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

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

  1. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I haven't been terribly impressed with the results of RCM machines, either vacuum or ultra-sonic. There hasn't been a single album this cleaned, that I haven't made quieter (often far quieter) via a cheap on-platter pad plus a water/alcohol mix.
     
    csgreene likes this.
  2. sublemon

    sublemon Forum Resident

    ymmv, but they are safer and faster. there is no way hand washing with alcohol will be better than using a proper cleaner, and it won't be "far quieter" IMO. Alcohol is a terrible idea too, it leaves a lasting residue. at least make sure you are rinsing with distilled water after.
     
    marcb likes this.
  3. MusicNBeer

    MusicNBeer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida
    In my experience, alcohol works great for crackle fest records. Who cares if alcohol is harsh on these. The alternative is trashing them. I always use my RCM to suck away the residue.
     
  4. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Resident

    Location:
    new york city
    As others have said, if it looks clean but plays crappy, the problem likely isn't dirt. You can't fix a bad transmission by cleaning and waxing the car.
     
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  5. ghost rider

    ghost rider Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    My thing is I have no idea how much quieter my process is because I never try playing a dirty record.
     
  6. mikedifr0923

    mikedifr0923 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Gotcha. It certainly makes sense in theory. And I can certainly see dirt and debris floating around in the water when washing.
     
  7. Greg Carrier

    Greg Carrier Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa City
    I bought a Spin Clean a few years back, and of the fifty or so records I cleaned with it, I don't think any of them sounded better afterwards. Some sounded worse. Now I use the brushes from it when I hand clean at the sink.

    I know some people on this forum swear by it. That's great. Not my experience, though.

    I suspect nothing other than a good RCM is going to produce reliably good results. I use a carbon fiber brush on records that aren't real dirty, and hand washing with a spot of 2 in 1 shampoo/conditoner with dirtier discs. Some day I'll probably spring for a good RCM.
     
  8. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    If I were more invested in vinyl as a medium and continually buying vinyl, I would spend the $500-1000 for a proper RCM. However, I have about 500 records, most of which are quite playable and maybe 50-100 that could use some work. That's where I hoped the Spin Clean would come in.

    I love playing my records but I am more into digital and streaming now for all but sitting on the couch with a glass of Cab and reliving the old days. As I've posted elsewhere here, I have a special relationship with the records I currently own because they were all bought long ago during different times of my life. For instance, I bought Stevie Wonder's "Innervisions" when I lived and worked in San Francisco in the 70's. I still own that very album today, 45 years later, and when I put it on, it takes me back in time to the life I lived then. Getting a new pressing or a CD? Not gonna happen as it wouldn't be the same experience. I know many of you younger guys may not get that but a lot of you older guys will.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
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  9. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    Yup, pretty much my point.
     
  10. Tom Favata

    Tom Favata tbuick6

    Location:
    New York
    I get it. I still buy used records, mostly rebuys of albums I had but got rid of and replaced with CDs. The 400 or so albums I kept have a special place in my collection and heart. The albums I bought when I was 15 and 16 will always bring me back to those glory mid 70’s years. My original Captain Fantastic with poster I had on my teen age wall is particularly priceless to me. Probably my most played record ever. That and Candy-O.
     
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  11. hbucker

    hbucker Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Denver
    Audio Technica VS-22OE elliptical.
     
  12. stereoguy

    stereoguy Its Gotta Be True Stereo!

    Location:
    Brooklyn
    csgreene: We sure do. Playing some of my albums instantly transports me back in time. It sounds really wierd, I know, but there are times when playing
    certain albums that I almost feel 19 again, with all the happy feeling we had at that age. If nothing else its GREAT therapy.

    Plus.....who WOULDNT wanna put on "The Hullaballoos- Englands Newest Singing Sensations" and travel back to 1966?
     
    uzn007 likes this.
  13. marcb

    marcb Senior Member

    Location:
    DC area
    I’m glad you know what your point is because, for the life of me, I can’t figure out what your point is.
     
  14. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Just telling you not only my experience, but the experience of others that have posted here.

    Detergents are difficult to rinse thoroughly. Think about it, you add detergents partly to break the water's surface tension, so it can reach the "depths" of the grooves. But now that you have soap in the grooves, are you really going to be able to remove it effectively with pure water, which has a surface tension too high to reach the depths of the grooves?

    I'm not out in left field on this, I do believe Steve Hoffman (among others) has said he is sensitive to the sound of detergent left on records. I know I can hear it fairly easily, it has to be that much easier for him.

    And alcohol isn't bad for vinyl, that is simply an oft-repeated wives tale most likely derived from the dangers of alcohol and shellac records. We have decades of experience of people treating their vinyl with alcohol.

    Finally, alcohol, unlike the other stuff some of you are pouring onto your vinyl, leaves no residue. I often feel that when it comes to the used albums I'm sourcing, that I'm not cleaning them as much as I'm stripping them of all the detergents and other residues left by the cleaning efforts of previous owners. It is those residues which combine with dust and dirt to form a sort of groove glue. A groove glue that has a sort of half-life where it can only ever be reduced via dilution, never completely eliminated.
     
  15. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    One of the local thrift stores seems to get a regular supply of vinyl from someone that must feel there is groove damage. I've picked up many albums there that look new (so someone "cleaned" them) but sound like Rice Krispies.

    I've found that stripping these with alcohol + disposable cotton makeup pads once, and then cleaning them with a pad and a water/alcohol mix before each play, will eventually restore them to like-new. The only challenge is that, it can take several iterations to get there.

    And sure, I have a few albums with serious groove damage for which nothing can be done.

