Aluminum Foil test for Audio Desk Vinyl Cleaner

I came accross this Aluminum Foil Test in You tube to check the purported cavitation power of ultrasonic cleaners. A positive test should create holes or perforations in the foil after an adequate period of ultrasonic exposure. ((varies from 40 sec to a few minutes))
I tested my Audio Desk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner but failed the aluminum foil test.
How reliable is this test? The other question is how can I check that my cleaner is doing its job (refering to its ultrasonic property) in a more objective way.?
I think this is exactly why the Audio Disc Systeme Cleaner is suited for vinyl, it does not tear them apart unlike the more conventional ultra sonic cleaners that this test is referring to.

The Audio Desk cleaner is by a long stretch the best RCM I have come across.

Good Listening

To answer your second question,all you need to do is look down into the far bottom right side of the cleaner to see the ultra sonic action taking place.While in the scrubbibng cycle,you will see a small light that turns from red to blue slowly back and forth.At least that's what I learned from a reliable source.
You can check whether your cleaner is working by listening. To the records! Do they sound like they are clean? If so, then they are.
I took the plunge for the ADSC a few months ago. I'm not going to defend the price, but it is the best and most convenient record cleaner in existence period IMHO.
If your heavy into vinyl and have cash it's an investment worth doing.
End of story.
Try getting VPI 17F works better its a real record cleaner!!

Have had the VPI 16.5 the 17 and the V27, and while they are good the Audio Desk is just better, Dude. :-)

Good listening

Had the 16.5, have the Audio Desk now and I'll never look back. I thought the record noise was at a minimum before, even (much) better now! Ad to that just putting a record in and coming back 5-8 minutes later to a completely clean and dried record, ready to play.

Can't argue with the convenience of the Audio Desk. It is superb. However, does it actually do a better job at cleaning than a nozzle type machine like the Keith Monks or Loricraft when those are used with a four step solution like he AIVS or Walker? Have you ever compared the two?

Has anyone tried using a second Audio Desk filled with pure lab grade water for a final rinse?
I also own the Audio Desk machine. Best record cleaning machine I have ever used. I started out with the Disc Washer System way back when, am I showing my age. Then moved up the the VPI 16.5 nice machine built like a tank, next I purchased the Loricraft PRC 3 and used AIVS cleaners. Again a well built machine, did a very good job of cleaning my vinyl but for me the idea of having to sit there for 35 minutes to clean an album got old real quick. The Audio Desk machine is the way to go. In 5 to 8 minutes the record is clean, dry, static free and ready to be listened to.

When I compared the cleaning abilities of each machine the Audio Desk is the clear winner. Yes I can hear a difference. The machine is an investment but if you can do it I would highly recommend buying it. I purchased my machine from Gene Rubens Audio online.

Some years ago at a CES the folks that imported the Keith Monks machine cleaned my only copy of Tracy Chapmans debut album and ruined it, maybe due to the enzyme cleaning solution or maybe some other reason. So my only experience with the KMRCM was not positive.

Good listening

Benjie, Could you describe the difference in sound between an LP cleaned with the Audio Desk and one cleaned with the Loricraft and AIVS?

I did this comparison only once with a friend's new Audio Desk on one of my LPs. It was cleaned on each machine and I slightly preferred the Loricraft. There was a bit more fine detail and the system seemed to have more overall resolution. And this was when my system was less resolving. Now this was a new LP that had been cleaned once with my PRC 4 and AIVS 4-step plus second final rinse. We listened, then cleaned on the Audio Desk and listened again. Then after my friend left, I cleaned it again on the Lori and it sounded better again.

I realize that this was a quick test and hardly scientific. And I'm not arguing that the Lori is easy to use. It takes me 25 min. per side and it's very boring though I do it next to my computer as I do other things.

I'm just very interested in ability to clean without factoring in convenience and cost for the moment. Once those are factored in, then the discussion changes.

I might take a few of my cleaned LPs over to my friend's house this weekend and listen and then clean them quickly on his Audio Desk and see if we hear a difference on his system.

