Klaudio Record Cleaning Machine Review

Emosewa

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But both are, how shall I say, 'insufficiently featured.'

The KLaudio uses only water to clean. Yes, water is a solvent, but it is not enough - it it were we'd not need surfactants. This may be its biggest drawback.

The ADS requires purchase of new brushes and filter every so often (though the brushes can be washed in a washing machine) and it is warranted only with ADS cleaning fluid.

Tanks of neither unit are easily cleaned.

Imo there are superior options. . .

Many thanks for your summary, which was more succinct than mine! One point that you didn't address (I don't believe anyone has) is whether the stronger ultrasonic transducers in the KL Audio unit actually matter. I am not an engineer and can't address that. But logically, if the cleaning is done ultrasonically, I'd assume that the fact that the KL Audio unit has more than four times the power of the Audio Desk unit in that regard should be quite significant. (KL has four 50 watt transducers, and the Audio Desk doesn't disclose the spec, but probably their single unit is rated at half of that.) And the KL Audio transducers fire directly at the LP while it is turning, perpendicular to the surface, while the Audio Desk single transducer fires at the edge and up both sides.

So the KL Audio unit uses four times the strength when it comes to ultrasonics. The Audio Desk includes four barrel brushes to scrub the record but weaker transducers.

But is it significant? Is that an advantage for KL Audio? Or is it overkill and more than is necessary, and the Audio Desk unit is sufficient with only one transducer but also with the cleaning barrels? That is a point that I don't believe anyone, throughout this thread, has ever addressed.

How does all that come out in the wash, so to speak? Which approach results in superior cleaning?

And in the scenario of interest to me, which approach works best for used or new LPs that have already been cleaned on a Nitty Gritty? Which approach would cause the best improvement in sound quality?

With regards to fluid, the new KL Audio unit uses an external jug, and it can easily be a 4.5 liter container -- the same quantity of water as the Audio Desk. I asked KL Audio if the Audio Desk fluid could be added to their unit without causing damage, pointing out that doing so would take one of the criticisms of their unit off the table. My argument to them was that they can say that the fluid is unnecessary and just added cost, but if an audiophile wants to use, well, knock your self out. It is compatible with their unit. That would address one key criticism of their unit. I don't expect to receive a response to my question though.

Finally, you say there are superior options --what are they? Preferably one that is somewhat convenient. The Clear Audio unit referenced in another post costs nearly 50% more at $6,000 and appears to use wet cleaning like many others, but has a "sonic" component but I don't know what that is. Even if I could afford to spend $6,000 which I can't.
 
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bonzo75

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Hi Emosewa, do you have a lot of original classical LPs in your collection? May I ask what analog set up and speakers you use?
 

Emosewa

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Some original classical LPs. Many more original jazz LPs. Some are first releases, more are the second or third releases. I was lucky enough to build a very large jazz collection in the late 1970s and 1980s when record companies were liquidating LP stocks to make more money selling CDs, so purchased hundreds (probably more like well over 1,000) jazz LPs as new cut-outs.

But I also have many used LPs that have already been cleaned on the Nitty Gritty Pro (as have all of the jazz cut-outs and most of the new LPs) -- thus my question about which machine would best improve sound quality on those LPs.

SME 15; SME Model V; Lyra Delos, Wilson Alexia Series 2.
 

dminches

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Oct 22, 2011
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I use Audio Intelligent No. 15 Enzymatic or L'Art du Son for the first time cleaning with brush by hand, then dry with micro towel and finish in KL Audio. Once a record has been cleaned with cleaning solutions, there is no reason to use them again other than water for dust accumulation wash off every couple years.

I tried to find a disc doctor brush to do this but they are no longer available.
 

jeffrey_t

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Many thanks for your summary, which was more succinct than mine! One point that you didn't address (I don't believe anyone has) is whether the stronger ultrasonic transducers in the KL Audio unit actually matter. I am not an engineer and can't address that. But logically, if the cleaning is done ultrasonically, I'd assume that the fact that the KL Audio unit has more than four times the power of the Audio Desk unit in that regard should be quite significant. (KL has four 50 watt transducers, and the Audio Desk doesn't disclose the spec, but probably their single unit is rated at half of that.) And the KL Audio transducers fire directly at the LP while it is turning, perpendicular to the surface, while the Audio Desk single transducer fires at the edge and up both sides.

