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DIY Ultrasonic Record Cleaner (upgraded - same tank that Kirmuss uses)

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by latheofheaven, Jan 11, 2021.

  1. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog... Thread Starter

    Okay, I NEVER make videos, so I tried to do that best that I could and keep it short and sweet (just like I like my women :D) Please excuse my Minnie Mouse voice. Being that this is my 2nd US tank, I felt that it might be helpful for others to know since there are SO dang many choices and ways to build your own.

    This is based upon Rushton Paul's excellent research.

    Jim Hodgson, Nibiru, imarcq and 2 others like this.
  2. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog... Thread Starter

    One thing that I totally forgot to mention that I think is HUGE about this tank, is that the length of all the generic metal ones you see on Amazon is 11.8" So, the records BARELY fit. This tank above is great for DIY because it is 13" long! That gives you plenty of room and what's nice is that since the tank is so much longer, the curves are more gradual at the ends so that allows you a little more width for the records too.

    I was always fussing with the records to get them to sit just right in the old, generic tank. But, not in this one! :)

    On the YouTube page I've provided links to both the iSonic unit and also Rushton Paul's research thread, along with some other details about my setup.
  3. The Revealer

    The Revealer Quality Audio is Revelation

    Metro Chicago, IL
    Thanks for sharing your efforts. I always wondered what it would take to do something of this sort. What I realize, though, is that DIY is really a state of mind. I just don't have the inner desire to build, buy, setup, calibrate, adapt, etc.... It's a hobby within your vinyl hobby in this instance. But it is its own kind of hobby, it seems. Cool.
    latheofheaven likes this.
  4. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog... Thread Starter

    I appreciate the kind comments, thanks!

    But honestly, compared to all these other OTT YouTube DIY'ers, I am a glacially paced, lazy@ss sloth, I promise you. ONLY when I could kind of figure out a REAL easy way to do this with the right stuff and with all the help of Rushton Paul's work and research, THEN I was able to do it. Truthfully all I did was cut out the wood piece that fit nicely in that holder on the side of the tank so that I could just drop this little motor on it. Other than that all I did was buy some hoses and stuff and stick it together. Honestly probably one of the all time easiest DIY projects ever. I WILL say though that when I built my vacuum RCM which I show briefly at the end of the video above, that DID indeed take a bit of work. I think if I were to attempt something even remotely close to that again, I don't think I would try to fabricate it from scratch. I would probably buy that really low price vacuum attachment for record cleaning that Fremer showed briefly once and just put something around it.

    So, quite truthfully I am really NOT one of these 'Hey, let's jump up and do everything myself' kind of guys, far from it! BUT... if we are talking about these super high-priced RCMs, especially the ultrasonic ones for hundreds if not thousands of dollars AND the process itself is generally pretty straight forward and basic, then I figure why not... And, also FWIW, there is no way I could afford to have a full functioning commercial vacuum RCM and ultrasonic RCM for like what, a minimum of $1500-$4500, when the process is honestly easy to figure out and do myself. And yeah, probably because it DOES indeed have to do with vinyl I guess I do have to admit that likely gave me a LOT more incentive to do this than if it were some other mundane thing.

    (uh... I will let you in on a little secret though... I am indeed planning on building the perfect Woman! I have the basic concept down and of course the plans are extremely secret)


    Oh $...t! I hit the wrong bloody key! Oh Geez... uh, *cough... sorry about that... :oops:

  5. The Revealer

    The Revealer Quality Audio is Revelation

    Metro Chicago, IL
    :laugh: A buddy of mine has a short story with a similar theme called "The Perfect Woman." I think this is a eternal meme of the male mind...

    I'm intrigued now. Uh, by the cleaner process that is, of course. I'll sometime someday look into the Rushton Paul stuff. :thumbsup:
    latheofheaven likes this.
  6. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog... Thread Starter

    My new tank seems to be working really well. I REALLY like the extra room this iSonic tank has, it makes it SO much easier! I tried something on a particularly dirty album that I hadn't tried before. After running it through one process with the US RCM, which did reduce the level of the really noisy vinyl by about 50%, I thought I'd try just running it through a 2nd time without trying any other cleaning methods. I've wondered if multiple trips through the cavitation would bring about improvements. Well, interestingly, just running it through the exact same process an additional time did indeed further reduce the noise on the vinyl! I would say that after the 2nd cleaning, the noise level reduced another 10-20%. So, that was encouraging.

