Disappointing Ultrasonic

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Lowlander2
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Re: Disappointing Ultrasonic

Post by Lowlander2 » 30 Jun 2018 07:37

Shadowman82 wrote:Sounds to me like an Ultrasonic machine doesn't necessarily give you better results than a vacuum one .
My ultrasonic machine just does the job. Every time. The results are generally slightly better than with my Keith Monks and they are repeatable. What doesn't come off after a first three to five minute run and an optional second one minute run, just won't come off.

And I can completely skip the what compound of snake oil would I apply with what kind of South American mountain goats hair brush and let it soak for how long before I vacuum and make a second run with another mixture that may or may not contain alcohol before a final rinse in clean room conditions, then flip the record and start over.

Nah, just push the button and do something else.

CU,
Low

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Re: Disappointing Ultrasonic

Post by ripblade » 30 Jun 2018 15:32

Shadowman82 wrote:Sounds to me like an Ultrasonic machine doesn't necessarily give you better results than a vacuum one .
There are no free rides. What plagues the record varies; U/S is fine for the light, easy stuff....you have to roll up your sleeves to clean out the tougher problems.

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Re: Disappointing Ultrasonic

Post by Sunwire » 30 Jun 2018 18:22

I have the AudioDesk machine.
I have never used a vacuum machine.
I'm pretty happy with it. I was fortunate to purchase it at a substantial discount. It was a customer return that was refurbished with full warranty.
It was far more than I ever imagined myself spending on such a thing, even at the discount.
But it makes the cleaning process so quick and easy, I haven't regretted it for a minute.
It won't really clean off fingerprint grease very well, and I don't want to contaminate the cleaning fluid with a lot of dirt, so I usually blow off loose dust with compressed air, then do a quick initial wipe down with distilled water and paper towel if there is substantial additional dust (this is rare) and I will used 90% isopropyl alcohol on a paper towel to wipe off visible fingerprints and run around the edge where the record has always been handled, even if there are no visible fingerprints.

I'm generally satisfied with how clean the records turn out.
I have not heard the "miraculous" improvements in the sound of already clean records that some reviewers report. But pops and ticks are reduced quite a bit.

The removal of static charge is a big plus.

I don't touch the record with anything after cleaning (no more carbon brush). I just blow off dust I see that settles on the record before play. I'm in a 140 year old wood/brick/plaster schoolhouse with 5 cats and an old forced air furnace. It gets dusty.

My plan is to clean, record, and then sell most of my vinyl, keeping only a couple hundred (maybe) truly special records out of about two thousand or so. I figure the machine will largely pay for itself by allowing me to charge an additional dollar or two for cleaned records.

Sunwire
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Re: Disappointing Ultrasonic

Post by Sunwire » 30 Jun 2018 18:23

By the way, the ultrasonic units run at 40-60 kiloHertz, not 40-60 Hz. :)

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Re: Disappointing Ultrasonic

Post by Shadowman82 » 30 Jun 2018 19:24

I think to get the real gunky stuff out you probably need to apply quite a bit of elbow grease . This could be why some people feel that a RCM where you have to do the scrubbing manually gets better results than one where the machine does it for you .

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Re: Disappointing Ultrasonic

Post by Sunwire » 01 Jul 2018 17:22

The Audio Desk machine does not clean the run out groove or dead wax area of the record. Just watch it. That part doesn't even get in the fluid.

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Re: Disappointing Ultrasonic

Post by Shadowman82 » 02 Jul 2018 00:10

That's quite possible , I wouldn't know since I do not own a ultrasonic machine . I do always get that part on my VPI since I have to scrub by hand . And yes I did add alcohol to my VPI fluid .

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Re: Disappointing Ultrasonic

Post by poutrew » 04 Jul 2018 04:54

What we need is a machine that shoots high velocity jets of warmed cleaning fluid directly at the record - kinda like how a car wash cleans gunk off a car, or a dishwasher cleans dirty dinner plates. Just protect the labels and run the machine through a 5 minute cycle...