I do think a slight residue is left by the Audio Desk and an ultra pure water rinse in a second Audio Desk or on a VPI 16.5 would make it sound better, but this is only conjecture on my part. I think Albert Porter has two Audio Desks for this reason. If I can do the test this weekend, I'll report back.
Peter, Why does the Loricraft takes 25 minutes per side? I have doesh several steps and I remember it takingt much less time than this.
Peterayer my experience is just the opposite of yours. I pulled out a few of my favorite albums that had been cleaned with the Loricraft at least 3 times. I know every tic, pop and surface noise that are on these albums. When I used the Audio Desk to clean these albums some of the noise was gone, a few tic's were missing. I was very impressed. Overall the sound of the album was cleaner. The micro detail that I could always hear was now more apparent. The sound was slightly more 3 dimensional. Just a better over sound. I kinda compare it to when I moved from the VPI 16.5 to the Loricraft. A noticeable difference.

With the Audio Desk the album is quieter and I think it is mainly because the Audio Desk leaves the album static free. The Loricraft and the VPI leave static on the surface just by the nature of the cleaning method of a vacuum going across the surface. In the warmer weather it might not appear as noticeable as in the colder weather but it is there even if it is a small amount.

I totally agree with you about cleaning solutions having different effects on the sound of an album. Some leave the sound lifeless and dull. I found AI to be the best. I never used the Walker system but I am sure it is a high quality system.

As for water, I use Nerl water in my Audio Desk instead of the distilled water that is recommended. I think this pure water makes a difference. I think the album rinses cleaner with the nerl water. I don't know if a second rinse would make a difference. The cleaning solution for an ultrasonic system is very different on how it works. That is a topic in itself.

Overall I feel that the ultrasonic system get deeper in the groove than any brush can and is able to clean the grooves better and deeper with the result of cleaner, quieter more revealing sound.
Had the 16.5, have the Audio Desk now and I'll never look back.

Great comparison.
Like " I was barefoot, have a pair of shoes now and I'll never look back"
If it did not fail the foil test it would probably ruin your record. Peoples who tried to build their own ultrasonic cleaner using ultrasonic tank have reported high frequency is missing even after one wash using the lowest setting.
Emailists, My process takes 20-25 minutes per side because I do the following:

1. AIVS #15 - 5 min.
2. AIVS Enzyme - 5 min.
3. AIVS Cleaner - 5 min.
4. AIVS pure water rinse - 2 min.
5. AIVS second water rinse - 2 min.
6. ZeroStat zap - 1 min.
7. Handheld Demag - 1 min.
8. New inner and outer sleeves - 1 min.

Of course I do both sides before steps 6, 7, and 8. I do this while reading emails and catching up on the computer which is next to my Loricraft station. I know it takes way too long and may be excessive, but the LPs sound better than when I had a shorter routine.

Tomorrow I will be taking a few of my cleaned LPs to my friend's house to compare with his Audio Desk. I plan to listen to 2 LPs, then clean them on his Audio Desk and listen again. We may or may not hear a difference. I will then take my recently cleaned Audio Desk LPs back to my system, listen and then clean them again with my Loricraft PRC4 and listen again to see if I hear a difference again.

I figure this way we will be able to hear them cleaned in reverse order in two different systems. I already know that the Audio Desk is MUCH more convenient. It may also clean better. I want to hear it myself under these somewhat controlled conditions to be sure.

I have found that records usually sound better after being cleaned a second time regardless of the machine used. That is why I plan to do the test twice in reverse order on the same LPs. There is the possibility that if I use two copies of the same LPs that they may sound different simply because of the different pressings and not because of the cleaning machines, which is why I want to use the same LP and clean it multiple times, reversing the order.

It will be interesting.
Benjie, I don't doubt your results. It is certainly possible that the ultra sonic agitation loosens debris in the grooves better than the solutions and vacuum. My comparison was very brief which is why I want to do a more careful one between the two machines. I bought my Lori when the Audio Desk was having initial quality issues. Those have clearly been resolved now.

I sometimes notice static in the Winter, but I immediately zap each side with a Zerostat before I put the cleaned LP into a new inner sleeve. So static is not an issue which effects the playback in my system.
anyone using other cleaning solutions other than the supplied one from Audio Desk?
Hey Syntax, having a bad day?

