The Ultrasonic vinyl cleaner owners thread

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Josquin des Prez, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Some of us started up a discussion about this ultrasonic cleaner off-topic in another thread so I thought I would move the discussion here.

    I have used an Okki Nokki for the last 8 years, but have the opportunity to buy my dealer's Audio Desk at a steep discount. A new one with some revisions is on the way, so my dealer is clearing out their ex-demo. After evaluating it at home all weekend I've decided to buy it. I am very pleased with results so, especially on some crusty old records I have, like the Liberty/Blue Note copy of Chick Corea's Song of Singing shown in the picture below.

    I plan to keep the Okki Nokki, and will use that as a pre-soak machine for heavily soiled records and used records I buy on eBay, Discogs, etc.

    How many other users out there? Maybe we can use this thread to share experience, tips, etc.

    [​IMG]
     
    dman23, ZenMango, bru87tr and 3 others like this.
  2. dminches

    dminches Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    One of the things you will want to experiment with is how much cleaning fluid you use. I have read some say that more is less but I cannot verify that. I probably always used less than called for since I would add water that evaporated and not add cleaning fluid. After several rounds of this I would change the water.

    That is the biggest issue with this unit as well as the KLAudio. The water doesn’t get filtered. I build a filter for my KLAudio to clean the water.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Yeah, I am used to a multi-step cleaning process on the Okki Nokki, followed by a double pure water rinse. I solve the static issue by using a Milty Zerostat when records come off the Okki Nokki. I guess it make me a little nervous not having a pure water rinse with the AD but we'll see.

    I just created a fresh batch in the Audio Desk for cleaning, with the little bottle of concentrate (I used it all) and a gallon of distilled water. I decided to keep a little notebook with ticks for every cleaning so I can keep track of how many records I clean with a fluid mixture. Maybe I'll also keep track of how often I top off the water.
     
  4. JNTEX

    JNTEX Lava Police

    Location:
    Texas
    I've used an AudioDesk for a little over 2 years now. You will notice that the cleaner breaks down and stops producing any foam around 150 records or so....I just eyeball it.

    I also use a pretty low pH 0ppm RODI water to mix with the cleaner.

    I tend to need new blades every 2/3 bottles of cleaner. New foam filter and rollers every two bottles. Vac out the dryers.

    When I switch cleaning solution, I drain unit, and just fill with ro water and run empty a couple times and drain to get any crap out of the bottom of the res. There are some overreactive journalists who use this cleaner who uses another cleaner 1st so not to soil this cleaner. Whatever. What a nancy thing to do, just clean your unit.
     
    Josquin des Prez likes this.
  5. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Thanks for the tips. Those are good to know.

    About how many records do you clean per bottle of cleaning concentrate?
     
  6. JNTEX

    JNTEX Lava Police

    Location:
    Texas
    I am a seasonal digger and year round buyer online. When I am digging the bins, maybe 100, but that is more so to clear the crap from the water than the fluid loosing it's power. Normally I change at 125-150, but I've let it go. It's obvious when the detergent is no longer active in the water.

    I also keep mine in the wet bar adjacent to the listening room. It reminds me to slow down, wash properly and take time making that cocktail.

    An lp with a ton of build up I will usually wash/inspect/play or wash and repeat...till crap stops showing up on my stylus. I found a roached out stones let it bleed decca 1st that looked like a g- and prob (after washings and playings) now sounds vg+. When dealing with years of grime, it's important to remember that the grime that was only wetted and loosened is now going to be on your stylus after that playing.

    Some days I run the unit for an hour or two at a time. I have to deal with low RH in the winter and this think is a godsend.
     
  7. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Before acquiring the Audio Desk I had a multi-step cleaning process on my Okki Nokki using Audio Intelligent solutions (#15 + Enzymatic + Super + double pure water rinse) for used records. I plan to still use that as a pre-clean when I get used records and follow up with the Audio Desk.
     
  8. JNTEX

    JNTEX Lava Police

    Location:
    Texas
    I would consider it overkill for all but the most worst off stuff, but if you have time for it....great!

    All my stuff from 4 bucks to 800 bucks gets treated the same. I have not damaged a record yet, and I use the 10 and 7" adapters as well.

    Enjoy it....I prob ran 1200 records last year. Still runs like a watch.
     
  9. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    My Okki Nokki has cleaned over 6000 record sides in the 8 years or so I've owned it. I was thinking about getting to 10" adapter. I have some old 10" classical records of my late father from the 1950s – including some great DGGs – but they are trashed with the so-called 'record preservative' crap he sprayed on it in the 60s.
     
    JNTEX likes this.
  10. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF Peninsula
    Some/most over think this, for starters the ultrasonics clean the record, water, ultrasonics and heat will clean the record, if your really worried and feel the need to rinse.