So the KL Audio unit uses four times the strength when it comes to ultrasonics. The Audio Desk includes four barrel brushes to scrub the record but weaker transducers.

But is it significant? Is that an advantage for KL Audio? Or is it overkill and more than is necessary, and the Audio Desk unit is sufficient with only one transducer but also with the cleaning barrels? That is a point that I don't believe anyone, throughout this thread, has ever addressed.

How does all that come out in the wash, so to speak? Which approach results in superior cleaning?

And in the scenario of interest to me, which approach works best for used or new LPs that have already been cleaned on a Nitty Gritty? Which approach would cause the best improvement in sound quality?

With regards to fluid, the new KL Audio unit uses an external jug, and it can easily be a 4.5 liter container -- the same quantity of water as the Audio Desk. I asked KL Audio if the Audio Desk fluid could be added to their unit without causing damage, pointing out that doing so would take one of the criticisms of their unit off the table. My argument to them was that they can say that the fluid is unnecessary and just added cost, but if an audiophile wants to use, well, knock your self out. It is compatible with their unit. That would address one key criticism of their unit. I don't expect to receive a response to my question though.

Finally, you say there are superior options --what are they? Preferably one that is somewhat convenient. The Clear Audio unit referenced in another post costs nearly 50% more at $6,000 and appears to use wet cleaning like many others, but has a "sonic" component but I don't know what that is. Even if I could afford to spend $6,000 which I can't.

The fact that KL Audio only uses water and informs it's consumers to only use water adds to their credibility as a company. There are no incremental parts that need to be replaced, no brushes, no hoses.....nothing. All other companies take a razor and razor blade approach to their business model. KL is fine with selling you one high quality product one time.
 

tima

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Many thanks for your summary, which was more succinct than mine! One point that you didn't address (I don't believe anyone has) is whether the stronger ultrasonic transducers in the KL Audio unit actually matter. I am not an engineer and can't address that. But logically, if the cleaning is done ultrasonically, I'd assume that the fact that the KL Audio unit has more than four times the power of the Audio Desk unit in that regard should be quite significant. (KL has four 50 watt transducers, and the Audio Desk doesn't disclose the spec, but probably their single unit is rated at half of that.) And the KL Audio transducers fire directly at the LP while it is turning, perpendicular to the surface, while the Audio Desk single transducer fires at the edge and up both sides.

So the KL Audio unit uses four times the strength when it comes to ultrasonics. The Audio Desk includes four barrel brushes to scrub the record but weaker transducers.

But is it significant? Is that an advantage for KL Audio? Or is it overkill and more than is necessary, and the Audio Desk unit is sufficient with only one transducer but also with the cleaning barrels? That is a point that I don't believe anyone, throughout this thread, has ever addressed.

How does all that come out in the wash, so to speak? Which approach results in superior cleaning?

And in the scenario of interest to me, which approach works best for used or new LPs that have already been cleaned on a Nitty Gritty? Which approach would cause the best improvement in sound quality?

With regards to fluid, the new KL Audio unit uses an external jug, and it can easily be a 4.5 liter container -- the same quantity of water as the Audio Desk. I asked KL Audio if the Audio Desk fluid could be added to their unit without causing damage, pointing out that doing so would take one of the criticisms of their unit off the table. My argument to them was that they can say that the fluid is unnecessary and just added cost, but if an audiophile wants to use, well, knock your self out. It is compatible with their unit. That would address one key criticism of their unit. I don't expect to receive a response to my question though.

Finally, you say there are superior options --what are they? Preferably one that is somewhat convenient. The Clear Audio unit referenced in another post costs nearly 50% more at $6,000 and appears to use wet cleaning like many others, but has a "sonic" component but I don't know what that is. Even if I could afford to spend $6,000 which I can't.

