tima's DIY RCM

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
693
292
63
#41
Letting people know that the Flow Max Pleated .35 Micron Filter Cartridge 2-1/2" x 10" that I describe using is now discontinued by the manufacturer (Watts). There may be some left in dealer stock, but I have not found any. I'm thinking they wanted to rebrand all their filters of this type under their own name.

Watts issued a replacment: Watts WPC0.35-975 0.35 Micron Pleated Filter. However, it now looks like Watts discontinued this 0.35 micron version, though again there may be some remaining in dealer stock.

A 0.35 micron pleated filter works very very well as the filter element for an USC/RCM. For now, the known replacement found by user dminches and myself is the: Neo-Pure PH-27097-S35 9-3/4" High Efficiency Pleated Filter 0.35 micron

I have not tried this NeoPure, and cannot comment on its efficacy, however spec-wise it should be a drop-in replacement for the Flow Max.
 
Oct 22, 2011
809
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#42
Freshwaterstystems.com had/has them in stock. They shipped me a couple 2 days ago. I would contact them if you need them.

They were also confident that the NeoPure filter was a suitable replacement.
 
Jan 7, 2015
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#43
Hi folks,

The new posts today were very timely help for me. I continue to be happy with the system I described in Post #20 https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/timas-diy-rcm.26013/#post-554934 , but I would like to increase my success rate in getting quiet surfaces in one cycle thru my cleaning, rather than the two or even three cycles I sometimes have to use. I noticed this recently, especially with NEW 45 rpm reissues. (deeper grooves, or just more tics from faster speed?)

There are several potential improvements I would like to explore, and your feedback will be important:

I still use a mixture of distilled water and Everclear (grain alcohol). The mix isn’t too scientific: My system’s total volume is about 1.5 gallons. I start with about 8 ounces of Everclear and add a touch-up about every other time I have to add more water due to evaporation. I would consider something other than Everclear if it would not affect my filter.

I should probably switch from my 1 micron filter to a .35 micron filter. I had not considered this before because I use a very diluted L’Art du Son solution as a final wash in the Loricraft. Is there an audible difference with the finer filter?

I am going to try running my pump during the cleaning process rather than afterwards. I can see that this should help. I will have to turn off the fans in my radiators (see photos in previous post) so that the solution will warm up.

I don’t like the idea of using brushes in the ultrasonic, but I have considered using the return water in some sort of a underwater car wash between the (3) records. Has this been tried before? Your thoughts?

Thanks in advance for your help,

Don
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
693
292
63
#44
Hi folks,

The new posts today were very timely help for me. I continue to be happy with the system I described in Post #20 https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/timas-diy-rcm.26013/#post-554934 , but I would like to increase my success rate in getting quiet surfaces in one cycle thru my cleaning, rather than the two or even three cycles I sometimes have to use. I noticed this recently, especially with NEW 45 rpm reissues. (deeper grooves, or just more tics from faster speed?)

There are several potential improvements I would like to explore, and your feedback will be important:

I still use a mixture of distilled water and Everclear (grain alcohol). The mix isn’t too scientific: My system’s total volume is about 1.5 gallons. I start with about 8 ounces of Everclear and add a touch-up about every other time I have to add more water due to evaporation. I would consider something other than Everclear if it would not affect my filter.

I should probably switch from my 1 micron filter to a .35 micron filter. I had not considered this before because I use a very diluted L’Art du Son solution as a final wash in the Loricraft. Is there an audible difference with the finer filter?

I am going to try running my pump during the cleaning process rather than afterwards. I can see that this should help. I will have to turn off the fans in my radiators (see photos in previous post) so that the solution will warm up.

I don’t like the idea of using brushes in the ultrasonic, but I have considered using the return water in some sort of a underwater car wash between the (3) records. Has this been tried before? Your thoughts?

Thanks in advance for your help,

Don
Hi Don - Thanks for your response. I re-read your upstream post again.

When you talk about a 'cycle' do you mean using the Loricaft with AIVS and your DIY RCM with Elmasonic tank? I know a few others who use two machines, often first with a horizontal machine and then a vertical. I used a Loricraft PRC 3 with AIVS for many years (review) but then switched to the USC only. In my opinion, you only need one, but everyone has their own preferences.

