Bought a Spin Clean on Black Friday - it's going back this Friday

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by csgreene, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    I didn't hear or see a difference from handwashing. I think I followed the instructions to the tee. I have a used Led Zep album (Physical Graffiti) that I got from a local friend. It was noisy but looked clean. Washing it made it look slightly cleaner but even though it was bone dry, it made the same crackling noise. It's not static, it's likely damaged. My point though is I don't see how this device is really any more effective than hand washing save for keeping the label dry (though I have yet to have a problem with labels on handwashed LPs so far.

    What else might I look at? I can't justify spending hundreds of dollars considering I only have about 500 records and most of them are pretty clean and play quietly.
     
  2. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    The best RCM in the world and the best cleaning solution in the world cannot save a groove-damaged record.
     
  3. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    I understand that. Maybe that's why I was disappointed. Otherwise, I just don't see where this device works better than a good handwash. Honestly, I almost never have to do that as I rarely pick up a new (used) record from a local thrift. Most of the records I own I've had for 20-50 years and they've been taken care of from the getgo and played on decent or better turntables.
     
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  4. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    Location:
    sweet VA.
    Wow.
    If you're not buying anything new, and only playing what you already have, and it's clean...….return it.
    It's not like anyone going to change your mind.
     
  5. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    I know, right?
     
  6. Glmoneydawg

    Glmoneydawg Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    I would be more concerned that you don't have a good copy of Physical Graffiti;)
     
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  7. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    It's playable and I'm going to work on it a little more but I think it may have been played on either a poor turntable or played poorly. My original Led Zep (I) album is a first issue and sounds way better.
     
  8. tman53

    tman53 Vinyl is an Addiction

    Location:
    Pa
    I'd agree return it. But, are your records really clean with the hand washing? How do you know?
     
  9. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I have been through all the handbwashing, diy sprayer, spin clean, and now use an RCM. Clean records sound better. Do whatever you want. If you grew up on vinyl your tolerance for noise is probably quite a bit higher than mine. I mainly grew up on FM radio and cassettes. When I walk into a record store and hear filthy, nasty, scratchy vinyl over the store speakers, I want to take a baseball bat to their turntable. YMMV.
     
  10. Glmoneydawg

    Glmoneydawg Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    Yep....remasters have some weird noises/distortion on entire catalogue...look after those originals my friend
     
  11. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    You can hear it.

    I have trouble with noisy records too. What RCM do you use?
     
  12. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    Maybe I need a cart with a Microline stylus over a nude elliptical...
     
  13. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I use the Squeaky Clean Mark 3 and Audio Intelligent #15 for cleaning solution.
     
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  14. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    ML cuts both ways on records with wear. If you are lucky it will ride below the damaged part of the groove. If you are unlucky the record sounds worse and you will hear every little flaw. Depends on the record and wear pattern. My daily driver cart is an ML. For worn records I like a cheap conical.
     
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  15. Gaslight

    Gaslight

    Location:
    Northeast USA
    I doubt it's more effective than handwashing - it's just a little more convenient. Small footprint, easy to clean a bunch of records at once, very little mess.

    I think I bought mine for like 40 bucks and every few years I'll buy an $8 bottle of cleaner. It gets the job done.
     
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  16. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    I can justify the cost of that unit or the one from KAB. Also curious about the Record Doctor machine.
     
  17. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    The flip n vac machines are fine for one step cleaning solutions. Not recommended for cleaner like I use, which requires soaking time and distilled water rinses.
     
  18. riverrat

    riverrat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oregon
    I think my system of two Spin Cleans - one to wash and one to rinse - works better than I could personally do by handwashing without them. Mainly because of the way the SC aligns the brushes perfectly with the grooves. Its also a huge time saver vs handwashing.

    I got both units on sale; I think I have less than $100 into them total. Still on my 1st 32 oz bottle of cleaner, after hundreds of records.

    I'm personally very happy with this setup and do not plan to change it. It's about the best bang for the buck money I've spent on improving sound quality from vinyl playback.
     
  19. Glmoneydawg

    Glmoneydawg Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    Could be something to that...very rarely clean my recoerds after an initial wash...using a shibata stylos...fussy about vta,but once you got it setup its very quiet
     
  20. krisjay

    krisjay Psychedelic Wanderer

    Location:
    Maine
    Spin Clean is a wonder for used vinyl. Distilled water is a must, using exact amount of cleaning fluid, and I have found using the original SC cloths mandatory. You need to buy an extra bunch of the SC cloths to dry enough. Also a fair bit of air drying to end things works best. If you did all that and still no luck, either the vinyl is iffy or SC just isn't for you. It isn't for everyone.
     
