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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kozzmo

New Member
Nov 19, 2019
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I received my Degritter about 3 weeks ago. Since then I've cleaned at least 30 records. As far as the quality of cleaning, I would say that the Degritter is at least as good as the home brew ultrasonic cleaner it replaced, and my sense is that it is quite a bit better. There seem to be fewer records that need a 2nd (or 3rd) cleaning after using the Degritter.


One of the design features I like about the Degritter is that it incorporates an active water filter. I haven't measured particulates in the water reservoir, so I can't say how effectively the filter cleans the water, but I checked the filter after ~20 records and was surprised at how filthy it was. (And I mean FILTHY.) So it is definitely getting at least some particulates out!
!

has anyone out there looked at the "contents" of this filthy water?? I have used a RCM for years and have never seen the water I remove from the tank look "black". I know some of these manufacturers have run colored vinyl through the machine as a test but has anyone actually tested the "particulates" to see if there is any vinyl in the tanks after cleaning????
 
Dec 31, 2015
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Solana Beach, CA
has anyone out there looked at the "contents" of this filthy water?? I have used a RCM for years and have never seen the water I remove from the tank look "black". I know some of these manufacturers have run colored vinyl through the machine as a test but has anyone actually tested the "particulates" to see if there is any vinyl in the tanks after cleaning????
Who said it was black? Not me. Many of the records I cleaned in the Degritter were thrift store finds and had never been cleaned before. They looked filthy before I cleaned them! All that dirt had to go somewhere = water bath. I have NO concern that the Degritter blasted vinyl Into the water.
 

dminches

Well-Known Member
Oct 22, 2011
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Likes: tima
Dec 31, 2015
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Solana Beach, CA
You should get a TDS meter to check the liquid. It will give you and indication as to when it should be changed.

Here is the one I have which doesn't seem to be available from amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075TZZTXR/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

After cleaning 50+ records my reading is still 0004 or lower in my DIY cleaner. I have an active filtration system to continuously clean the water.
Just ordered one. Should be here by next Friday. Will report back.
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
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has anyone out there looked at the "contents" of this filthy water?? I have used a RCM for years and have never seen the water I remove from the tank look "black". I know some of these manufacturers have run colored vinyl through the machine as a test but has anyone actually tested the "particulates" to see if there is any vinyl in the tanks after cleaning????
Testing not just for vinyl in the tanks, but dirt and more ...

Looking at tank solution can't beat measuring for dissolved solids. By the time a solution looks dirty, it's way past time to change it.

David is right. A TDS meter is essential for not only gauging solution particulates but filter effectiveness. It also provides a guide for changing solution and assessing solution chemical purity. It takes but a moment to test solution.

Test when changing to fresh solution. This gives you a baseline for subsequent measurements. When I start a fresh solution in my DIY setup, I record the TDS reading on a pad of paper kept nearby. Then I make a mark for each record cleaned to keep a count. At the start of each cleaning session I take a TDS reading.

Over time you'll get a sense about how many records cleaned will cause a rise in total dissolved solids. If you change to fresh solution and TDS increases quicker than normal it probably means you need to change or clean your filter. You may need to clean your tank. Even if your unit has an external water tank like the Degritter, at some point you'l want to clean the internal working chamber, something not always easy to do with slotted desktop machines.

Test your solution before you dry a record. This will tell you how clean is the water that will evaporate off the record leaving on it a particulate count equal to your reading. You'll quickly see the value of active filtration.

Using a solution of 99% pure IPA and Ilfotol wetting agent in roughly 3 gallons of distilled water, I typically get 0001 - 0003 ppm with fresh solution. If that number rises above 0005ppm I change the tank.

Fwiw, Amazon has the one mentioned by dminches but at a different address:
https://www.amazon.com/TDS-Meter-Di...DFE9CO&qid=1575696272&s=merchant-items&sr=1-1
 
Dec 31, 2015
76
50
123
Solana Beach, CA
Testing not just for vinyl in the tanks, but dirt and more ...

Looking at tank solution can't beat measuring for dissolved solids. By the time a solution looks dirty, it's way past time to change it.

David is right. A TDS meter is essential for not only gauging solution particulates but filter effectiveness. It also provides a guide for changing solution and assessing solution chemical purity. It takes but a moment to test solution.

Test when changing to fresh solution. This gives you a baseline for subsequent measurements. When I start a fresh solution in my DIY setup, I record the TDS reading on a pad of paper kept nearby. Then I make a mark for each record cleaned to keep a count. At the start of each cleaning session I take a TDS reading.

Over time you'll get a sense about how many records cleaned will cause a rise in total dissolved solids. If you change to fresh solution and TDS increases quicker than normal it probably means you need to change or clean your filter. You may need to clean your tank. Even if your unit has an external water tank like the Degritter, at some point you'l want to clean the internal working chamber, something not always easy to do with slotted desktop machines.

Test your solution before you dry a record. This will tell you how clean is the water that will evaporate off the record leaving on it a particulate count equal to your reading. You'll quickly see the value of active filtration.

Using a solution of 99% pure IPA and Ilfotol wetting agent in roughly 3 gallons of distilled water, I typically get 0001 - 0003 ppm with fresh solution. If that number rises above 0005ppm I change the tank.

Fwiw, Amazon has the one mentioned by dminches but at a different address:
https://www.amazon.com/TDS-Meter-Di...DFE9CO&qid=1575696272&s=merchant-items&sr=1-1
As with many things made in China, I bet I found the same TDS meter sold under 10 different names, priced from a few dollars on Ebay to $20 + shipping. I paid $7 with free shipping.
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
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Does it come with calibration fluid, or how do you know it's accurate?
I haven't seen a simple one that does and for that price it would be surprising to have a calibration function. If you have a material or solution with a known quantity of dissolved particulate you might use that to confirm the meter. Or a different meter to see what it yields. Or take the meter or a sample of your solution to, say, a water quality company for comparison with their result. I can tell you mine consistently reads 0000ppm-0001ppm for distilled water.

