There is a very long informative thread on the Hoffman forum devoted to the Degritter that you might find helpful. Apologies if this is inappropriate diversion.
I am an early adopter of the Degritter. Previously employed a VPI 16.5 machine for 10 years with an intensive 3 step process including three separate wands to prevent cross contamination. The time and focus involved to properly complete a cleaning was significant. The Degritter eliminated my personal time involvement and produced a similar or superior outcome. All records are cleaned one time when acquired, even brand new, before being played. I had an issue with the machine just after the warranty period expired and Degritter took care of the problem ultimately supplying me a new machine. Recently upgraded to the newest software and now enjoy the ability to easily change out the wash tank for my additional rinse tank. Very useful in certain cleaning situations. The Degritter performs its job very well, freed up my time, and has excellent company support with ongoing development. It was a significant investment for me at the time I purchased it but one I have not regretted since the first record was cleaned.
Couple things to observe: one, using these devices as workhorses may lead to failure. It depends on how heavily you rely on them. Note questions in the thread I mentioned above about transducer life.
Some folks will use these machines as their sole cleaning method, typically for new or pristine records. In other instances, a pre-clean is involved, particularly with used or older records. That can be done manually and then rinsed with some sort of "pure" (distilled, D/I, etc.) water. I use a vacuum machine as my main cleaning tool-- a big Monks (Omni- with thread). The ultrasonic is then used to complement the results. The combined methods are synergistic. If a valuable old record in need, I will finish with a rinse step on the Monks, rather than air dry, which is often how the made for LP machines dry the record.
The other concern to think about is whether you want to use a surfactant in the ultrasonic bath. If you do, you should also give thought to how you will remove any residue of chemistry. A few folks have gone the route of multiple baths- the DeGritter allows you to switch out tanks, but having not used it (I have a KL with no surfactant), I have to imagine some residue of the chemistry will appear in the "rinse" bath. The other alternative is rinse/vacuum outside of the ultrasonic bath. Some folks may not hear any sonic signature from the surfactant. There are also various filtering methods, but I’m not sure those are meant so much to purify the rinse bath of surfactants, but instead to remove any grit, grime or detritus that was removed from the record.
Neil Antin has written extensively about this-- I published his work so I’m biased, but it is available for free. Neil also posts to the ’Gon. @antinn
The point here isn’t to overwhelm you with work, or to complexify the subject. There are good practices, in chemistry, materials science and the like that Neil has pulled together across various disciplines.
There is obviously a desire for simple, one button, no touch record cleaning. Convenience and "good enough" as well as cost may be factors.
If you spend the time to research this and work with the records to compare results, you’ll find a work flow that suits your needs. You don’t have to spend big bucks to do this, but like anything, cheap, good and robust is hard--it’s usually two out of three. And my impression--simply my personal observation- is that right now, the DeGritter is "the one" in the made for LP ultrasonic cleaning machines. But there can be field failures in all of these devices. Transducers and motors cannot last forever.
PS: @grislybutter for me, once a record is effectively cleaned there is no reason to reclean unless you get fingerprints on the playing surface. Touch ups can be done using some relatively easy to buy material that takes a few seconds. I don't use dry brushes.
Thanks so much everyone for your input. Some very in depth advice. That's why I choose this forum. I don't believe the unit will be overused. Just personal attention to certain records. I've developed a nice routine with the Okki but so much has been observed in reviews of the Degritter enhancing listening experience. Just a shot in the dark to hear yinz guys opinions. Good cheers to you.
Like @grislybutter I am interested to know how many here hear contamination and surface noise on most of their records. @juanmanuelfangioii says he cleans every record each time he plays it - Juan Manuel, why not play one without cleaning first and see if you hear noise.
I have used a Nitty Gritty for many years. If I hear noise when playing a disc, I clean that disc. I then put it in a fresh Nagaoka inner sleeve so I know I've cleaned it. I guess I have cleaned about 25% of my LPs, most of which were purchased used.
Do you know what? I hardly ever hear noise again on the cleaned records. I have very rarely had to clean one a second time.
Don't be obsessive. If you can't hear noise, why worry? It might be said that contamination at a level that cannot be heard might damage the records. Well I have had some for over 60 years and see and hear no damage.
When I bought my ultrasonic machine
i consulted with someone who washes record
for a living. He directed me to the Elmasonic P60H
and a “record stack” rotisserie .This machine
sweeps in two klh. 30 and 80. 15 minutes of rotation
Then remove the record and rinse with a Neilmeds bottle of
distilled water. Let air dry in 20 minutes and enjoy.
please let me know if you would like my cleaning solution recipe
really simple and cheap
Good luck Willy -T
Hey there everyone please play nice 🙂. Simple ask and I appreciate all the advice.
I'm a firm believer cleaning all records old or new. At least once. There's been a minute few that I've cleaned more than once. The Degritter is something I've considered to use one time per listen. I keep all vinyl in proper sleeves and stored properly. It's not rocket science....yet.
The purpose of record cleaning is to purify the sound. Before there is obvious noise, there may be enough distortion in the tone quality, space, etc. With amplifiers there is no obvious noise, but euphonic amps distort the tone in various ways that have nothing to do with noise artifacts. Perhaps a dirty record is a similar phenomenon.