The Ultrasonic vinyl cleaner owners thread

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

  1. dminches

    dminches Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    Spence and Optimize like this.
  2. Spence

    Spence New Member

    Location:
    UK
    @hammr7 Please don’t keep us waiting too long...!
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  3. Spence

    Spence New Member

    Location:
    UK
    @Optimize just hang a piece of aluminium foil in your US bath and run it for a couple of minutes - you’ll soon see whether it’s working or not!
    I’ve always assumed the cavitation bubbles are too small to see with the naked eye.
    My own recipe is to use 1 part ethyl alcohol (bio ethyl fuel) to 10 parts deionised water with an egg cup of Ilfotol in a 5 litre bath - seems to work OK. I clean for 20 minutes on a 1rpm rotation, at between 25 and 35 degrees C (temp doesn’t seem to affect the performance).
    But I’m open to suggestions on how to improve my process, and/or limit any damage I may be causing...
     
    Optimize likes this.
  4. Satrus

    Satrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cork, Ireland
    If you have very acute hearing, you can hear a light kind of a 'thump' sound as the stylus traverses the 'pit' on the record. Oftentimes, the 'pit' is in an area where the music will simply 'drown out' the 'thump' and make in inaudible. I have seen 'pits' between tracks, over the years, and those would be audible. Most of the time though, 'pits' do not affect the listening experience as they occur in areas where the music will render them inaudible.
     
    eddiel likes this.
  5. psulioninks

    psulioninks Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Not sure what you mean by "performance"...but I always make sure I am using the warmest water possible in my tank. There is a reason why dishwashers clean with hot water - it removes dirt and grime more effectively than cold water. I find the same to be true when cleaning records.
     
  6. dminches

    dminches Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    How hot is "warmest water possible?" At 40 degrees C damage will start to occur to the record.
     
    Spence likes this.
  7. psulioninks

    psulioninks Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    I try to stay around 28-32 degrees C depending on the thickness of the vinyl being cleaned.
     
    Spence likes this.
  8. Optimize

    Optimize Forum Resident

    Location:
    EU
    Great advice I tried this out and made a video about it. I was surprised to se that it did not take many seconds to make a hole in the aluminium foil! And after just 60 seconds it was a lot of perforated holes in it!
    I used only water and this is indeed a good way to test a ultrasonic cleaner..
     
    Spence likes this.
  9. Spence

    Spence New Member

    Location:
    UK
    At least you now know that it works!
     
    Optimize likes this.
  10. Spence

    Spence New Member

    Location:
    UK
    I haven’t been able to tell much difference between records cleaned in say 21 degrees (normal room temp) versus those cleaned in 35 degrees (as hot as I dare to go due to potential warping).
     
  11. danomar

    danomar My spoon is too big.

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    There has been only a little mention of the CleanerVinyl rig, so I thought I would share my experiences.

    I have one of the commonly found six liter ultrasonic tanks. I think mine is a Vevor, but if not, it works just as well and is identical if only for lack of labeling. I wanted a device that would allow me to mount up to six LPs at a time and would also prove simple enough to mount and unmount vinyl.

    This is the CleanerVinyl Pro setup that I have:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It is the newest version that has a variable speed control. I like the newly designed housing because it cleverly includes four rubber pads that make it easy to stand the unit on one side to load vinyl. A nice thing about the CleanerVinyl approach is that it is possible to add components. I like the basic Pro version but can add a lift, fan, and filter later.

    When using the ultrasonic cleaner, I clean up to six LPs then lift the entire rack from the cleaner and hold it over my sink. I take each LP out and put each into a slot on my sink's dish rack.

    [​IMG]

    After removing all vinyl, I then rinse each LP in the Studebaker cleaner and put each back in the dish rack.

    I like the Studebaker for the very reason it makes a poor cleaner: The fabric-covered pads do not completely touch most LPs. I rotate each album a few times in each direction in distilled water, no cleaning solution. I replace the water after each session. This is another good point for the Studebaker: It holds less water than my Spin Clean, so it requires less water to do what I need.

    After the water drips off the vinyl for a few minutes, I lightly dry excess water from each side. I have two microfiber towels laid flat at two points on my kitchen counter. I use a Spin Clean cloth to lightly dry one side, flip the vinyl over and then put it on the second towel where I lightly remove excess water on the other side with a second Spin Clean cloth.

    [​IMG]

    I then put each album in one of two plastic dish drying racks that I keep on a table nearby. They air dry for at least one hour.

    [​IMG]

    If it seems like a lot of work, it really is not. The workflow is tidy and I can put everything away quickly.
     
    Andy Saunders, Spence and Optimize like this.
  12. Spence

    Spence New Member

    Location:
    UK
    @danomar Thank you for the write up - good detail. I am pretty much doing exactly the same as you, except using a different rotating spindle (more DIY than yours) and I’m using the Knosti as a rinse instead of your Spin Clean.
    One question for you: in your picture you’re only cleaning 4 records. I presume you do this by doubling up on the rubber spacers. I have thought about doing this, as it would provide more space between the vinyl surfaces of adjacent discs. My question is this: do you think this is necessary, rather than putting the records closer together and cleaning 6 at a time..? Have you noticed you get better results this way?
     
