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Degritter Users

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by WntrMute2, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. pacvr

    pacvr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    Sediment/particle filters at (0.1 micron absolute and larger)will only remove suspended solids. Dissolved items such as surfactants and any salts will pass through. Carbon filters can remove some surfactant and demineralizers/resin can remove ionics. But this is getting pretty complicated and the size is growing. For a single tank, you want the tank to do final cleaning only - its only removing particulate that can be filtered out. But, if you want the single tank to be able to clean a dirty record - that's a big challenge. Industry sells 4-bay UT cleaning consoles (small units about the size of desk can be bought for ~$15K) configured as follows:

    -Bay/Tank 1: Heated Ultrasonic Cleaning Bath with recirc pump/sediment filter
    -Bay/Tank 2: Heated Ultrasonic Water Rinse that is pump/filtered sediment/demineralizer/carbon discharging to Bay/Tank3. This Bay/Tank2 will have some drag-out cleaner from Bay/Tank 1.
    -Bay/Tank 3: Heated DIW rinse tank (this has the purest water) that overflows into Bay/Tank2.
    -Bay/Tank 4: Heated Dry, it may have a recirc fan to aid drying.

    So to condensing everything above into one tank is not simple and presents a lot of challenges.
     
  2. Vinyl Archaeologist

    Vinyl Archaeologist Forum Resident

    The hummingguru kickstarter is very interesting as an option to have an extra tank for a pure water rinse. The system uses 40khz US (but at this point any extra cleaning would be a bonus) and drains to a tank that is manually refilled while fan drying, making it very easy to change the water every record or every few records. It's also only about $300.
     
  3. r.Din

    r.Din Seeker of Truth

    Location:
    UK
    OK, so more fun and games. This time blinded, for @sharkshark, who was quite right to bring it up.

    Having dismissed TergiKleen as dulling the sound, I focussed on Degritter's own fluid vs Ilfotol in the mixture recommended by @pacvr, and used various methods of drying.

    Recipe 1: 2.5% IPA (99%) - 0.6ml Degritter fluid
    Recipe 2: 2.5% IPA (99%) - 1.75ml Ilfotol

    Degritter on Medium.

    Methods of drying: hand drying with microfiber after a water spritz (mirroring Kirmuss); vacuum cleaning with distilled water rinse; blow drying in the Degritter.

    Using Lacinato's ABX testing software I did 10 blind listening tests of various permutations. (all samples normalised for volume).

    First I focussed on Degritter's fluid, to pull out the best result:

    20% I chose the uncleaned sample
    40% I chose the hand dry
    40% I chose the vacuum dry.

    So, 80% of the time I chose a cleaned sample, with no preference between hand and vacuum. For some reason I didn't capture blow dried samples with Degritter fluid, but it seems, likely to have been the best result, based on the Ilfotol results below.

    Then, Ilfotol, starting, as above with hand and vacuum only

    0% I chose uncleaned
    40% I chose hand cleaned
    60% I chose vacuum cleaned

    This time the cleaned sample clearly won out, with a slight bias towards vacuum

    Next I did vacuum vs blow dry

    20% I chose vacuum
    80% I chose Degritter blow dry.

    Then Ilfotol Blow Dry vs Degritter Hand Dry

    100% I chose Ilfotol

    So, the Ilfotol mixture is, for me, the clear winner here, and the one to test against the Kirmuss.

    The essential differences were extended frequency range (less dulling), more dynamics, better transients and more soundstage.

    I'm going to let my ears rest, and clean a new record for this test.

    I probably should do a blow dry test with the Degritter fluid, for completeness, but in doing some quick ABX tests it's clear Ilfotol wins in whichever drying methods are compared.

    But the good news seems to be that air drying in the Degritter is the best way to dry when using the Degritter.

    The bad news is that Degritter's fluid can be bettered, so if you're using it you may want to consider a change.
     
    Andrea_Bellucci, pacvr and neubian like this.
  4. r.Din

    r.Din Seeker of Truth

    Location:
    UK
    The Ilfotol problem...
    [​IMG]
     
    Andrea_Bellucci likes this.
  5. neubian

    neubian Forum Resident

    Location:
    Apison, TN
  6. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    That is an abundance of foam. Any chance some of it is from an interaction between the various chemicals you've tried?

    That is, do you think there is any chance that swapping out the filter and running some more cycles will reduce foaming?
     
  7. r.Din

    r.Din Seeker of Truth

    Location:
    UK
    Machine thoroughly cleaned, between different chemicals. I see this every time I use Ilfotol. First spin is foamy, like the picture, then it settles down and is clear for the rest of the clean (I can live with that). Then next record is foamier again, and settles. Until eventually it doesn't settle at all (I can't live with that), and then I chuck the water and start over... It doesn't take long to reach excessive foam. I guess my next experiment will be with 0.1ml increases in Ilfotol to try and find a sweet spot...

