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Thread: My Ultrasonic Record Cleaner

  1. #1
    Join Date: Dec 2012

    Location: Sonnin Common - Oxfordshire

    Posts: 179
    I'm Bernard.

    Default My Ultrasonic Record Cleaner

    Apology for the long review. I would also like to mention that I do not have any commercial connections with the brands named.

    After a lot or searching and reading through forums and other sites, I decided to put together an Ultrasonic Record Cleaning device, which will help me getting my record collection in pristine condition.

    Why using an Ultrasonic Cleaner?
    According to many music lovers, it's a very effective cleaning process for removing the dirt from the record grooves using ultrasound to create caviation bubbles through an appropriate cleaning solvent . This process is used to clean many types of objects, including surgical, dental, industrial parts and electronic equipments.

    Applied to record cleaning, it is said to be superior to traditional vacuum cleaners. I am unable to validate this as I have never used a traditional vacuum cleaning machine, however I have been using a Knosti Disco Antistat Record Cleaner and like the simplicity of use and results of this device!

    There are many very expensive made for purpose Ultrasonic Record Cleaners on the market (Audio Desk Vinyl Cleaner Pro @ £2.5K; KLAudio KD-CLN-LP200 @ £4.4K; Amari RW-800; the new Degritter @ >£2K; ...). It therefore makes sense to go through the DIY route to get a cost effective system together.

    THE DIY ROUTE ...
    Many audiophiles have successfully done this. You need the following:
    • Ultrasonic Tank
    • Record Spin
    • Cleaning Solvent


    Ultrasonic Tank: Lots of Ultrasonic Tanks on the market and can be cheaply sourced from amazon or eBay.

    My selection process was:

    • A reliable manufacturer building professional machines
      - I found the brand names GT Sonic or X-Tronic were making very good machines but there are many others. I went for the GT Sonic.
    • The frequency
      - 40 kHz tanks are easier to find and less expensive. Audio Desk & KLAudio are using this frequency in their machine, hence this is the one I have selected.
      - 60/80 or 120 kHz are more expensive and, from my research, do not seem to be more effective cleaning devices.
    • The Volume of the tank
      - Many Capacities are on offer 3L/6L/10L/..., which represents more or less the amount of liquid you will need to fill the tank with.
      The 6L tank I have selected takes about 4.5L of cleaning solvent
      - The tank Size (L x W x H) is important.
      L should be at least 300 mm for a record;
      W will depend on the number of records you intend to clean at once. The wider the tank, the better for cleaning many records at once;
      H or Depth should be at less 150 mm
    • Timer Settings available
      - A timer is important as you want to manage the exact cleaning time for each batch. I use 10 mins per batch
    • Temperature Settings available
      - Heating function is mandatory to bring the cleaning solution to the correct temperature. I use 40 degree celsius


    My Ultrasonic Tank: Allows me to clean up to 3 records at once

    Record Spin: Many Audiophiles have been very creative here by building their own solution from the ground up, using DC motors to reach around 2 rpm. There are also many out of the box/diy solutions which can be purchased online or through forums.

    As I did not have the time, I found the VinylStack's 3 Record Ultra Sonic Spin Kit, which provides exactly what I needed: a simple and straight forward option. It allows me to clean up to 3 records at once and provide quick load/unload of the records using a strong magnet.



    Cleaning Solvent: Here again, people are very creative but you could use:
    • Tap water alone: Tried it but not very effective, even with some wetting agent.
    • Distilled/De-Ionised Water alone: Better than Tap water but still not very effective
    • Distilled/De-ionised Water + IPA + Wetting agent: Best solution. Many options out there.
      I am using De-Ionised Water + Isopropanol 99.9% + Ilford Ilfotol


    MY ULTRASONIC RECORD CLEANER

    After cleaning over 50 records, I am very happy with My US device. Records are very clean, even those from charity shops and car boots sales, and play without noises.

    My cleaning process is simple ...

