Michael Fremer's record cleaning process....


Many years ago (say 15??) Michael Fremer recommend his way of cleaning vinyl records. It was a process that started with the VPI cleaner and solutions and finishing with some dry pads (don’t remember the name) and another run on the VPI (I think). Does anyone remember the process??
P.S. I checked his site and don't see it there?

Thanks!!!

RWD (Rick)
rwd
It was an old piece that Fremer had republished from another
writer, as I recall, using Orbitrac(k) pads, and perhaps
even a fluid that is no longer made. I can try to find you a
link because it was on his AnalogPlanet site. I believe
Fremer mainly uses the Audiodesk ultrasonic these days, but
may be wrong. PS: I'd give you the link but am in the midst
of some Internet issues here. It is called "The most
comprehensive record cleaning article ever! and the author
was michael wayne. it is on the analog planet site, but a
search of Fremer's site under 'cleaning' should pull it up
if it doesn't show up in an open search on the intraweb.
We know a lot of what Michael Fremer does and how, but do we actually know it all?
How Michael Fremer starts date?
Here is the article:

The most comprehensive record cleaning article ever!
I think he's moved on to a Keith Monks machine.
The problem with his method/s is really not the equipment but the (time factor) involved in doing it right. He seems to be stretched so thin, I don't think he really has the time to clean records accurately & effectively. Also, the time factor really interferes with his reviewing IMO.

I've found my best way and that's all that matters to me.
He has really done a great job marketing himself. It's funny as there are so many ways to clean your vinyl now days. I've heard the difference between any ultrasonic cleaner and most of the vacuum methods up to the Monks machines. I'd take the US cleaner any day of the week. I made my own I liked it so much. Most I know will say the same thing. IF you have a vacuum cleaner and your US doesn't, then you can run the record on the vacuum after you run it through the US bath. There is a great DIY site on making you own machine easily as well as on making your own fluids. A simple DIY distilled water with prof grade alcohol and an Ilford agent is working as well as any other fluid I've used or seen used. Once clean it doesn't take forever to keep them clean to play. It's usually just the initial cleaning and then you can just keep up with it and use a carbon brush in between baths. I've noticed a large difference in sound stage, deep bass and a MUCH lower noise floor (hence the sound stage being larger etc..). JMHO
Hey CT...does this link go to the DIY site you had in mind?

Tried makeup tags to make it clickable but got "page not found". Copy and
paste with the below works.

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/analogue-source/218276-my-version-
ultrasonic-record-cleaner.html
I give Fremer credit for keeping the vinyl torch burning (sorry for the mixed metaphor) during the nadir of the medium. And he does seem to have endless energy, running to shows, writing for Stereophile, keeping up the Analog Planet site, and doing presentations, etc.
As to cleaning, agree there are countless methods. I found the US doesn't completely do the job on old, grotty vinyl. So I use it in combination with the Monks.
So little time, so much music still to be listened too.
Still managed to get things muddled...try this link (and that should have been MARKup tags)

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/analogue-source/218276-my-version-ultrasonic-record-cleaner.html
Why? ... do you seem to give MF "slack"??

He is, suppose to be the "guy" that should bring us the latest and greatest? He's been wrong, SO many times.

I thank him for his passion, his dedication and his ongoing motivation in bringing us all things analog!!!

He is stretched too thin , however.

Why is it not time to discover things for ourselves???

Wow! His latest review of Dave & Phil's "Common Ground"!

He was wrong, so wrong! (again)
Slaw, because one day he proved to have the best ear on planet.
Here is the link for the first page. It's a long read, but if you are into this, then it's a fun read. I agree about one method isn't best for all, however like I said, once you get things clean, THEN it's easy to keep them that way.

If you read my post, I mentioned IF you have a VC, then use it with the US. Before or after??? Try each way as you won't hurt your records if you are using a cleaner that is 80hz, 60hz, 40hz or a combo of any of them.

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/analogue-source/218276-my-version-ultrasonic-record-cleaner.html
Fremer has been a good advocate for the analog cause
He is one of us

At one point he was too much a cheerleader for whatever came out on
vinyl. Now with many comments from listeners and the Steve Hoffman
forum, he has become more objective - comparing current "highly
toted" releases with original pressings etc. this has helped me decide
whether to spring for that touted remaster, realize my great sounding
version is ideal, upgrade to a new pressing, or seek out an original.