    I'm almost thinking about sending it through a 3rd time just to see if there is any more improvement. But, just the rather good progress that has been made so far really reinforces how effective the US cleaning process is, which is rather nice after all this work! :)

    Also too... just kind of an aside... I was pressed for time (DAMN Pacific Standard Time anyway!) so I wanted to see how the records sounded after a cleaning if I just let them air dry, which they do fairly quickly, and forgo the usual Laboratory Regrade purified water rinse with the vacuum RCM. And, I am strongly of a mind like our Mr. @Bill Hart and usually just don't feel like the record is completely clean / free of residue unless I do a final vacuum / rinse. Well, I must say that as highly skeptical as I am about letting records just 'air dry' after running through the US cleaner, I was quite surprised that when I play tested the new records that I'd just ultrasonically cleaned that they were amazingly dead quiet! Now, I'm not sure that my system as wonderful as it is for imaging and soundstage is truly of a high enough resolution to be able to tell clearly, but I was shocked at how they sounded absolutely quiet! I can't SWEAR that there is no further residue on the vinyl without the final purified water rinse, but I sure can't hear anything, unless there is some kind of subtle 'veiling' at work or something.

    I probably will continue to do a final vacuum / rinse after using the US RCM, but the ones that I play tested sounded pretty damn good I must admit! So now quite honestly I'm a little unsure as to how 'necessary' that final vacuum / rinse step is...
  7. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog... Thread Starter

    I just wanted to add that of course with the noisy one(s) I know that I will also have to give them a good vacuum / rinse cleaning with a deep cleaner such as AI #15 or L'art Du Son. But, for new records just going through the US RCM, that is where I was so surprised at how quiet they played just letting them air dry.


    I mean, I can't hear anything and they play seemingly dead quiet, but what I am unsure about is that with the additives in the US tank used with the cleaning process, how can I really be SURE that there is no residue left after only air drying and without a final pure water rinse...?
  8. Pushpaw

    Pushpaw Forum Resident

    Nice setup. I also have a DIY ultrasonic cleaning setup. It have one of these.

    New 6L Ultrasonic Cleaner Stainless Steel Industry Heated Heater w/Timer | eBay

    As you say, it’s a tiny bit too short in length for a record, but works fine when record is at an angle. I don’t have an automatic spinning setup so I use a metal rod in spindle hole and spin manually. I air dry mine and it seems to work fine.

    Have revived many a dirty old record this way. Also great to clean new records that have noisy spots. Usually comes from grit at the pressing plant I think and ultrasonic cleaning gets it out.

    I envy your setup though. Must be very fast to clean so many at once.
    latheofheaven likes this.
  9. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog... Thread Starter

    Thank you kindly Bro for the nice comments :)

    Well, I just followed the suggestions from Rushton Paul's excellent research and also incorporated some of @Bill Hart 's excellent observations. On the YouTube page I include links to RP's thread and for the tank at Amazon.

    I'm glad that you are enjoying your setup. That is the great thing about setting up an ultrasonic record cleaning system, you can do it as simply or as complex (and expensive) as you wish! The basic concept is pretty straight forward. It MUST be since I was able to figure it out! :D
  10. AP1

    AP1 Well-Known Member

    The company that markets this tank - iSonic sells spinner device that perfectly matches the tank. No need for DIY in that case. Total tank and spinner price is $830.
  11. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog... Thread Starter

    Yep, I know... on the YouTube page I mention that in the comments. I DO like their design, and if I hadn't already chosen another spinner and I had the extra $250-$300 I would go for it.

    BTW, Amazon has the full system for a little bit less. The tank alone from Amazon is $450. The additional part for the spinner and holder for 5 records is $200 more and I think $250 for the 10 record setup. I would say that especially compared to the Kirmuss system for $900+ and weird proprietary lid, I wouldn't hesitate to get iSonics complete system instead in a heartbeat.

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