    Knowing this, that one doesn't need much more than water, you can add less alcohol and photo flow and a drop of dish soap in a gal. of water. I'm pretty sure that KLAudio says to only use water.

    I'v cleaned well over 5000 records with ultrasonics.
     
  11. dminches

    dminches Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    How do the ultrasonics clean the water? They really don’t. With my DIY ultrasonic I have a .35 micron filter which grabs a lot of debris which my KLAudio does not. I really like the KLAudio but the water needs to be cleaned pretty often.
     
  12. Eigenvector

    Eigenvector Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southeast PA
    I own an Audio Desk (Original Version). I also own a VPI 16.5 which I have used for 23 years. By my estimation, I have cleaned over 7,000 records on it and it still performs as new (with regular maintenance and suction tube replacement).

    I bought the Audio Desk after reading all of the hype and because I started to feel like I was missing out on something. Long story short, It does indeed make a difference above and beyond what I can achieve with the 16.5 alone. Records which I cleaned several times on the 16.5 but couldn't ever get really quiet were made much more quiet with just a single pass through the Audio Desk.

    That said, I'll be selling my Audio Desk. I just didn't find it did anything so special that made it worth the huge cost difference above the 16.5. I stopped using it over a year ago just to see if I can live without it. I can.

    It's a great machine and it does work as advertised but I just can't justify keeping it as it doesn't represent a good value to me in my current financial situation. It's better than my VPI, which I paid $350 for back in 1995. But it's not $3200 better than the 16.5 to me. YMMV.
     
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  13. Mike from NYC

    Mike from NYC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Surprise, AZ
    My new US machine blows away the AD which I've owned for several years now. No, it's not as automated as the AD, but I can clean 5 records at a time and heat the water to about 100* because warm water cleans better than cold water. I usually clean the LPs for 20 minutes and use 2 4" box fans, with filters on the intake side, to dry my cleaned LPs in about 15 minutes. If there is any dust on the records, I'll use my trusty Discwasher to remove any dust.

    I installed a 'turtle' filter to filter the water which works well. The heavy debris sits at the bottom of the tank.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077D643D2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002DIRPU/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s05?ie=UTF8&psc=1


    IMO, is the very best way to clean LPs is using ultrasonic machines, after many years of using all sorts of other means including the Spin Clean and a Nitty Gritty as well as by using brushes on a custom platform using a home brew and rack drying.
     
    Optimize likes this.
  14. 5-String

    5-String Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sunshine State
    I had a KLaudio for 2 years and currently I have a homemade ultrasonic cleaner that I barely use (also a VPI 16.5 that I have been using constantly for 7 years).
    The reason that I sold my KLaudio and do not use much my homemade ultrasonic is because I thought and still think that ultrasonic cleaning imposes a certain sonic signature on the records making them sounding a little brittle and harsh.
    This was very obvious to me when I cleaned certain classical records and it was more apparent when I compared the sound of violin before the ultrasonic and after. It was like my records were sounding more digital than analogue.

    Crazy, I know, but I still cannot be this out of my mind, that ultrasonic is doing something weird to the high frequencies. :crazy:
     
    Optimize likes this.
  15. 12" 45rpm

    12" 45rpm Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    I've stopped using my ultrasonic cleaner as I find the whole process too time consuming and not worth the effort . Instead I just use my nitty gritty vacuum cleaning machine.. I will bring out my ultrasonic machine for the few records that have some visible marks that the nitty gritty can't clean through.. So far that happens in less than one in twenty records or so..
     
    hi_watt likes this.
  16. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    I went through a rapid fire process that got me to the Audio Desk. While I was waiting to get my turntable I had bought an Okki Nokki and had begun cleaning my LPs. I created a custom item in my Discogs account to track the LP's I had cleaned. I had cleaned around 100 of the 800 or so I had in my collection. I was advised to let the LPs air dry 15 minutes before cleaning the other side or sleeving them. So I got a 6 disc vinyl holder that I used to place up to 6 records to air dry. I would clean my LP's in 6 disk batches. When the 6th disk was cleaned, the first one was ready to have the second side done or be sleeved. There were other things that were often necessary as part of the process. Removing excessive dust from the surface of certain records, using the zerostat to discharge a large static from the records. The cleaning process was entirely hands on and all manual. You have to be there overseeing the process.

    The Okki Nokki did a very good job of cleaning the LP's I used it with. But I will admit the process was beginning to get old because of the fully hands on nature and the other things you had to do as part of the process during the process . When I got my new record player home in late October, I was blown away by how good LP's sounded. This used me to get my Parasound Hint 6 in early-November. I couldn't believe the amount of improvement I heard. One of the improvements was less noise. This caused me to step up into a Parasound JC3-Jr in mid-November. The sound improved again and the noise floor got lower. One of the first LP's I played on it was the White Album 50th Anniversary pressing. There was essentially no noise no matter how loud I turned it up. This planted the seed for the Audio Desk which I ordered several days later inmate-November. Pricey yes, but I don't regret the purchase for a minute. I had mentioned liking the Okki Nokki and it did a good job. But records I had cleaned on the Okki Nokki typically sound even better after being cleaned on the Audio Desk. Sometimes a lot better.

