Kl Audio LP200 ultrasonic record cleaner insights


I did a bit of research a few months ago on the Audio Desk ultrasonic cleaner and thats where I found out about the KL Audio CLN LP200unit. I was attracted to the much more powerful motor, no rollers to replace and using distilled water rather than a cleaner.

Let me start that I have a Loricraft and used the Walker 4 step program but shortened it to a clean\rinse setup. Still ten undivided minutes of your time a side to clean. After a while I didnt bother with mint or new records.

Table Galibier Gavia, Triplanar Arm, Zyx Universe cartridge

I have quckly and efficiently cleaned more records in 3 weeks than I have for the three years I have had the Loricraft. And it was hardly an inconvienance, not a major chore

I have cleaned a number of Walker\Loricraft records again with the KL Audio. The results are jaw dropping. Dead quiet, no static pops (sometimes dont even zerostat). The biggest issue is resolution, getting down and removing that last bit of material and the resolution, body, separation of instruments, timing, passion and air around the notes is enhanced. Modest pressing sound like audiophile. I have ran into a few noisy records, probably dug out by the last stylus but most everything else has been so overwhelming. Low level detail is to die for.

The machine is a tank. Everything impeccably manufacturered. You can set the ultrasonic to 1-5 minutes and the drying 2-4 minutes I spit out a record every 5 minutes while I watch tv from the next room. It drys very effectively but isnt that loud

This machine is not cheap at $4k but what it does is like a very serious component upgrade. Highly recommended for someone with a serious vinyl collection and setup
audiotomb
Worth every penny!
A group of friends and I bought KL at the same time and all of 5 of us are very happy with the units. Cleaning has never been better nor easier than with KL with pretty much zero maintenance except for changing water every once in awhile.
Count me as another immensely satisfied owner. It's been 4 months since the KLAudio arrived and it's a real pleasure to use. Combined with a Spin Clean , it's a complete cleaning system with no messing with cleaners/liquids.
I'm curious to know what you use the Spin Clean for when you own the KL. Thanks in advance.
Bill
Good question. I do not use the Spin Clean on new LPs. If you have garage sale condition records with surface grime , I find it beneficial to do a first clean with the Spin Clean followed by a 5 min cycle in the KLAudio.
I absolutely love it too - no magic potions to use and it gets the discs completely clean.

Good Listening

Peter
Received my Kl yesterday what a beast.
Immensely happy with this purchase after one night use.
The convenience and the "quietness" or lack of surface noise is better than previous cleaners that I have had.
Long weekend, rain in the forecast = listening time.
$4000 is a chunk ofmoney to me BUT I will be getting one of these when funds are acquired. I do not have any hesitation whatsoever. Currently using a NG MiniPro2 RCM.
I bought one of these recently too. Haven't used it much yet but waaay easier to use than a VPI. set it and walk away. Record surfaces are pristine when you hold the LP up to the light. Sonics much quieter.
It's the best record cleaning machine out there, IMO.
What Rockitman said x 2.
I bought a KLaudio earlier this year and I can't say I have experienced it’s superior cleaning ability as all of you have. When the first unit arrived, I followed the instructions carefully and filled it with distilled water. A few moments later I stepped into water on the floor, then I noticed that everything on the kitchen counter was soaking wet. I took the unit over the kitchen sink and notice it was leaking from the reservoir screw. I tried to remove the screw but to no avail. I took it back to the dealer. Several weeks later a new KLaudio arrived. This times no leaks. I have done before and after cleaning tests with KLaudio vs Spin Clean vs Nitty Gritty vs Manual “under the sink “cleaning; and I can't say definitively that Klaudio is superior. In each test case, after using the Klaudio, I still hear the clicks and pops just as before. Klaudio did not make a difference to me. I conducted each test with records that has no visible scratches, and was previously cleaned. I also tested records just purchased from the used record store. Still could not hear a difference using the Klaudio and the other cleaning methods. I also examined the Klaudio carefully to see if it was making bubbles in the water. I noticed that the bubbles were only on the left side of reservoir (facing the Klaudio), I don't know what that means. Please look at your Klaudio and tell me where the bubbles are concentrated.
I am not knocking Klaudio, I am just stating my experience. I will continue to use it and see if I am leaving out something.
Almandog, hmm that is very strange. The only thing I can think of is that the ultrasound may not be engaging. Did the machine make a loud buzzing noise? Once you put the LP in, you will hear the water pump working for few seconds filling in the water then ultrasonic will engage. One of my friend's unit had a strange problem in that he only had a low pitch buzzing noise instead of the usual high pitch buzzing noise and the LP was not really cleaned at all. All he had to do was unplugged the machine for half a minute or so to let the machine reset itself then everything was ok. If you have an annoying loud high pitch buzzing sound that you can hear from another room then the unit should be functioning properly.
The result for me was very obvious. Even after cleaning the LP with various fluid on conventional vaccuum machine, I consistantly get great result with KL. Unfortunately some ticks and pops are really from groove damage even if it is not visible with your eyes and there is no cleaning machine that will fix that.
I completely endorse Suteetat's comments. I have had my KLAudio for over 6 months and yes it does not remove every pop and crackle but the results I am getting are way superior to the Loricraft PRC 4 dlx I had earlier. For stubborn records I do a manual clean with an enzyme cleaner followed by a few whirls in a Spinclean and then a 5 min cycle in the KL. I can say with confidence this is the cleanest my vinyl has sounded in a decade.
Try unplugging the unit to see if you are getting the loud whooshing sound when the ultra sonic engages.
Best
Still could not hear a difference using the Klaudio and the other cleaning methods. I also examined the Klaudio carefully to see if it was making bubbles in the water. I noticed that the bubbles were only on the left side of reservoir (facing the Klaudio), I don't know what that means. Please look at your Klaudio and tell me where the bubbles are concentrated.

