Kirmuss Audio Ultrasonic RCM?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Steve0, Apr 28, 2018.

  1. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    Hello Charles, since I ordered one at T.H.E. Newport Show, I look forward to trying it myself, reading your technical whitepaper, and reporting back here about my personal experience using the machine.
     
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  2. marka

    marka Forum Resident

    Hi Charles,

    We talked at the Newport show - I was with Warren, though kept getting interrupted by a few important calls.

    I very much appreciated the time you spent with me, patiently answering a number of tough questions I posed, some of which have been raised here by others. Many of your answers perfectly addressed my concerns, some were just over my head, and some left me still a skeptic, absent additional information. I look forward to doing some testing with Warren’s machine when it arrives, as seeing (or listening) is believing.

    With respect to surfactants and cleaning chemicals, you indicated that you tested all sorts of available formulations, including L’art du son, which I use. One of my concerns was with the toxicity of materials, either through direct exposure, or through later environmental contamination. I was curious if you have ever tested Simple Green for use, or what you thought of the potential of using it in place of other, more toxic compounds.
     
  3. rollo5

    rollo5 Forum Reprobate

    Location:
    Altadena, CA
    Charles,

    I asked you at Newport about using enzymes as a pre-wash before using ultrasound . I understood you were against it, but didn’t quite understand the reasoning. Would you mind repeating it here?

    Thank you.
     
  4. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Most surfactants like Triton X-100, are also detergents.
     
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  5. 5-String

    5-String Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sunshine State
    In AudioDesk, KLAudio, and Degritter the ultrasonic transducers are placed on the sides aiming directly at the surface of the record.

    On the Kirmuss and the DIY systems they are at the bottom of the tank.

    So, I was wondering, what difference does this make in regards to the effectiveness of these different systems? To me, it looks like with the transducers on the sides, cleaning will be better, right?
     
    Leonthepro likes this.
  6. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I don't have the answer for you but I wouldn't necessarily assume that. It could have no affect what so ever.

    Of course this being the record collecting world, there will likely be endless arguments about it at some point :)
     
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  7. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    If they are located on the sides and you are cleaning a three record spindle in these type of tanks, the ultrasonic wave will only directly be affecting side one of the first record in the spindle and side two of the third record.

    Mounted underneath, it can reach all three sides of all three records.
     
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  8. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Good point. But then you also necessarily mean to say that the placement matters. And considering how you cant clean many records on the Kirmuss why wasnt side mounted transducers used? Part of the campaigning is that you should not clean many records at the same time. Seems like it was made with conflicting ideas here.
     
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  9. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I don't see being able to clean three records at a time to be any kind of serious limitation. Manual RCM only let you clean a single record side at a time. Expensive automatic RCM only do one record at a time.

    Apparently, the technical choice was to place the ultrasonic transducer's at the bottom, so that it could better clean the three albums that are directly above. That seems pretty simple and strait forward.

    Placing them on opposing sides would be more beneficial if you were only going to clean one album at a time.
     
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  10. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Which is what the Kirmuss suggests you do.
     
  11. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    Guys: I'm not sure that the effect is simply one of placement of the transducers in relation to the object to be cleaned but positioning to obtain the most even power distribution. The transducers induce compression and rarefaction of the liquid (where the bubbles implode, causing the cleaning effect). Apparently (see linked paper below), damage can occur if part of the object is in an area of compression and part is in an area of rarefaction. See http://www.tmasc.com/qa%20process.htm
    The transducers can be designed to have a certain resonance frequency, including by adding mass to the transducer to 'tune' it--there is a relationship between the transducer, its size, power, frequency and mass that correlates to its output.
    Records can, as @SandAndGlass noted, act as baffles to block the effect of the cavitation, so, in theory, placing the transducers at the bottom of the tank could allow for more even distribution of the ultrasonic effect. The size and shape of the tank will also play a role as will the frequency, power and number of transducers. And heat is a big factor which is caused in large part by the cavitation process itself. (Some ultrasonic machines have heat controls and cooling so that the temperature is maintained within a range).
    If Charles publishes his research, that will go a long way toward answering some of these questions.
    My biggest objection to Charles' product introduction has very little to do with his machine but the manner of presentation.

    I don't pretend to be an expert in any of this-- much of the literature is out there, at least in industrial applications. Fine tuning the technology and methods for record cleaning is the goal- to maximize cleaning effect and minimize any potential damage.

    I don't know what Charles considers proprietary and how much he will disclose in whatever white paper he releases.

    Often, the most difficult part of this isn't even the science or the experimentation and reporting of results, but the presentation of the information in readable form. I've had similar discussions elsewhere about bridging the gap between technological innovation and translating that into understandable form.

    Many of these questions- about effectiveness, frequency, duration, temperature, placement of the record(s) in the device, the use of surfactants to enhance cavitation effect by reducing surface tension of the liquid, etc.--are legitimate questions. Most of the "designed for LP cleaning" machines haven't gone into great depth in explaining their design and construction choices. (I've talked at some length with Tim at KL and Robert Stein at Ultra Systems who brought the Audio Desk into the States).