Kindly post information or links to information that forms the basis for claiming "stronger ultrasonic transducers in the KL Audio unit" - presumably you're saying stronger transducers than in the Audio Desk. Also to the claim that "the Audio Desk unit is sufficient with only one transducer" - where did you learn the ADS unit contains a single transducer? I've not heard these claims and I try to keep up with both company's products. This feels a little bit like disinformation that was picked up from somewhere, so I'd like to learn more.

"I asked KL Audio if the Audio Desk fluid could be added to their unit without causing damage, pointing out that doing so would take one of the criticisms of their unit off the table. "
- what was their response?

- As far as which approach works best with records already cleaned on a Nitty Gritty? I don' think there is much information available on the question of: 'already cleaned with brand X'. I suggest evaluating based on records in a new, dirty or unknown state, and on the ability of the chosen process to get the records clean, regardless of the records prior history.

- As you've read, there is plenty of brand loyalty for the KLaudio and ADS machines wilth some owners of one brand inclined to diss the other. Each has pluses and minuses, imo, both are 'okay' but neither is great. They are packaged as self contained products primarily for folks seeking convenience. Their approaches are different - there isn't quite an apples to apples comparison. One uses ultrasonics, brushes and surfactant, the other uses ultrasonics only. Both are single use. Both use a fan to dry.

From off the shelf components you can put together your own RCM that cleans as effectively or more effectively than either of the above, while allowing you full control of the process. If you have parts in hand it may take a couple hours to put them together. You can use water only or water + cleaning agents. You can control the heat of the solution. You can control the length of time records are cleaned. You can include a more effective water filter (encouraged.) You can clean between 1-8 records at a time - a bigger advantage than many realize.

But you do not get a product to take out of a box and plug in and be largely done. You do get an RCM where if some problem comes up you can fix it yourself without sending the entire thing back to the retailer or distributor, etc. I know this because I've done it. I own a Loricraft PRC-3 and an AudioDesk - they both sit idle because I made my own USC RCM that yields superior results to either. One more thing - you can build your own unit for anywhere from $750 - $5000, depending on the quality of the components you elect to use. Doing this is not unusual, there are likely more do-it-yourself cleaners than out of the box cleaners. I condensed my project and its evolution into three short articles; there is a thread here on WBF.
 

Emosewa

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Sep 26, 2018
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Kindly post information or links to information that forms the basis for claiming "stronger ultrasonic transducers in the KL Audio unit" - presumably you're saying stronger transducers than in the Audio Desk. Also to the claim that "the Audio Desk unit is sufficient with only one transducer" - where did you learn the ADS unit contains a single transducer? I've not heard these claims and I try to keep up with both company's products. This feels a little bit like disinformation that was picked up from somewhere, so I'd like to learn more.

"I asked KL Audio if the Audio Desk fluid could be added to their unit without causing damage, pointing out that doing so would take one of the criticisms of their unit off the table. "
- what was their response?

I simply don't have the time to build a unit myself, and require the convenience of a unit that will automatically clean and dry an LP.

Did you read my original post? It might have been long, but I tried to objectively summarize the available information.

The information on the number and strength of the KL Audio transducers is based on their web site and a review by the Absolute Sound. From the web site: "Klaudio's ultrasonic cleaners bring an unrivaled 200 Watts of ultrasonic cleaning power to your LP collection. Using patent-pending technology, the toughest grime and dust is easily removed without the risk of physical scrubbers or need for detergent.. . .Ultrasonic transducers are placed perpendicular to both sides of the disc for maximum cleaning effect." From the review by Absolute Sound: "When the wash chamber fills, the priming pump continues to run, circulating water to maintain the proper level, and the four 50-watt 40kHz ultrasonic transducers (two horizontally placed per side) start the cleaning cycle for the selected wash time."