I think your ideas for potential improvements are pretty much on the mark. Here are some considerations/suggestions:

1. Run your pump+filter throughout the USC cleaning process.

2. Get a TDS meter (they're inexpensive). Test the water in your USC. This will tell you a lot about the state of your solution and choice of chemicals. A fresh tank of water plus chemicals should be ≤ 0001ppm. I won't let mine get above 0005ppm after multiple cleanings.

3. Try 99% pure Isopropyl Alcohol instead of the Everclear, which I assume is grain/ethyl alcohol. They are made from different substances (corn vs. propane). Test both with the TDS meter.

4. Try a rinse agent in the solution.

5. Try 30° C temperature with the Elmasonic,

6. Wrt audible results using a 0.35 micron filter: a) it somewhat depends on just how dirty the record is; b) finer particulate filtering increases the likelihood of trapping more dirt in the filter and keeping it out of the bath water, ergo cleaner water/solution; c) it is impossible to compare two methods for the same record.

7. Use both frequencies on your Elma if not already doing that. I go 6-10 minutes at 37kHz and 6-10 minutes at 80 kHz, time depending on how dirty are the records. Occasionally I will increase to a 15 minute cycle.

After going through your methods or the modifications suggested, try not wiping the record with a cloth to dry it. As long as the water on the finished record is clean, it should air-dry just fine. Wiping with a cloth may increase the liklihood of introducing dirt, lint, etc. back onto the record you just spent time cleaning. Actually I don't see the purpose in drying the record with a cloth - or by any means - only to then put it on the Loricraft.

With the above in place, let your record(s) air dry coming out of the USC. As long as whatever water on the record is clean, the record should be dry after 10-15 minutes, especially if you use a small amount of rinse agent in the solution. THEN - play the record without using the Loricraft. You can always add that step if you want. With USC alone, especially with an Elmasonic tank, you could cut your time at least in-half.

These are only suggestions, based on my experience and not intended to critique your obviously sophisticated set-up. If you try any of these suggestions, please follow-up with your findings.
 
Jan 7, 2015
11
24
3
#45
Hi Tima,

Thanks very much for your reply. I will try to respond in more detail than before.

When you talk about a 'cycle' do you mean using the Loricaft with AIVS and your DIY RCM with Elmasonic tank? I know a few others who use two machines, often first with a horizontal machine and then a vertical. I used a Loricraft PRC 3 with AIVS for many years (review) but then switched to the USC only. In my opinion, you only need one, but everyone has their own preferences.

A cycle is 35-40 minutes in the Elmasonic followed by drying and then “rinsing” on the Loricraft. I do this because, as I said in my earlier memo “The L’Art instructions are to mix the bottle with one gallon of distilled water. I mix it with FIVE GALLONS of distilled water. With any stronger mix I can hear that the sound is veiled. With my dilution, the benefits of using L’Art du Son as a final cleaner and surface treatment are optimized. Music comes alive with this additional step. Records have increased soundstage depth and sense of musical ease.”

Thinking about a potential related issue, I think I should try filtering my L’Art solution.

I think your ideas for potential improvements are pretty much on the mark. Here are some considerations/suggestions:

1. Run your pump+filter throughout the USC cleaning process. I plan to start doing this as soon as I get some hardware changes made. I thought I would make a system to direct the return water against the record in the wash, perhaps helping to loosen any debris that has shaken loose. I think I will add a second complete system with pump and filter for continuous duty. I will keep the pump, filter and radiator for lowering the water temperature between cycles. My setup will soon look even more like a chemistry lab.

2. Get a TDS meter (they're inexpensive). Test the water in your USC. This will tell you a lot about the state of your solution and choice of chemicals. A fresh tank of water plus chemicals should be ≤ 0001ppm. I won't let mine get above 0005ppm after multiple cleanings.

I go several months before going to a fresh tank, so perhaps I should get a TDS meter. The pump I’m using is very time consuming to prime and eliminate all air bubbles, so I end up flushing it twice to keep water in the system. I like this pump because it is almost silent, and will not build up pressure if restricted.


3. Try 99% pure Isopropyl Alcohol instead of the Everclear, which I assume is grain/ethyl alcohol. They are made from different substances (corn vs. propane). Test both with the TDS meter.

This is probably worth a try. Do you have a specific product recommendation?

