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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bazelio

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Sep 27, 2016
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Naturally a gear thread such as this will contain competitive discussion. Unfavourable feedback is often times the most valuable kind. Speaking of which, Tim, your tendency to police what people say or how they say it (in various threads) does grow tiresome. I'd say your apparent desire for a hug box where everything is merely good to varying degrees or "different" rather than "bad" is counterproductive. But then you don't even apply it consistently. E.g. in this thread, your "if it sounds clean, then it is clean" criticism doesn't seem to apply to Alex's anecdote, only mine.

Back to a different topic, I've circled back to using the Degritter detergent. 1.5 mL per full tank of distilled water. I'm noticing that water now seems to adhere to the record surface more. There is a visible sheet of water coating the surface on the exposed half of the LP as it rotated in the slot. Without detergent, the rotating record appears almost dry as it emerges from the ultrasonic bath. I'm not sure what conclusion to draw from this, though it rekindles the topic of residue for me. And now I'm mildly curious how some of the third party surfactants might behave in this regard.
 

asiufy

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Jul 8, 2011
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bazelio,

You didn't qualify your anedocte (or experience), whilst I did. I've used not only Degritter and Audio Desk, but several other brush-based machines. I've also qualified the kind of records I've cleaned on them.
If you have a suspicion the Audio Desk doesn't work because you read it on the internet, you should clarify that.
 

bazelio

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Sep 27, 2016
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Sure I did. I said I had not detected any difference between using detergent vs not. Direct experience. That was shot down but your anecdote was not. It's that simple.

Regarding the Audiodesk, what has been mentioned here is a repeat in terms of it's lack of ultrasonic capability. Your anecdote is unconvincing to the contrary. That isn't to say it can't clean records well. But it is to say that if it does, then its brush system is the likely reason. It's far more consistent with other facts to conclude the Audio Desk has a better brush system than other cleaners that have yielded inferior results for you.
 

asiufy

Industry Expert/VIP Donor
Jul 8, 2011
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OK then, you keep your opinion and I'll keep mine.
 

flyer

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Dec 16, 2012
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Sure I did. I said I had not detected any difference between using detergent vs not. Direct experience. That was shot down but your anecdote was not. It's that simple.

Regarding the Audiodesk, what has been mentioned here is a repeat in terms of it's lack of ultrasonic capability. Your anecdote is unconvincing to the contrary. That isn't to say it can't clean records well. But it is to say that if it does, then its brush system is the likely reason. It's far more consistent with other facts to conclude the Audio Desk has a better brush system than other cleaners that have yielded inferior results for you.
I share the finding on the Audiodesk. To me it seems that, wanting to have all in one solution, it falls short on every solution...
I started looking for an alternative solution with for example the vpi mw16.5 and keep the Audiodesk for its brushing and (very) light ultrasonic feature.
Using only Audiodesk leaves me wondering too often what it did as some records come out exactly the same way they went in... even though paying attention to have fresh water, right amount of l'art du son liquid, no worn out brushes, regular water tank rinses, etc...
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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I have to say, the one thing I never expected dropping back into this thread, is the assertion that the ADS was not ultrasonic at all. Stating that is a surprise is understating it Lol.
 

tima

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Mar 4, 2014
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The actual problem lies with the competitors marketing claims of ultrasonic cleaning which has been demonstrated to be false. The competitors name has come up nımerous times on the topic so it is relevant too. No one is questioning the quality of the cleaning by the competitor brand. Why would anyone be protective of a company with demonstrably false marketing claims?
Okan, this is interesting. We both know audio marketing claims can be over the top. But I've not heard of false marketing claims by Rainer Glass. Can you say who made such claims and what they are?
 