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Re: Disappointing Ultrasonic

Post by Shadowman82 » 04 Jul 2018 23:44

The problem with heat and Vinyl is always that it could cause warping .

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Re: Disappointing Ultrasonic

Post by vinylredders » 13 Jul 2018 09:00

I recently invested in a vinyl stack & 14L ultrasonic tank.
Solution is distilled water isopropanol & ilfotol according to accepted wisdom.
Rinse with distilled water only in a spin clean.

Can only clean records reliably singly; the 4 at a time feature of the vinyl stack, though temptingly time-saving, simply does not work. I have had some good results - but only one at a time after 20 mins in the tank. Other old records just stay crackley; I guess its possible there is damage to the record that is simply not visible & that I am expecting miracles. They've all been cleaned first in the spin clean.

The DIY ultrasonic approach is simply too much of a faff; so many critical steps & variables to go wrong; for the money I've spent I could have bought a decent vac machine & I wish I had.

There are some respected opinions suggested US clean followed by vac rinse ie using both methods is the most effective option; I'm thinking of getting a vac machine (life is too short!) and using both methods for those stubbornly crackley records.

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Re: Disappointing Ultrasonic

Post by FrauGrimhild » 05 Aug 2018 19:11

If I was you, mate, I'd concentrate less on the finer point of micro-cavitation dynamics and more on enjoying your music!

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Re: Disappointing Ultrasonic

Post by EdAInWestOC » 11 Sep 2018 02:16

Like all things in life, there are no perfect answers. Ultrasonic cleaners offer the potential to deep clean the grooves on our LPs but there is a gotcha.

On all but the most expensive custom ultrasonic LP cleaners, the tank of cleaning fluid stays in that tank with the removed dirt. The ultrasonic agitation can have mixed results due to dirty cleaning solution.

The best approach is to have a filter system hooked to the ultrasonic tank so the cleaning solution can be run through a multi-stage filter to clean the liquid.

Most of the systems I have seen for sale include the basics to clean the LP but nothing to deal with the cleaning solution. It is somewhat equivalent to using dirty brushes on your LPs before vacuum cleaning them.

They do recommend to clean out the tank every so often but I doubt that an approximation effectively deals with cleaning of old used LPs that could be pretty dirty. The solution under those conditions can get contaminated pretty quickly.

Its a lot of money for a cleaner that doesn't have anything to deal with one of the important considerations in the cleaning system. Until someone comes up with a cleaner that has a built in filtration system that effectively cleans the solution I will stick with my VPI MW-1.

I am interested in ultrasonic cleaners but it seems like a product that has not been completed. Early adopters may get stuck with an expensive system that will be hard to sell once full featured systems hit the market.

I wouldn't be surprised if VPI has a prototype they are working on.

Ed

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Re: Disappointing Ultrasonic

Post by Sunwire » 11 Sep 2018 05:11

I don't think the filtration of the cleaning solution is a significant problem with the AudioDesk machine.
There is a filter that seems to work well.
Also, it seems obvious that one would not put a record in the machine that was completely filthy. I don't. I don't want the cleaning solution contaminated with a lot of dirt and grease.
The whole point of the ultrasonic cleaner is to DEEP clean inside the grooves in a way that can't be done by any other method. Brushes have bristles that are too large to reach every crevice in every groove in a record.
If there is significant dust, I blow it off with compressed air, then spritz with distilled water and wipe with a paper towel. This happens with almost every record. If there are finger prints or other visible gunk, I use isopropyl alcohol on a paper towel to clean that stuff off. In fact, I ALWAYS wipe the lead-in groove and outer edge of the record with a paper towel wetted with isopropyl alcohol. There are almost always finger prints on the outer edge of any record that has been used.

For the same reason, if I owned a vacuum machine, I would not put a filthy record right on the platter. A lot of the dirt from the record would get stuck on the platter and contaminate the other side of the record. Of course, you should get that stuff off the record before it touches your cleaning machine.