As for the Audio Desk, all you need to do is to look inside the unit to see the single transducer. Any owner or the distributor can verify that fact. You can also verify the operation of the single transducer, as it is quite visible in the rear of unit, and is firing up the edge of the record, so that the waves are split up both sides. So one transducer hitting both sides. KL Audio has two on each side, for a total of four. As to the strength of the Audio Desk transducer, the Audio Desk web site is conspicuously silent as to any information as to the strength of the single transducer. Audio Desk has refused to supply any additional information. Quoting from the Stereophile review of the KL Audio and comparing the two units: "When pressed for the Audio Desk's ultrasonic frequency the designer offered this: "During the cleaning cycle the...ultrasonic transducer runs through multiple frequencies for varying durations. The actual frequencies and other details are proprietary information, and not available for release". Based on the power consumption, the best guess of a few people with more expertise than me is that it is probably about half of the strength of a single transducer in the KL Audio unit. Regardless, it is simply a matter of fact that the Audio Desk has one transducer to do both sides of an LP, and the KL Audio unit has two per side, for a total of four. The Audio Desk fires up the edge of an LP, and the KL Audio fires two transducers per side directly at the LP.

You selectively quoted only part of my post on this issue though. The one question I keep posing -- and so far no one with engineering expertise has responded -- is whether the KL Audio machine, with 4 transducers firing directly at the sides of the LP, is superior to the Audio Desk, with only a single transducer firing up at both sides from the edge. It was NOT my intention to assert that the Audio Desk "is sufficient" with only one. My suspicion is exactly the opposite -- that if ultrasonic cleaning is what you're spending $4,000 or more on, then four strong transducers are better than only one, especially when it might be a weaker transducer, and Audio Desk notably refuses to provide the specification. For that reason, I was planning on purchasing the KL Audio until they could not be bothered to call me back to respond to a few more questions and confirm a sale, as explained below.

But is the above assertion correct -- that KL Audio is the preferred unit for strong ultrasonics and that alone is enough, without cleaning barrels and additional fluid? I have no idea. Or is the better balance a single transducer with cleaning barrels and fluid? I have no idea. The only response I have received is that the units are different and neither fully does the job. On that, I agree.

I'm not holding my breath waiting for a response from KL Audio about using a the Audio Desk fluid or any other surfactant in their unit, although it would take one of the criticisms of their unit off the table. I'm not a chemist, but it is my understanding that it is important to include a surfactant as part of the ultrasonic process. In a different forum other knowledgable participants have reported that commercial and very powerful ultrasonic cleaners utilize surfactants, so I don't know why KL Audio can't do so. KL Audio could offer that option, and then the owners of the units could decide to use plain water or a surfactant as the user desires.

IMHO it is debatable which company offers worse customer service based on my own experience with both companies. KL Audio took a week to return a call to respond to questions prior to buying a unit, and then completely ignored subsequent voice messages when I had a few more questions. I would have purchased one of their units but they instead lost the sale. With regards to Audio Desk, just read all of the comments from actual owners, reporting on many problems and the months it takes to get units repaired in Germany.

The sensible approach is probably to not buy either one. And wait for a new company to market a new ultrasonic cleaner, at a reasonable price, that offers all of the advantages of both the Audio Desk and the KL Audio, with none of the shortcomings of either of them.
 
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bonzo75

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If anyone is interested, I have an audiodesk system U/S cleaner bought from an authorized dealer with 2 year warranty, refurbished from the factory, for sale. It is literally unused since the refurb. We compared it briefly with Degritter and Loricraft, as I left it with the owner of the other 2 for a few days. He said that the DeG and the AD cleaned the same, both better than Loricraft, though for soiled he preferred to run them through the Loricraft first. The DeG looks better. Both DG and AD have different cycles.

However, I am selling the AD (with warranty) at 1100 GBP posted within EU. I am now going to try KL.

The dealer told me that these refurbished models and these are fitted with new parts normally associated with the latest PRO models. He is credible. The box has a pot of fluid, acrylic cover, and the power supply.
 

PeterA

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I just run the record through the KL System system multiple times. Never had an issue and all grime is eventually removed.

This is my experience too. Sometimes I still use my Loricraft with 4-step AIVS solutions and then the KL if for some unscientific reason I think results might improve with the additional effort.
 

Emosewa

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Has anyone tried the V-8:

http://www.ultrasonicrecords.com

However, I am selling the AD (with warranty) at 1100 GBP posted within EU. I am now going to try KL.

Why are you switching to the KL? Why are you dissatisfied with the AD? Why do you think the KL will be better?