kodomo

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Apr 26, 2017
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Okan, this is interesting. We both know audio marketing claims can be over the top. But I've not heard of false marketing claims by Rainer Glass. Can you say who made such claims and what they are?
I have record cleaning machines and was looking into adding another one which cleans through ultrasonic cavitation specifically. When you look into the market there are only a few companies claiming to do that. Audiodesk being one of them claims to have both ultrasonic and mechanical cleaning as well as dryer etc. so it is advertised to be a complete machine. However, ultrasonic part is shown to be compromised and consisting of a cheap mist maker operating in a frequency that has no to a very minimum cleaning effect through cavitation. The question and answer section and design notes on the products cableco product page explains what cavitation is (https://www.thecableco.com/vinyl-cleaner-pro-record-cleaner.html) and when I learn it is not actually doing that properly, this then translates for me to a false marketing claim and stops me from buying that product.
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
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I have to say, the one thing I never expected dropping back into this thread, is the assertion that the ADS was not ultrasonic at all. Stating that is a surprise is understating it Lol.
I have record cleaning machines and was looking into adding another one which cleans through ultrasonic cavitation specifically. When you look into the market there are only a few companies claiming to do that. Audiodesk being one of them claims to have both ultrasonic and mechanical cleaning as well as dryer etc. so it is advertised to be a complete machine. However, ultrasonic part is shown to be compromised and consisting of a cheap mist maker operating in a frequency that has no to a very minimum cleaning effect through cavitation. The question and answer section and design notes on the products cableco product page explains what cavitation is (https://www.thecableco.com/vinyl-cleaner-pro-record-cleaner.html) and when I learn it is not actually doing that properly, this then translates for me to a false marketing claim and stops me from buying that product.
Thank you Okan for that. Now I understand what you're saying.

Spirit - I too was surprised to read such assertion, suprised largely because it is false.

Both - Audio Desk (https://www.audiodesksysteme.de) has a lousy Web site with little actual product information and no technical specifications. Let me refer you to the Web page of UltraSystems; they are Audio Desk's agent for North America: http://www.ultrasystem.com/usfeaturedprodsAudioDesk.html. It has a little bit of info, but as the primary distributor I consider it accurate. On occasion I've talked with the owner, Bob Stein about the ADS, he was always forthcoming and helpful. Bob Stein also owns the cable company.

With regard to ultrasonics and Audio Desk (ADS):

- The machine has a single ultrasonic transducer that operates at varying frequencies during the cleaning cycle. ( I have not seen their 2020 version.) Facing the unit, it is to the right of the brushes near the bottom of the tank and it is positioned to point at the edge of the record so its cavitation bubbles are split to each side. I've seen it operate.

That transducer is not a "mist maker" - I'm guessing you read that word on some audio forum, I think I've read it too. The ultrasonic transducer does not make mist, instead it enables what is called cavitation which produces thousands of tiny vacuum bubbles that collapse against the surface of the record. When a bubble impacts a record the vacuum implodes. The force of the implosion can cause dirt to dislodge from the record. That is how all ultrasonic cleaners work. If you're interested in more detail I can point to lots of articles to read - none of those come from audio forums.

- Audio Desk does not market the machine as an ultrasonic cleaner. At least not that I've seen. They have always called it a Vinyl Cleaner. It's primary method of cleaning is using rotating brushes in a solution of water and surfactant with assistance from the transducer. Along with the brush action on the record, the brushes also keep the dirt removed by the transducer suspended in the solution.

Okan, if you are looking for a single-slot desktop clearner that relies soley on ultrasonic action, the Audio Desk does not do that. But I don't think the company makes false claims and I have not read claims from ADS itself I thought were false. As far as cleaning records goes, it does a pretty good job. ADS has been around for over a decade. Complaints about it are not about its ability to clean records. I'm not advocating for or against the machine or any other desktop RCM.

Having read your messages about your horn speakers, I have the impression you are very much a DIY person. It's pretty simple to assemble your own RCM.

I've spent a chunk of time researching record cleaning and ultrasonic cleaning and the many sub-topics that relate to those. I quickly realized there is a ton of misunderstanding and misinformation about those topics in audio forums. For some reason RCMs attract zealots - but it is amusing. Ultrasonic cleaning has been around for industrial uses for a very long time. Better to look outside the audio world for information then apply that to record cleaning.
 
Jun 18, 2020
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Owning a Degritter and a Clear Audio Smart Matrix Pro RCM I cannot say the Degritter does a better job. In fact I tend to think I get slightly better results with the Clear Audio RCM with respect to background noise - However the amount of work for the miniscule difference is night and day. With the Clear Audio I used the 3 Step AIVS solution along with the heavy enzymatic cleaner as a pre-soak. I also added a step of distilled water rinse before I did the Ultra Pure water final rinse - so I was doing 4-5 steps. It would easily take 15 minutes per side (5-6 rotations in each direction X2 - total of 10-12 rotations per direction per step and vacuuming in both directions between steps with different pickup tubes for each step). Add another 10-20 minutes for the enzymatic scrub and soak - per side and it bordered on drudgery after a while. The Degritter does nearly as good of a job in 10 minutes and is simply a breeze to use. Drop in a record, press the button, walk away.
 