    I love how I am able to multi task while cleaning records. I drop an LP in and both sides are being cleaned at once. I can wander off and do something else while the record is being cleaned and statically discharged. 5 minutes later I return and the record is good to go, ready to be sleeved or played. I will often have a Saturday morning cleaning session where I clean records while doing some other things around the house. I like the way I can return in 5 minutes and play that record. I buy a new record and within 5 minutes of arriving home I can be ready to play it. With the Okki Nokki I was about 40 minutes away from playing a new LP. I also appreciate how statically inert a record is after emerging from the Audio Desk. I rarely have to uses a anti-static brush to clean a record that had previously been cleaned on the Audio Desk.

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Jellis77

    Jellis77 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brighton
    I change the cleaning fluid after every 100 records, and the cleaning barrels, bath filter and wiper blades after every 500. After every 1000 I change the fan filters. I have had mine for around 18 months and cleaned approx, 2750 records to date. It is working very well and the results are excellent, I am very happy with the machine. Having said that the new 2019 version sounds interesting.....
     
  18. Subagent

    Subagent All I know is What I Read in the Liner Notes

    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    I too moved from an Okki-Nokki to an Audiodesk-- about a month ago. Several years with the Okki-Nokki convinced me of the inherent value of RCMs. I grew tired of scrubbing, vacuuming and flipping, as well as mixing, draining, and rinsing (not in that particular order), so when the current gen of Audiodesks starting getting steeply discounted, I pulled the trigger. My findings:

    1. For lazy people (me), the Audiodesk does a superior cleaning job. It's efficacy is not tied to my strength or accuracy in scrubbing, or my care (or lack of same) in vacuuming.

    2. When I turn my amp on to warm up, I put a record in the Audiodesk for cleaning. When I return, I have a warm amp and a clean record. If the second album of the session happens to require cleaning, I either do something constructive for a few minutes or stare mesmerized at the machine while it works.

    3. I am not normally a crate digger, though I do purchase used through Discogs from time to time. My point being that I don't need to clean tons of records. One, or two at the most, cleanings per day. Yes, it is a luxury item but one that helps me, with my unique needs and traits, keep a clean collection.

    4. I keep a big (not sure how big as I am at the office now) plastic container of distilled water-- the kind with a spigot-- on a shelf in my listening room. Every few days the machine needs a top up as the room is quite warm and the water evaporates.
     
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  19. dminches

    dminches Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    Sometimes I find that the dirtiest records are the new ones. Last week I opened a new record and it had some oily deposit on it. That's the kind of stuff that can really mess up a stylus.
     
  20. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    I have toured Acoustic Sounds/Analogue Productions/Quality Record Pressings in Salina multiple times (we always stop there when we drive from St. Louis to Fort Collins every year) and they have always told me the most important time to clean a record is when it's new and unplayed.
     
  21. Subagent

    Subagent All I know is What I Read in the Liner Notes

    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    For sure. Every record new to my collection gets cleaned as a matter of course. In fact (and this is a little anal, I know) I clean them and move them to a new MoFi inner sleeve. And, I make a mark with a Sharpie in the middle of the sleeve (over the label area, just in case the Sharpie ink starts eating through the sleeve in a few years). Currently I use a Roman I. That indicates that the record was cleaned during the first quarter of 2019. At the end of this month I will change out the water/solution mix and move to a "II" mark. My goal is to be able to determine the last time a record was cleaned. Though I don't have a system to check the number of times it has been played since that cleaning. Hmmm.... hash marks, maybe.
     
  22. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    I do the same, slipping a new Mofi sleeve in. I use 1/2" x 2" Post-it notes and attach to the Mofi sleeve with the date and particulars of cleaning (AD, AD+1, 2, 3,... for the extended cycles). I also add a notation if I presoaked using AIVS detergents on the Okki Nokki. I don't feel compelled at all to track number of plays between cleanings. I clean again when I think the record needs it.
     
  23. dminches

    dminches Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    That is hardly obsessive. I do as you do: clean a new record and replace the sleeve.
     
    Joe Harley likes this.
  24. Subagent

    Subagent All I know is What I Read in the Liner Notes

    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    It's the scribbling on the sleeve that I thought might be seen as a bit over the top. I am pleased to see that I am not alone there either!
     
  25. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    I consider it a no-brainer. I have 3000+ LPs. They have all been cleaned. I need a system.
     

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