    1. Fill tank with 4.5L of Cleaning Solvent
      - I use the following mix: 3.6L of De-Ionised water; 800 ml of Isopropanol 99.9%; 2 tbsp of Ilfotol
    2. Warm the Cleaning Solvent to 40 degree C
    3. Degas the Cleaning Solvent for 5 mins (only once before the first batch)
    4. Load the Spin device with 3 records
    5. Clean for 10 mins
    6. Air dry for 20 mins


    URLs of the components bought upon request.

    * Ultrasonic Tank - GT Sonic 6L: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    * VinylStack Ultra Sonic Spin Kit: https://thevinylstack.com/ultrasonic...-cleaning-kit/

    * De-Ionised Water - 5L: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    * Isopropanol 99.9%: enough for over 1000 records. https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    * Ilford Ilfotol: 1 bottle will last forever. https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    * You will need lots of new inner sleeves: https://www.covers33.co.uk/?s=slpap1...t_type=product
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Berni217; 14-05-2018 at 21:16.
    Turntable: Garrard 401 modded by Classic-HiFi in Hammertone. Heavy oak plinth by Russ Collinson; Tonearm: Jelco SA-750D; Cartridges: SPU GTE / VDH Colibri XGP / Decca SC4E rebuilt by ESCO with Paratrace; Phono Stage: Shindo ; SUT: Bob's Device Cinemag 1131; Pre Amp: Shindo Monbrison; Power Amp: McIntosh MC225; Speakers: Auditorium23 Solovox; CD Player: EastSound CD-E5 / Sony PS1; Cables: Yannis 423.5; Yannis 223.5; VDH The First Ultimate; Totem Sinew; Audio Tekne ARSP-500 / Auditorium 23.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Mar 2008

    Location: Dunfermline, Scotland, UK

    Posts: 12,361
    I'm inthescottishmafia.

    Default

    Interesting Bernard, been thinking about the myself. Could you PM the links please?
    “Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of fuel. Sentimental people call it inspiration, but what they really mean is fuel. I have always needed fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio”

    Hunter S Thompson

  3. #3
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 5,194
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Great write up. I'd have been interested in this but I really wanted a vacuum Machine. Fair play for providing the links and taking the guesswork out for people.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Wizard Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Firebottle modded Xiang Sheng DAC (Telefunken Valve)
    Amplification: Slagle AVC Passive Preamp & Firebottle Monoblocks (Telefunken Valves)
    Cables: Fisual S-Flex Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables Throughout
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  4. #4
    Join Date: Sep 2014

    Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent

    Posts: 17
    I'm Steve.

    Default

    Please could you let me have the links too

    Many thanks

    Steve

  5. #5
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: London

    Posts: 319
    I'm james.

    Default

    Fab, I've been thinking about one of these for years, perhaps stick the links up here for ease of reference?

    I am curious about a couple of things:
    How long does the cleaning fluid last, and how does one filter it between sessions?
    Also, have you considered rinsing the records to get the Ilfotol etc off before drying? I don't remember (much but especially not) that being mentioned in the DIYaudio thread.

    Well done, it looks most professional to me

    Sent from my GT-I9195 using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: Suffolk

    Posts: 184
    I'm guy.

    Default

    Hi,

    very good of you to offer details - please pm details if possible.

    One question though; what made you decide on 40 degrees centigrade (just seems a bit warm to me, although I may well be over cautious).

    Regards. Guy.
    LP12, Ittok, DV10X5, NVA Phono 2 (twin supply), NVAP50/A4O'S, LS5, Rega Ela mk1's.
    Sony CDP XB930.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Dec 2012

    Location: Sonnin Common - Oxfordshire

    Posts: 179
    I'm Bernard.

    Default My Ultrasonic Record Cleaner

    I have now added the URLs to the thread.
    Mods: Please confirm this is in line with policy.
    Last edited by Berni217; 15-05-2018 at 13:55.
    Turntable: Garrard 401 modded by Classic-HiFi in Hammertone. Heavy oak plinth by Russ Collinson; Tonearm: Jelco SA-750D; Cartridges: SPU GTE / VDH Colibri XGP / Decca SC4E rebuilt by ESCO with Paratrace; Phono Stage: Shindo ; SUT: Bob's Device Cinemag 1131; Pre Amp: Shindo Monbrison; Power Amp: McIntosh MC225; Speakers: Auditorium23 Solovox; CD Player: EastSound CD-E5 / Sony PS1; Cables: Yannis 423.5; Yannis 223.5; VDH The First Ultimate; Totem Sinew; Audio Tekne ARSP-500 / Auditorium 23.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 43,949
    I'm Grant.

