Kirmuss Audio Ultrasonic RCM?

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

  1. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    Location:
    La Jolla, Calif
    Warren, I don't think anyone is trying to shoot you as the messenger, certainly not I. However, some of the claims that Kirmuss have put forth are IMO suspicious or questionable. However, all of the claims work well to justify their machine vs. the competition, LOL.
    One of my good a'phile friends/dealer told me just recently that he had never seen so many unscrupulous characters in the industry as there are at the present time...
    Absolutely NOT saying this applies to you or even the folks at Kirmuss, but my friends point does seem apropos these days. It truly requires, now more than ever, that the a'phile consumer sort out the 'BS' from the real science. Not an easy thing to do, which the unscrupulous know full well, all IMHO.
     
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  2. Record Genie

    Record Genie Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Natick MA
    Here's the KA-RC-1 user manual again, with none of Charles Kirmuss' research published, this is worth a look if others want to know more:

    http://new.morrowaudio.com/media/W1siZiIsIjIwMTgvMDUvMDcvNWFxMXkxNmhvb19LQV9SQ18xX093bmVyc19NYW51YWwucGRmIl1d/KA-RC-1 Owners Manual.pdf?sha=f83114d01d687ccf

    Please note there are some important disclaimers in BOLD TYPE:

    On page 2 in BLUE:

    "WARRANTY IS VOIDED IF ANY OTHER SOLU- TIONS OR CLEANERS ARE USED OTHER THAN THOSE SUPPLIED IN THIS KIT OR RECOMMENDED BY KIRMUSSAUDIO."

    On the back cover page in RED:

    "STOP USING THE MACHINE FOR 10 MINUTES AFTER 35 MINUTES OF USE: THIS TO COOL DOWN THE ULTRASONIC GENERATOR. FAILURE TO DO SO MAY CAUSE DAMAGE TO THE WASHING SYSTEM AND VOID WARRANTY. "
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
  3. bluesaddict

    bluesaddict High Tech Welder

    Location:
    Loveland, Colorado
    Ya I posted a link to this a few pages back and some commented on the thing you cut and pasted.
     
  4. Record Genie

    Record Genie Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Natick MA
    Sorry bluesaddict, obviously I missed that! I saw you posted the manual on Page 5, but do you know what page those comments are on?
     
  5. Drewan77

    Drewan77 Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK/USA
    The word here is 'suction' of course - anything drawn in by the vacuum is most likely going straight down the wand! I have steamed, then RCM cleaned many LPs over many years & a very high percentage end up as near silent as I could ever want (all remain flat in spite of steam being part of my process).

    The first time I added a small % of isopropanol was about 20y ago & I just found & played that LP (...last time was long ago) - no signs of mould, 'sugar', powder, greying, brittleness or any other noticeable visible or audible damage. It still sounds 'new'.

    The Kirmuss machine looks good to me & no doubt works well. However I am insulted by the way it is promoted (criticisms of every other method most of us use, with so-far unsupported claims).
     
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  6. Smokinone

    Smokinone Active Member

    Location:
    Southern Nevada

    It also states you can use 3 tablespoons of of liquid detergent for use as a utility cleaner (back page). The instructions go on to say that items to be cleaned are placed in a basket and put into the solution/tank. Evidently from the contents or what's included description, you are on your own for a basket.
    If you read the non-highlighted instruction set it recommends cooling for 20 minutes after a 35 minute cycle (page 3). The machine evidently shuts itself off after each cleaning cycle as the instruction are having you hit the power button twice to resume or process a second cleaning cycle. I haven't read through the instructions of my Sharpertech US machine, but maybe others with US machines can comment on if they have a required or recommended shut down period after a continuous cleaning cycle. I imagine the isonic units have the same limitation or cool down cycle as the US machine is manufactured by them.
    Duty cycles are not new and I'm sure most of the cleaners of any type and manufacture include them...they all generate heat except for the manual types.
     
