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$40 Record Cleaning Machine at Aust.Post

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So I need some more fluid for this and I don't think Aus Post are in the business of supporting this admittedly miserly purchase on my behalf. Any suggestions? Is distilled water an option?

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Just saw this on a TT manufacturer site. Does anyone use isopropyl alcohol on the records?

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14 hours ago, crisis said:

Just saw this on a TT manufacturer site. Does anyone use isopropyl alcohol on the records?...

There are many formulas for vinyl record-cleaning solutions on the internet.  Most are a combination of distilled water, isopropyl alcohol, and a wetting/agent or small amount of detergent.  The proportions in the formulas will vary. 

 

Important:  NEVER use alcohol in cleaning solutions when cleaning 78rpm disks - the alcohol will dissolve the shellac!

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On 06/07/2018 at 7:09 PM, Andrews_melb said:

@crisis i use this with my disco anti stat

 

https://www.melodymate.com.au/shop/product/15356/Melody-Mate-Premium-Vinyl-Record-Cleaner-Solution-1-Litre-BONUS-Microfiber-Cloth/

 

seems to work great, i just bought a 2ltr bottle of distilled water from bunnings as well

+1 for the Melody Mate. Have been using it in various ways over the last couple of years and I rate it highly. I also have a Disco Anti stat, which came with its own liquid. I turfed that after reading a few negative comments about it leaving residue in the grooves of the records after cleaning. The Melody Mate dries without residue.

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14 minutes ago, Jebediah said:

+1 for the Melody Mate. Have been using it in various ways over the last couple of years and I rate it highly. I also have a Disco Anti stat, which came with its own liquid. I turfed that after reading a few negative comments about it leaving residue in the grooves of the records after cleaning. The Melody Mate dries without residue.

The instructions say to vacuum. I was looking for something to use in the rotary cleaner I have?

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I didnt notice that part @crisis but have used the cleaner for a few years now with good results. Poor records dont suddenly become mint again but it sure helps any clean up surface noise and other annoying things that can get on records after a while.

i just pour it in to the disco anti stat which is rotary as well - no vac.

then let it dry for a while then in new sleeves

Edited by Andrews_melb

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Yeah, there seems to be Melody Mate for different machines now, from the simple hand cleaning bunnings paint square thingy (which I used to use) through the cheap rotary type (Disco Antistat, Spin Clean etc) through to the more expensive vacuum type machines.

 

Not sure what the inherent differences are in each product if any, but just choose one for your type of cleaner.

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Anyone had any success with this in a similar machine?

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13 minutes ago, crisis said:

Anyone had any success with this in a similar machine?

image.aspx.jpg

I have a disco antistat unit as my main wet wash cleaner. I used the cleaning fluid it came with at first, but have used my own homemade fluid ever since.

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I think everyone forgets The Disc Doctor Cleaning Fluid and special brushes. Dwayne is an industrial chemist and originally formulated this for cleaning shellac 78s. It's specifically formulated so as not to leach the binders from the vinyl. It was (and still is) recommended by Michael Fremer. There's a lot of copy-cat product on the market nowadays but this stuff is the best, been around for 20 years and his system is quick and simple. One brush for the cleaning fluid and the second for the distilled water wash. I've got a Pristine Vinyl VIVAC RC2 but I still use the Disc Doc fluid and brushes for the cleaning and rinsing. I have purchased from the USA but decibelhifi.com.au sell it all at the same price.

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@crisis

before there were readily available the "Spinclean" and this latest incarnation, my first foray into serious record cleaning and what opened my ears to the benefits of cleaning my records was purchase of the "Disco Antistat" kit including a bottle of the fluid to which you refer.

It provided a significant increase in SQ, however, I quickly noticed that post cleaning I had a white waxy deposit on the stylus for several plays post cleaning.  This was more than 10 years ago, I still have the  remainder of the fluid.  I then developed a manual cleaning regime using the "Disc Doctor" brushes and fluids and the Disco as a rinse bath post scrubbing filled with distilled water and then air dried on the Disco drying rack.  This system, while rather labour intensive was most effective in improving SQ.  I have since been able to afford a vacuum RCM but continue to use the excellent and very durable Disc Doctor brushes for scrubbing, but have changed to Melody mate cleaning solution which to my hearing provides audibly superior results to many other fluids tried including KM, Art du Son and Disc Doctor.

I very quickly learned that good cleaning provided sonic benefits far exceeding its cost and adding to the benefits of cartridge upgrades, turntable upgrades and better phono stages.  I have for many years now always cleaned even new records prior to play and replace all paper sleeves with new antistatic sleeves.

Rudolf Bruils Soundfountain website is an excellent resource for record cleaning information and the London Jazz Collector site also has cleaning fluid recipes.

