Ultrasonic Cleaners (RR)

canonicalcanonical 2,100 Posts
edited June 2016 in Record Collecting
I just used one of these in a Physics lab to clean some 45s and it worked great. I just used tap water and dipped the 45 into the ultrasonic cleaner and dirt just started visibly coming off. This was after I used regular record cleaning fluid and a rag.I don't know how this compares to a VPI, but this could possibly be a cheap solution.I used a lab grade ultrasonic cleaner, but has anyone used one of those cheap jewelery ones you can get for around $40? I know you can get smaller lab-grade cleaners for around $200, but if a jewelery one works fine, I'd rather save the money.Also, any suggestions for fluid? Tap water? Purified water? Any special fluids?
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  • dollar_bindollar_bin I heartily endorse this product and/or event 2,310 Posts
    I've used the bath cleaners to clean small parts in the lab, works great on eyeglasses too. We used clean tap water with a smidge of ultrasonic bath detergent (a very mild surfactant). You don't want to use the ultrapure water, but that stuff is pretty raer outside a lab anyway. I don't know if they're safe for vinyl, though--they can heat samples which might be hard on materials that melt.

  • schoggischoggi 282 Posts
    ... i'm using it since many years and must say it's the best way to clean records (IMHO)!
    as it's quite time-consuming, i use it mainly for LPs coming from the hot & dusty continents!
    i have a big industrial ultrsonic cleaner standing around at my workplace, so... during the breaks...

    no special fluid necessary 'cause the ultrawaves to their job properly and dismantling everyting,
    all particles that stick in the grooves or on the vinyl (also the labels if they touch the water)!
    be sure to use deionized water, this doesn't left anything in the grooves (lime particles) after drying...

    in europe the bigger ones (for 12inches) are quite expensive ($400+), don't know how it is over there!

    hope i was able to help a bit....

    best wishes

  • canonicalcanonical 2,100 Posts
    Thanks for the replies. I was just using Kim Wipes to dry them as they're non-static.

    Any word on jewelery cleaners? Both of you used lab-grade ultrasonic cleaners yo.

  • DrJoelDrJoel 932 Posts
    i find this whole thing so interesting, would love to be in a lab to see this. i have a ton of 45s with a lot of surface noise that i am trying to clean up. i have been getting a lot of gunk out of them, but am in need of an upgrade to get rid of all these crackles. Would gladly drop $40 on a jewelry cleaner if this gets signed, co-signed, and / or explained.

  • canonicalcanonical 2,100 Posts
    i find this whole thing so interesting, would love to be in a lab to see this. i have a ton of 45s with a lot of surface noise that i am trying to clean up. i have been getting a lot of gunk out of them, but am in need of an upgrade to get rid of all these crackles. Would gladly drop $40 on a jewelry cleaner if this gets signed, co-signed, and / or explained.
    Theoretically, the mechanism in jewlery cleaners is the same, so it should work as well. It's all a matter of how powerful they are. But, the physics behind these cleaners isn't necessarilly a function of their "power", it could depend on what type of "standing wave" is generated in the bath etc...

    Unfortunately I'm not in a position to spend $40 on testing a jewelery cleaner.

    Reynalod?

  • DrJoelDrJoel 932 Posts
    There's ones that start at $10, with $9 shipping on the Bay. The dimensions seems a little small one those ones though. Many of them give me the impression that the lid has to be sealed for it to turn on, which could be problematic.

  • spelunkspelunk 3,400 Posts
    I'm bringing this back up because I'm still intersted, and other solutions seem pretty unsatisfactory. For you engineering heads, could you theoretically take the mechanism from one of those cheaper jewelry cleaners and use it with a larger tank? Or would it be too weak to do anything?

    Someone could make a buck manufacturing these things for record collectors...

  • coffinjoecoffinjoe 1,743 Posts
    i bought one big enough for 12"
    (older headz were rocking the jewler models for 7")
    i use tap water & an occasional drop of windex or dr bonners but the waves are were the action is
    never damaged the vinyl, but don't let it wear off the labels
    i think it kicks the shit out of the vip option




      



  • i think it kicks the shit out of the vip option

    Thems fightin words!!

    I do want to experiment with one of these things, but it's a bit too labor-intensive for my purposes.

    If I could find a cheap one that would be sweet for things that aren't getting fully cleaned by the VPI... I cleaned a latin record the other day that, even after two spins on the vpi, still looked like it had dirt ground into the vinyl... got a 45 like that too.