    Default

    Sure. No problem Bernard
    Regards,
    Grant ....

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
    .... ..... ...... ...... ................... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
    OPPO BDP-103D DARBEE - JBE SERIES 3/M55E/EMOTIVA XPS1 - TWIN PRO MONOBLOCK AMPLIFIERS - XIANG SHENG DAC\PRE\HEADPHONE AMP - TWIN AVANTREE OASIS CLASS 1 BLUETOOTHS - AUDIO TECHNICA ATH-MSR7 & OPPO PM-3 PLANAR HEADPHONES - WIN10 JRIVER24, DEEZER HiFi - SMSL M6 MINIDAC - RPI/AUDIOPHONICS - FULL RANGE TWIN TELEFUNKEN/Q ACOUSTIC BT3/CANTON SUB - P.INSPIRED MAINS REGENERATED.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Dec 2012

    Location: Sonnin Common - Oxfordshire

    Posts: 179
    I'm Bernard.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazid View Post
    Fab, I've been thinking about one of these for years, perhaps stick the links up here for ease of reference?

    I am curious about a couple of things:
    How long does the cleaning fluid last, and how does one filter it between sessions?
    Also, have you considered rinsing the records to get the Ilfotol etc off before drying? I don't remember (much but especially not) that being mentioned in the DIYaudio thread.

    Well done, it looks most professional to me

    Sent from my GT-I9195 using Tapatalk
    Thanks.

    I have cleaned over 50 records in one Batch of cleaning solvent without any issue. All records are deep cleaned and play without any noises. Some users have cleaned up to 200 records in one batch....

    I am currently working on a manual diy filtering solution to start with and I have bought some 1 micron filter socks for this purpose. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/18-FILTER...72.m2749.l2649

    I am also looking at filtering the Cleaning solvent during the cleaning process using an electric pump and filter. This will allow the Cleaning solvent to stay clean all the time, which might improve thing further.

    Due to the low amount of Ilfotol used (2 tbsp in 4.5L), rinsing the records is not really required as there is no visible residue left. I know some people are doing so using distilled or de-ionised water and others do not. Based on my experience with the Knosti, I do not.
    Turntable: Garrard 401 modded by Classic-HiFi in Hammertone. Heavy oak plinth by Russ Collinson; Tonearm: Jelco SA-750D; Cartridges: SPU GTE / VDH Colibri XGP / Decca SC4E rebuilt by ESCO with Paratrace; Phono Stage: Shindo ; SUT: Bob's Device Cinemag 1131; Pre Amp: Shindo Monbrison; Power Amp: McIntosh MC225; Speakers: Auditorium23 Solovox; CD Player: EastSound CD-E5 / Sony PS1; Cables: Yannis 423.5; Yannis 223.5; VDH The First Ultimate; Totem Sinew; Audio Tekne ARSP-500 / Auditorium 23.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Dec 2012

    Location: Sonnin Common - Oxfordshire

    Posts: 179
    I'm Bernard.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by struth View Post
    Sure. No problem Bernard
    Cheers.
    Turntable: Garrard 401 modded by Classic-HiFi in Hammertone. Heavy oak plinth by Russ Collinson; Tonearm: Jelco SA-750D; Cartridges: SPU GTE / VDH Colibri XGP / Decca SC4E rebuilt by ESCO with Paratrace; Phono Stage: Shindo ; SUT: Bob's Device Cinemag 1131; Pre Amp: Shindo Monbrison; Power Amp: McIntosh MC225; Speakers: Auditorium23 Solovox; CD Player: EastSound CD-E5 / Sony PS1; Cables: Yannis 423.5; Yannis 223.5; VDH The First Ultimate; Totem Sinew; Audio Tekne ARSP-500 / Auditorium 23.

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