    Edit: I'll swap out the filter next time to a new one to be sure.
     
  8. 5-String

    5-String μηδὲν ἄγαν

    Location:
    Sunshine State
    OMG WTF :eek::eek: scary stuff!
    That cannot be good for the record or the machine.
     
  9. terzinator

    terzinator boots lost in transit

    Location:
    Minnesota
    I occasionally get a similar amount of foam with the degritter fluid as well. Generally it happens the warmer the water gets, so after 3-4 medium cycles in a row.

    EDIT: maybe a little less foam than that, actually. But foam nonetheless.
     
    bloodlemons likes this.
  10. pacvr

    pacvr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    First -awesome job in doing this research, and your results confirmed suspicions that the Degritter fluid was leaving a residue.

    Yes - that is quite a bit of foam. There are DIY ultrasonic w/pump & filter using ILFOTOL that are not getting that kind of foam. I suspect the reason that you are, is that the Degritter pumps-down the tank for drying, and then pumps-down the reservoir to refill. If they are using a centrifugal pump which is likely, and the filter is on the pump suction as they show, every time they pump-down, at the end of the pump-down cycle the centrifugal pump is likely going to cavitate for a brief time. The reason is that the height of column of liquid at the pump suction is too low for a brief time, and the technical term is that the pump losses net positive suction head (NPSH). If the pump suction goes below NPSH, the pump is going to cavitate, and pump cavitation adds a lot of agitation - ergo the ILFOTOL foams.

    The DIY ultrasonic systems with pump/filter are used in continuous recirculation and should almost never get the pump to cavitate - ergo, the ILFOTOL or Triton X100 or Tergitol 15-S-9 does not produce much foam in these applications. Also, the DIY crowd does not use large pumps - mostly not more than 1/2 the tank volume in gpm so not much tank agitation.

    Now what - as I previously wrote - "I may have a better surfactant for you in the UK - Dehypon – Conservation Resources (UK) Ltd (conservation-resources.co.uk). Dehypon LS54". Given that you are in this deep, and that the Dehypon LS54 is not terribly expensive its worth a shot. The basic surfactant type (Low foaming fatty alcohol C12 - C14 with approx. 5 moles EO and approx. 4 moles PO) is similar (but not exactly the same) to what is used in dishwasher rinse aid formulations which are pumped and sprayed (minus all the other junk such as perfumes, dyes, a little acid, and others).
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
  11. pacvr

    pacvr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    Actually, most of what you see is just air; its on the record surface and it is not going to damage the record or the machine. Foam that is produced is on the liquid surface, so as the record rotates above the liquid surface, some (or maybe a lot) of the foam clings to the record. As the record rotates back into the liquid, the foam will be removed from the record.

    But absent any rinse, there will be a some foam/residue; but the unit fans should blow-off most. What finally dries on the record is likely to be not more than 1-2 ml; and for the ILFOTOL solution concentration he was using - would leave about 0.0625 to 0.125 mg residue across the record surface of which only about 50% would be in the groove. The final overall residue film thickness would be about 0.0625 to 0.125 microns which is very low to insignificant. Now this film thickness could be a bit higher since it may contain some contaminants that were removed from the record and being a surfactant it will want to absorb some water from the air (which does provide 'some' antistatic); but the final film thickness should still be very low and hopefully inaudible to the most trained ear.

    However, if he uses the the Dehypon LS54, the concentration will be at least 50% less than the ILFOTOL solution concentration so assuming all things equal and that there is some foam, but less; the final residue film thickness will be 50% less and for all practical purposes insignificant.

    Just some thoughts
     
    5-String likes this.
  12. MattHooper

    MattHooper Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada

    Excellent work and that's a lot to digest. But a question left for me is:

    If the problem with the Degritter cleaner is that it may leave a residue, then wouldn't a second wash without the surfactant remove that residue? That's the logic that drove some of us (e.g. me) to order a second water tank. Wash with surfactant for best cleaning action; wash to remove surfactant.

    But in truth I don't know to what degree a second wash actually removes the surfactant residue! Is there any way to actually determine this?
     
    Vinyl Archaeologist and pacvr like this.
  13. hammr7

    hammr7 Forum Resident

    I have a question. Have you tried an album (ideally, another copy of the exact same album with exactly the same history) where you went through your evaluation steps starting with the Kirmuss and then progressing to the Degritter?

    I have neither unit, instead I utilize a couple of off-the-shelf US baths and third party multi-LP motors and mounting hardware. I also have a Nitty Gritty for suction assisted drying.

    As a one-time research scientist, your results could be explained by any of the following:

    1) The Kirmuss unit was actually better for cleaning that new album,

    2) The album had surface contaminants that needed two differing bath chemistries to completely clean.

    3) The album simply needed multiple cleaning cycles, regardless of bath chemistry.