4. Try a rinse agent in the solution.

If you are talking about Photo Flo, I have tried using a few drops of that, but it’s hard to control and too much affects the sound. More would be required for continuous running


5. Try 30° C temperature with the Elmasonic,

I commented before: “I warm up the fluid to about 35 degrees C with the built-in heater. After 30 minutes of running, but without the heater, the temperature is up to about 45 degrees C.” The temperature will not rise as much with the pump running, but my theory has been that hotter is better as long as it stays below about 47 degrees C. I did a test with 50 degrees C and a thin record without causing a problem, but I would not want to stop the record from turning at this temperature.


6. Wrt audible results using a 0.35 micron filter: a) it somewhat depends on just how dirty the record is; b) finer particulate filtering increases the likelihood of trapping more dirt in the filter and keeping it out of the bath water, ergo cleaner water/solution; c) it is impossible to compare two methods for the same record.

7. Use both frequencies on your Elma if not already doing that. I go 6-10 minutes at 37kHz and 6-10 minutes at 80 kHz, time depending on how dirty are the records. Occasionally I will increase to a 15 minute cycle.

I’ve done this, but it’s hard to prove how well it works. On records that are new or previously cleaned I use 35-40 minutes on 80 kHz; other records I start at 37 kHz for 10 minutes and then switch to 80 kHz for 25-30 minutes.

After going through your methods or the modifications suggested, try not wiping the record with a cloth to dry it. As long as the water on the finished record is clean, it should air-dry just fine. Wiping with a cloth may increase the liklihood of introducing dirt, lint, etc. back onto the record you just spent time cleaning. Actually I don't see the purpose in drying the record with a cloth - or by any means - only to then put it on the Loricraft.

So I do three records in the Elmasonic, and then go directly to the Loricraft while the next batch is cooking. The records would still be wet going to the Loricraft. But maybe you are correct; I will consider doing this. Thanks

With the above in place, let your record(s) air dry coming out of the USC. As long as whatever water on the record is clean, the record should be dry after 10-15 minutes, especially if you use a small amount of rinse agent in the solution. THEN - play the record without using the Loricraft. You can always add that step if you want. With USC alone, especially with an Elmasonic tank, you could cut your time at least in-half.

I would not really reduce the time much because I do the Loricraft while the next batch is cooking. And, most importantly, everything sounds better with (very diluted) L’Art on it.

Thanks again for your help. We’re going to ace this yet!

Don
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
693
292
63
#46
Thanks for the follow-up.

3. Try 99% pure Isopropyl Alcohol instead of the Everclear, which I assume is grain/ethyl alcohol. They are made from different substances (corn vs. propane). Test both with the TDS meter.

RC: This is probably worth a try. Do you have a specific product recommendation?

MG Chemicals 824-1L 99.9% Isopropyl Alcohol


4. Try a rinse agent in the solution.

RC: If you are talking about Photo Flo, I have tried using a few drops of that, but it’s hard to control and too much affects the sound. More would be required for continuous running
I do not recommend using Photoflo. (See Post #8 and #9 in this thread.) Try Ilford Ilfotol - with it in solution water will run off records when you remove them from the tank. Maybe your L'Art du Son cleaner is "improving" your sound because it is removing the Photoflo.

My current formula: To roughly 3 gallons of distilled water add 1⅓ cup of 99% pure Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) and .9 tablespoons of Ilfotol. Exact amounts are not required. I buy the Ilfotol from B&H .

After going through your methods or the modifications suggested, try not wiping the record with a cloth to dry it. As long as the water on the finished record is clean, it should air-dry just fine. Wiping with a cloth may increase the liklihood of introducing dirt, lint, etc. back onto the record you just spent time cleaning. Actually I don't see the purpose in drying the record with a cloth - or by any means - only to then put it on the Loricraft.

RC: So I do three records in the Elmasonic, and then go directly to the Loricraft while the next batch is cooking. The records would still be wet going to the Loricraft. But maybe you are correct; I will consider doing this. Thanks
Yes, the records would still be wet going to the Loricraft where you proceed to wet them again.

With the above in place, let your record(s) air dry coming out of the USC. As long as whatever water on the record is clean, the record should be dry after 10-15 minutes, especially if you use a small amount of rinse agent in the solution. THEN - play the record without using the Loricraft. You can always add that step if you want. With USC alone, especially with an Elmasonic tank, you could cut your time at least in-half.

