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captain.j

Kirmuss Ultrasonic RCM

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Just purchased. I’ve been promising myself an RCM for a long time and finally I’ve taken delivery of this beauty.

Not cheap at $2k but significantly cheaper than many other machines, especially ultrasonic ones.

 

Two essential ingredients don’t come in the box- distilled water and isopropyl alcohol - so after acquiring those from Repco and the chemist respectively, I got her going.

 

It’s not complex but there are a few steps in the process. I later watched a YouTube vid which I probably should have done first.

 

Having only given the instructions a brief read I missed one essential step. That is, you probably need to do more than one clean cycle per record. Maybe three, even on brand new records.

 

I did my first couple of records, neither particularly dirty. In fact one was a MoFi of Breakfast In America, a brand spanker, the other a 12” 45 of FM (no static at all). I couldn’t wait to play them and what I found was partially loosened scum/**** clogging up the stylus within minutes. Back to the cleaner.

 

So the thing with this machine is that it’s a process. You don’t just clean one record because it’s a bit poppy and chuck it on the deck for a listen. You set up and do a cleaning session of as many records as you can, then tip the water and pack up. The instructions specifically say the water can’t be kept overnight.

 

So having read the instructions and watched the vid I set about a cleaning session.

 

The bath takes around 6l of water so I’d purchased a 20l drum from Repco. It only requires 40ml of isopropyl so the chemist won’t suspect you of running a drug lab.

 

Each cleaning cycle takes 5minutes and the machine takes 2 albums at a time. So with the drying/polishing steps thrown in you can spend around 20-25mins cleaning two lp’s. 6 lp’s an hour with lots of 5 minute segments in between where you’ve got nothing to do.

 

The noise isn’t loud, not like a vacuum RCM but it is a bit annoying. Kind of like a high voltage arching sound. The cat didn’t like it much.

 

After three cleans and a polish the result was stunning. Obviously the pops disappear and the noise floor drops significantly. It’s got to be good for both your records and stylus. I suspect once your collection has been done properly they would only need a single cycle the next time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, captain.j said:

 

0d125fa31fbc5431e3ec69e2728ecb2c.jpg

Just purchased. I’ve been promising myself an RCM for a long time and finally I’ve taken delivery of this beauty.

Not cheap at $2k but significantly cheaper than many other machines, especially ultrasonic ones.

 

Two essential ingredients don’t come in the box- distilled water and isopropyl alcohol - so after acquiring those from Repco and the chemist respectively, I got her going.

 

It’s not complex but there are a few steps in the process. I later watched a YouTube vid which I probably should have done first.

 

Having only given the instructions a brief read I missed one essential step. That is, you probably need to do more than one clean cycle per record. Maybe three, even on brand new records.

 

I did my first couple of records, neither particularly dirty. In fact one was a MoFi of Breakfast In America, a brand spanker, the other a 12” 45 of FM (no static at all). I couldn’t wait to play them and what I found was partially loosened scum/**** clogging up the stylus within minutes. Back to the cleaner.

 

So the thing with this machine is that it’s a process. You don’t just clean one record because it’s a bit poppy and chuck it on the deck for a listen. You set up and do a cleaning session of as many records as you can, then tip the water and pack up. The instructions specifically say the water can’t be kept overnight.

 

So having read the instructions and watched the vid I set about a cleaning session.

 

The bath takes around 6l of water so I’d purchased a 20l drum from Repco. It only requires 40ml of isopropyl so the chemist won’t suspect you of running a drug lab.

 

Each cleaning cycle takes 5minutes and the machine takes 2 albums at a time. So with the drying/polishing steps thrown in you can spend around 20-25mins cleaning two lp’s. 6 lp’s an hour with lots of 5 minute segments in between where you’ve got nothing to do.

 

The noise isn’t loud, not like a vacuum RCM but it is a bit annoying. Kind of like a high voltage arching sound. The cat didn’t like it much.

 

After three cleans and a polish the result was stunning. Obviously the pops disappear and the noise floor drops significantly. It’s got to be good for both your records and stylus. I suspect once your collection has been done properly they would only need a single cycle the next time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I buy isopropyl from cleaning stores in 1 litre bottles. Much, much cheaper. 
You can also buy it on eBay as I have done and have it sent to you. 
 

Edited by jakeyb77

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I buy isopropyl from cleaning stores in 1 litre bottles. Much, much cheaper. 
You can also buy it on eBay as I have done and have it sent to you. 
 


The cleaning fluid that you spray on and brush in from Kirmuss is a bit pricy. I’ve asked Len Wallis if they can get it supplied in 1 liter refill bottles.

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Melody Mate an option? 
I was very keen on one of these cleaners. I asked at the 2018 show if there was any chance they may make one with 4 x 12” slots and they said it was possibly in the works. No sign as yet. 
Keep us up to date with how it goes. 

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Melody Mate an option? 
I was very keen on one of these cleaners. I asked at the 2018 show if there was any chance they may make one with 4 x 12” slots and they said it was possibly in the works. No sign as yet. 
Keep us up to date with how it goes. 


I’m not sure about the Melody Mate. If you watch the YouTube vid with Charles Kirmuss rabbiting on about his machine, he’s very particular about the chemistry of the fluid, and scathing about some cleaning fluids out there.

4 LP slots would be very useful and I would have gone for that had there been an option. I don’t need the 78 or 7” slot at all.