  13. dminches

    dminches Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    In my set up I double up the spacers as well. I think the records are too close with 1 spacer.

    I would also not apply a towel to the surface after cleaning. I don't know what the purpose of doing that is and I would be concerned that it could introduce new dirt. I use an anti-static brush when the record is spinning on the turntable.
     
    Spence likes this.
  14. Spence

    Spence New Member

    Location:
    UK
    Yes @dminches I don’t use the towel either - just let the records air dry in a Knosti rack
     
    dminches likes this.
  15. danomar

    danomar My spoon is too big.

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    First, the spacers are plastic, and I only doubled-up because I was cleaning four rather than six this particular time.

    I do not think there is necessarily a right or wrong amount of space between vinyl, but I do think that a six liter device such as the one I use works better with no more than six LPs. There is a certain trade-off between amount of time needed to knock debris from the grooves and temperature rise in the water.

    I do not see significantly different results cleaning one or six LPs at a time. The water in the tank definitely gets dirtier with more LPs, so that might be a consideration depending on how you filter or replace cleaning solution.

    Thanks for mentioning the Knosti. It looks like an interesting alternative to the Spin Clean.
     
    Spence likes this.
  16. Spence

    Spence New Member

    Location:
    UK
    I’m interested in what people are using for their cleaning fluid. I use 1 part bioethanol fuel to 10 parts deionised water, with an egg cup full of Ilfotol. I’ve read of others using less ethanol than this. And less Ilfotol. Any thoughts? For example is there any risk to the vinyl using this mixture...?
     
  17. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    My Audio Desk US cleaner failed today. :cry: The motor no longer spins the record during cleaning or drying, after about 1300 record cleanings. I bought this as a demo of the outgoing 2016/17 model, but my dealer extended me a 1 yr warranty. Hopefully AD takes care of the whole thing.
     
  18. Satrus

    Satrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cork, Ireland
    That is not a large number of records? I was talking with an Audiodesk representative at Munich High End in 2016 who told me that one of their original units cleaned as many as 40,000 records at a library in Germany before it gave up. I use the KLaudio and knock on wood, my unit has cleaned over 3k Records to date. The new Audiodesk Pro model is said to have improved components including an upgraded motor. How much would a replacement motor unit for your machine cost?
     
    Tommyboy likes this.
  19. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Should be nothing. I bought the dealer's demo unit earlier this year with a warranty.
     
    Satrus likes this.
  20. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    I was offered a refurbished unit at no charge, or the brand new model with 2 yr. warranty at an upcharge. I'm going for the new one. I was going to need to get the $200 consumables refresher kit soon anyway.
     
    Satrus and Bill Hart like this.
  21. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    I got a brand new unit today, the current 2019 model, which is more quiet and more smoothly. Bonus is that I got to change to the black color, to match the rest of my system. I got excellent support from my dealer and the importer/distributor. It didn't take long to get resolved either.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  22. Spence

    Spence New Member

    Location:
    UK
    So after approximately 250 US cleans I’ve discovered mixed results.
    I guess if a record is properly damaged, from a worn stylus or grit in the sleeve at some time, there’s nothing any kind of cleaning can do for it. I’ve bought a lot of records second hand over the years and some are in this category. The US did nothing at all for these. Luckily I don’t have many of these in my collection.
    Then there are records that sound fine even though they’re old, and these are not materially improved by the US clean either, at least not noticeable to my ageing ears.
    But on probably one quarter of all cleans so far, I’ve noticed one notch up in grade after the clean (usually from VG+ to NM). Sometimes, I get a massive improvement in grade - from VG or even G+ to NM - on 5 or 6 records so far - so say 2% of all cleans. And this is on a record collection that I consider well looked after and all cleaned at least once in a Knosti and stored in proper anti-stat inners. So the US cleaning is definitely worth it on older records.
    But I’m going to stop cleaning new records as I’ve been doing (and as advised by some members here and on other forums). This is because I sometimes imagine I’ve lost a tiny bit of detail after the clean of a brand new record (I always play it first pre-clean). Now I’m not sure whether this is just my imagination - and I’m sure it’s not measurable - it’s just my experience on some of the ~30 or so new records I’ve cleaned. Because of this effect I’ve also reduced my cleaning time down from the original 20 mins to 15 mins.
     
  23. dminches

    dminches Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    I think you are making a mistake not cleaning new records. The manufacturing process leaves residue on the LP which will end up on your stylus and other records.
     
  24. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    I don't play any record – new or otherwise – that hasn't been cleaned first.
     
    Satrus and dminches like this.
  25. Same, all records get cleaned before play. Pressing plants are dirty places, our records are not being pressed in labs.
     

Share This Page