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Re: Disappointing Ultrasonic

Post by EdAInWestOC » 11 Sep 2018 12:20

Sunwire wrote:I don't think the filtration of the cleaning solution is a significant problem with the AudioDesk machine.
There is a filter that seems to work well.
Also, it seems obvious that one would not put a record in the machine that was completely filthy. I don't. I don't want the cleaning solution contaminated with a lot of dirt and grease.
The whole point of the ultrasonic cleaner is to DEEP clean inside the grooves in a way that can't be done by any other method. Brushes have bristles that are too large to reach every crevice in every groove in a record.
If there is significant dust, I blow it off with compressed air, then spritz with distilled water and wipe with a paper towel. This happens with almost every record. If there are finger prints or other visible gunk, I use isopropyl alcohol on a paper towel to clean that stuff off. In fact, I ALWAYS wipe the lead-in groove and outer edge of the record with a paper towel wetted with isopropyl alcohol. There are almost always finger prints on the outer edge of any record that has been used.

For the same reason, if I owned a vacuum machine, I would not put a filthy record right on the platter. A lot of the dirt from the record would get stuck on the platter and contaminate the other side of the record. Of course, you should get that stuff off the record before it touches your cleaning machine.
But how many people think about what they are doing? How many users place their records in the cleaning machine remove the clean LP and then proceed to contaminate it by wiping it with a paper towel? Or with a cloth?

The only way to ensure that the LP is really clean is to air dry the record with filtered air. I know this is getting crazy but when we are talking about $4K cleaning machines, all bets are off. The LP has to be suspended from the center hole and filtered air blown on its surfaces to ensure you are not transferring any particles that you took the trouble and expense to remove with the ultrasonic bath.

I use a set of 8 different cleaning brushes plus a clean platter mat to keep the clean side of the LP from getting dirty again when I flip over a record to side B, during my vacuum cleaning ritual.

I have seen videos of people demonstrating the use of ultrasonic cleaning machine and then they take the newly cleaned, but wet, LP out of the tank and proceed to wipe it with a supposedly clean cloth. How long will that cloth stay clean? How do you know it is really clean?

I keep an older Nitty Gritty type machine handy to vacuum clean my cleaning brushes. The upwards facing vacuum slot is very handy to clean the cleaning brushes. I have also seen people use other smaller brushes to brush off cleaning brushes and I wondered exactly what they were accomplishing by that action.

Way back during the Discwasher days we received a small brush to brush off the Discwasher cleaning pad. All those years ago that seemed stupid to me. All you can hope to do is to move around and transfer new dirt to the clean pad of the Discwasher with that kind of action.

It seems to me that we have to use clean room type precautions in order to clean LPs. Any particles in the LP's grooves will likely be audible so extra care must be exercised to remove all dirt and make sure it doesn't get redeposited on the LP. That turns out to be a difficult thing to accomplish.

I will still wait until I read that they have addressed the cleaning fluid issue on ultrasonic machines. The one that you bought has been reviewed but I have not read that the filtration is sufficient to remove all particles. That would take a multistage filtration unit.

Maybe I am wrong (and that's a common occurrence) but the LP cleaning machines are only part of our cleaning regimen and we could use more Help. I watched a video of a custom machine, that someone built, that included a filtration unit plus a forced air drying step.

It was an impressive video where the LP was guided through the entire process without being touched by the user. That is a machine that I would buy. If the LP gets cleaned, the cleaning solution gets cleaned and the LP gets dried, all without reintroduction of any dirt, I feel the LP cleaning process is finally addressed.

Ed

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Re: Disappointing Ultrasonic

Post by Sunwire » 11 Sep 2018 21:07

No machine can stop people from doing stupid things.
I don't know why anyone would wipe down a record that came out of the AudioDesk machine. The record is clean and dry (an occasional drop here or there). Wiping it is just going to add dirt and static.
The little brush that came with the Discwasher works fine. It DOES remove dust from the record cleaning brush. You can see it.
The Discwasher system is primitive compared to a machine. It was a good tool for the price. I used one up until I got my ultrasonic machine. Of course it's not going to get you similar results to any machine.