I also have an Ultrasonic cleaner but went with the KL Audio for many
reasons. Fremer tried to downgrade that machine and scare people into
thinking it could pit their records when it utilizes the same principles but is
better executed. He owns an audiodesk - which was the first US
commercially available and he is supported by their advertising.

I kept a Loricraft for rare heavy duty cleaning. The ultrasonic is such a
revolution in noise floor, lack of pops and static, low level resolution,
imaging, body around the instruments and separation.

Unfortunately it is $4k. I wish more could experience it.
He's been been an advocate of analog but only up to a point. As long ago as 2001 - fourteen years ago! - he declared that at CES that five really big systems that were located in the brand new Tuscany Hotel that year of them were the best sounding systems at the show. Of those five systems four were digital. There was a huge Wilson room, a huge Walker Audio (analog) and Kharma room, a Pipe Dreams room, and the room with Tenors driving the monster Rockport Hyperion speakers. I forget the fifth room Those were really big expensive rooms on the order of 50 by 50 feet.
You're kidding right Jeff? That's proof of him cavorting with the dark side? (In fact, I think you are the first to ever accuse Mikey of that egregious crime!) That was a show report. Talk about taking things totally out of context and cherry picking. Let's simply ignore 40 years worth of what Mikey wrote for TAS, Stereophile, Music Angle, etc. about analog. Read one of one of his latest columns where he snidely commented about switching from his analog to his digital front-end and suddenly wanting to clean the house. Sheshhhhhhhhh.....
It was a show report? Ooops, my bad!

:-)
Well spoken Dr. Astor.
There are some silly posts here in need of correction/clarification:

First of all, I never wrote that the KLAUDIO machine "pits" records. You can read the review here for yourself:

http://www.analogplanet.com/content/klaudio-kd-cln-lp200-ultransonic-record-cleaner-reviewed

The inference that anything I do write is ad driven is offensive and just plain idiotic. Right: I'll sell my credibility for an ad. If you believe that...well fine, enjoy...

Had the KLAUDIO arrived first I'd have bought that. It is better built and had some better features. However I continue to prefer the roller fluid applicators and the mild surfactant that the KLAUDIO warns against using BUT both are great.

Let's see what else I've "learned" thanks to this thread:

I use a Keith Monks machine (not true).
I use an elaborate cleaning regimen that takes forever and described it in a story I wrote (not true).

The great part of this thread is that others first corrected these errors.

But one last thing: someone wrote that I have done a "...great job marketing myelf."

Nothing could be further from the truth. I have NEVER "marketed" myself. Ever. Wherever I am in this business (and that place is for others to judge) is simply the result of how people have responded to what I've written for all of these many (I started at TAS in 1986) years and nothing more. I had no "game plan", "20 year plan", or any kind of ambition in this business.

I did, however, believe when I started that vinyl is the most musically satisfying format to sit down and listen to and I still do. So I advocated that, even though I was advised by all that I would be heading towards a dead end....

So all i can say is that the best part of wherever it is that I am (and from what I can see it's a pretty good place!) is the result of how others read me and not because of anything willful on my part...
Getting back to Rwd's original post, MF is mostly reporting on individual record cleaners. He isn't taking a thoughtful amount of time to think through a "best process". Judging his record cleaning process for expediency/efficiency, I'd say he's basically right. (This goes to the heart of my post that he's really over stretched himself). He's way too much involved in everything analog to give us the "ONE BEST" way to clean vinyl. (I watched a video of him setting up a system and comparing the Buffalo Springfield lp, (different pressings). I believe it was then or in another video, regarding adjusting VTA for different records, he said something to the effect of "I do have a life", this meant that he didn't worry about this aspect any longer. This coming from the man that makes such a big deal about SRA. Come on!

We are better served by our own conclusions in the end.