    Much of my learning, though, has been reading through various papers from industrial ultrasonic device manufacturers with long experience in cleaning things other than records, and some lengthy discussions with one such manufacturer. However, you can only extrapolate so much given that cleaning metal parts is much different than cleaning records. The best information, anecdotally, has been from that long, long thread on DIY Audio about the construction of an ultrasonic record cleaning machine-- and most of these folks aren't scientists, they are capable hobbyists willing to experiment and freely exchange information on results. That is where Rush Paul derived much of his learning to assemble a pretty good DIY machine, and a readable article on why he made certain choices (and a far easier read than slogging through that huge DIY Audio thread).

    I say, wait until Charles publishes and Fremer reviews for some of the answers. I think the machine Charles is offering is a great value.

    I have a number of questions myself, but rather than carping about what hasn't been answered or answered clearly, let's see what's forthcoming. I bought both an AD and a KL with little more information other than word of mouth on results from other early adopters.

    And, though I seem to be critical, I see little downside to his machine. I'm not in favor of applying any sort of anti-fungal that remains on the record after cleaning since I don't think fungus/mold is a real problem for most of us, unless we are salvaging records that have already suffered from mold. I'm also not sure that conventional cleaning methods are harmful unless the cleaning fluid and contaminants are not fully removed as a result of the cleaning process. For what it's worth, the vortex effect of spinning a record was noted back in 1964 or so by Percy Wilson, whose seminal paper on the development of an effective record cleaning machine led to the manufacture of the Monks. (It's been a while since I read that paper, so I'm operating from memory here).
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
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  12. ashulman

    ashulman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Utica, NY
    Just got this machine and cleaned a couple records that were in bad bad shape on first listen last week. Result? Amazing. One record had flaws unrelated to cleaning, so still a bit noisy but remarkably better. The other when from constant crackle to nearly silent. Couldn't be happier at the moment. The regimen is involved but not overly so. You get into a rhythm. Hoping to hear more good results but wanted to report back asap
     
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  13. marka

    marka Forum Resident

    Had you cleaned those any time previously?
     
  14. ashulman

    ashulman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Utica, NY
    No these were uncleaned, as far as I know, just purchased used from a store. They were very noisy on first play which is why I went to them first. I've only had the record doctor which I've had a terrible experience with (leaves more gunk in the grooves than it cleans). My local store vacuum cleans all records, and I'm not in a hurry to clean already cleaned records that sound pretty good. Not sure how I would detect an improvement
     
  15. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    If your Record Doctor makes records dirtier then you probably dont clean your machine well enough.
     
  16. rollo5

    rollo5 Forum Reprobate

    Location:
    Altadena, CA
    I received an email from Charles notifying me he will be shipping my RCM tomorrow. Will report my impressions once it arrives. I’m mostly going to be cleaning lps already cleaned by other processss. Should be fun to see what improvements can be had using this method.
     
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  17. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Could you maybe record before and after?
     
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  18. rollo5

    rollo5 Forum Reprobate

    Location:
    Altadena, CA
    That would be cool but I’m not set up for recording.
     
  19. Jeffreylee

    Jeffreylee Rock 'n' Roll Typist

    Location:
    Louisville
    I just put together a complete ultrasonic system, with filtration and enough cleaning ingredients for at least six months, and it all cost $560 delivered. Cleans any size record in batches of three and is working great so far. That's significantly cheaper than $795 (or $850, depending where you look) for a system that doesn't filter out the inevitable crap, which means constantly replacing the water/cleaning fluids.
     
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  20. rollo5

    rollo5 Forum Reprobate

    Location:
    Altadena, CA
    That sounds awesome. Can you post some pix?
     
  21. Jeffreylee

    Jeffreylee Rock 'n' Roll Typist

    Location:
    Louisville
    I'll take a few tonight. I didn't do anything fancy. I just followed the well-traveled advice of Rushton Paul, who documents his ultrasonic journey in the link below. I skipped one of the ingredients he uses as it's not readily available any longer (Hepastat 256) and seemed to be overkill, anyway. The most expensive part was the Vinyl Stack record spinner, at $290. Some people make their own version for a lot less but I'm not that handy and it's a key component. I did a lot of research and Paul's system felt like the most effective.

    https://positive-feedback.com/audio-discourse/rushton-paul-diy-approach-ultrasonic-cleaning-lps/

    The first record I cleaned was The Tremeloes' "Here Comes My Baby" (Epic, 1967) which looked VG+/NM but played awful. Even after two hard-core wet cleanings the surface noise made it close to unlistenable. I suspect it was polluted with nicotine or molds. The ultrasonic knocked out 80-percent of the noise, and although it isn't dead quiet by any means it's a vast improvement.

    I may give it another cleaning to see what happens. I'm still experimenting with water temp and the cleaning solution mix.
     
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  22. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Some records are just noisy to begin with too.
     
  23. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    Rush (Paul) did a great job synthesizing a vast amount of info. His article is a gem.
     
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  24. Jeffreylee

    Jeffreylee Rock 'n' Roll Typist

    Location:
    Louisville
    He made it all unreasonably easy. I wonder now why I waited so long.
     
    Leonthepro likes this.
  25. Steve0

    Steve0 Audio Banana Thread Starter

    Location:
    australia
    I have half way assembled a DIY already but my better half does not like it being setup in the kitchen nor the noise it makes when its running. This is why I am looking for other ways to handle it. Maybe there is no better way. Thanks for the link, I am interested in the filtration as its something I am still missing and suspect its badly needed
     

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