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  7. bluesaddict

    bluesaddict High Tech Welder

    Location:
    Loveland, Colorado
    All I did was post the link. Some people commented on a few of the things that were in it. Don't know what page.
     
  8. Record Genie

    Record Genie Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Natick MA
    I looked at the Morrow Audio product page for the KA-RC-1 earlier (it's the only place the user manual seems to be posted, couldn't find it anywhere on the Kirmuss Audio website) and I see they have large "before and after" record grooves images that were taken by Klaudio!

    I know this because I recognize the images, the exact same ones I asked Tim at Klaudio for permission to use on Record Genie's website!

    Isn't that a bit unscrupulous using a competitor's "before and after cleaning" close up photos, presumably without permission?

    I'm not sure if it's Morrow Audio's mistake, or perhaps Charles Kirmuss & Associates are playing just a bit too "fast and loose" and consider them part of their "3 years of research" that still hasn't been published..

    You can see the photos half way down the page, "Before Cleaning" and "After Cleaning", unless they've been taken down:
    In The Groove KA-RC-1 Ultrasonic Record Cleaning System
     
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  9. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    I think, in fairness to the contributors here, we should all take a deep breath. Let Fremer review the thing- for those of you who think he's a pain in the ass (I don't, I like him), all the better that he kick the tires. A couple thoughts I'll share based on my own experience, having not used the Kirmuss (and no, I am not interested in reviewing it, I stay out of the mosh pit on gear reviews):

    1. Does US cleaning harm records? I don't think so, but what scientific evidence will satisfy those with concerns? I'm not being snarky, but asking- visual examination under an electron microscope? It's possible to do with access to a lab facility. Listening? Lot's of people have done that, me included and the results for me have been positive, at least in combination with more conventional cleaning methods. Evidence of detritus in tank? The only time I've found faint gray grit (it's not even grit, it's so fine) is popping a new record into the KL. Since I pre-clean any used record (and some new ones), I rarely find any physical evidence of some material left in the tank after cleaning. I also cycle out my bath water frequently- the KL uses no surfactant- a minus in my view after further study-- since I do not have an external filtering and recycling system.
    2. Frequency- Conventional wisdom is 40kHz and higher, but one fellow on Audiogon said he measured a KL at 35kHz. I did a quick look for a handheld test device- they all appeared to be over US $1,000, but I suppose you could find one used from a lab supply house. And, you then have to connect the measurement of frequency to the issue of potential damage as well as the cleaning efficacy at different frequencies.
    3. Cleaning Efficacy- I've found that the ultrasonics alone don't do the job on old, grotty (but valuable) records. So, I use a point nozzle vacuum in combo with an ultrasonic. Before i had the point nozzle (a big Monks), i used an old VPI- it helped remove stuff using AIVS No. 15 that ultrasonic alone couldn't clean.
    4. I don't think a good vacuum regime (and that's as much about practice as the machine) is harmful. I agree that forced air cleaning is not optimal-- I think the vacuum helps remove the contaminated fluid. The Monks, albeit at a price, does a wonderful job, but if you know how to use a less rarified vacuum RCM, you can do a pretty good job using good practices.
    5. Rinse, to me, is critical. I don't want to leave any chemical on the record.

    As to the Kirmuss machine, haven't used it and can't speak negatively of it. Earlier in this thread I applauded the fact that there is now a commercial machine that is available for around the same price as DIY (which really doesn't require a lot of "doing" since you buy the rotisserie designed for spinning the records and an ultrasonic bath that you can use without any significant modification (though some mods, like recycling and filtering make sense to me)).
    My friend Tima, who is a reviewer, and has owned the Audio Desk as well as a Loricraft, did a piece I published last year on DIY. His cheap ultrasonic machine is crapping out, so he sprung for a big Elma. That's the ticket in my estimation, but it ain't cheap.
    As to Kirmuss's approach to selling, as I think I mentioned upthread, he may be getting in his own way as the spokesperson. I think the machine is certainly worth investigating, whether or not you like Kirmuss as a personality. There are a lot of characters in audio. He's one of many, and that shouldn't reflect negatively on the merits of his machine if it stands up to scrutiny. User anecdotals based on experience in the field by owners of the device in question are often helpful here- when I owned an Audio Desk, there were a lot of little tricks to optimizing its use (this was the first generation machine, not the 'Pro').
    PS: Dave, the Record Genie dude, is alright. He may not be entirely impartial in the sense that he is in the business of selling a cleaning service, but one thing I do know- because we talked many times a few years ago-- is that he will buy or build pretty much whatever it takes to improve his results. If he can get good results DIY, or with an AD or KL, I think his input is not to be discounted since the guy uses these machines. Quite a bit.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
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  10. Record Genie