The first and only "best way" is to be able to give time and (enjoy this) time cleaning your records. Without this, everything else is not very accurate. I figured out long ago that, in order to be involved in analog, in any serious way, you have to be able to put in the time, the expense and have the ability to come to your own best conclusions (while observing what others do) in order to have your "best way" to do anything.
Some great comments!!! Thank you!
Slaw: with due respect, the older I have gotten, the less I believe that there is "one best" anything- writer, cleaning method, record, etc. (Frogman did you a solid in response to your 'extraordinary recordings thread' in a somewhat similar vein). FWIW, you refer to MFremer in the third person in your last post, when 'Grooves' who directly addressed some of your comments immediately above, is M Fremer. Perhaps you didn't know that.....
Whart: To begin with, I made my latest comment in advance of when "Grooves" comment posted, so as usual, Audiogon's timimg is off.

I am a proponent of discovering, all things analog for one's-self. I really didn't find that Grooves comments in any way differentiated with mine. Regarding Frogman doing me a "solid", you'll have to address your inference to him. I do think he makes a valid point that otherwise is forgotten. This, in no way affects/affected my decision to keep 'El Camino" on my list of Extraordinary Recordings On Vinyl". (deluxe version). In fact, if you'd had an issue with it, I would have been glad to address that at the appropriate time. Since you waited until a later/different post to bring it up, I must assume there is another issue on your mind.

I have wondered and find it somewhat odd that when I post anything recently that Qdrone responds to, you are there with a response. Any connection?

Since you brought up Frogman's (solid), I feel that I have a precident as well.

I think a major point to bring up here is Grooves recommendation of ( The Beatles Mono Box, "Revolver". I find it to be the lesser, sonically of say SGT. Peppers, or MMT. Of coarse I don't have a mono cart. The soundstage is closed in by comparison. We surely can discuss it further. If then I'm pointed out to be wrong, I'll ADMIT IT! ( unlike others here).
Whart: Since you brought it up, can you explain from your own experience, (your) reasoning for (your obvious different conclusion) to the Black Keys "El Camino" , original pressing vs the deluxe pressing and how you seem to arrive at your this conclusion given the state of our hobby/analog/digital vs what's currently out there for our consumsion?
I have no personal relationship with anyone one on this or any other site.
FWIW: I see MF as a veteran of analog who, undoubtably knows most about those issues and about pressing issues that I will ever achieve! As I said, I respect him, his journey , and his thought process... does this mean that I should "bow down" to his every conclusion? Hell no!

All I'm saying and all I've said is that "one" should thoughtfully figure these things out for themselves , all the while taking the reviewer's thoughts into consideration. I think some or maybe even most, take the reviewer's comments a "gospel" and disregard the majority of us out here putting in our time, our expense, our blood, sweat & tears into this hobby, only to ultimately find a different conclusion from the "Gods" of audio.
Charivey: With all due respect, IMO, that was a thoughtless comment!...

... you're obviously relenting to another's thoughts on what you should be hearing....
Whart and others: In spite of my knowing, very well, the sonic differences between "Revovler" (The Beatles MONO Box) and Sgt. Peppers or MMT, and now '"Rubber Soul", (I just listened to RS vs Revolver, again). All I know is what I hear, not what others want me to hear. The difference is obvious, Revolver is a notch below the others I mentioned in overall sonic terms and in soundstage "fullness and realism"! No question about it!
Past reviewer's wrong doings':

Classic Records:

Their rave reviews of these:

(1) "CSN"
(2) "Who's Next"
(3) "Abraxsas" (the last interation on MFSL) haven't heard the 45 rpm.

Should I proceed?

Some people ARE paying attention.
In the midst of all of this, I offer to you, a recommendation: (Hopefully it's still available on vinyl)

The Last Shadow Puppets " The Age Of The Understatement"

highly recommended
About 18 or so years ago, I popped in the Joule Electra/Merlin room @ CES. Michael was in there, and pulled out the 45rpm Stairway to Heaven. It was pretty incredible sounding, and of course I bought the Classic 200 gram box, which came with 45. I already had all the Classics in 180 gram, but I just had to have that 45. He was such a humble guy, and he truly keeps the vinyl torch lit. Let's face it, guys like Michael and Chad truly make a difference. Very cool stuff guys, and please keep it up. Cheers -Don
Fjm04: Point taken .. but that hasn't been my point all along. It still seems most are having a conflict with the reviews that they (reviewers) want us to depend upon regarding what they are hearing (In their state-of-the art systems) vs, what I hear. There will/can be, ultimately, major component purchasing decisions that may follow? Correct me if I'm wrong?... did you just say 18 years ago?