Try to get past the first sentance this time.
Hmmmm.. I have an ultrasonic bath that I had made for me locally, big enough to soak an entire LP. I just have a plastic label cover with O-ring to protect label.
After 10-15s, I get a few holes in foil. I Have been using it for about 3 years now and have not noticed any bad side effect so far. I read somewhere that you need ultrasonic head that is at least 40,000 Hz to get all those bubbles into the groove and the regular 20,000 Hz one will not do anything much if I remember correctly. Have no idea what is the rating on my machine though. In comparison to using my Clear Audio Matrix with various cleaners, I don't think there is much benefit as far as sound quality is concerned but on some LPs, there are less ticks and pops than using Clearaudio machine alone even if I soak the LP in water for a day or two with dishwasher liquid first before cleaning with machine. I generally use ultrasonic bath, rinse with tap water then run it through Clearaudio machine at the end, zap any static with Furutech DeStat and that's that. I have also been thinking about Audiodesk system now that it seems that all the kinks had been worked out although a friend bought one last year that had to be sent back to Germany because something became loose inside.
I definitely like the idea of one button operation. Using ultrasonic bath and then cleaning machine becomes tedious after awhile especially when I get in a batch of used LPs.

The biggest effect I heard on an LP after cleaning though is Hassl record cleaner (sp?). Impressive looking machine, looks like a Rolls Royce of record cleaner with a price to match (if VPI is a Toyota equavalent). I heard it demo at a local show and a friend brought his LP that was well cleaned and we played it first then cleaned it with the machine and listen again and the difference was impressive.
I don't think the machine does anything much more than other cleaner but look and feel much much better. May be it is the cleaning solution. Unfortunately local dealer will only sell cleaning fluid to customer who bought the machine from them only so I will never know.
You should only use the audio deske solution in that machine. Speaking for myself, records I get and clean for the first time, I do it outside of the audio Deske. I use audio intelligent solutions with a mofi or disk doctor scrubber, clean and wipe both sides with a micro fibre towel then stick it in the Audio deske for final clean, rinse, dry. After that, I stick it directly into the audio desk when it needs to be cleaned again because of dust . The audio desk will not remove finger prints or pressing haze on new records. An enzymatic Pre scrub is needed.
I am considering the Audio Desk and have a Loricraft
Maybe I need to hold on to the Lori for enzamatics or final rinse
I dont use it on pristine records as it is so much work

Enjoyed your comparisons

How about utilizing both?

As your regimen is similar to mine (maybe somewhat based on mine?) I'd be very interested in your comparison. Please do post your findings. Thanks!

My thoughts are much like Audiotombs: use an Audio Desk (or similar) for most cleaning, to save time, but retain the Loricraft for final rinses and perhaps for pre-washing very dirty LP's so as not to contaminate the ultrasonic bath too quickly.
I too do a version of the Loricraft/AIVS regimen; there's no question it can do a great job and it is time consuming. You can never clean the same record twice so I'm a tad skeptical of listening tests, but I'd be interested to learn your findings. I suppose the bottom line is whether the Audio Desk can replace a vacuum-based machine. Two questions: How many records will the AD do before needing service and when will full service for it be available in the US?
I too do a version of the Loricraft/AIVS regimen; there's no question it can do a great job and it is time consuming. You can never clean the same record twice so I'm a tad skeptical of listening tests, but I'd be interested to learn your findings. I suppose the bottom line is whether the Audio Desk can replace a vacuum-based machine. Two questions: How many records will the AD do before needing service and when will full service for it be available in the US?