Imo anyone cleaning records should use one. It's a useful tool. For example: several people advocate something like Hepastat to kill stuff in their tank. I tried that but my meter told me that Hepstat adds 0028ppm particulate to my solution so I opted not to have Hepstat dry on my records. Happily we each get to chose our own standards.
 
Dec 31, 2015
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Solana Beach, CA
My guess is that while the meter may not be quantitatively accurate, it is probably qualitatively accurate. I plan to test the distilled water straight from the jug, then in the cleaned reservoir prior to cleaning an LP, then after each LP. Of course, with a new filter. I’m curious to see what the TDS concentration vs number of LPs cleaned looks like. May also be useful to indicate when the filter should be replaced.
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
1,568
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the Upper Midwest
TDS meter usage is a good idea. I've long suspected grocery store distilled water itself to be suspect.
I haven't had any issues with 79¢ gallons. Did not really experience a difference between that and NERL Reagent Grade water. Bought that in 5 gallon boxes when I used a Loricraft and AIVS.
 
Jan 27, 2019
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I just updated to the next version of the software (2.1 now)- it's really pretty cool to be able to do this. Nice tip on the water tester I need to get one though my sense is the filter system is very effective - be nice to test it though.

Given recent discussion when I was changing the water the other night I poured the water into a white ceramic bowl - rather than being dirty or grey in any way, it was very slightly yellow (occasionally after a batch of charity shop finds I've found the water really quite yellow - nicotine stains I think).

Cleaning out the filter, again as usual, involved removing what seems to be organic matter - most likey dust, which kind of mats together - and a bit of dirty discolouration in the filter itself, which always washes clean pretty easily in running water. I doubt very much if this is any sort of vinyl dust it's capturing. I typically change the water after about 40 records which for me is a couple of weeks' use.

I've had a Degriter now for quite a while, about 18 months in total - the first 9 months with a beta machine, and about 9 months this year with the production machine, whose software I have upgraded twice now and enjoyed the additional features. The degas feature on the production machine has been useful as well as the integral filter. There's no doubt that a lot of care was taken in this machine's design.

It's been very reliable and on the one occasion I managed to corrupt the eprom from messing around pulling power cords in and out while forgetting to switch off, support from the Degritter team was rapid and the issue solved pretty much instantly by re-inserting an SD card containing the latest software.

As I mentioned above at one point I had my (beta) Degritter, a friend's AudioDesk (v1) and my own Loricraft PRC6 all in my listening room at one point. All have their nice points, but not long after my production Degritter arrived I sold the Loricraft - I had hung onto it assuming I would need it for really dirty stuff, but I find the Degritter is really all I need.
 
Likes: bonzo75

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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I just updated to the next version of the software (2.1 now)- it's really pretty cool to be able to do this.

. . .

I've had a Degriter now for quite a while, about 18 months in total - the first 9 months with a beta machine, and about 9 months this year with the production machine, whose software I have upgraded twice now and enjoyed the additional features. . . .

It's been very reliable and on the one occasion I managed to corrupt the eprom from messing around pulling power cords in and out while forgetting to switch off, support from the Degritter team was rapid and the issue solved pretty much instantly by re-inserting an SD card containing the latest software.

. . .
Forgive me, but I’m very confused. The Degritter needs software to operate?
 
Jan 27, 2019
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Forgive me, but I’m very confused. The Degritter needs software to operate?
Yes. I'd be surprised if the AudioDesk didn't too, the difference being that rather than its software being permanently burnt to a chip, the Degritter's operation can be fine-tuned over time through downladable upgrades. Just download to an SD card, insert and restart, the machine recognises when an SD card is fitted and automatically installs the file.

The wash cycle is quite complicated, there are (I believe) four ultrasonic emitters that are operated in a frequency sweep mode that apparently is the most efficient way to clean, the degassing function needs activation, the motors that turn the record at different speeds and in different directions depending on the stage of the cleaning cycle need to be controlled, as does the fan, there are various sensors for temperature, presence of tank and so on, and of course the display needs to be managed too. It's a very full-featured, sophisticated bit of kit. Really a full generation (or more) on from previous such devices.
 
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Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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Interesting. I did not realize that.

This is just a preference “thing” of mine (it applies to amateur radio equipment as well) but for something like a record cleaner I prefer a hard-coded machine, which is not software adjustable and which does not need “updating.”
 
Likes: Barry2013
Jan 27, 2019
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Interesting. I did not realize that.

This is just a preference “thing” of mine (it applies to amateur radio equipment as well) but for something like a record cleaner I prefer a hard-coded machine, which is not software adjustable and which does not need “updating.”
Your preference I guess but the conveniece of this over my old Loricraft is quite something. Hit the button, come back in x minutes, pristine vinyl and no chance of messing it up in the execution.

I guess you could leave this forever exactly how it came from the factory but as any Tesla fan will tell you the ability to tweak over time has benefits.
 

rando

Well-Known Member
Sep 22, 2019
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The end user SD card slot for software updates was one of the first things I noticed looking at the site yesterday. Mind, I don't have enough vinyl to worry about one of these. The idea 70 year old virgin vinyl nearly 1/4" thick might enjoy a slightly different bit of treatment to one of these stocking stuffer Walmart lp's isn't so far gone though. If that is something considered by their beta testers.

Loading up an SD card instead of shipping the unit back to Europe sounds like a good mix of hard coded and ability to perform a hard reset.
 

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