Still, Did I just read how Fjn04 states he is now, 18 years later, up to date, or even what his current reference regarding the two lps he pointed out from 18 years ago sounds now?. Yes, I can even now, 18 years or not, let anyone who graces my listening room hear a difference between a well recorded 33 rpm lp vs the same well recorded 45 rpm lp. (I just stated that recently in another thread, regarding the Holly Cole "Romantically Helpless" lp on Groovenote, 33rpm vs 45 rpm). I don't need a life long analog expert to point this out to me! I can find this out for myself! Which has been 'my point" all aong people!
Whart: Also remember that Black Keys is a two person band! Which kind of goes towards Frogman's comment, I presume.
Whart: If by your comment earlier, RE: "Frogman did me a soild", should mean I need another member to defend me in any way, that needs to be squashed right now! It seems to me, that when I ask the important/relevant questions, there's no response. Let's end that crap right now!
Michael Fremer's tutorials basically say "this is how I do it".
I see no problem and appreciate having him. He is a big help to all of us.
Isochriism: Again, everyone is really not understanding the point I keep making.

Whart: Since you chose to say that another member gave me a pass on the "El Camino", I'd like to hear your review of the lp that started it all... Ric Ocasek "This Side Of Paradise".

Also, I've made several posts earlier that are not available to be read yet.
It's one thing to talk the talk, another to walk the walk. I've walked the walked, all by myself and am armed and ready to defend my positions on my own, thank you very much!
It's one thing to talk the talk, another to walk the walk. I've walked the walked, all by myself and am armed and ready to defend my positions on my own, thank you very much!
Frankly, I'd love to have MF over for at least one day, just to listen. My only concern/question would be in the nature of "best sounding pressings". That's all. I really think he'd be impressed.
Whart: Please explain for me, why you just stated, (something like) "Frogman gave you a solid",...

I really feel that statements such as these, without "personal backup" of those statements, serve only to "stir the pot" rather than reach a valid conclusion! Would you not agree? Kind of reminds me of Qdrones comments? Hey?
I've got the time, I've got the will, I've got the collection, I've got the (personal) experience,I've got nothing to lose. (Except maybe that most here seem to want to have other's experience as their reference! I have my own experience as my reference!!
Slaw: I'm frankly a little confused by your serial comments. I don't remember saying anything about El Camino, but my recollection is, it was a horrible recording, and deliberately so- to give it that garage/lo-rent sound. If I remember, it was the Danger Mouse behind the wheel on that one. He's done some good music, e.g Gnarls Barkley, but I've never listened to it on my rig (I actually have a vinyl copy of The Odd Couple, but haven't gotten around to playing it yet). Also have nothing to offer on Ric Ocasek- a friend represented The Cars back in the day, and I remember that their first album was great, but haven't heard it in years.
As to my comment about Frogman, I think his point, and mine, is that you can discuss music without making it a competition or a 'right or wrong' proposition. I hope that's OK, since I'm really not interested in arguing any of this.
There are some silly posts here in need of correction/clarification:

First of all, I never wrote that the KLAUDIO machine "pits" records. You can read the review here for yourself:

http://www.analogplanet.com/content/klaudio-kd-cln-lp200-ultransonic-record-cleaner-reviewed

The inference that anything I do write is ad driven is offensive and just plain idiotic. Right: I'll sell my credibility for an ad. If you believe that...well fine, enjoy...

Had the KLAUDIO arrived first I'd have bought that. It is better built and had some better features. However I continue to prefer the roller fluid applicators and the mild surfactant that the KLAUDIO warns against using BUT both are great.

Let's see what else I've "learned" thanks to this thread:

I use a Keith Monks machine (not true).
I use an elaborate cleaning regimen that takes forever and described it in a story I wrote (not true).

The great part of this thread is that others first corrected these errors.

But one last thing: someone wrote that I have done a "...great job marketing myelf."

