$3500 is asking much to much money just to clean lps. When a steamer for less than 40.00 bucks will do most likely the same job if not better.
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I did buy one only to have it fail just after the warrantee was over. The only way to get it fixed is that the Cable Company has to sent to Germany (which adds $350+) to the repair bill. Yes the unit cleans well, but not well enough to put up with the poor workmanship and build quality of the unit.
Suggest you save your money and get a VPI.
My perspective is different, so far. Mine is still under warranty and I've cleaned around 400 LPs with it. The only issue is sometimes a droplet or two of water left after the drying cycle. I use Nerl Reagent grade lab water in mine which leaves little to no residue after drying. The droplets I blot with a microfiber cloth if present and leave the LPs to sit in a plastic dish rack for a while so I know they're completely dry.
The big advantage here is the convenience. For me, that can't be overstated. I no longer waste weekend afternoons cleaning 10-12 records. Records no longer pile up waiting to be cleaned. It certainly doesn't hurt that they sound every bit as good as with my former labor intensive methods which included steaming. I also have essentially no problem with static anymore until I pull out an LP that was done on my VPI cleaner.
So yeah, it's pricey and I assume it will need repair at some point, most everything does and this is a complex device. I'll gladly do what it takes to keep it going though. I can honestly say that no piece of audio equipment I've ever purchased has changed my life for the better to this degree.
It depends on how many records you have to clean. I have had my Audio Desk Systeme for about 10 months and cleaned about 610 records and still cleaning, another 2400 to go. Yes it is an expensive outlay but if you cost it per record it is not bad and as Sonofjim remarks it is very convenient. It will keep going for ever so you can clean a large batch of records in one sitting. I have replaced the scrubbers because it is recommended but it did not have a noticeable effect on the cleaning, but when I washed the old scrubbers the amount of gunge that came off them was tremendous.
I find that the machine does a remarkable job both from a static and cleanliness point of view I find that I do not have to clean my stylus after every side and the sound? well there seems to be more music in the grooves. I played a record after being washed with my Nitty Gritty, washed it again with the ADS and the improvement was palpable.
Yes it sometimes leaves drops of the liquid on the record after the cleaning but I find that that normally happens when it is very humid. I also just play the record with the drops and doesn't seem to have any adverse effect.
All in all I'm very pleased with mine and I find after all the money I have spent on the hard ware this component makes sure that my soft ware is of a similar high standing.
Hope above helps.
I have the Audio Desk Systeme and am very happy with its performance, convenience, and ease of use. Most importantly it lets me listen to more music while spending less time cleaning records.
Regarding sometimes getting a few drops of fluid on the record after the end of a cycle- I read about a simple but effective tweak which removed those stubborn drops. Simply pull out the 2 white squeegee wipers with tweezers. Get 2 wire ties with the paper commonly used to tie plastic bags. Put a wire tie with the paper intact on the rear side of each wiper and reinsert. The extra width of the wire tie will make the wipers come in slightly closer to the record. Also, after every 50 or so cleanings, reverse the direction of the wiper so the upcurve of the wiper now points downward, and use this way for approx. 50 cleanings, then reverse again. Use the wire ties each time.
I got my Audio Desk cleaner last night. Got it home and by 7 am cleaned more records than I have ever done in 2 months. I am extemely happy. It works so well and so easy I am waiting for something to happen, nothing ever works this good. I am really surprised how much cleaner they are than the VPI with triple wash. That being said, the VPI is great as well and if you do not have a RCM and cost is an issue I strongly recommend the VPI.
Cleaned over 100 records the first 24 hours of owning mine. Two friends are going to get one after listening and a/b,ing some bad records. Even new vinyl sounds better. I have only had to use more than the lowest cleaning amount on three records. There is no way i could go back to my VPI 17F after using this. Even If it didnt perform better than my VPI I still think its worth it because its just so darn easy.
I had an early model unit that had some issues but recently got a new production replacement unit. The new unit runs much smoother and quieter than the early model I had. Obviously some improvements have been made. I have cleaned about 50 records on this one so far and it is such a pleasure to use. Really adds to the analog enjoyment when you don't have to commit several hours to cleaning records.
I've been using mine with just reagent grade water and no additive at all. I used the supplied additive until it was gone. I find it to work just as well or better without it. I certainly may try the additive again and wouldn't recommend experimenting with other additives. I think I would only use reagent grade water if going with no additive. Because of it's purity it's a very powerful solvent(actually would be dangerous for consumption, not that you would ever drink it). It also leaves no residue behind. Not so sure about residue from the additive. I know both ways work very well. For now I figure simpler(and cheaper) is better.