    Record Genie Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Natick MA
    Wow, so the iSonic/Kirmuss tanks need 2o minutes off to cool down for every 35 minutes operating time? I thought 10 minutes was bad enough!

    While I wasn't happy paying more for Elma P60H tanks, I really wanted 80khz capability to deep clean safely, and I guess they really did cost more for good reason - As a safety feature they only shut themselves off after being on for 12 hours, Elma says that's to prevent "unintentional permanent operation"! I think 12 hours continuous cleaning time is enough for even the largest record cleaning batches!
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
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  11. Otlset

    Otlset Forum Resident

    Location:
    Temecula, CA
    Have you ever tried putting a little surfactant in it? Or even vinegar? I've been tempted to try, but keep chickening out.
     
  12. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    Nah, don't want to void the warranty, but mine's probably past warranty period- i have had it for a while. it was an early mk ? with the cooling system, no toggle switch. Been a while. It's been reliable. I think given the fact that i'm doing a serious clean on the Monks in many cases, it's just one step for me. When it craps out, I'll buy an Elma.
     
  13. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    According to what Tima said on another forum, the build quality on the Elma is pretty high compared to the cheapie machines. But obviously, you are paying for that. I think he's going to to an update on his experience with the new machine, which I'll be happy to link to here when it is published.
     
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  14. Smokinone

    Smokinone Active Member

    Location:
    Southern Nevada
    Well, I think we're all getting a little out of hand here. The Kirmuss to me represents a US cleaner that is less than 1/4 the price of the KL and the AD systems and a few dollars more or less than other systems. It's rather a simple to use machine, start it up, drop in a record or 2, wipe and play. No skewering or extra steps that way. Dry it with what ever method you feel comfortable with and enjoy. It's just another tool.

    It was also mentioned about the Vinyl Stack. Well if you go with the cheaper tank to get into the $400 range, you have the some of the same failures and limitations with the US cleaners after prolonged use, and sometimes not so prolonged. If you go to the more expensive US cleaners, you are at the price of the Kirmuss or other commercial offerings. Everything is a trade off of sorts. The V8 uses the trusonic .

    The AD systems have had a lot of problems as well as noted in other posts. Both the AD and KL instruction manuals are filled with cautions and warnings of using other than specified or provided cleaning agents as well as other operational warnings. For me the KA-RC-1 is something that I could use to clean a couple of records and play them...that's the way I use my OKKI. I don't have record cleaning binges and most of us I imagine would just do occasional cleanings. If you're in the business, then fine spend the money on more expensive options, totally different scenario.

    I have to agree with Bill in that we are letting the sales pitch out weigh the product. I haven't been to any of the Audio shows and haven't listened to the pitches of all the other manufactures of any type of cleaners or other products...but I imagine they all have the better product and get you to the moon and back if need be. They all have a little snake oil in there somewhere.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
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  15. Record Genie

    Record Genie Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Natick MA
    Adding surfactant would lower the surface tension of the water and make the cavitation even stronger, and since Klaudio used 200 watts to accomplish strong cavitation in straight water, I suspect that it would be crazy and all the foam created would go everywhere!

    It would probably be like a "washing machine disaster" in a movie, foam coming out the top of the machine, pouring all over the floor, frying the electronics etc, and if it made it to the drying part of the cycle then foam would be blown out all over the room!