Decibel Hi Fi have an excellent starter kit from the Disc Doctor which will provide more benefit than a new cartridge of similar cost.

Edited by ophool

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Just one small (but important) point to consider for anyone new to using the Disc Doctor brushes. The brushes aren't used for 'scrubbing' the record surface as this implies putting downward force and that the brush bristles are running along the grooves dislodging dirt. The Disc Doc brushes are super fine 'hairs' that simply 'agitate' the fluid in the groove; it's the fluid dislodging the grunge, not the brush. So it's the lightest of touches as the brush rests and moves against the LP surface, going back and forth around a third of the record surface at a time.

Also, for anyone new to cleaning LPs, there are two types of stuff you're actually removing. The first is on used LPs. All those years of spilt party beer, dirt, dust, grease from fingers, and living mould (mould loves living in dark, humid record grooves feeding on cellulose from paper sleeve dust).

And the second is for NEW LPs. In the manufacturing process the record stamper machines have a thin coating of mould-release agent applied so the just-pressed LP drops cleanly out of the mould not leaving tiny bits of vinyl stuck to the metal.  So your new sealed LP has a sticky manufacturing residue coating all the grooves that is going to attract and hold any dust that falls on it.

It makes good sense to clean the new LP before playing it for the first time. As the stylus tip moves over the surface of the groove it's point-loading is massive and the heat generated actually melts the vinyl for a moment. Any grunge in the groove is actually going to be baked into the surface as the vinyl cools and reforms.

Another issue with used LPs from the 70s/80s was because of the cost of vinyl increasing as the price of oil rose, some manufacturers would recycle unsold LPs. Unfortunately the paper label wouldn't be removed and the LPs pressed using this second-hand vinyl would have microscopic bits of paper sticking up out of the groove surface. This explained a lot of the clicks and pops of new records at the time. Tragically a lot of modern pressed vinyl is churned out from overworked pressing-plants with no quality control. Unscrupulous people churning out cheap LPs made badly and from CD digital files. Websites like the stevehoffman and vinylengine forums and user reviews at acousticsounds.com are invaluable to read to research what purchasers have found with new releases.

LPs are a physical medium that has been around for decades and will be around after we're long gone. A properly cleaned LP that is played with an unworn stylus at the correct weight loading will last forever, well for a long, long time. Even used LPs that have some minor wear in the grooves from playing with older era styluses can sound fresh when played with modern stylus profile shapes that trace deeper in the groove, touching vinyl that was never touched by the more conical shaped tips of yesteryear.

There's a natural resistance at the thought of having to clean records when all we want to do is play them but once you've done a few and got your system rhythm worked out it's easy to do 3 - 5 at a time and not find it a tiresome task. Without doubt, the effort you put in will preserve that expensive vinyl for you, your kids and even their kids. What a great legacy to pass on.

 

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On 23/07/2018 at 11:21 AM, stevoz said:

I read an article by Rigby about the best ways to clean. He claims records have a "special coating" on the vinyl and if you repeatedly use any iso alcohol it strips it and the record noticeably deteriorates. Someone challenged his claim about a special coating and he backpedaled a bit. He also said he used concentrations of alcohol nobody would normally use and cleaned a few times over. I'm calling bullshit. I have a mate who has been selling chemicals for ages and he said that iso doesn't damage plastic. I am going to try a mixture of demineralised water and iso in the cleaner and see how it goes. It may be a bit miserly of me but I hate the feeling of getting stiffed by companies who are pretty much selling this same thing in a pretty bottle. FWIW I've used a Discwasher for 30 years or so and my old records are pretty good. At the time there were plenty of naysayers claiming that solution would damage records. I don't think its as an effective cleaner but it certainly hasn't damaged the records themselves.

On with the show!

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Regarding The Studebaker cleaning system I happen to have two of them; one was a gift and the other I bought from Australia Post on sale $29.99 (if memory serves). The first thing I would like to add to the discussion is that the units vary considerably regarding how they operate. With the first unit, I found it was quite difficult to turn the record and the rubber ring in the centre of the rollers would distort and move due to the pressure required to turn the LP, this problem did not occur with the second unit and the rubber rings in the rollers remained secure.

 

In addition, I found it best to allow the cleaning fluid to soak into the brushes before putting them into the grooves/guides in the 'washer basin', as the microfibers seem to repel the fluid at first. I apply a few drops of the Cleaning fluid and then using the top of the bottle, I gently rub the Cleaning pads working the fluid into them, continuing until the pads are thoroughly wet. I then place the pads together, microfibre sides together and matching orientation and then slide them into the grooves/guides in the basin.