RC: I would not really reduce the time much because I do the Loricraft while the next batch is cooking. And, most importantly, everything sounds better with (very diluted) L’Art on it.
My primary point here is less about time than to try skipping the whole Loricraft step. I'm saying just try it for one batch of 3 records. You can always redo that one step.

The claim that 'everything sounds better with diluted L'Art du son on it is unique to me. I'm not questioning your choice. If you've done a test of playing a clean record without L'Art du son then play the same record after the L'Art du son treatment, would you describe the difference please?

To appease my somewhat sceptical nature, I would measure the L'Art du son + water with a TDS meter before using it on a records, then try to capture that solution before you vacuum it off or keep the vacuumed off solution. Measure the captured solution with the TDS meter to see if the dissolved solids are higher than the first measurement. That might tell if the L'Art du son treatment removed anything (dirt) from the record. Or do you think it does something else to the vinyl besides removing dirt? Again, I'm curious but not questioning your choice.
 
Jan 7, 2015
11
24
3
#47
Hi Tima,

Thanks for your reply.

I’ve tried lots of record cleaning solutions and have stuck with L’Art Du Son. I used it before I had even heard of ultrasonic cleaning of records. My mistake with L’Art, early on, was to use the recommended dilution and/or not clean it off.

As my system has improved over the years, my choices in record cleaning have also improved because I can more clearly hear the results.

The solution that I use now is not really a “cleaner.” The records are already clean, and I only use the L’Art and the Loricraft as a final wash, and as a “surface enhancer,” if you will.

I have played new and used records directly out of the ultrasonic and they sound cleaner, but not nearly as good as with L’Art. It’s not an issue of cleanliness.

My theory is that anything you add to record surfaces affects the coefficient of friction of the stylus in the groove. Of probably hundreds of things I have tried, all have a different sound after application. Most are worse. Changing the friction on the vinyl surface affects the sound. The different ingredients in different record cleaners all produce different sounds from vinyl records. Photo flo, mold release, different cleaners, all have different sounds. At the other end of the spectrum, alcohol, by itself, increases the friction and gives a more brittle sound.

You are saying to me “try it.” Since you are skeptical, I am saying to you: Try it; you’ll like it. If you don’t, you can clean it off.



The tics and pops thing is a different matter that I am trying to address with using the ultrasonic.

My results are that I get some records, both new and used, that have perfectly quiet backgrounds after cleaning. And other records, both new and used, have gritty backgrounds after cleaning. They can be in the same batch of records being cleaned. The ultrasonic always produces cleaner records (more detail). It also, I suspect but haven’t proven, sometimes results in a more gritty background. Usually, cleaning a second time makes the background noise significantly quieter.

This is the problem that I am addressing and I am still looking for a reliable solution.

I will try eliminating the microfiber towels and will add the continuous filtering and see where that leads. You have also given me other ideas to work on after that if necessary.

Best,
Don
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
693
292
63
#48
I have played new and used records directly out of the ultrasonic and they sound cleaner, but not nearly as good as with L’Art. It’s not an issue of cleanliness.

My theory is that anything you add to record surfaces affects the coefficient of friction of the stylus in the groove. Of probably hundreds of things I have tried, all have a different sound after application. Most are worse. Changing the friction on the vinyl surface affects the sound. The different ingredients in different record cleaners all produce different sounds from vinyl records. Photo flo, mold release, different cleaners, all have different sounds. At the other end of the spectrum, alcohol, by itself, increases the friction and gives a more brittle sound.

You are saying to me “try it.” Since you are skeptical, I am saying to you: Try it; you’ll like it. If you don’t, you can clean it off.
Thanks for that explanation - I understand better what you're doing ...I think. Your approach is to clean the record then 'treat it' with L'Art du son.

This is fascinating. Although I'm not reading you explicity to say the L'Art du son leaves or adds something on the record surface that was not there before its application, my takeaway is that it does put something on the record that changes the friction of the stylus in the groove. And this changes the sound you hear and you like the change.

Does L'Art du son permeate or somehow bond to the record surface? I remember the claim that the Last product became part of the vinyl's structure - or something like that. Or is it like the Gruuv Glide product that eventually wears off? Does the L'Art du son come off on the stylus?

Wrt your final step with the Loricraft machine, if my understanding is correct, it falls under a separate category than record cleaning, viz., Record Treatment. Without meaning to be presumptuous, I'd invite you to start a thread on such - I'd like to hear what others do to treat their records.

Nice system, btw.
 

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