rDin

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Oct 28, 2019
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Owning a Degritter and a Clear Audio Smart Matrix Pro RCM I cannot say the Degritter does a better job. In fact I tend to think I get slightly better results with the Clear Audio RCM with respect to background noise - However the amount of work for the miniscule difference is night and day. With the Clear Audio I used the 3 Step AIVS solution along with the heavy enzymatic cleaner as a pre-soak. I also added a step of distilled water rinse before I did the Ultra Pure water final rinse - so I was doing 4-5 steps. It would easily take 15 minutes per side (5-6 rotations in each direction X2 - total of 10-12 rotations per direction per step and vacuuming in both directions between steps with different pickup tubes for each step). Add another 10-20 minutes for the enzymatic scrub and soak - per side and it bordered on drudgery after a while. The Degritter does nearly as good of a job in 10 minutes and is simply a breeze to use. Drop in a record, press the button, walk away.
Seems like any vacuum cleaner would benefit from the extended steps you take. But as you note, the Degritter gets you there for a fraction of the time and effort. I'd save your comprehensive vacuum approach for those rare records that you felt still had room for improvement after coming from the Degritter...
 
Jun 18, 2020
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Seems like any vacuum cleaner would benefit from the extended steps you take. But as you note, the Degritter gets you there for a fraction of the time and effort. I'd save your comprehensive vacuum approach for those rare records that you felt still had room for improvement after coming from the Degritter...
That is exactly what I am doing. When I have that record that can use a little more help I put it through my RCM cleaning process - and then run it through the Degritter one more time afterwards for good measure :)
 
Likes: rDin
Jun 18, 2020
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After cleaning nearly 80 times (about 50 albums) with my new Degritter I have developed a problem. I am not getting any errors or warnings, but I am having to clean many records 3-5 times to get rid of the majority of background noise between tracks. When new, that wasn't an issue. but after a month of cleaning the problem seems to be getting worse as time progresses. I am changing the distilled water every 10 cleanings (I would say every 10 albums but since I am cleaning the same album multiple times that would be inaccurate). I clean the filter every 10 cleanings as well. I am using 2 ml of the Degritter cleaning fluid with every new tank. I swap tanks with every cleaning so that I am able to rinse out the previously used tank and let it dry completely. Any suggestions as to what I could be doing wrong? As of now for every 5 albums I clean, on average 2 will be nearly perfect and 3 will need multiple cleanings to get them relatively quiet. I realize the vinyl has a lot to do with the noise level, but the fact that multiple cleanings quiet them down means that it is a cleaning issue. Most of my albums come from used record stores although a significant amount are new 180G / 200G pressing - from Mofi or others.
 
Jun 18, 2020
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Would be interested in observations of foam when cleaning with the Degritter fluid. One of the reasons I stopped using it was foam, sometimes quite excessive and having to wipe it away while records were being cleaned. Perhaps I was using too much...
I had a similar problem but it was always on new albums. Never on albums that had previously been cleaned. I especially had the problem with some of the "colored" vinyl albums - but that may just be a case of the foam being more visible on a translucent surface.
 
Jun 18, 2020
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Sounds like something's up. Have you emailed Taniel? I doubt this kind of problem will be solved in a forum thread.
I had not emailed him, but just did after reading your post. I will keep the group updated on what he says. I love the ease of use of the Degritter but am frustrated with the multiple cleanings required so hopefully we can find a solution.
 

bazelio

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Sep 27, 2016
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By the way, I like the multiple tank idea. Now that I've been using the detergent more, I'd actually consider keeping a detergent water tank and a fresh water rinse-only tank. Degritter just needs the option to wash without drying. You can always stop it manually after the draining, but it'd be nice if you could automate that.
 
Aug 20, 2020
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Degritter just needs the option to wash without drying. You can always stop it manually after the draining, but it'd be nice if you could automate that.
Well actually it is an automated task. Just turn the drying time to 0 and it will do just a washing process. The added value of this machine is that you can do very different task that other machine won't because they are more "closed". Maybe in the next future we'll have a wash only setting by default. And btw, everyone can send his suggestions to the CEO who will answer everyone with so many advices, just try him!
 

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