 

I tend to clean a number of records at a time because it takes a bit to set things up and I want to make a good job of it. Also it takes a little time for washed records to dry. I also have a number of fluff free microfibre (advertised as microfibre but I don't know) towels of various sizes and clothes of the spectacle cleaning variety.

 

My record cleaning procedure involves removing any visible detritus from each LP prior to cleaning and then using one unit to wash the records with cleaning solution on the pads and then the other to rinse off the cleaning solution using demineralised water, filling the unit up to the spindle of the rollers. I have labelled the two units so I always know which one is for cleaning and which for rinsing.

 

After rinsing I lay the LPs out on the towels, then using another smaller microfibre towel, I remove any excess moisture, turning and repeating the process and then after a few minutes I place them in new sleeves (inner and outer) and I put them into my record collection.

 

I can't say there is much science to my process and I am always looking for some improvements that I might make, but my method seems logical to me.

 

Finally I believe the Studebaker system is value for money, the Spinclean system costs 3 times as much and more. However I haven't used a Spinclean unit and so I cannot compare results between the two.

 

from Mr Base Man

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As to buying cleaning fluid,   I have decided the Spinclean fluid does a good job and actually is not expensive.  At a capful or two at a time, it lasts a long time for $29.  Biggest advantage is I can buy it locally.

 

pro-ject-spin-clean-washer-fluid-1_4c5f42d5-dd19-46f2-a53b-de9c0c8a0716_large.jpg?v=1503495991

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These are on sale again - $20 at Auspost.

 

They do a great job on the really grubby op-shop vinyl.

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Thanks for the heads up.

 

I just walked up to the P.O. here in Kingston and grabbed the only one on the shelf. The staff didn't even know they sold them!

 

Cheers,

Jason.

 

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3 hours ago, steve-rsa said:

These are on sale again - $20 at Auspost.

I just saw them in the catalogue so jumped online, saw free postage and ordered one.

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On 25/07/2018 at 10:35 PM, crisis said:

... FWIW I've used a Discwasher for 30 years or so and my old records are pretty good. At the time there were plenty of naysayers claiming that solution would damage records. I don't think its as an effective cleaner but it certainly hasn't damaged the records themselves...

FYI here is the patent for the Discwasher cleaning fluid.  The formula is in the patent info.  https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/a2/ed/e2/f7e9c54b553ae7/US3951841.pdf

 

 

And a summary, from http://db.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.mpl?forum=vinyl&n=338394&highlight=discwasher+d4&session=

 

The cleaner basically contained an antifungal agent, a surfactant, one or two solvents to keep the surfactant soluble in water and assist in cleaning, and distilled water.

 

The Patent discussion indicates the following possibilities:

 

  1. The antifungal agent was sodium azide and probably ran between 0.0001% and 0.004% by weight.
  2. The surfactant was either Triton X-114 or Triton N-57 and probably used somewhere between 0.0003% and 0.025%. These surfactants start to become insoluble in water when the temperature reaches 70 - 75°F which is what makes them effective at cleaning oils/greases but can cause formula stability problems (separation into two layers) without the assistance of a cosolvent or other surfactant.
  3. The two possible solvents are propylene glycol and isopropyl alcohol (IPA). Propylene glycol is probably run between 0.001% and 0.2%. The patent suggests IPA is run anywhere from 0.01% up to 5%.

 

Since this cleaner can be thought of as being similar to a glass cleaner, the total solids level usually does not exceed 0.1% by weight (glass cleaners are prone to leaving visible streaking above this level). Thus, my best guess at the original D3 Discwasher solution is:

  • Sodium Azide = 0.004%
  • Surfactant (most likely Triton X-114) = 0.025%
  • Propylene Glycol = 0.01% to 0.075% (probably closer to the high end)
  • IPA = Won't hurt to run the full 5%
  • Distilled Water = quantity sufficient to add up to 100%

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On 17/11/2017 at 3:46 PM, Grumpy said:

Just got mine, thanks for the tip off @audiofeline

Well !  being the lazy old fart that I am, I just opened my Studebaker cleaner (as you can see by the above date, it's been awhile since I bought it ) and found that it is missing the cleaning fluid - Ripped off, but I'll use some demineralised water and some isopropyl fluid. - perhaps.

 

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If anyone’s interested, I have been using Melody Mate fluid in my Disco Antistat (sortof same thing) and it works really well.

 

https://www.melodymate.com.au/

 

I get the big pourer of concentrate, and dilute by about 1/2 with distilled water.  My system involves a clean using this, and then I vacuum off the liquid with a Kuzma record vac machine.

 

Once I sort a shed, I’ll likely try the ultrasound setup peeps use on the foru s here....

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So, what is the verdict re,  pouring distilled water in the tank of the STUDEBAKER - do we or don't we ?

Confused Grumpy.

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