    I'm also out of warranty on both my Klaudio machines, but haven't been tempted to try it yet though, to know for sure.. :)
     
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  16. Record Genie

    Record Genie Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Natick MA
    You're right, they all have problems, at all price-points - Why doesn't someone make a competent affordable machine without snake oil?
     
  17. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Great that you spotted that for us. Considering how they claim other methods are inferior its really terrible that they use images they didnt take. Whatever happened to 19 cameras under water?
    :rant:
     
  18. Otlset

    Otlset Forum Resident

    Location:
    Temecula, CA
    :laugh: No way I'll try that now!
     
  19. Charles Kirmuss

    Charles Kirmuss Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Denver
    >>><>GREETINGS AUDIOPHILES, IT IS CHARLES KIRMUSS, OWNER OF KIRMUSS AUDIO. <<<<I have the utmost respect of our peers as well as audiophiles and record lovers. I must state while everyone has an opinion, I am sure as all will see over time, many facts will come to light over time supporting our methods and analysis. We work with chemists and suppliers of ultrasonics. Our products have been endorsed firstly by resellers of peer products. They are driving our success. We are the LAST ENTRANT, not the first entrant with a cleaning solution. They are the ones commenting where we HAVE CLEANED RECORDS that were so called cleaned by other systems they sold, whether vacuum or sonic based. SEEING, HEARING, is BELIEVING. Our process is based on published documents as to the storage and conservancy of records. Our test methods used in fact audio test records subject to cleanings first by other systems, then being "re-cleaned" by our system. I have refrained to comment to the barrage of posts after I posted a reply as to using an anti-surfactant, "Photo-flow" , which is not a surfactant that sonics need... this to promote bath/tank water adhesion to the record and not rejection to properly aid the sonic to clean a record. Respectfully stated, I saw many inaccurate posts come forth, hence my reluctance to make further posts. I apologize if some prominent audiophiles have discovered their records NOT TO BE PROPERLY CLEANED BY PEER SYSTEMS AT THOUSANDS OF DOLLARDS MORE. Cleaning new blue records is not what one should be looking at, rather, taking records of unknown provenance and clean them using our system to measure effectiveness not only with the ear, but with test equipment. I state this and remark where also older records have different composition and as in my case since the 60's where I have added many concoctions now coating my records over time (affecting timber, soundstage and the like): made up of antistatic sprays, soap cleaning solutions of many types, as well as using a vacuum system. This stated: Record custodians have HEARD the difference in our results. STUDIO engineers have seen the measured signal to noise ratio, floor noise level, and frequency improvement (dynamic range) using our cleaning process. TEST EQUIPMENT, WE USE IT. Not just our ears. I have read the many comments posted. Ultrasonic frequency alone does is not the focus: rather due to sonic generation and a SURFACTANT AIDING THE GENERATION AND CLEANING PLASMA EFFECT: the rise, speed, size of the cavitation and bubble as well as plasma wave burst is to be studied and measured and to this added is temperature as well as the proper spacing of records between each other in a sonic bath and relationship to standing waves. Hmm, standing waves and cleaning....record spacing,... hmmm. Thus, I suggest readers to review first historical documents as to manufacture of records, their conservancy, as well as recommended cleaning agents, most dating back to the 50's and 60's. Then review scientific data as to the composition of PVC, (yes there is a sugar element), and yes there is a release agent during record pressing/production : (not applied but as part of the heating process of the PVC itself which rises and coats the record surface, (like on a waffle iron.... this coating/residue needs to be removed), and of course, how ultrasonics work WITH THE MATERIAL THAT WE ARE CLEANING!, (not metal, not medical instruments.) In so doing, that is why surfactants of one or more types or in stages or steps are called for. UNDERSTANDING THE MEDIUM THAT WE ARE CLEANING! Records are FRAGILE. (Also as to vacuum and sonic systems, we need water soluble agents and surfactants,). All said and told: The record cleaning industry is minute compared to commercial/industrial use of ultrasonics. When we respond we do so with technical accuracy, and one needs to delve further into the matter by measurements and hardness of grooves and records. I am truly sorry where we stand by the statement where our sonic cost is the similar to those of systems that are priced several thousand dollars more over ours. Even multiples. I am sorry where we see audio enthusiasts take a record of unknown provenance that has been washed by another product and audition it pre and post cleaning with our system and see the IMPROVED results. I apologize in cleanings in some audiophile owned records where we released VINYL POWDER that was embedded in the soap coming out of a prior cleaned record that our system was tasked to clean. The high end market is very prominent in Japan and why would a Japanese distributor just as in Germany and in Australia where two manufacturers of turntables have taken on our line if we did not perform in a side by side shoot out with other platforms? ... Why would a previously sonically cleaned record when inserted into our machine see SOAP come out of an ADVERTISED previously PERFECTLY CLEANED (so advertised) record's grooves, and after our treatment, hear on playback after using our system notice audibly, or via test equipment, improvement? Seeing/Hearing the signal to noise ratio come up with now timber, a restored dynamic range, a lower floor noise level,.... now I call this a VIRGIN record, as close as we can get to. To note: Some systems do not even clean the grooves in the last tracks up to the wax return point. (end of record). Sorry to be wordy. TO ASSIST EVERYONE: We will have a whitepaper published on our revised web site trying to explain better what we do by bringing logic and science forward for everyone to review. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER , and I congratulate having a forum FOR EVERYONE to express views. I wish to provide the needed information for everyone to review and then see what makes sense to all. I am not trying to sell anything, rather provide this audience with some baseline fundamentals to better evaluate what is out there. Someone sent me an email: THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING... hmmm. I leave everyone with this thought.
     
