Degritter ultrasonic record cleaner

Hi y’all, just a few words on what I think is a worthy alternative to the Audio Desk Systeme and KLAudio ultrasonic cleaners.

http://degritter.com/media-kit/

I’ve been a beta tester on the Degritter for the last few weeks, and am happy to offer my opinions and answer any qs for those interested.

I believe official launch is in early May, and at this stage after a couple of quibbles in day to day use, I’m planning to keep my unit, it’s been a pretty good success, and invaluable addition to day to day life as a vinyl addict.
 
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Apr 23, 2018
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COF said:
Do I understand correctly? Previously you had a video demonstrating 3 fan settings, low, medium, high. But now you've increased the available fan settings to 20 , for even finer grade selection of the fan noise?
Yes, we redesigned the fan power settings a bit. You can now pick between 1-20 settings and while doing so the machine turns on the fans so that you can hear the difference of each setting in real time.

tima said:
Does the amount of applied power change vacuum 'bubble' size?
No, it does not. The vacuum 'bubble' size is mainly determined by the frequency. What you do get from applying more power is more 'bubbles' and a better cleaning energy distribution.

tima said:
Does the amount of applied power change water/soultion temperature?
Yes, more power causes the water/solution temperature to rise quicker. This is the down side.

tima said:
Is it possible to correlate power (wattage) to cleaning effectiveness or implosion force? Could such a correlation hold across any commonly used transducer frequencies?
To the cleaning effectiveness, yes, to the implosion force no. The implosion force is determined by the 'bubble' size. Cleaning effectiveness is affected by both the bubble size and the number of bubbles you have (there are other aspects as well that have effect on it, like solution temperature, solution surfacetension, the acoustic parameters of the cleaning tank, etc. ).

tima said:
I read some Degritter literature some time back (when spirit was first telling his beta experience) and it said something like: 'Our use of 120kHz is gentler and safer than other commonly found lower frequencies in other machines.' (Not a quote, but that was my takeaway.) I don't know if your literature still makes a claim like that. Does using 300W in a smal tank mitigate the 'gentler, safer' claim or change it in any way?
This claim is based on the size of bubbles and implosions due to the higher frequncy. The higher the frequency the smaller the implosions and the gentler the cleaning effect. This claim is backed by scientific publications on the topic and we can provide citations.

This in return does not mean that 40kHz is inherently unsafe for Vinyl. We have not run these tests and we cannot say whether it is or isn't. Even if the 40kHz is harmful in some configuration, then there are solutions that can be done to mitigate it. For example KLAudio has patented "wave breakers" that block "hot spots" in their machine.

tima said:
Claims/statements about transducer frequency and particle size removal are pretty common in the ultrasonic cleaning industry, though fewer in relation to cleaning vinyl records specifically. Can you share what Degritter studies have found?
Back in 2016, before setting on the 120kHz frequency we ran tests with off the shelf ultrasonic amplifiers and transducers for 40kHz, 80kHz, 120kHz. The tests had transparent record covered with dark dustmixture sitting in prototype ultrasonic tank. The 120kHZ had the most uniform cleaning distribution. The aplifiers and transducers were from different manufacturers, so the test results might not have been entirely conclusive, but we were satisfied, as they also matched the literature published on the topic.

We have plans to publish the reasons behind our design decisions in a series of blog posts, but so far we have had too much at our hands to get to it. However, we hope to get to it once the first batches of machines are ready.

tima said:
Have you found similar relations between particle removal and frequency for vinyl records?
It is very difficult to study the exact effect of a frequency on a certainly sized particle. You need very good lab set up (preferably with electron microscope) and you have to spend a lot of time in ther to conduct countless tests with different particle sizes. It would require a research paper to prove (or disprove) the mentioned graph (I presume that there is one behind it).

We did study the effect of our ultrasonic cleaning on a graphite dust (particles of size 1-5um) in the University of Tartu. The images can be found in our webpage.
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
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Thank you degritter_taniel for your responses. Kudos for being open and straightforward, while telling us something of what you've learned in the context of cleaning vinyl records.

The higher the frequency the smaller the implosions and the gentler the cleaning effect. This claim is backed by scientific publications on the topic and we can provide citations.
Yes, I understand it relatively common knowledge without dispute.

Back in 2016, before setting on the 120kHz frequency we ran tests with off the shelf ultrasonic amplifiers and transducers for 40kHz, 80kHz, 120kHz. The tests had transparent record covered with dark dustmixture sitting in prototype ultrasonic tank. The 120kHZ had the most uniform cleaning distribution. The aplifiers and transducers were from different manufacturers, so the test results might not have been entirely conclusive, but we were satisfied, as they also matched the literature published on the topic.
I thought that was the most interesting part of your response. During this discussion I've come to have a better understanding of the power (wattage) factor in conjunction with transducer frequency. I conjecture the claim that '120kHz had the most uniform cleaning distribution' is as much or more a function of applied wattage as frequency. Smaller vacuum bubbles (frequency) and more vacuum bubbles (wattage) with the latter perhaps more responsible for cleaning distribution. It only seems to make sense that more vacuum bubbles will yield greater distribution of implosions regardless of size/frequency - would you concur?

