Record Cleaning Machines

kdbrink

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2013
19
0
78
I have an update on the situation. I have exchanged many emails with Robert Stein today who assured me that my unit will be taken care of promptly. He also explained how it is the manufacturer who does not offer replacements for the machines in the field, so the distributor has its hands tied.

Also, after reviewing my math, I have $5375 invested in the machine not the $6000 I orginally reported. I had forgotten that I had bought my unit before the prices went up.
Here's the latest (and hopefully the last) update on my situation with the Audio Desk Systeme record cleaner.

Thanks to Mr. Robert Stein of Ultrasystem (the US importer of the AD), I received a brand new unit on Thursday. The serial number is in the 1900s (my original machine was around 1000). After cleaning 50-60 LPs this weekend, I am happy to report that this unit is working FLAWLESSLY!

If you've never experienced what this machine can do, you've never seen a properly cleaned LP!
 

MylesBAstor

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
11,223
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New York City
Congrats. Robert has, in all my dealings, been nothing but a standup guy and dedicated to customer satisfaction.
 

Bill Hart

Active Member
May 11, 2012
2,592
1
36
here's the latest (and hopefully the last) update on my situation with the audio desk systeme record cleaner.

Thanks to mr. Robert stein of ultrasystem (the us importer of the ad), i received a brand new unit on thursday. The serial number is in the 1900s (my original machine was around 1000). After cleaning 50-60 lps this weekend, i am happy to report that this unit is working flawlessly!

If you've never experienced what this machine can do, you've never seen a properly cleaned lp!
yay!
 

Stump

Well-Known Member
Jul 15, 2012
133
49
110
My KLaudio arrived today.What a strong built lovely looking machine.What made me decide on this machine was talk of residue left over from the vinyl pressing.All my records get a once over with my Nitty Gritty 2.5Fi-XP at which time they are visually graded with new inner sleeve.Now with the KLaudio to dig deep into the groove removing all residue through distilled water with blow dry is about as good as you get.:p
Stump
 

Joe Galbraith

Senior Member/Sponsor
Apr 23, 2010
214
0
0
www.arsetmusica.com
I too have been impressed with the KLAudio RCM. My concerns are the same with that unit as with the Audio Desk. That being the fact that unless you change the water in the tank with each LP, aren't you just recycling the dirt from the previous LP onto the next? I ask only because I don't have any hands on experience with either unit. I have used Keith Monks and Loricraft "string" cleaners and wand based units from VPI and HannL GmbH.

My current machine of choice is the HannL, with its ability to vary the speed and direction of the platter rotation and the intensity of the vacuum. Using the Walker Prelude 4 step method and the HannL have resulted in very clean and very quiet surfaces, and a thorough drying process.
 

Bill Hart

Active Member
May 11, 2012
2,592
1
36
I too have been impressed with the KLAudio RCM. My concerns are the same with that unit as with the Audio Desk. That being the fact that unless you change the water in the tank with each LP, aren't you just recycling the dirt from the previous LP onto the next? I ask only because I don't have any hands on experience with either unit. I have used Keith Monks and Loricraft "string" cleaners and wand based units from VPI and HannL GmbH.

My current machine of choice is the HannL, with its ability to vary the speed and direction of the platter rotation and the intensity of the vacuum. Using the Walker Prelude 4 step method and the HannL have resulted in very clean and very quiet surfaces, and a thorough drying process.
Joe, the issue you raised was one Fremer was speculating on, and I think Tim, from KL Audio, answered it here, and on Fremer's site. I'm using the AD. I buy a lot of older vinyl, most of it is 'supposed to be' in good shape, but you know that used record grading is pretty subjective. (Also, I almost prefer that sellers don't try to clean records or wipe them with lubricants to make them appear glossy- I'd prefer to deal with the record 'as is.') For that reason, if it is a grotty looking copy, I will pre-clean it before sticking into the AD. New vinyl, virtually never, but I will dry brush the detritus on a new record left from a paper inner sleeve if evident, just to minimize what I put into the AD.
I'm now changing water about every 70 records- a suggestion that Mike L made after long experience. When I do that, I clean the filter, clean the rollers (The KL doesn't have them) and slosh some 'fresh' distilled water around in the tank and empty it again before I refill for the next batch. I haven't had any apparent issues with the records being harmed by dirt being recycled, and like you, used (and to a limited extent still use for pre-cleaning when necessary) the Walker Prelude fluids.
The records don't just look immaculate, they sound 'clean' in the sense that there is no evident sonic signature from fluids, etc. Since the KL uses no fluid whatsoever (the AD uses some sort of surfectant), I would imagine the results on either machine would be comparable, sonically.
It can't make a trashed record new, but my cleaning regimen has brought some records back from the dead. And, sometimes this does involve some pre-scrub/enzyme cleaning, so what's going into the ultrasonic is either new, visibly clean to start with or cleaned by me in advance of going into the ultrasonic. I know that sounds like a PITA, but it really isn't. I cleaned my entire Beatles blue box in a relatively short time a day or so ago. Plus at least another 10 or so records on top of that, without much labor. And they all sounded great, except for a few (an old Marshall Tucker and one other) that had some groove noise that no RCM was gonna cure.
 

jeromelang

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2011
275
1
95
How many times can a record be subjected to ultrasonic bombardment before disintegration starts occurring?
I ask this as I have a ELP laser player which requires every side to be cleaned prior to playing.
 