Probably you are right and the Klaudio can not do an improvement. Loricraft is a point nozzle design (or Keith Monks) and is very good.
Did you check your Diamond? Is it really clean? When there is gunk on it, it will reduce resolution drastically. There are also differences in the construction of the diamonds, some go deeper into the groove, some not. Some records have some gunk deep at their bottom, some not.
I think, the bubbles at the left side are not important, there is the water reservoir and when the cleaning starts, a part of it is pumped to the right side where the ultrasonic motors are. When the record is wet and you hear the buzz then it is working properly. The bubbles on the left side come from time to time when the water from the right side is pumped back to the left side.
Clicks and pops can have 3 reasons
a, dirt
b, pressing material from the process in the groove (reissues have that normally)
and
c, damage at the side walls from the grooves based on wrong cartridge adjustment, wrong VTF and some more reasons.

a, this can be solved with machines for 100%,
b, mainly no big hope, here nothing will really help, such a record will get clean sometimes but it is normally a minority
c, no hope. except a "primitive" cartridge with a round diamond (it can hide it)

Generally we can say, any cleaning can be done good/better/best when the record WAS perfect and later came dirt, smoke, coke, fat finger tips etc. into the grooves. That can be removed for 100%. But something from a melting process or defect carts ... here will the story of cleaning find an end. A lot of reissues are made with very soft vinyl, they are super sensitive to everything, records from the 80's for example are best of best, even with 60 or 80gr. Noise can also grow when someone used alcohol for cleaning, this can make the grooves dry and the noise will be endless.
Thanks for your comments.
I am using VPI Classic 3 TT with Ortofon Rondo Bronze cartridge. I clean it very often when I am listening. On the Klaudio, I do hear the loud buzzing sound from it while I am in another room. I even hear it with the door closed. I have started to do I preclean with Spinrite, before cleaning with Klaudio. I will take all your tips into consideration while I clean records next time. I will go to a record sale next weekend and get some more records. I will report back. Like I said before, I am not knocking Klaudio I just want to be sure that I get the most out of it.
I was at THE SHOW this weekend in New Port Beach and I stopped by Klaudio Booth. I spoke to them about my experience with the uint, and I got some good information from them about it. I even asked about the bubbles I mentioned before, and it is not an issue. I bought some used records at the show so I have to do some more cleaning to do. Klaudio also have two new accessories for the unit. There is an attachment to the unit that hold 5 LP and drop and remove each LP into the LP Slot after cleaning; this is done automatically after loading the 5 LPs. There is also an acrelic box (not really a box) that the Klaudio fits into, that has a power supply and two fans at the bottom of the box for cooling. There is a door that closes after you load the record and you can see the entire operation, but you can ahrdly hear the Klaudio after the door is shut. This is great for cleaning records in your listening room because of how quiet it gets.They did not have prices for these accessories.
Update:

