Ultrasonic Record Cleaning Experiences

Hey All,
Thought I would start a new thread to discuss experiences with ultrasonic record cleaning. I just ordered a Cleaner-Vinyl Easy3 along with US tank and distilled water surfactant. I plan to report back after initial testing / cleaning this weekend with any luck based on arrival of the Easy3 stuff.

What prompted this is some recent listening to both new and older vinyl and observing some rather disturbing inner groove distortion, skips, etc. I tried using my very primitive home grown record cleaner and feel I may have caused some damage or jammed some crud into the grooves. This is an area of my vinyl setup that was way overdue for upgrading so here we go.

From all I’ve read this is the preferred method of getting your vinyl ultra clean (sorry couldn’t resist). If others have first-hand experience I’m sure the forum would love to hear from you.

Best,
Kurt

I’m also interested but don’t have own experience unfortunately. I spoke to a few experts however and got different feedback. On the one hand ultrasonic cleaning can help where normal cleaning machines can’t, on the other hand, I heard that it’s most important to use microfiber for mechanical cleaning and that cleaning without mechanical implication isn’t comparable to what you can accomplish with it. The conclusion was to have both (two machines).

I definitely think groove distortion is not caused by a record cleaner, it’s just a question of how the record was cut and how critical the music is for distortion, of the record condition and of the cartridge’s ability and adjustment. The two latter (if optimal) usually make groove distortion an absolute exception.

I started out cleaning by hand using discdoctor miracle cleaner and his method. I switched to a cheap 40 kHz ultrasonic tank with distillEd water and surfactant and a cleanervinyl system. Not noticeably better, but much more efficient. From there, it was over the edge. I got a 135khz tank. Now I first apply the discdoctor miracle cleaner with his brushes (acoustic sounds has his stuff now), straight into 40 kHz for about 5 minutes, and then distilled water bath in 135 kHz for 10 minutes followed by an air dry. The results are so much better than what I had done before, I am redoing all my records.

Oh, the 135 kHz is made by Vibrato LLC. It is fantastic.

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Hi there,
I own a Nitty Gritty washer / vacuum, and in 30 years, I needed to replace the fluid pump by myself. A few years back I got curious and bought a Nessie Vinyl Cleaner, which is quieter than the Nitty Gritty. Both machines do a great job when cleaning records purchased new. However, over the past three years, I bought about 400 used records that needed deeper cleaning. Only iSonic with 10 record capacity could handle such job. These machines require you to dry the records properly right after they’ve been cleaned. I heard people use microfiber, which is not easy to do when you cleaning bulk. The Nitty Gritty 400 watts vacuum did that job like a charm. For iSonic, I added little “Simple Green” (biodegradable non abrasive cleaner) to filtered water. The results on used records were so good, I decided to do my own library. It took a few weekends over a number of months, but the results were worth the trouble. For daily record playing, I use the Nessie. When using ultrasonic cleaners, please protect your ears from noise, and wear N95 if you use cleaning materials that elevate or evaporate.

Enjoy

I own a Loricraft PRC4 that is extremely effective and easy to use. It’s not completely idiot-proof and it helps to be shown how to use it, but there are videos online by Mark Baker at Origin Live to show you how. I’ve done thousands of cleans and my son uses it as well. Records will be completely free of dirt and static and bone dry immediately after cleaning. The machine is relatively quiet, a gentle hum, so won’t disturb anyone.

The new Degritter https://degritter.com was crowdfunded. It is sold by my main dealer, who is very selective on what they sell, so I take that as a high compliment. I think it’s the first such machine they have sold in over 50 years of business. It’d meant to be very quiet and idiot-proof. It is slightly more expensive than the Loricraft, but takes up less space and is fully enclosed, so there is no risk of spillage and you can safely leave in your listening room.

The key feature to the Loricraft is the extremely powerful vacuum used to suck off the cleaning liquid. It uses a thread passing through the sucker to maintain enough distance, perhaps 0.5mm, to avoid it sticking to the record. It therefore provides much more suction than a unit with a wand or arm over the whole record.

The DeGritter filters the cleaning fluid as it operates, whereas I understand that standard industrial ultrasonic baths don’t and are best kept somewhere where spillage is not an issue.