From off the shelf components you can put together your own RCM that cleans as effectively or more effectively than either of the above, while allowing you full control of the process.

Tima,

I read all three of your articles, as well as others on the same web site. I'd still prefer to buy a system that is already built (the V-8; Audio Desk; or KL Audio) and a fully automated system is preferred.

However, you clearly have considerable expertise on these questions, and far more than me, or for that matter, many of those who post here. So if I may ask you a few questions:

(1) Does it matter (a) what the strength is and (b) how many transducers are used for cleaning a record? AD uses one. KL uses four. The wattage of the AD unit is a trade secret, but it might be less than one of the KL units. KL units are 50 watts each. (See my earlier post where I responded to your questions and cited the source of the information.)

(2) Does it matter where the transducer is located? AD puts it on the bottom, firing up the edge of the record. KL apparently has them on the side, firing directly at the sides of the LP. How far can the ultrasonic wave and bubbles travel and still be effective? Inches? Feet?

(3) Can the ultrasonic sound waves be disrupted by other agitation or turbulence in the water? Such as the agitation caused by the four cleaning barrels on the AD machine?

(4) Do you think the four cloth barrels of the AD machine are a positive or negative factor? I presume they help clean out any dirt in the bottom of a groove in a used record, and some have said that the KL machine can't effectively clean used records on its own. But going back to my previous question, does the motion and agitation in the water from the barrels disrupt the ultrasonic waves so the barrels are self-defeating? Do they help or hurt ultrasonic cleaning?

(5) Can the ultrasonic waves or bubbles travel between or around objects? The V-8 presumably uses one transducer but cleans multiple records at once. Does an ultrasonic wave travel between hard objects and clean them all at once?

(6) How much of a difference does it make to use a wetting agent or a surfactant to assist the ultrasonic process? Tima, in one of your posts, you include a link to this excellent article:

https://londonjazzcollector.wordpress.com/for-audiophiles/home-brew-cleaner-for-vacuum-rcms/

The above article includes excellent photos of vinyl records with water that does not include a wetting agent, versus a record that does. It demonstrates why the use of a surfactant is important.

Tima, you've used some of those products in your own machine, so you are in good position to share your own experience. I would note that the amount that is used is very small. When diluted in one or two gallons of water, I find it difficult to believe it would damage any machine -- but again, you can speak to that.

I wonder if KL Audio has decided to leave it out just to use it as a selling and PR point for their machine, i.e. that they use only distilled water.

Tima, many thanks in advance for your response!
 
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tima

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Has anyone tried the V-8:

http://www.ultrasonicrecords.com



Why are you switching to the KL? Why are you dissatisfied with the AD? Why do you think the KL will be better?



Tima,

I read all three of your articles, as well as others on the same web site. I'd still prefer to buy a system that is already built (the V-8; Audio Desk; or KL Audio) and a fully automated system is preferred.

However, you clearly have considerable expertise on these questions, and far more than me, or for that matter, many of those who post here. So if I may ask you a few questions:

(1) Does it matter (a) what the strength is and (b) how many transducers are used for cleaning a record? AD uses one. KL uses four. The wattage of the AD unit is a trade secret, but it might be less than one of the KL units. KL units are 50 watts each. (See my earlier post where I responded to your questions and cited the source of the information.)

(2) Does it matter where the transducer is located? AD puts it on the bottom, firing up the edge of the record. KL apparently has them on the side, firing directly at the sides of the LP. How far can the ultrasonic wave and bubbles travel and still be effective? Inches? Feet?

(3) Can the ultrasonic sound waves be disrupted by other agitation or turbulence in the water? Such as the agitation caused by the four cleaning barrels on the AD machine?

(4) Do you think the four cloth barrels of the AD machine are a positive or negative factor? I presume they help clean out any dirt in the bottom of a groove in a used record, and some have said that the KL machine can't effectively clean used records on its own. But going back to my previous question, does the motion and agitation in the water from the barrels disrupt the ultrasonic waves so the barrels are self-defeating? Do they help or hurt ultrasonic cleaning?

