be relatively small (8-10 as opposed to the entire Club) to facilitate people being able to check it out without waiting forever.

Let me know your thoughts
 
I've been salivating over that fabulous $4,000 German unit since it was released. But lacking that sort of budget I recently decided to find a 'good enough' solution, preferably of the ultrasonic kind. An urgent need to clean up and sell a few hundred old LPs from estate sales accelerated that decision, and I opted for the following interesting system:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ultrasonic-Vinyl-Record-Cleaner-Vinyl-Stack-ULTRA-Sonic-Spin-Kit/161402849405?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

.... along with the recommended ultrasonic cleaner (6" wide tub), at an additional $130, shipping included.

At a total of $420 I got something that essentially does the same as the $4,000 piece, minus dirt particle filtering and built-in dryer.) The former I plan to implement eventually for about $80 using fish tank filtering hardware, and the latter is not really needed as the Vinyl Stack combo comes with two drying racks which hold 3 LPs each.

Even without ever adding any detergents or alcohol, or activating the water heater, which is notoriously unreliable on those cheap ultrasonic baths, I am getting excellent results - better than I've experienced with vacuum units. For the first time I am getting to play some of my cherished disks again which been unplayable since a massive house flood over 10 years ago. (Thank you, petroleum industry for repurposing your by-product Polybutylene in residential water pipes...)

In that incident, half of my LP collection had been sprinkled and soaked in water, in a basement at about 80F for an entire week while I was on vacation. Dust and pulp from disintegrated walls, LP sleeves and jackets settled in, then mold joined the party, taking over those grooves and developing a fascinating new twist on the Petri dish. Half of the damaged LPs were thrown out (the mold was seriously toxic), but the remainder received a rough cleansing, in the hopes that an affordable treatment would eventually materialize.

This ultrasonic cleaning combo did the job, three discs at at time, at low RPM for 15 minutes. (about 4 revolutions) While the ultrasonic generators' noise is super annoying (You have to either put headphones on leave the room), the results are great. So far, about 10 of the 'flood victims' and a dozen from estate sales (after 30+ years of collecting dust in basements and garages) came out really good, as did a few I'd bought on eBay in VG condition with excessive dust and fingerprints. Most of them now sound like new.

While the longevity of the above components is questionable, I have heard that the expensive Audio Desk Systeme unit is not without its issues either.

For me the bottom line is that, at about one ninth of the system cost of the ultra high end product, I can replace the most failure prone element (ultrasonic tub) eleven times and still spent only half the Dollars I would have sunk on the Audio Desk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner Pro.

Time will tell, as I have about 600 LPs waiting to be cleaned, and more arriving every month as I'm a frequent visitor to estate sales. So far I'm only $420 out of pocket, and a gallon jug of distilled water is just 99c!
 
If you want to check out this website, it is amazing what record grooves look like under high magnification. 

www.synthgear.com/2014/audio-gear/record-grooves-electron-microscope

Yes, you can actually see the dust inside the grooves.

Has anyone experimented with ultrasonic record cleaning equipment.  The commercially available units run up to $4000.  Do these really make a difference?

My Nitty Gritty record vacuum is over 20 years old and I make my own cleaning solution and it seems to get the job done.
 
Return to Forum