  • FatbackFatback 6,746 Posts
    i bought one big enough for 12"
    (older headz were rocking the jewler models for 7")
    i use tap water & an occasional drop of windex or dr bonners but the waves are were the action is
    never damaged the vinyl, but don't let it wear off the labels
    i think it kicks the shit out of the vip option





    T. I need to see this in action. You gonna hook me up when I pass through Neckburg?

  • DrJoelDrJoel 932 Posts
    i bought one big enough for 12"
    (older headz were rocking the jewler models for 7")
    i use tap water & an occasional drop of windex or dr bonners but the waves are were the action is
    never damaged the vinyl, but don't let it wear off the labels
    i think it kicks the shit out of the vip option





    What's up with the heat setting? Do you use any heat at all or run it cold?

  • FatbackFatback 6,746 Posts

    i think it kicks the shit out of the vip option

    Thems fightin words!!

    I do want to experiment with one of these things, but it's a bit too labor-intensive for my purposes.

    If I could find a cheap one that would be sweet for things that aren't getting fully cleaned by the VPI... I cleaned a latin record the other day that, even after two spins on the vpi, still looked like it had dirt ground into the vinyl... got a 45 like that too.

    I've had little success with the VPI 45 adaptor kit. Of course, the 45s I'm trying clean have rat piss encrusted petrified BBQ sauce on them.

    What do people use to get mold stains off? I removed the mold on some records and while it's not audible , but looking at it, you can see traces of green/brown mold poop on the surface. Bleach? Or will one of these shaky super buckets do it?

  • You mean, when you have a record caked with mold and you clean it but there are like mold marks akin to sleeve pressure marks on it? Usually don't sound but occasionally they do? Yeah, no solution over here.

    And the 45 adaptor kit is indeed close to useless... but does help somewhat. Certainly less successful than the LP/12" work though.

    Still and all, I 3 my VPI

  • You mean, when you have a record caked with mold and you clean it but there are like mold marks akin to sleeve pressure marks on it? Usually don't sound but occasionally they do? Yeah, no solution over here.

    Elmer's glue - especially on 45s.

  • meatyogremeatyogre 2,080 Posts
    Ive been rockin the small jewelry ultrasonic cleaner for 45s, but only those that are worth taking the time to clean like that, cuz it takes forever. The ultrasonic cleaners will get rid of any and all stains or marks left on vinyl if you leave them in the bath long enough.

    Really though, for 45s, the KAB cleaner works wonders, which was reccomended to me by HAZ. Works far better than the VPI for 45s... and about the same for LPs... though I'd rather be using a VPI for both, cuz its faster and not as noisy.



  • didnt frank have a picture of an ultrasonic cleaner laced up with some auto-rotater thing in one of the african finds thread?


    will those things vibrate the flesh off of your finger?

  • dollar_bindollar_bin I heartily endorse this product and/or event 2,310 Posts


    will those things vibrate the flesh off of your finger?

    You'd probably pull your finger out long before the flesh came off--in my experience ultrasonic cleaners produce a sharp burning sensation on your fingers. If anyone's interested, here's my post from the Wax-I-Dermy Thread

    Hey, I looked into this a little further. I called Branson technical services, they said that their bath ultrasonic cleaners should be safe for items made from PVC, like records. They recommend using their general purpose ultrasonic cleanser, as using water alone will greatly increase cleaning times. She also recommended minimizing the time plastic items spend in the bath, 1 minute to start with, and don't let the record touch the bottom of the tank while the sonicator is on.

    I looked up the MSDS for their General Purpose cleaner and it appears to be 2-Butoxyethanol and Sodium Metasilicate, which for home use you could probably substitute Formula 409[/b] which is 2-Butoxyethanol and Sodium Hydroxide. The Branson technical rep stressed that less is more when it comes to using the cleaning solution, you don't want to exceed 10 parts water:1 part cleaning solution.

  • sabadabadasabadabada 5,966 Posts
    what happens if the record touches the sides of the tank while its on? Has anyone ever read Hawthorne's "The Birth Mark," can you destroy the record in your attempt to make it perfect when you should have just left it with a minor imperfection?

  • motley fool?

  • HAZHAZ 3,373 Posts
    Again, I can't say enough good things about the KAB EV1 record cleaner. You get great results for only 100 bucks and its not some weird audiophile voodoo or some experimental lab equipment type gizmo. If you're serious about cleaning your records, buy this machine. It works as well as a VPI. Did I mention its only 100 bucks?

  • El PrezEl Prez NE Ohio 1,141 Posts
    some weird audiophile voodoo

    I have seen and heard my share of this......

  • dollar_bindollar_bin I heartily endorse this product and/or event 2,310 Posts
    what happens if the record touches the sides of the tank while its on?

    I think it's more of an issue for the sonicator rather than the item being cleaned. Probably the side isn't as bad as the bottom. To quote The Bransonic FAQ

    Q. Why must trays or beakers be used?
    A. Items being cleaned should never be placed directly on the tank bottom. Transducers (which produce the ultrasound) are bonded to the bottom of the tank. Items resting directly on the tank bottom can damage the transducers and/or reduce cavitation. Additionally, a tray or beaker will position the item within the optimal cleaning zone of the tank. The tray or beaker will also hold the load together and allow for easy, no-touch removal, draining and transport of the items to the next step in the cleaning process.