(5) Can the ultrasonic waves or bubbles travel between or around objects? The V-8 presumably uses one transducer but cleans multiple records at once. Does an ultrasonic wave travel between hard objects and clean them all at once?

(6) How much of a difference does it make to use a wetting agent or a surfactant to assist the ultrasonic process? Tima, in one of your posts, you include a link to this excellent article:

https://londonjazzcollector.wordpress.com/for-audiophiles/home-brew-cleaner-for-vacuum-rcms/

The above article includes excellent photos of vinyl records with water that does not include a wetting agent, versus a record that does. It demonstrates why the use of a surfactant is important.

Tima, you've used some of those products in your own machine, so you are in good position to share your own experience. I would note that the amount that is used is very small. When diluted in one or two gallons of water, I find it difficult to believe it would damage any machine -- but again, you can speak to that.

I wonder if KL Audio has decided to leave it out just to use it as a selling and PR point for their machine, i.e. that they use only distilled water.

Tima, many thanks in advance for your response!

Hello Marty,

Several of your questions are specific to the AudioDesk (ADS) and KLaudio (KL) machines. KL offers two machines. I own a pre-pro model ADS and have not had any problems with it and it operates after several the same as when new. I do not have a KL machine, though I've seen one operate and have friends who own it.

I now (almost) exclusively use my own home-built US-RCM which I am confident is superior to a desktop unit. Superior in cleaning, operation, maintenance and control. Whatever knowledges I have are largely oriented to ultrasonic cleaning per se, not to a specific desktop machine. There is far far more information within the USC industry somewhat oriented to your questions but not specific to record cleaning. I'll try speaking to your questions in part, but I may not have answers exactly specific to ADS and KL. I have better information on the USC machine I use.

Power - one way to look at this is in terms of watts per gallan. There is an inverse relationship between liquid volume and the power density required to reach cavitation levels in that liquid. It may seem odd but larger capacity tanks need lower watts/gallon than smaller tanks. My Elmasonic machine with a ~3.3 gallon capacity has an effective power of 330 watts. A ~1.5 gallon machine may use say 180 watts. There is a point where cavitation levels off, where more power will not create more cavitation.

Location - where transducers are located is a function of the specific application. If you have a machine that cleans more than one record at a time, mounting transducers on the walls is likely less effective than mounting them on the bottom. Cavitation creates vacuum bubbles in the watter. Ideally you want the bubbles well dispersed across the surface of the object to be cleaned. Cavitation is strongest where the transducer is and typically you want to disperse it to insure uniformity of cleaning. My Elmasonic P120 has 6 transducers on the bottom of the tank.

Disruption - this is an interesting question, and I don't have a definitive answer. My take on the ADS machine is to not understand it primarily or solely as a USC. Though the cavitatiion it offers is obvious meant to dislodge particles from the record. My sense of it is the brushes probably do not pervent caviation from striking the sides of its record. Fwiw, bubbles strike the inside of the tank as well, on any machine. Depending on the type of material used, some tanks will last longer than others.

Brushes - I believe the brushes are one of the primary cleaning mechanism of the ADS machine. I seriously doubt they get into the bottom of a record groove. Remember ADS cleans via three mechanisms: brushes, ultrasonics, surfactants. All of these contribute to the reult you get. I have no definitive word on this but speculate that surfactant plus brushes are involved in a large part of the cleaning.

Wave travel - sound waves can travel around objects. While cavitation is created sonically, I don't think of it terms of waves, but in terms of the vacuum bubbles it creates. They do the work - smacking into a record and imploding. That's all they do. If an implosion dislodges a piece of dirt, that's good. To me part of the trick is getting bubbles where the dirt resides. That's why I'm inclined to both higher and lower frequency transduction. I've posted this graphic before, but here it is again.

Low and High Frequency vs Particle Size.jpg

Wetting agent - I use Ilfotol, a non-ionic wetting agent used as a final rinse before drying films. It can also be used to clean plastic and glass camera lenses and has anitstatic properties. I'm not a chemist but from experience I am confident it will not harm vinyl. Both Ilfotol and Isopropyl Alcohol are surfactants. Another reason I use a wetting agent is because in addition to its cleaning properties it breaks down the surface tension of the water which helps get it and the IPA into the groove. But yes, a v. small amount. I suspect KL does not use it because one of their primary claims is that they use water only.

