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Owen Y

Our DIY Ultrasonic Record Cleaner

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Hello Owen,

I've bought a nice box for 3.5€ : Fidelio from Beethoven, Otto Klemperer conducted. The records are quite fine but need a cleaning.

If I use 5 to 10 ml polysorbate in 5 l distilled water, should I rinse the records after cleaning ?

And if yes, how many records can I rinse in 5 l distilled water ?

Thanks a lot for your answer !

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Hello @georgesgiralt - apologies, I have been out of town for a few days.

 

I have not been rinsing my records after cleaning.

However, I have been using my old record cleaner vacuum for vacuum-drying the records - instead of air-drying.

 

i) Detergent residue on the records is no problem IMO - for example, a well-known stylus treatment fluid is detergent-based, I believe.

Also, the cleaned records seem to 'track' better, I feel - could this be due to detergent residue?

 

ii) Dirt residue however, should be removed - this was why I have been vacuum-drying. However, you could also rinse the cleaned records, (but rinsing is probably not totally effective as the grooves may not be completely rinsed).

 

So, I now have added a filtration system (similar to @maxpina's posts (previous pages). 

Followed by vacuum cleaning.

This is my current approach.

 

Cheers, Owen

Dark Lantern blog - http://darklanternforowen.wordpress.com/

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Thank you for your answer, Owen !

Actually, I rinse using the US cleaner and "distilled"  water.

When I used too much polysorbate, I rinsed a couple of time using tap water, still in the US cleaner, then a final bath in distilled water.

I vacuum dry the records, too (I have made a suction device with a plastic tubing and 3 layers of micro fiber cloth) and use a shop vacuum device in order for my wife not to complain ...

I remember her face when I emptied the dish washing machine which had cleaned all the plastic parts of a second hand laser printer I had for cheap because it was sooo dirty.... So I'm very careful when using house devices .... Or conceal myself during use 😉

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Just an update on the filtration add on to my ultrasonic cleaner. I had previously used a small aquarium filter, which worked, though it did have the problem of non standard connections, which required a fair bit fudging to get right, though when it was working it worked well. Over time, I found that the plastic making up the connections started to crack.

 

I have now gone done the route of getting an eBay 12v pump as others have, using an old 12v power supply for a hard drive. All good so far. 

 

 

JustinIMG_1257.thumb.jpg.93a9546cfb29d4faabc74f8670de6a36.jpg

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Hello,

I've run a big batch of cleaning, thanks to Mr Covid and it's confinement...

I've a problem though...

I have a box : the Mozart opera Figaro, from DGG with Karl Böhm conducting. The records where stained, so I did not listen to them.

After cleaning, there is still surface noise, and sometimes a loud bang like there is something in the groove. (but not so big to make the stylus skip). And this happens on all 4 records...

Annoying.

I've tried to look if I could see something in the grooves, but did not succeed.

So I'm looking for advice here.

What should I do or should I live with it ? (I like the performance, though, so it would be nice to have clean and pristine records... )

Thanks in advance for your help and advice !

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5 hours ago, georgesgiralt said:

Hello,

I've run a big batch of cleaning, thanks to Mr Covid and it's confinement...

I've a problem though...

I have a box : the Mozart opera Figaro, from DGG with Karl Böhm conducting. The records where stained, so I did not listen to them.

After cleaning, there is still surface noise, and sometimes a loud bang like there is something in the groove. (but not so big to make the stylus skip). And this happens on all 4 records...

Annoying.

I've tried to look if I could see something in the grooves, but did not succeed.

So I'm looking for advice here.

What should I do or should I live with it ? (I like the performance, though, so it would be nice to have clean and pristine records... )

Thanks in advance for your help and advice !

Hi

What do you mean by  "The records where stained". if you mean they have the misting, you some times get from off gassing of PVC sleeves , I am afraid there is nothing you can do.

If you are referring to dirt try cleaning one record at a time for thirty minutes, perhaps a couple of time and see if that make a difference.

 

I picked up a first UK pressing of Dark side of the Moon, that was filthy and would stick at two or three spots. After cleaning three times ,one record only, the sound was ok and it did not stick.

 

 

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2 hours ago, EV Cali said:

Hi

What do you mean by  "The records where stained". if you mean they have the misting, you some times get from off gassing of PVC sleeves , I am afraid there is nothing you can do.

If you are referring to dirt try cleaning one record at a time for thirty minutes, perhaps a couple of time and see if that make a difference.

 

I picked up a first UK pressing of Dark side of the Moon, that was filthy and would stick at two or three spots. After cleaning three times ,one record only, the sound was ok and it did not stick.