  • coffinjoecoffinjoe 1,743 Posts


    didnt frank have a picture of an ultrasonic cleaner laced up with some auto-rotater thing in one of the african finds thread?


    will those things vibrate the flesh off of your finger?

    i know a dude who set up such a tinker toy / motor rotating device

    one day i would like to be like that dude

  • Again, I can't say enough good things about the KAB EV1 record cleaner. You get great results for only 100 bucks and its not some weird audiophile voodoo or some experimental lab equipment type gizmo. If you're serious about cleaning your records, buy this machine. It works as well as a VPI. Did I mention its only 100 bucks?

    link?

  • HAZHAZ 3,373 Posts
    Hi Jonny,

    Here is a link to the KAB webpage:

    http://www.kabusa.com/frameset.htm?/index.htm

    The KAB EV1 is based on the Nitty Gritty Record Cleaner; The dude from KAB licenced their basic design & modified it. You hook up an external vac to the EV1 & let her rip. Meatyogre is an EV1 convert and I've used this gizmo for 4 years, with no detrimental effects & my records are as clean as hell.

    Here is an old review of the EV1:

    http://www.tnt-audio.com/accessories/kabev1_e.html

    Kevin Barrett of KAB is dude & sells lots of cool stuff for Technics turntables. He's one of the most personable & knowledgable folks I've met in the audio game.

    peace

    h

  • Thanks for that. I don't want a machine that has to hook up to my vacuum but maybe there's some other cool stuff on the site.

    I'd imagine that the vacuum component is one of the reasons machines like the VPI are more expensive...

  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,029 Posts
    The EV1 looks compelling though it's not $100 anymore - try $160. That said, I have a good vacuum cleaner at home already and this could be a nice compromise vs. shelling out VPI type dolo.

    Haz: what cleaning solution do you use with it?


    Hi Jonny,

    Here is a link to the KAB webpage:

    http://www.kabusa.com/frameset.htm?/index.htm

    The KAB EV1 is based on the Nitty Gritty Record Cleaner; The dude from KAB licenced their basic design & modified it. You hook up an external vac to the EV1 & let her rip. Meatyogre is an EV1 convert and I've used this gizmo for 4 years, with no detrimental effects & my records are as clean as hell.

    Here is an old review of the EV1:

    http://www.tnt-audio.com/accessories/kabev1_e.html

    Kevin Barrett of KAB is dude & sells lots of cool stuff for Technics turntables. He's one of the most personable & knowledgable folks I've met in the audio game.

    peace

    h

  • shitzrshitzr 648 Posts
    i too fux with a jewelry ultrasonic cleaner. it works great but it is time consuming and noisy. also, after 20 minutes or so, the machine releases heat that warms up the water. so usually i only use it for 45's that are $ or if they badly need it. i'm trying to create my own rotating thingamajig ala frank, but i only passed engineering class with a c-.

  • HAZHAZ 3,373 Posts
    Thanks for that. I don't want a machine that has to hook up to my vacuum but maybe there's some other cool stuff on the site.

    I'd imagine that the vacuum component is one of the reasons machines like the VPI are more expensive...

    The vacuum component built in pushes the price of the nitty grity up to 400 bucks for some of the lower end models. I really like not having the vacuum built into the machine. I have greater control over the suction. I have a 12 amp vac that I use around the house that I usually hook up to it. It gets the job done. I know some guys who hook up mega shop-vacs to it, but its not recommended. I do like having the control over the strength of the vacuum - its easily twice as powerful as the 16.5 VPI. I don't see the additional suction causing any wear to my records & believe me, I'm prolly the pickiest person on this site when it comes to grading bar none. This will clean anything & make your records sound waaaaayy better than anything else on the market, short of the VPI Typhoon, Keith Monks, Loricraft, or Clearaudio Matrix, which will run you between 2,000 & 5,000. I've tried them all. Best analog bargain for your money. KAB also sells great cartridges for technics along with some cool accessories for 1200's, like silicone tonearm dampners. Here is a review for a souped up 1200:

    http://www.tnt-audio.com/sorgenti/technics_sl1200_2_e.html

    There are some great articles on the KAB site about the design of the 1200. Audio people often sneer at it, but I think its a better turntable than people give it credit for.

    O-Dub - Crazy to see that the price went up! I use a home brew cleaing solution of distilled water, high grade alcohol & ivory soap to clean my records. I do a rince with the distilled water to make sure that the fluid is washed off. I've used fancy cleaning solutions before. They did the job, but my home brew does the same at a fraction of the cost.

    peace

    h

  • sabadabadasabadabada 5,966 Posts
    when the brushes on the nitty gritty get flattened out from use, can they be replaced?
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