I don't know which off the shelf units you used for evaluation. Many of the non-industrial USC tanks tend to offer lower wattage than the 300W used in the Degritter. The original US machine I chose (now gone) had variable power but its maximum was 240W. Do you have information on the approximate increase (%) in the number of vacuum bubbles for, say, every 25 Watt increase in power? (It doesn't have to be 25, just some increment.)

More conjecture: eveness of distribution is also a function of exposure time. The longer a cleaning cyle, the more likely for thorough distribution of implosions. Just thinking about design, if cleaning cycle time is fixed, as long as cleaning and drying are separate, one can choose to do as many cleanings as desired before drying, thus increasing the opportunities for distribution/thoroughness.

Here, if I may be so bold, is a suggestion, perhaps as an option: incorporate a total dissolved solids (TDS) meter into your machine. Perhaps your water tank is open enough to accept a hand held meter, though the tank itself is bound to accumlate some debris even with a filter? I like the idea of keeping track of water purity rather than guessing when to change it. Another notion: allow for access to the tank itself so it can be rinsed/cleaned as needed.

Best of luck with your project. Having choice in the RCM market can only be a good thing. The advent of awareness of the benefits of cleaning records, partly brought on by machines like yours and others can only encourage the viability of the vinyl record as a medium. Thanks again for your willingness to engage.
 
Apr 23, 2018
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tima said:
I don't know which off the shelf units you used for evaluation. Many of the non-industrial USC tanks tend to offer lower wattage than the 300W used in the Degritter. The original US machine I chose (now gone) had variable power but its maximum was 240W.
We used non-industrial solutions we ordered directly from different Chinese manufacturers. This was at a point where we did not yet had our own 300W amplifier developed and we were pondering on wether to design and build it ourselves or to use an off the shelf amplifier that we can integrate. The wattages were approximately the same, but we have seen transducers with different quality and the amplifiers differed a bit as well.
tima said:
Do you have information on the approximate increase (%) in the number of vacuum bubbles for, say, every 25 Watt increase in power? (It doesn't have to be 25, just some increment.)
This would be VERY difficult to measure and due to this it is seldom used. We mostly relied on aluminium foil tests and did a lot of these during the development process.

tima said:
Here, if I may be so bold, is a suggestion, perhaps as an option: incorporate a total dissolved solids (TDS) meter into your machine. Perhaps your water tank is open enough to accept a hand held meter, though the tank itself is bound to accumlate some debris even with a filter?
This would be a great addition to the machine, but as the machine is complex as it is right now, we will not be adding it in the near future. Maybe in the future :). The external water tank is large enough so that a hand held TDS meter can be used with it.
 
Likes: tima
Feb 21, 2014
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England, UK
Looks like the wait will finally be over they should be shipping soon and hopefully here sometime next week
 

COF

Member
Sep 30, 2017
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They ship out the 18th. First machines go to those of us who didn't order the 7” and 10” adapters (I didn't order them).
I have no idea how long shipping will take. I'm crossing my fingers for my unit to arrive before the end of this month.
 

COF

Member
Sep 30, 2017
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BTW, for Taniel:

I noticed that the European distributor you have partnered with, MHW Audio, has your product incorrectly listed on their site as another product - the Glass Vinyl Cleaner Pro Black.

And a question: One thing I've not seen is any mention of what mechanism turns the records when cleaning. Audiodesk (I think) use a sort of brush assembly but what does the record sit in when spinning in the Degritter?
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
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And a question: One thing I've not seen is any mention of what mechanism turns the records when cleaning. Audiodesk (I think) use a sort of brush assembly
Fwiw, the ADS does not operate that way. I may not have the proper nomenclature here, but the record is spun by small wheels that contact it directly. One can notice the brushes retract from the record during the drying cycle during which the record rotates.
 
Jan 27, 2019
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Fwiw, the ADS does not operate that way. I may not have the proper nomenclature here, but the record is spun by small wheels that contact it directly. One can notice the brushes retract from the record during the drying cycle during which the record rotates.
Correct the brushes don't spin the record. They barely touch the record actually, from my recollection of running one side by side with the beta version Degritter.
 
Sep 30, 2017
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So...are folks here going to use the Degritter with the cleaning fluid, or without?

I think I'll at least start by using the cleaning fluid, see how that goes.
 
Feb 21, 2014
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So...are folks here going to use the Degritter with the cleaning fluid, or without?

I think I'll at least start by using the cleaning fluid, see how that goes.
I may run a few records when the machine arrives without the fluid but after that I will be running with the fluid in the tank as they claim it reduces the drying time and helps remove the dirt. I believe that the bottle of concentrate supplied with the machine will do around 1000 records
 
Jan 27, 2019
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I may run a few records when the machine arrives without the fluid but after that I will be running with the fluid in the tank as they claim it reduces the drying time and helps remove the dirt. I believe that the bottle of concentrate supplied with the machine will do around 1000 records
I've been using it for months now it with the recommended amount of concentrate. Seems to work fine.
 
Likes: Lee Henley

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