    4) For something out-of-the-box, perhaps the album needed a few plays for the needle to clean out microscopic imperfections (stray bits of molded vinyl) that no US cleaning process would ever remove.

    I have no idea if the above list is complete. I have no idea what the relative likelihood of any of these explanations would be. Playing a record a few times before any cleaning could help prove or disprove possibility #4. Reversing the order of cleaners might determine if item 1 is the most likely, and if not might provide additional insights into an optimal cleaning strategy going forward.
     
    bloodlemons and r.Din like this.
  14. 5-String

    5-String μηδὲν ἄγαν

    Location:
    Sunshine State
    Thanks for the explanation! :wave:
     
  15. Zurg

    Zurg Well-Known Member

    Location:
    UK
    Same issue was here, if you add more that 25-30 drops it starts to foam badly and actually because fans working during cleaning process, all the foam flying off the record occasionally. Drying becomes a problem as well.
     
  16. r.Din

    r.Din Seeker of Truth

    Location:
    UK
    It's on order. Thank you for the ongoing input, it's proving very useful.
     
  17. r.Din

    r.Din Seeker of Truth

    Location:
    UK
    I did the water spritz hand dry and a vacuum machine water wash, both to try and remove any residue. But note that I did not use any surfactant in those washes (for fear of more residue) so it's likely that the Degritter fluid residue remains largely untouched in the grooves? Certainly the listening tests I did were conclusive - I could clearly hear the difference between Degritter fluid and Ilfotol cleaned records.
     
  18. r.Din

    r.Din Seeker of Truth

    Location:
    UK
    I did do a clean with the Kirmuss followed by the Degritter (TergiKleen fluid IIRC). The Degritter clean degraded the Kirmuss clean. Due to residue, I guess.

    I have considered buying multiple copies of albums, but there's always the chance that pressing differences will skew results. But it might be a necessary sanity check at some point.

    Agreed.

    Agreed.

    Agreed, although in my experience one US clean has always been sufficient. I know others have different experiences, so I might be wrong.

    Maybe.

    So I'm simply trying large brush strokes here to try to get to some insight into what I'm hearing, but I recognise that this is an almost impossible knot to untangle due to the many confounding issues, some of which you list above.

    Am certainly open to suggestions for methodology that helps untangle the knot.
     
  19. AArchie

    AArchie Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    My Tergitol has been shipped as has, hopefully, been my new Degritter. It there consensus in the desirability of adding 2.5% IPA to the DW/Tergitol solution?

    I always got some foam (maybe half of what's in that picture) at the start of the cleaning cycle with the Degritter cleaning agent. But it would stop foaming after 1/2 revolution or so. Pump cavitation does seem like a good explanation. My goal is to just get rid of the white residue on my stylus. I'm satisfied with the sound.
     
  20. terzinator

    terzinator boots lost in transit

    Location:
    Minnesota
    When I first read this I read it as "discwasher" and it got me thinking about that stuff. What was it?

    (For those youngsters out there, we put it directly on our records back in the day, full strength, with a handsome walnut-handled brush.)
     
  21. AArchie

    AArchie Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    I researched that many years ago and never found what, at the time, I could use/understand. But that is where I got the idea to use Photo-Flo and distilled water for my Discwasher solution. I remember reading about IPA as an additive as well. People had a lot to say either way so I didn't add it.
     
  22. Vinyl Archaeologist

    Vinyl Archaeologist Forum Resident

    I would be curious to see degritter with surfactant and the same after a run with pure water in the degritter.
     
  23. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    It would be kinda nifty, if the Degritter's programming could be updated to allow for a pause before drying, to give the user an opportunity to rinse the album. Maybe that would entail another tank like a SpinClean or whatever, maybe just a spray via one of those battery powered misters. But the album would be cleaned, then tank emptied, the machine stops and beeps, you rinse the album and replace it, then press a button to resume and begin the drying cycle.
     
    bloodlemons likes this.
  24. sharkshark

    sharkshark Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto ON
    My head hurts. But, Mr. Din, you're doing yeoman's work :)

    #science.

    Curious whether you've been in direct touch with Estonia about your findings. I know they'd be open to discuss.
     
  25. Zurg

    Zurg Well-Known Member

    Location:
    UK
    Its all been done, using degitter just with distilled water is not enough with some records, if you clean brand new records then may be, but if you clean used with oily finger prints, its not working, you need a surfactant to take care of that problem. This is from personal experience. I own degritter from middle of November with 350 cycles on the clock, using tergikleen gives me best results. I started with degritter own fluid, with good result and fast drying time. After that i moved to ilfotol and honestly I couldn't tell the difference, i thought degritter fluid gave me better result in sonic terms. I'm using tergikleen for about a month now, better results with only 15-20 drops in caddy. Also ordered 10inch adapter.
     

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