Before cleaning the records I bought at The Show, I emptied the water from KLaudio. I took a clean piece of tissue to clean out reservoir and I could not believe what I saw. The tissue looked like mud was all over it. There was a lot of residue and brown muck in the reservoir. This means that the KLaudio is doing its job in getting muck from inside the recors groves. One thing I did motice is that Klaudio does not remove oil or finger print easily from the record. When I was cleaning the tecords, my finger soiled the record and I could see the big finger print that looks oily. I cleaned that record four times again and the finger print was still visible. Finally I took out my Spin Clean with some home made cleaning fluid and cleanes the record on it twice and I notice that about 90% of the finger print was gone. In fareness to KLaudio, they recommend that only plain water be used in the unit. Therefore I do not expect plain water to remove oil or finger print. By using the Spin Clean it clearly demonstrate to me that some chemical must be used to remove finger prints. I will use Spin Clean for finger print and oil from now on and Klaudio for deeper cleaning.
Good regiment Almandog. When I get my Klaudio I will keep my Nitty Gritty Minipro2 for enzyme cleaning.
One thing I did motice is that Klaudio does not remove oil or finger print easily from the record. When I was cleaning the tecords, my finger soiled the record and I could see the big finger print that looks oily. I cleaned that record four times again and the finger print was still visible.

This is where I wonder if the Audio Desk Systeme might do a better job cleaning than the KLAudio because the ADS unit uses a cleaning agent (surfactant?) and scrubs the record with its rollers.

Without claiming any science nor wanting to start a foodfight, it just 'seems like' cavitation + soap + scrubbing would do a better job than cavitation alone.

Who knows if that amounts to a practical difference.

 

06-06-14: Almandog
Update:

Before cleaning the records I bought at The Show, I emptied the water from KLaudio. I took a clean piece of tissue to clean out reservoir and I could not believe what I saw. The tissue looked like mud was all over it. There was a lot of residue and brown muck in the reservoir. This means that the KLaudio is doing its job in getting muck from inside the recors groves.....

I will use Spin Clean for finger print and oil from now on and Klaudio for deeper cleaning....


The best results (and also most reliable from the technical view) you will get the way you did describe. The mold should be removed with a machine which is able to do a good job, best is a point nozzle design. Then you can do a final Ultra Sonic clean. When I do it that way, the main gunk is in my Monks and when I do an additional run of that "pre-cleaned" Record in the Klaudio there is no more dirt in the reservoir.

But even when you are lazy and use the Klaudio only, deskilled water is cheap, a change of the fluid is easy. Btw. Fingerprints are uninteresting, that is a visual disturb only. The diamond of the cartridge tracks the inside the grooves, not their top. Of course, the ADS has advantages, but the time showed, it made too much problems and some did choose the Klaudio because they want something reliable. I am one of those. And the combination of a point nozzle + Klaudio is simply the best when you are serious in records.
Fingerprints are uninteresting, that is a visual disturb only.

Whether from fingerprints or otherwise, grease and oil are not unique to a record's surface and both attract dirt.

For the sake of balance, what I read is the current Audio Desk is quite reliable.
 