Some general info about those Machines:
Most think that speed/comfort is identical to superior cleaning. That is not true. You can't have all.
Some swear on various cleaning fluids and some think that their removal is key.
The fast ones
For example VPI, Nitty Gritty and all which are based on that design and the "next generation" Ultrasonic Machines.
They all do their job but after a while they reach their limit and it is done. When the lips are wet, the drying process is not able to clean the record in a way that it will be without noise. you have to clean it again later. The AD uses the same fluid again and again, through filters, but from the technical view it is not a final solution. Sooner or later most AD run into Problems, based on its technical Design.
The best ones
There was only one Design which solved all problems, that was the Keith Monks Design. The User can try all kinds of fluid, all he need is something which is able to move into the grooves. The removal is done with a point nozzle and high vacuuming power (it is simple Physics, sucking power per diameter) and the record is cleaned groove by groove and at the end it is always dry and clean (except the user flooded the record with so much fluid that it is too much for the nozzle, then he does it a 2. Time and it is done). But it is logic, that this kind of cleaning needs time. It was made for professionals who cleaned records all day long and needed the same superior result from the first record to the last.
Keith Monks passed away and Loricraft offered a cheaper copy (more or less) from this Design. There is also another one available in Germany, the Odyssey, it is from the former Monks Importer, same Design with a few improvements, but with superior technical parts.
In audiophile discussions there are a few directions (speed, price, cleaning solutions...) and of course, being owner of "the best". Like a car discussion. I think, it is more helpful to show, what is responsible for what and based on that knowledge, every reader can choose the unit which matches his ideas. I hope that my few lines will give some useful information about those units. Every unit is better than doing nothing or using a wet towel.
The Records
This is also important imo, some have problems from the pressing plant (modern Reissues for example), you can clean them 15x and you will still hear an improvement, but they will never run really silent. Based on that we have the endless discussions about cleaning fluids. I found the solution for myself: I trash them.
Older records can have groove damage, based on wrong VTF or defect diamond or bad Arm geometry.... then it is done, no way to improve them. Some have pops like mad, can be based on blisters in vinyl or the owner before used alcohol and that one removed the elastic parts in the groove walls. Then they are more or less defect too.
When you want to experiment, go for a normal, cheap, record, 80/90/100gr, made in the 70/80's, when they were sold in millions, you will find out, they run always quiet, they have a lot of dynamics and when they are dirty, you can use the cheapest fluid and after one run they sound like new again.
Firstly you need to clean the system so that it works and can do any of the job there.

chemdry rapid dry
I compared the Vinyl Cleaner and the VPI with a Delrin vacuum tube. The Delrin tube greatly improved the performance of the VPI with a much quicker and more effective vacuum in one pass. I had purchased it when my Loricraft drove me made taking about 25 minutes to clean one record with the four steps of the Walker Audio vinyl cleaners. I could do these four steps on each side in about seven minutes with better results. I used a USB microscope to view the grooves and what, if anything, was left there.

I used the Audio Desk which took me about one minute to setup and push the button and make sure the record was rotating properly. I then left and listened to music coming back later to inspect the grooves. Both the VPI and the Audio Desk left nothing behind. The Audio Desk was clearly the winner in terms of convenience.

Initially, I cleaned VPI cleaned records listened to them and then cleaned them with the Audio Desk and listened them again. I heard a modest improvement realitive to what I heard after playing new records, cleaning them, and then listened again. I repeatedly did this for a while and concluded it was real although beyond my understanding why. Then I decided to reclean albums that had only been cleaned with the Audio Desk using the VPI. I was glad I tried this as the second cleaning again sounded better???

I gave up on this as it was just too much for me to keep two cleaning machines and to clean everything twice. Since I could see nothing on any record cleaned with either machine, I have no idea why what might explain my findings.

At the last RMAF, I found the KL Audio ultrasonic cleaner. I liked it as it doesn't use a cleaning solution. Only distilled water is used and it has a more powerful ultrasonic source. I haven't done any comparisons but know of one where no substantial difference were noted. I think ultrasonics are here to stay.
Tbg, did you notice any sonic differences between the VPI and the Loricraft?
Peterayer, while I briefly had the VPI with the normal tube, yes, I noticed that the Loricraft cleaned better. But with the greater vacuum with the closer to the surface tube, the VPI was as good at removing ticks, etc. I did not have the USB microscope then. I really don't understand why VPI doesn't use Delrin.
You can test many US machines by checking to see if the surface of the solution stays flat or shows some rippling. Not the same as ripples in a lake though. US contained ripples will stand in place & disrupt a smooth surface. I don't know how powerful the record cleaning machines are, but the one I have for cleaning clocks is about 800 watts.

It might not hold an LP...tank size is 15x9x6. I know if I try it, there won't be any paper label left. Then, what detergent to use...
If I recall correctly, the Audio Desk is 24 watts and the other 200 watts.
Exactly, My motto: Listening, logic, & common sense.