Before investing tons of money, I would try Spin Clean Record Washer ($80) and wood glue method (Franklin International 5005 Titebond II Premium Wood Glue, $12 for 32oz, good for cleaning 100+ LPs).
For LPs looking clean but generating pops and other noises, I use wood glue.
For LPs looking seriously dirty, I first use Spin Clean and then wood glue.
2/3 of salvaged records (bought bulk from eBay and garage sales) turned out to be very listenable with these two methods. I also use roller cleaner (In the Groove Record Cleaner) each time before playing.
It sounds like the manufacturer has worked out a lot of kinks that plagued the earlier versions of the product. It might be of interest to many of the AD cleaner owners that Jim Pendleton of Osage Audio, the designer of the AIVS record cleaning solutions, is actually in the process of developing an enzyme-based concentrate for ultrasonic cleaning machines. It uses the same philosophy as the existing AIVS products, which means that it is safe and effective and doesnt contain any lubricants or coating components. I recently spoke with Jim and he's actually looking for testers willing to try his solution with their AD cleaner. I thought I'd share this with other A-gon members who might be interested in working with Jim. He is a great guy and his products have always been top quality. I have no doubt that he's again about to offer a great product. I'd urge anyone interested to send Jim an email as he was concerned with a lack of interest in cleaning solutions for ultrasonic cleaners.
I have had this cleaner for a few weeks now. I don't think it cleans any better than my Clearaudio cleaner. This cleaner did not remove pops like Michael Fremer said. I now know why he said that probably got his cleaner for a few dollars. I like this because it does both sides and there is no effort by me. Yes I think it is great, but no better than my Clearaudio.
JWM, seems to me, you can tell that the transducer is working based on the physical and audible improvements after cleaning.
After listening to a few noisy albums at your house before cleaning, then hearing them after cleaning, everyone in the room agreed, there was a HUGE improvement. Not only that, the albums looked so shiny and squeaky clean!
My only concern, after washing several dirty albums, seems like the water in the holding tank would get pretty nasty, contaminating future albums being cleaned. I guess there's supposed to be a filter inside but I'd like to see more info on how it works and how effective it is.
Look at the solids ppm content of aquafina. It is perfectly appropriate for this application. You will be inducing more filth onto your record as it passes through the air from the cleaner to the sleeve. I thought about using some audiophile approved reagent water and then I did the math...someday I may try it just for kicks.
Had I known I could have purchased 5G for $40 (and it's on sale!!) I probably would have although it is still, IMO, completely unnecessary. How much purer can it possibly be than 4ppm? 2? 1ppm? I guarantee the filter in this unit will not get you even remotely close to this figure after one record wash. How much junk is embedded into the grooves after the drying cycle? There is a thin screen over the fan that cannot possibly filter the air very well. The more I think about it, the better I feel about that extra $37 in my pocket or record collection. The AD works great. Is it perfect? No.
I just recently purchased the Audio Desk machine. I am very impressed with the performance of the machine. I just love how quick and quiet it cleans records. I also own a Loricraft and use AI record cleaning fluids. Both are great products and together give excellent results. The Audio Desk system also gives excellent results but requires much less time. A new album cleaning takes 30 minutes with the Loricraft using AI's 3 step process. The Audio Desk system takes 5 minutes and does just as good or in my opinion a better job with its one step process. The album is clean and static free.
I purchased my machine from Gene Rubin Audio. Gene is a great person to deal with. He has the machine in stock. I asked him about the reliability of the machine and he told me he has sold over 50 machines this year and not one complaint or return for service. So it looks like the issues that Audio Desk had with the early versions of the machine have been solved.
Yes the machine is not cheap. It is an investment, but one you will appreciate the first time you listen to a truly clean record!
I just picked up an Audio Desk a few days ago and let me tell you at an early stage I am absolutely loving this thing! I have been a happy, if somewhat tired, user of a Loricraft PRC3 for the past 2 years and a VPI HW-16.5 prior to that. The Loricraft in particular is an excellent machine and if you don't mind hovering over it for long periods of time then is difficult to beat. However, the convenience of the AD just cannot be overlooked.
Allow me to relate my story. I have stacks and stacks of vinyl purchased over the past few years and as-yet-unlistened. The reason? I absolutely insist on cleaning all vinyl new or used for both sonics and preservation of the cartridge - and I find myself less and less able to clean records - what with work and home life with two young children. Within the first 24 hours of owning the AD I already cleaned more vinyl than I had over the past few months with the Loricraft. Listened to a few of the records which had just been sitting there for years and one in particular absolutely knocked me off my socks.