    But also quite a few albums I'm thankful that I didn't give up on too soon.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
    csgreene likes this.
  16. oregonalex

    oregonalex Forum Resident

    A. Many years ago I bought a Spin Clean. I started with wiping and air drying.

    B. Then I set up a second Spin Clean filled with pure distilled water as a rinse step after the normal Spin Clean. I also got a KAB EV1 vacuum for final drying after the Spin Cleans.

    I rewashed all my records previously washed with process A again with process B. Vast majority of the rewashed records showed significant improvement, mainly in the frequency of ticks.

    C. Then I got Audio Intelligent pre-cleaner #15 and used it on all records that played EX or worse, in conjunction with method B. Many records showed noticeable improvement, some played as much as two grades better.

    D. I added Ultrasonic Tergitol bath to regimen C after the #15. Both Spin Cleans now have distilled water only. I rewashed a hundred records that played EX or worse after C cleaning. Some show some improvement (at most half a grade), but not many. Maybe 10-20%. Still worth doing for me, but only just.

    FWIW
     
    classicrocker likes this.
  17. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    The more I read and listen to others on the topic of cleaning records, the more I agree w/ the recommendation of Rega:

    If you keep your records stored in their sleeves, avoid touching the playing surfaces and keep all water and fluids away, cleaning should not be necessary. Do not worry about visible dust on the record surface, this is brushed aside by the stylus during play. Dust collected on the stylus can be easily blown away. In general, record cleaning is overdone and one should not believe all the claims made by record cleaner manufacturers.

    Obviously, used records which arrive filthy will need cleaning.

    However, one thing I've learned, is to not underestimate the cleaning ability of a stylus plowing through a groove. Using my Audio Technica and Dishwasher pads with my water + alcohol mix to "mop" records before each play, I eventually arrive at a point where the records stop showing improvement. They sound pretty great at this point, but I've found they will improve further if I switch to dry-padding before each play*.

    *I actually mist a dry pad with a single shot (from an atomizer) of my water + alcohol mix. It isn't enough moisture to do anything but help the pad grab anything sitting on the surface of the vinyl.
     
    uzn007 likes this.
  18. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    Interesting comments from Rega. My normal routine is to do what you do (last paragraph) and mist a brush with my water/alcohol mix. I do it mostly to keep potential static down as I live in a very dry environment.
     
  19. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I've been using an Audio Technica AT 6012 pad for the misted sweep. I clean the pad with the little red pad-cleaning brush that came with my Discwasher, although I think an unused toothbrush would be just as effective.
     
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  20. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    I keep only reasonably "ready to play" records in my collection. If they are dirty and need cleaning, I do that before putting them on a shelf. As routine, I just use the Discwasher as designed with a lightly damp line of fluid on its leading edge when I start the Lp side before each play. That cleans anything that the record picked-up inside its sleeve or from the air on its way to the turntable platter. It only takes a few seconds, ie a few rotations and it's tunes time.
    -Bill
     
  21. ghost rider

    ghost rider Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    I thought about getting a 2nd spin clean for rinsing. But after thinking about it I decided not to. I often clean 6 or more records at a time how often should you change the water, every record? The way I rinse now is using a squirt bottle after vacuuming one side on the EV-1 I cover the up side with distilled water and with a record brush I work the water in the grooves by turning both directions for about 30 seconds, flip and vacuum again. Obviously every side gets clean water. If I could only have one I would pick the EV-1 over the spin clean but having both seems good to me. I don't know what detergent noise is maybe my records have it because some crackle. I clean new records the same way and I don't care who on this forum may think that is a waste of time, to each his own. I know I have cleaned only new records and in the bottom of the SC there was pretty much the same debris that stuff that looks like you emptied a electric shaver in the water. The points is my new records all sound pretty clean a few hard pops aside and it mainly the used records that have continuous crackle. So I don't think I'm experiencing detergent crackle just old worn records.
     
  22. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Raleigh, N.C.
    I think that's literally formulated to leave residue behind. I use Dawn dishwashing detergent as a surfecant.
     
  23. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Raleigh, N.C.
    I've seen this advice here at SHMF before and I've taken it to heart in the last 6-12 months.

    I used to wash everything with a Discwasher, every time I played it. I was very paranoid about this, dating back to my high school years (1980s) when I had some albums that were just noisy because they were pressed badly, but I (believing the Discwasher literature) believed that I had played them while dusty, and permanently damaged the grooves as a result. So I washed everything every time, even if it didn't look dirty.

    Now, I make it a point to clean everything by hand when I bring it home, and from then on, I usually just clean the stylus with a stylus brush. If a record looks a little dusty, I'll run over it with a dry Discwasher (I may try the spray-bottle trick). If it's really dirty for some reason (like I haven't played it in years and I put it away dirty), I'll clean it before playing, but most of the time I just clean the stylus and I'm off to the races.
     
  24. ghost rider

    ghost rider Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    This is how everybody did it I did not know anyone that cleaned any more than this. My thought after turning into a audiophile if you don't clean somehow RCM ultrasonic spin clean all you're doing is spreading the grim from record to record with your Discwasher, how often do you clean it?
     
  25. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    That isn't a problem unique to pads like the Discwasher and Audio Technica units. The pads/brushes in a Spin Clean and similar record washers can similarly spread debris from record to record. The protective pad on a vacuum pickup, as well.

    I clean newly acquired used records with cotton makeup pads and fluid, that removes 99.something% of the crap from them. The cotton pads can be discarded after use.

    I then switch to using the pads, which I do clean every 1-2 weeks with a rinse of distilled.

    The pad's fabrics are (typically) synthetics and don't absorb (into their fibers) dirt in the same way a natural (like cotton) fiber would.
     

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