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Maybe I'm biased but for me the idea of having to do multiple runs through the machine and/or further cleaning afterwards (as seems indicative of all the reading Ive done), justifies spending the extra on a KLAudio/AudioDeske/Degritter.

 

Nonetheless, good to see end users taking cleaning seriously.

 

As for Mr. Krimuss, I'm sure I've seen him in Glengarry Glen Ross...😎

Edited by Hydrology

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I have had the Kirmus for more than 1 year and usually setup to do about 30-50 records at a time.  Usually starting with any new and cleaner looking vinyl first followed later by the dirtiest ones I want to try and clean.  I regularly check the bath to see how dirty it is before pushing beyond about 30 records.

 

Very rarely do I need more than 1 cycle, I use the Kirmuss fluid and brush for a preclean on dirty records.  In fact if a record is new and looks clean, sometimes I even reduce the cleaning cycle to 3 or 4 minutes.    You can always put a cleaned record back in the "to clean" pile again if when you play it you think another clean will be needed.

 

To speed things up I have the next 2 records ready to go in the machine as i remove the 2 clean ones, so.  I also take those clean records straight to a cheap vacuum device (Record Doctor 5) only used for drying the clean records.  This minimises any particles drying onto the records.

 

I then move the dried records to lint free towels on a table that can hold 12 records drying.  I usually wait until the table is full and then transfer the dry vinyl to new inner sleeves.

 

Paper sleeves usually get tossed along with any dodgy older plastic sleeves.  I only keep paper sleeves if they on generic (eg have lyrics etc).  I always then put the Plastic sleeves inside a cover and the records sit outside the cover.

 

yeah I agree a 4 12" record cleaning top would be great.  If they sold separately I would buy one to speed up cleaning process even more

 

 

 

 

 

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On 09/11/2019 at 2:13 PM, jakeyb77 said:

Melody Mate an option? 
I was very keen on one of these cleaners. I asked at the 2018 show if there was any chance they may make one with 4 x 12” slots and they said it was possibly in the works. No sign as yet. 
Keep us up to date with how it goes. 

According to the guys that use ultrasonic cleaners commercially (not just LPs) and the manufacturers, and the theory, the cleaning is proportional to the surface area of the dirty item. I'm not sure that 2 or 4 or 6 LPs at a time is a good idea.

 

I clean one at a time, vacuum it dry with a special nozzle on a shop vac. The drying takes only a matter or seconds, and the LP is good to play.

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20 minutes ago, GregWormald said:

According to the guys that use ultrasonic cleaners commercially (not just LPs) and the manufacturers, and the theory, the cleaning is proportional to the surface area of the dirty item. I'm not sure that 2 or 4 or 6 LPs at a time is a good idea.

 

I clean one at a time, vacuum it dry with a special nozzle on a shop vac. The drying takes only a matter or seconds, and the LP is good to play.

Yes this is true... and the reason also why I’m shying away from my US cleaner.

I am seriously considering the Consonance cleaner that Osborn sells. 
 

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I had a Nitty Gritty 1.5FI back in the 80's/90's and it only cleaned one at a time. Didnt phase me. And all the records I cleaned are still in great playback condition.

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According to the guys that use ultrasonic cleaners commercially (not just LPs) and the manufacturers, and the theory, the cleaning is proportional to the surface area of the dirty item. I'm not sure that 2 or 4 or 6 LPs at a time is a good idea.
 
I clean one at a time, vacuum it dry with a special nozzle on a shop vac. The drying takes only a matter or seconds, and the LP is good to play.

But given that the Kirmuss has 4 slots it would be reasonable to expect it’s been designed to potentially clean 2 lp’s, a 78 and a 45 all at the same time. There’s nothing to suggest in the instructions that this is not recommended.

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4 hours ago, GregWormald said:

According to the guys that use ultrasonic cleaners commercially (not just LPs) and the manufacturers, and the theory, the cleaning is proportional to the surface area of the dirty item. I'm not sure that 2 or 4 or 6 LPs at a time is a good idea.

 

I clean one at a time, vacuum it dry with a special nozzle on a shop vac. The drying takes only a matter or seconds, and the LP is good to play.

Yep, understood.  All having 4 slots would do is to allow the option of cleaning 4 12" LP's.  It would allow using 2 slots furthest away from each other instead of next to each other.

 

It would be something I may consider using for cleaner records.  Besides can always put them through the cleaner a second time

 

 

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The Kirmuss RCM was my Chrissy present this year and I’ve now spent 2 days over the last week cleaning records.  Very good results but there is a process and the more work you put in the better the results. 
 

Did a bit of research in the months leading up to submitting a request to Santa. I was most influenced by Michael Fremer’s interview in Stereophile but also thought the 2 part review by Paul Rigby (the Audiophile man) was pretty much spot on: https://theaudiophileman.com/kirmuss-ka-rc-1-ultrasonic-review-part1/

 

Has anyone identified the best place to acquire more surfactant? I have a query in with Len Wallis Audio (where I purchased the machine). 
 

I read that in the US some retailer has modified the top for 3 x 33 1/3 plus the 45. That would suit me. 
 

I would be interested to hear of any departures or variations on the post ultrasonic process that people have found beneficial. 
 

Cheers.

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Len Wallis Audio contacted me today with some useful tips and to let me know they have the surfactant in  stock. All good.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, KRSDarwin said:

Len Wallis Audio contacted me today with some useful tips and to let me know they have the surfactant in  stock. All good.

HNY Kevin,

 

machine looks great.  nice one.

Edited by scuzzii

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