The AD has already changed my listening habits. No longer do I have to plan a cleaning session - I can clean whatever album I choose while tending to other tasks. Heck, I can just choose an album spur-of-the-moment, pop it in the AD while the tubes are warming up and I tend to other matters - then come back to a clean slab of vinyl and warm tubes. It really is a god-send.
Now...I can only hope that all the kinks we read about in the earlier runs have been worked out and I can enjoy many years of headache-free clean records!
I have VPI 17F & Lorricraft PRC4. A real pain to use. Purchased a Audio desk RCM after reading so much raved about the ease of use. it has its disadvantages . 1 of it is that on thin LP, some fluid will be left on the LP due to the non adjustable gap of the plastic slits that u put the LP thru. Hence you will need to air dry thin LPs. However the convenience of use far outweigh such minor issue. Unfortunately after cleaning prob about 120-150 LPs, my RCM developed a problem. It's not able to pump fluid into the reservoir to soak the LP. Looks like Audio Desk has not solve its reliability problem. There were a couple of audio desk purchasers and the 2 in usage , both developed problem. Still waiting for dealer to get back to me to solve the problem which looks like a motor failure to me.
I too chose the Klaudio machine (no problems heard of from other owners, and nothing more to buy) and am thrilled with the results. I use RO water from my kitchen sink, no additional cost. Dump and refill whenever I think it's time-usually about 50 records. Being located in an adjacent room, I can listen to music while the next LP is being cleaned, a fabulous advantage! And, NO static electricity, major!
I second Wntrmute. DIY for less money.
I spent half the potential savings on an industrial grade 80 KHz machine, which puts more energy into tiny crevasses (like record grooves). The improvement over the 16.5 is huge - one Archiv record went from unlistenably noisy to averagely quiet.
Can't bear to think of what those (relatively) filthy records were doing to my expensive styli before - but never again.
I do have a sort of DIY ultrasonic cleaner. I don't really know the Hz or how many watts it has. A local ultrasonic manufacture made one for me after I told them how big a bath I want. Basically big enough to submerge the whole LP with label cover. All I know is that it has 4 ultrasonic heads as the guy told me that I would need 4 for the amount of water capacity in the bath. It does a pretty good job in comparison to standard vaccuum machine but still a pain to have to take the LP out and use my record cleaner to dry the LP then use Furutech antistatic fan at the end.
For whatever reason, KLaudio unit which arrived a few days ago did a much better cleaning job than my DIY ultrasonic unit in less than half the time and is actually quite a bit more quiet. So my lesson is that not all ultrasonic bath are created equal unfortunately.
Now I have a giantic ultrasonic bath that is still really good to clean my glasses and wrist watch strap but not for my LPs anymore :)
My US cleaning process is:
1. ultrasonic bath, 15 minutes
2. reverse osmosis rinse
3. distilled water rinse
4. air dry
A simple frame with slow motor provides for the cleaning of 4 records at a time.
Total cost: a bit more than 2K.
Suteetat, the fact that your unit is noisy suggests that it operates at a lower frequency. Have you considered asking your manufacturer to increase the frequency to 80 KHz or more? Also, have you considered moving the record in the bath with a motor, so that no part of the record sits in a low energy dead spot for very long?
I have the Audio Desk and the KLaudio, both do a great job but to be sure exactly how much they differ, I must do more testing.
My overall impression with only a few days experience and half a dozen LPs, the KLaudio seems to be a bit more effective. By effective I mean the sound is a bit more transparent and background noise and pops are diminished.
Construction of each is good but the KLaudio is industrial strength and quality and after setting it up I understand why it has those super duty handles on each end. Very heavy, very well made and very fine finish.
The KLaudio is louder than the Audio Desk. I can actually hear the water being churned by the ultrasonic action, a high frequency vibration that hints at the power at the heart of the cleaning mechanism.
A couple of LPs I tested had previously been cleaned with VPI 17F, Odyssey RCM (German Keith Monks) and the Audio Desk became quieter after running through the KLaudio.
I also tested a couple of new LPs, fresh out of the jacket with the Audio Desk and KLaudio to see if the results repeated.
Both the clean and dry cycle times are adjustable on the KLaudio and when it's complete there is absolutely no trace of moisture. In fact the dry cycle can be run by itself, so if you clean an LP with the Audio Desk and it comes out with drips, you can run it through the KLaudio dry phase and it comes out spotless.
I'll likely have a stronger opinion after more LPs are cleaned but I think the Audio Desk and KLaudio are the best record cleaning machines on the market.
I thought of that and used a couple of double LPs (Music Matters Jazz titles 45 RPM). First disc on Audio Desk, second on KLaudio and then reverse after a few days of relaxed listening.
I do agree with your comment that the more you clean the better you get but there are subtle differences and at this level of cleaning machine that's all we have to cling to.