 

 

I would heartily agree with repeating the cleaning, doing less records per load, and maybe lengthening the cleaning cycle. Sometimes if the records are encrusted with gunk, a spray on record cleaner and wipe with a lint free cloth prior to the US cleaning may help. In any case, it is not going to make it worse than what you have already, and may improve things significantly.

 

Justin

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I definitely agree with Robin and Justin on reducing the number of records per clean. I have found no more than 2 and preferably one at a time. If you check the surface of the water when cleaning you will see ripples from the ultrasonics. I have noticed if the records are too close together then there are no ripples on the inner sides which I assume means they are not being cleaned properly. Spacing 2 records well will give a reasonable result if they are not too dirty. For any record that is dirty, or a recent second hand purchase, I will put it through by itself. The US cleaner I have has a 'sweep' function as well so I do a standard clean and then a sweep clean. Hope this helps...

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Thank you for your answer.

I'll describe my regiment better so you can tell me if I've to make some alterations.

I mix 5 l "distilled water" with 5 ml Tween 20 (Polysorbate 20) as per Owen's advice. (the water is for ironing and bought in a home improvement store)

I run 3 records at a time, for 30 min at 35°C.

I wipe dry with a shop vac (the plastic suction head being covered by a microfiber cloth) then allow the record to dry for around 15 minutes and then, put them back into their sleeves.

I'll try to renew, once again, the washing bath (I've no filtration device yet) and wash the worst one alone to see if it make a difference.

I've tried to see if there is something into the groove without success, but the stylus bump into something given the pop ! This popping sound is mainly on the right channel if this could help trace the fault.

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Good thoughts guys.

 

@georgesgiralt - I have not tried Polysorbate yet, but I would try increasing concentration from 1:1000 to 1:500 (or more, it is inexpensive).

I don't feel any need for heating myself.

 

Some 'dirt' may need a solvent to solubilise (eg. iso alcohol pre-clean) or an enzymatic pre-clean for food protein or such.

 

Cheers, Owen

Dark Lantern blog - http://darklanternforowen.wordpress.com/

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I definitely agree with one record at a time, these machines are just not powerfull enough for more. Maybe try turning the US off but keep the record spinning in the fluid at 35 degrees for a longer period, even overnight. After this give it a 10 minute US. I've done this before to great success. Some crud is so baked in it needs the soak.

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Hello

I thank you all for your leads. Food for though ....

I was surprised that the "pops" appear only on the right channel. So I wonder if I did not contaminate the washed records with the vacuum cleaner tissue used on the suction device.

So, and contrary to my regular practice, I've changed two parameters in one step...

I've 3 records running a wash in a new 5 liter Tween 20 solution (5ml Polysorbate, 5 liter distilled water). As the water in my darkroom (where the US cleaner is) is cold (11°C today, it is early spring in France...) I turned the heating of the machine ON...

And I will not dry the records using the vac.

Will report back when done and listened to.

If this is not conclusive, I'll try with one record only, then with more Polysorbate... But getting distilled water is difficult for me as home improvement shops are all closed.

In the meantime, I've to attend a Skype meeting with my friends and we will "share" beers, wines, and tapas...

Have a nice day and stay at home !

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So here am I again.

The culprit I played with is Fidelio a 3 record set numbered sequentially (not for changers).

Disc one plays fine, both faces.

Disc two has face 3 with 7 "plops".  I washed it for 30 minutes alone in the US and let it dry without any manipulation. Still 7 pops. Face 4 has a huge number of pops. Even after cleaning. (I did not count them, they are too numerous, so can't tell if the second washing cleared some or not).

I own this set for a long time. It had surface noise but no pops. I washed it during my last huge cleaning. And I did something wrong. as it now has less surface noise but many pops.

So I wonder where my problem lies and what to do to correct it.

I've observed that using a velvet cleaning brush I was able to suppress some of the 7 pops I had on face 3. I tried with a Tonar carbon fiber brush and it seems to prove effective. So I think my problem lies in deposited material in the groove 😉 .... But from where and when ? And how to get rid of it ?

I've just cleaned again the two records from Tosca which had severe popping from the previous cleaning. After Mr Beethoven finishes, I'll give a try at Mr Puccini to see if the second cleaning improved something.

I will definitely listen to all your advices.

Have a nice day !

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Hi @georgesgiralt - I wonder if the 35 degC fluid temperature (which will further rise with ultrasonic action), softened the vinyl & subsequent brush vac drying caused some debris to embed into the vinyl grooves?

 

As said, i do not find it necessary to apply heat to the ultrasonic-detergent process.