I use both methods- AIVS No. 15, plus lab water on an old VPI using MoFi
brush/pads, then into ultrasonic (I have the AD, which I bought just as the
KL was announced). I buy mostly used, older vinyl and have found that the
enzyme/agitation/lab water is necessary for records that have been
'handled' for 40 or 50 years. So, what started as a 'man, this is easy'
revelation when I first got an ultrasonic cleaner has now turned into an
even more involved, time consuming cleaning process, but my records
seem to be really clean, no static, no residue (following others, I've reduced
the amount of surfactant in the AD). I have a pretty good work flow, and
while one is in the US, I'm 'pre-cleaning' a couple more. I try to do 'batches'
of records, so i'm not constantly interrupting my listening to do record
cleaning.
Btw. I use below my Klaudio an isolation Platform....the serious mod for the haunted audiophile :-)
Michael Fremer's insights and comparisons to the Audio Desk

http://www.analogplanet.com/content/klaudio-kd-cln-lp200-ultransonic-record-cleaner-reviewed
http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue69/klaudio.htm
Clickable link to Myles Review

Excellent review Myles, In regards to the totally useless funnel that KL Supplies with the machine, just got to you local auto parts store and buy a 99C funnel with which you can fill the machine in less than a minute.

Good Listening

Peter
Thanks Peter! :)
Peter, I think it was on whatsbestforum that it was mentioned that you should not use larger funnel with KL. The reason for the smaller funnel supplied is to limit the flow rate. If you pour water too fast, there is a chance that some of the water may spilled inside into the area where it does not suppose to go and theoretically, you can get water on some circuit boards that are not supposed to get wet. At least that was the excuse, if I remember correctly. My unit arrived at the beginning of the year and it is a mark 2 version. KL is now shipping mk4 version. (don't know what mk3 involves) but mk 4 does come with a bigger funnel, a fan to cool water, supposedly the water get heated quite a bit if you clean a big batch of LPs in one setting and slight change to toggle switches etc. I think there is no blow only toggle switch now, you just set ultrasonic time to 0 for blow job only (sorry, could not resist :) ).
Suteetat is spot on and he is also right with the latest version (no blow only toggle switch). I love my funnel :-)
Suteetat, Syntax,

I think what they are concerned about is not that the waters getting in too fast, if you place the funnel so that is goes directly into the tank, through the enlarged round hole at the end of the slot on the top, it fills the tank at the rate your pouring it in, you can see that through the glass. I think their concern that you spill water on the top of the unit it can enter where its not supposed to go, which to me seems much more likely with the little funnel they used to supply.

Anyway It is great cleaner i truly enjoy mine.

Good Listening

Peter
Think of it as a vibrator for vinyl addicts...

Cheers!
Thanks for sharing the Myles review

I will add 2 minutes to my ultrasonic cleaning, maybe cut the drying short and clean it out a little more frequntly

The KL Audio is a real godsend

My already dynamic experience is so refined and dynamic
Cool results with Klaudio on a Vibration Platform & Powercord with Oyaide Plugs

Klaudio RCM
I had a number of different RCM started with VPI 17.5, Loricraft, Keith monk, Audio Desk, Amari RW-600 (Chinese copy of the Audio Desk). The most reliable RCM on the list the VPI 17.5, Loricraft, Keith Monk.Of these I place the Loricraft and Keith Monk as the cleanest in doing it's job.
As for the Audio Desk is the most unreliable machine on the planet I have had to send it back 6 times to the manufacture and every time he sends me a new machine, till the point it was costing me for shipment, that I sold it off, hear good things about it as reliable but most of these people are to proud to admit that their RCM have been giving problems either the earlier models serial number or the latest so call up grade had lots of problem. Same goes for the Amari RW-600 which I had 2 problems in a span of 6mths. That I ask for a replacement Amari RW-800 as a simple ultra sonic machine.
Oh! and one point I like to make is the Audio Desk and Amari RW-600 are not true Ultra sonic machine I have not found a transducer in any of the models. No ultra Sonic amplifiers, as compared to the KL Audio and the RW-800. I have ordered the KL Audio will be in next week. So will see how reliable their machines are.

my friend has an Audiodesk

he and I had talked about ultrasonics in passing

I went and did some research and bought a KLaudio

he comes to me to let me know he bought an Audio Desk

I told him about the Klaudio I had just bought -

he has had multiple problems and a number of records that come out not fully dry


the Klaudio is built like a tank

has more adjustments including dry only and much higher power


it's been two years for me and the Klaudio is wonderful

it really brings out low level detail and removes surface noise


enjoy