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  21. captouch

    captouch Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    It depends how you do your handwashing - if you're thorough and use some sort of brush to "scrub" and get into the grooves, I can't see how a Spin Clean would be more effective than a thorough handwashing.

    The next level would be some sort of vacuum clean - the washing part is the same - you still want to scrub with some sort of brush that goes into the grooves, but instead of just rinsing after, you have some suction to remove stuff that may be a little stubborn to come out. You can get into a vacuum clean system that uses your own vacuum for $125 or so.

    Above that, you could do ultrasonic cleaning. There you have the action of tiny bubbles that are doing some of the cleaning work while the LP is submerged. Typically, the liquid in the ultrasonic bath is a little warm as well (40-50C), so the grooves may be a bit expanded (not sure how much). You can get into ultrasonic if you're willing to do some DIY to build the spinning part of the solution for ~$200 or so.

    How much is necessary really depends on how deeply embedded the debris is. If it's surface level, a hand wash or spin clean would be fine. For stuff that doesn't respond to that, you *may* have better luck with vacuum and ultrasonic - but sometimes pressings just used subpar vinyl that will never be quiet or the grooves have been damaged by a lot of play or with crappy equipment.

    I started with a Spin Clean, went to a KAB EV-1 vacuum system, and ultimately built my own spinning mechanism to go with a $100 ultrasonic tank.

    I would classify your 500 LPs into ones that are already good and ones that you want to improve. Once you know how many records you think would benefit from a thorough cleaning, you can figure out how much you want to invest in a cleaning solution. At some point, if you don't have enough records that need improvement to justify spending $125-200 on a solution, you may just be better off buying better copies of those records.
     
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  22. Pavol Stromcek

    Pavol Stromcek Formerly thoutah

    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    I agree with some of the sentiments above. No amount of cleaning will reduce surface noise on records that are noisy from damage or defects. One shouldn't assume that the noise they hear on a record is because it's dirty. That may sometimes turn out to be the case, but I have found far more often than not that noisy records are noisy because of various types of user-inflicted damage or pressing defects.

    I have personally found the Spin Clean to be better than hand washing. Because the brushes make close, even contact with the LP's surface, it does a better job than I've ever been able to do with hand washing, and the tiny, soft bristles seem to get into the grooves better than any cloths I'd used for washing in the past. (Plus, I've not had the issues with residue or streaking that I've had in the past with hand washing.) Of course, you have to follow the instructions, and using distilled water is an absolute must.

    I know that using a good RCM is better, but those aren't always a viable option for some, and I think the Spin Clean is the next best thing.
     
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  23. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    Just FYI, I did everything according to their instructions including distilled water, one cap of fluid over the brushes (which were prewashed along with the included towels and no dryer sheets). Wiped them mostly dry and then let them rack dry for about an hour (I washed 8-9 records).
     
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  24. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    Probably a good way to go, thanks.
     
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  25. blakep

    blakep Forum Resident

    I agree if you are space constrained and/or in an area where you're concerned about minor spillage of any fluids. I essentially set up a "cleaning work station" though in a storage room in the basement about 15 years ago with a KAB EV-1 and a scrap table that one of the dealers I've done business with literally gave me (it's a Sanyo, a real beauty LOL; I literally ripped the tonearm off it!).

    I use AIVS 15 as well (have for years) and ultrapure water for rinsing, and all fluid application gets done on the Sanyo at 45 RPM and then simply flipped onto the KAB for vacuuming. I've probably cleaned 7000 records over the years with this set up and have no desire to own anything else and have friends with the typical VPI's etc. and even the Audio Desk.

    While more labour intensive than RCM's like the Loricraft or Audio Desk or other ultrasonics I am not convinced they actually clean a record any better, especially if you go into overkill mode with rinsing with a high purity water with a good vacuum based RCM.

    I just spun a copy of Van Morrison's "Common One" that had been cleaned/double rinsed at least once and possibly twice last night. It played very quietly and sounded pretty good but it was just one of those records that I thought had more potential if really, really cleaned.

    So I gave each side about 4 to 5 passes of just ultrapure water (the first two with steam) this afternoon and am listening to it tonight. It was definitely worth it in this case-not saying that it always would be-but in most cases clean records simply sound better, possibly quite a bit better and not just in terms of playing quieter. I might start doing this with what I consider to be the "desert island" records in my collection.

    But it can be a lot of work and I fully understand that it might not be worth the effort for some.

    On a side note, Side 1 of Common One is 28 minutes of almost sheer perfection.
     
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