 

Cheers, Owen

Dark Lantern blog - http://darklanternforowen.wordpress.com/

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Hello Owen,

I'll try to run a batch without heating. I suspect that the microfiber cloth on the vac end is the culprit. I tried to look at one deposit making the pop with a very high magnifying glass (20x) and I saw nothing so it is smaller than something a 20x glass can show... And still give a big noise...

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2 hours ago, georgesgiralt said:

Hello Owen,

I'll try to run a batch without heating. I suspect that the microfiber cloth on the vac end is the culprit. I tried to look at one deposit making the pop with a very high magnifying glass (20x) and I saw nothing so it is smaller than something a 20x glass can show... And still give a big noise...

I was using a microfibre cloth from Bunnings, one of the cheaper ones you get in a pack of 6 or 8, to dry CDs after washing them. I found that if you held the CD at an angle to see the light reflected off it, you could just make out hundreds of tiny pieces of fibre. The cloths in question are the ones that have a cut pile sort of texture, similar to a shag pile carpet in miniature.

 

Even though it didn't seem to be a problem on the CDs, possibly because the pieces aren't big enough to obscure the pits, it could possibly affect playback of a LP.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, bob_m_54 said:

...a microfibre cloth from Bunnings... I found that if you held the CD at an angle to see the light reflected off it, you could just make out hundreds of tiny pieces of fibre. The cloths in question are the ones that have a cut pile sort of texture, similar to a shag pile carpet in miniature.

I use Wonder Cloths in the kitchen, they sound similar to your cut-pile bunnings cloths. When I use a new one it sheds tiny (micro I guess) fibres all over the place until it's used and rinsed a few times.

The micro fibre towel type cloths like the Meguiars Glass Cloth available at Supercheap/Autobarn/etc don't seem to have that fibre shedding issue.

Edited by pwstereo

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3 hours ago, georgesgiralt said:

Hello Owen,

I'll try to run a batch without heating. I suspect that the microfiber cloth on the vac end is the culprit. I tried to look at one deposit making the pop with a very high magnifying glass (20x) and I saw nothing so it is smaller than something a 20x glass can show... And still give a big noise...

 

George, I suggest a "microfibre cloth on the vac end " is not a good idea  Is this a vac machine you have put together?

 

My experience has been that you need to:

  • dry the LP using a 'wet/vac machine' like a Nitty Gritty to suck the gunk (in solution) out of the wet grooves
  • or use a filter loop (1 micron or less) off your us tank, so that there is no gunk in the solution at the bottom of the grooves.  Then you can air dry the LPs - or, better, blow dry them.

Andy

 

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Hi,

The Us machine is running. Cold, one record at a time. I will soon run out of distilled water and can't buy the supplies for a filtration device. So experiment will stop soon. And it is fortunate, the missus is fed of hearing Tosca and Fidelio again and again. She is more into Punk Rock and Roll music right now 😉

Here is a picture of the suction device I put on my vacuum shop cleaner and the microcloth I used to protect the records. (a new one because I dumped the original after discovering the damage...)

I bet I did something wrong ....

 

IMG_20200406_160007.jpg

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Yes, this time, Miss Tosca is fixed good ! 4 time in the US, the last one cold and one disc at a time for around 15 minutes each record.

Now, I've to run the other record set I "cleaned" with the first method...

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@Owen Y

Hey Owen, Whats the easiest way to buy one of your kits please?

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Hi @Pipey - no problem, we have just received a new batch of some of the parts.

 

We can usually have a kit packed in 2-3 days.

Kit price is A$149 + airmail $16.

(Can vary a little with exch rate.)

Kit parts are as per pic below.

 

If OK, just Message me your postal name & address & confirm your email for Paypal.

(A paypal request will be sent only after your kit is packed ready to ship.)

 

Assembly is mostly self explanatory, but we include instructions & some cleaning tips & information.

 

Feel free to ask any Qs.

 

You need to purchase the ultrasonic tank & rotisserie motor.

 

Cheers, Owen

https://darklanternforowen.wordpress.com

 

uscm.jpg.73c9480032f1276500cfbafc297eb524.jpg

(The black marks on the 2 smaller SS plates are just laser-cutting burns on the protective plastic film.)

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Thanks Owen. I’ll be in touch 

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I can't find anywhere with the 6L utrasonic in stock under $200 or so at the moment, anyone else had any luck? 

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20 minutes ago, hurcorh said:

I can't find anywhere with the 6L utrasonic in stock under $200 or so at the moment, anyone else had any luck? 

Now that is interesting, been a while since I've even looked. That throws a spanner in the works. 

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