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  20. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    GREETINGS, CHARLES. It's us earthlings.
     
  21. Charles Kirmuss

    Charles Kirmuss Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Denver
    Will have a white paper shortly available on the web as a neutral review of sonics, vacuum washers ands the like.
     
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  22. Charles Kirmuss

    Charles Kirmuss Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Denver
    GREETINGS: There is a VENTURI EFFECT involved and where contaminants in the surrounding air is drawn to the record and record grooves just cleaned by a vacuum based system, and depending on the make, introducing a static charge. As to unscrupulous characters: All of our dealers have used other systems: many of our documented clients also have used in most cases other systems. I run a homeland security products based business requiring engineering and working with approval labs. We bring this to the market. I certainly cannot say more, and just state science, and testing with signal analyzers the before and after cleaned record using various steps that seem to work. Respected end users can state their opinion:
    “Dr. Kirmuss, I want to share my absolute delight and astonishment with your system: A “best buy” for the benefit of ultrasonics to restore LP sonics to their potential. Over the past five decades I have used many DIY and professional cleaning systems….none of those systems have come close to the sonic benefits I am experiencing with this system, …it is like opening a window, ...simply dramatic. What I now hear from them is a revelation. This cleaning solution is simple, effective and impactful.” Thank-You, Kind Regards, Lowell E. Graham, D.M.A. Abraham Chavez, Jr. Professorship in Music; Director of Orchestral Activities, Professor of Conducting, Conducting and Ensembles, Area Coordinator of The University of Texas at El Paso; Conn-Selmer: Educational Clinician; President: American Bandmasters Association; President and CEO: John Philip Sousa Foundation.

    .
     
  23. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    So are we not supposed to believe our ears when dynamics and timber sound improved on other cleaning machines?
    And are we not supposed to trust our eyes when your website supposedly uses images taken not by you with your machine but rather another US machine?

    Ill be waiting for those papers to be put up.
     
  24. Neta

    Neta Forum Resident

    Location:
    VT
    this is unreadable

     
  25. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    What I mostly got out if it is repeating whats been said, fluff, and most importantly that papers will be released soon which Id like to see.
    At least he doesnt use "vinyls" anymore.
     

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