Ultrasonic Cleaners --- Differences between name brand vs. generic models

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by johnt23, Apr 12, 2019.

  1. johnt23

    johnt23 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Oregon
    Looking at an ultrasonic cleaner and am pretty overwhelmed by the options. Name brand units like the KLaudio are $4700 while there are myriad generic units on ebay for $500. Besides the warranty, what are the differences between these units? Parts quality? There can't be such a huge disparity in parts quality to warrant such a price difference? Any caveats I should know about the $500 units?
     
  2. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    I know two people with cheap generic Chinese tanks and they both work excellently, I'll be buying one from eBay soon, just need to decide on the mechanism to hold and rotate the records, one friend bought one on eBay, one made his own, it's deciding if the ones on eBay represent good enough value.
     
  3. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    My take on them is the brand products are more expensive because a) marketed to audiophiles, b) purpose-made for cleaning and drying records, no DIY or aftermarket rigging needed, and c) the Chinese stuff is just cheaper because it’s Chinese. I don’t know how much of the disparity to attribute to each factor, or if there are more factors. I know if I bought one of the Chinese tanks, I would approach it with some caution and skepticism, whereas I would confidently expect a Klaudio or Audio Desk to do exactly what is advertised at those price tags. Is that worth saving $4,000? Probably, as long as it does no harm to your records.
     
    JNTEX likes this.
  4. johnt23

    johnt23 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Oregon
    Is the KLAudio tank made in China?
     
  5. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Looks like Korea, based on the pics on their website (says “Manufactured in Korea” on the back if my eyes are making it out right zooming in on it). The generic tanks all seem to be made in China.

    Not that a Chinese factory can’t make an ultrasonic tank as well as a Korean factory, but the generic ones seem to be mass produced for general ultrasonic cleaning purposes, whereas the Klaudio is more of a boutique product specific to cleaning records. Plus, as I said in my other post, they are selling things to audiophiles, which automatically gets a markup. You look at how much the accessories for the machine cost, as well as their other products, and you understand they’re going after a very narrow market.
     
  6. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
  7. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
  8. MattHooper

    MattHooper Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    If you are actually considering KLaudio or AudioDesk record cleaners in the mix, then you might also want to look at a new kid on the block, the Degritter Ultrasonic record cleaner:

    Record cleaning machine that is easy to use - Degritter

    Like the KLaudio and Audiodesk, it's a fully automatic ultrasonic record cleaner: drop a record in, push a button, it cleans ultrasonically and dries the record for you. It looks much nicer than the other RCs ((n my opinion and I suspect many others), it costs less, and it's a very well thought out product with a great user interface. Way more "finished product" than any other record cleaner I've seen.

    The cons are that they are a very new company and have only just started selling the units, so we don't have much data on the long term reliability. I decided to order one early on during the development phase since the feedback from beta testers was uniformly extremely positive both about the product and the company.

    I just received my production unit and thus far it's working great. Actually makes cleaning records a pleasure!
     
  9. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    Great looking machine.
     
    Big Blue likes this.
  10. daytona600

    daytona600 Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
     
  11. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    That same guy was spamming the same 1 star review on every ultrasonic cleaner, so I wouldn't take that with much credit.
     
    JNTEX likes this.
  12. EdogawaRampo

    EdogawaRampo Forum Resident

    I've been using a cheap (about $250 several years back) Chinese model with this:

    CleanerVinyl: Ultrasonic Vinyl Record Cleaning Systems

    Very happy camper with the set-up. Just used it earlier today and it removed a loud click on a quiet passage on a new record. Couldn't see any dirt and worried it was a manufacturing flaw but now it's gone.

    I suppose if money were no object I'd go ahead and spend 4X what I spent on my current set-up and get one of the nice, high-end models. But, money is an object and what I have works splendidly.
     
    Shawn likes this.
  13. captouch

    captouch Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    I bought a $99 tank and DIY’d my rotisserie setup that does up to 6 at a time. It doesn’t dry them for me and my label protectors aren’t really waterproof, though I believe I can make them so with a small amount of effort.

    I view the $99 tank as a limited lifetime item that I’ll just replace when it breaks, but I use it gently - only run 10-15min cycles and then let it rest for 10min or so while I vacuum dry and sleeve the ones that just came out of the bath. I’ve probably done 500-700 records and no signs of it failing.

    There was nothing in the way of solid evidence/data that led me to believe that spending more on a pricier tank was worth it, so I went with the cheapest.

    The whole setup does its job well for under $200 all-in.
     
    EdogawaRampo likes this.
  14. JNTEX

    JNTEX Lava Police

    Location:
    Texas
    Looks cool, but is priced about the same as an AudioDesk. I don't know what the ADs run now, but mine new was less than 2600E with the currency conversion.
     

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