I cannot keep up with this very (very) long thread, but it does have a lot of information on USC record cleaning.
 

Emosewa

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Sep 26, 2018
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Tima,

I'm now completely persuaded that your DIY approach is superior for cleaning, and addresses all of the shortcomings of the Audio Desk and the KL Audio machines.

QUESTION: Does your machine, especially in its first version with the less expensive Chinese ultrasonic unit, require the use of an additional record cleaner for used records? (My definition of used is VG in its original paper sleeve, with some dust/dirt, but not trashed, not out of a bargain bin, and not covered in grime.)

Does your machine still require that used records be cleaned first on a Nitty Gritty or VPI or similar machine, and/or also require the use of AIVS 15 with a manual brush?

Or does your machine do a good enough job on its own, that for most reasonably good used records (VG with some dust or surface dirt) that your machine alone is enough for cleaning?

**************

BACKGROUND, and what I am considering:

A similar approach to yours, which is already constructed, is the V-8, which is explained here:

http://www.ultrasonicrecords.com

(I'd consider the V-8 to be a prebuilt DIY machine.)

The V-8 doesn't use a metal frame as in your approach. You're now using a much more expensive German Elmasonic P120H. The V-8 uses a TruSonik 10L, which was also recommended by Rushton Paul in a widely quoted article:

https://positive-feedback.com/audio-discourse/rushton-paul-diy-approach-ultrasonic-cleaning-lps/

The Trusonik is at least the equal of your first Chinese unit, which is why I referenced that in my question above.

Aside from that, there is great similarity in your DIY machine and the V-8. Both use a low RPM motor. In the case of the V-8, ten minutes of cleaning with four transducers is recommended, and in that time the records only turn 5 times.

Both your machine and the V-8 use a higher capacity pump and 1 micron or better filter. (Additional charge for that on the V-8). That addresses the Achilles heel of the Audio Desk -- the little foam filter doesn't appear to do very much (the water flows over the top of it and not much goes through it), so the dirty water just keeps endlessly recirculating. Worse, the dirty water is then subsequently rubbed against the records with the four cleaning barrels. And the most expensive KL Audio unit doesn't even have a filter.

Both your machine and the V-8 use very small amounts of alcohol and a surfactant wetting agent, which addresses the Achilles heel of both KL Audio machines. The reason they can't remove something as simple as a finger print is that they don't use even a small amount of alcohol.

The V-8 includes the option of a box for drying with a fan.

The biggest difference between both your DIY machine and the V-8, versus the Audio Desk and KL Audio, is that if you just want to insert a record and push a button, then the Audio Desk and KL Audio are the way to go. With your machine or the V-8, you first need to load a spindle. But for simultaneously cleaning up to 6 records (V-8 says you can clean 8 but I would only do 6) your machine and the V-8 are far superior.

And the V-8 is far less expensive, and even with every option and the drier, is still at least $1,500 less than the Audio Desk or KL Audio.

By the way, when the Trusonik ultrasonic unit on the V-8 fails, you can order it on Amazon and replace it. Just as you can easily replace your German unit. Easy.
 
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tima

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the Upper Midwest
- Normally, I don't do double cleanings or pre-cleanings; have run across maybe a dozen records that I've recleaned in my diy rcm.

- I suggest a minimum of 1-1/2" between records on a spindle. You might ask the width of a single puck to figure how many you'll need.

- As long as the tank water is kept clean by the filter, air drying works fine - either way it's all evaporation. You might want to try it before paying for a fan box. I suggest using a TDS meter to keep tabs on water quality; they are inexpensive.

- Looked at the ultrasonic.com link you posted. It didn't really have much detail, at least that I saw and I didn't spend of time looking for it. But it sounds like you have the information you need. The Trusonik tank picture shows a drain, so it would be easy make your own filter if you chose.

- Fwiw, you don't have to buy cleaning agents from them as you can use whatever you want, assuming the tank interior is stainless. Have fun!
 

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