MylesBAstor

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
11,223
7
315
New York City
How many times can a record be subjected to ultrasonic bombardment before disintegration starts occurring?
I ask this as I have a ELP laser player which requires every side to be cleaned prior to playing.
The people at KLaudio cleaned an LP for 9 hrs straight in a heated bath with no ill effects.
 

rockitman

Member Sponsor
Sep 20, 2011
7,116
360
235
Northern NY
The people at KLaudio cleaned an LP for 9 hrs straight in a heated bath with no ill effects.
I have to ask, once you clean an LP, when do you have to do it again ? With so many selections and my meticulous record handling, I see going 2-3 years if not more before you would need to clean it again and that is playing that LP at least 15-20 times.
 

Johnny Vinyl

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 16, 2010
8,571
12
38
Calgary, AB
I have to ask, once you clean an LP, when do you have to do it again ? With so many selections and my meticulous record handling, I see going 2-3 years if not more before you would need to clean it again and that is playing that LP at least 15-20 times.
I would think that once cleaned it wouldn't ever have to be done again, as long as one follows a regimented/disciplined surface cleaning, stylus cleaning, proper handling and storage.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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How many times can a record be subjected to ultrasonic bombardment before disintegration starts occurring?
I ask this as I have a ELP laser player which requires every side to be cleaned prior to playing.
tonight I visited the KLAUDIO assembly facility in Auburn, Washington with a few friends of mine and spoke to Peter and Tim about the KLAUDIO RCM which I've now been using for about 4 months.

during the discussion Peter described how during his development and testing process once he solved the issue of damage to the vinyl from the 200 watts of ultrasonic cleaning, that he cleaned one record for weeks continuously multiple times to insure that no damage would occur.

the KLAUDIO process does not harm records. in fact since it's the one cleaning process that avoids any actual 'touching' of the record in the cleaning process i'd say it's the most gentle on a record of any cleaning process.
 

jeromelang

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2011
275
1
95
Thanks, Mike, for the reply.

I would prefer the KL over the AD simply because the user can use distilled water.

I noticed that the cleaning solution provided by AD can add a sound signature of its own to the washed LPs.
I had to rinse my LPs for 3 - 4 times afterwards.
 

Bill Hart

Active Member
May 11, 2012
2,592
1
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Jerome- re sonic signature and post-clean 'rinsing,' I've reduced the ratio of the AD surfactant to distilled water, but am curious how you were rinsing. Can you explain? (I have reagent water I buy in bulk, but don't use that in the AD). I wonder if it is possible to use the AD without any surfactant? (Assuming a fresh set of roller pads). I've cleaned about 500 plus records with the AD so far, they sound 'cleaner' than my old Walker Prelude/vacuum regime, although in a few cases, with very grotty old records, I found the need to pre-scrub using enzyme and wash with lab water before putting into the AD.
 

MylesBAstor

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
11,223
7
315
New York City
I wonder if it is possible to use the AD without any surfactant? (Assuming a fresh set of roller pads).
I'm sure you can with the AD but according to what I know, it would compromise the sonication eg. the surfactant lowers the liquid's surface tension allowing the unit to work more effectively. I would tend to agree with Jerome as that was what I hypothesized might be the sonic difference between the two machines. The best surfactant is no surfactant. If you look at their chemistry, you can see that they greatly vary in terms of the number of washes needed to completely eliminate the surfactant. (of course, in many cases, these surfactant's interfere with enzyme activities.)
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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I'm sure you can with the AD but according to what I know, it would compromise the sonication eg. the surfactant lowers the liquid's surface tension allowing the unit to work more effectively. I would tend to agree with Jerome as that was what I hypothesized might be the sonic difference between the two machines. The best surfactant is no surfactant. If you look at their chemistry, you can see that they greatly vary in terms of the number of washes needed to completely eliminate the surfactant. (of course, in many cases, these surfactant's interfere with enzyme activities.)
I know for a few years that Albert Porter was using 2 AD's, with one for wash and the other with pure water (he also sourced special pure water of some sort) for the final rinse. I suppose a person could use de-ionized water for the rinse to reduce water residue.

I use one cap full of the standard detergent and have found that that amount works well with the AD. until I went to that approach I found with more detergent that the results improved as my water lowered and I topped up a few times (the detergent got more diluted). I kept reducing the amount until I got to a cap full. less than that and it did not dry quite as well.
 

audioarcher

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2012
1,340
6
285
Seattle area
I know for a few years that Albert Porter was using 2 AD's, with one for wash and the other with pure water for the final rinse. I suppose a person could use de-ionized water for the rinse to reduce water residue.

I use one cap full of the standard detergent and have found that that amount works well with the AD. until I went to that approach I found with more detergent that the results improved as my water lowered and I topped up a few times (the detergent got more diluted). I kept reducing the amount until I got to a cap full. less than that and it did not dry quite as well.
Good points. That has been my experience as well. The AD does not dry as well with no detergent but the sonic results are better.

With the KL the surface tension is very low and it has allot less work to do to dry the record. I assume that is because of the stronger ultrasonic action of the KL.
 

Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
7,154
240
280
Metro DC
Records should be cleaned before every play just removing them and placing them on the platter can create static and utrack dust. Record brushes merely push the dirt around.Cleaning is even more important for CDs.
 

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