Nothing could be further from the truth. I have NEVER "marketed" myself. Ever. Wherever I am in this business (and that place is for others to judge) is simply the result of how people have responded to what I've written for all of these many (I started at TAS in 1986) years and nothing more. I had no "game plan", "20 year plan", or any kind of ambition in this business.

I did, however, believe when I started that vinyl is the most musically satisfying format to sit down and listen to and I still do. So I advocated that, even though I was advised by all that I would be heading towards a dead end....

So all i can say is that the best part of wherever it is that I am (and from what I can see it's a pretty good place!) is the result of how others read me and not because of anything willful on my part...
Why does recommending the mono "Revolver" have to do with those other Beatles albums? That I do not understand. This is not a competition among Beatles albums is it? In other news, I hope no one ever "bows down" to anything I write! It is simply my opinion and nothing more, nor do I represent it to be anything but...before I wrote a word about this subject I read all about it, never "bowing down" to any of it, but being guided by it and learning from it. The years I read TAS from its inception to when I began writing for it were years in which the magazine imparted an incredible wealth of knowledge and excellent guidance. For one thing it dragged me away from Stereo Review, which had "guided me" towards believing that only measurements counted, which had greatly diminished the sound of my system and with it much of my listening pleasure.

To Slaw: If a reviewer recommends CSN or Who's Next from Classic or whatever, that is their opinion. It is not a "wrongdoing". You are inconsistent.

I try to explain how a reissue sounds compared to an original before saying whether I'd recommend it or not. More recently on analogplanet I provide 96/24 files of originals versus reissues and let readers decide and comment for themselves.

The results are interesting: virtually all of the time everyone agrees on the sonic differences but which they prefer results in a "split decision".

That is why it's most important to describe the sonic differences rather than simply issuing blanket "recommendations". And if you do recommend something you'd better explain why in clear language.

Over the years readers who trust what I write know whether they will like something whether I do or not because of how it's described. Same with gear...

my taste is not really relevant. What is, is that I accurately describe the sound....
I tried to make a difference, no one wants to listen. Good luck to all of you!

I'm becoming tired of trying.
Slaw - yes, you really made a difference. Have you thought about making a difference in some other forum?
MF, I'll own up. The only thing I said about you was that you have done a great job marketing yourself. I see nothing negative or wrong with that as folks need to make a living and do what they love to do. My comments come from many in the industry whom I'm close with and who know you well. Again, not a slam at all and I fully stand by it. I'm glad that you wrote that what you post is your opinion. Folks fail to understand that at times and take whatever they read for fact. Personally, I've read most of your stuff and have since you started. I was getting TAS and Stereohile since they started. I loved learning about components I had never heard of and then finding them. I just got back into vinyl after my ex dropped off a few boxes of my lost records and I went with a Basis TT and Benz cart with a Rhea phono stage. Overtime I put an album on, I'm blown away by how relaxed I become. It's fun sharing with the kids and wife too. I'm glad that you have the audience you do and have been able to parlay your love into a business. Again, nothing wrong with that and if you don't market yourself, you'll never be successful. If I upset you with that statement, I'm sorry, as that wasn't my objective, nor was it my point if you reread what I said.
Regarding the sound of Revolver: In 1970 I started buying British pressings of Groups/Bands from over there, including of course the Beatles (I got the stereo versions though, not mono). I immediately disliked the sound of Revolver, especially in comparison to my then and still favorite album of theirs, Rubber Soul. Everything sounded different, and for the worse. Ringo's drums for the first time sounded crappy---and they did for the rest of their recrdings IMO, and everything was a little glassy. Later in the decade I read that Rubber Soul was the last album recorded via tubes, that Abbey Road had gone solid state by the time the Revolver sessions commenced. I haven't researched that claim, but I wonder if that's why.
So Grooves, you are the Michael Fremer who I referenced in my opening post. I am happy I found you. Now, Whart wrote that you did not write the article about that cleaning process I was referring to. If so, can you send me that process? If not, is the process listed on your web-site similar? I don't recall. All I remember is that it did use a cleaning machine (I have the VPI 16(?)) and it did use orbitrac pads. Thanks for your hopeful response.

RWD (Rick)
Michael

On the KL Audio / Audio Desk - I apologize if that came off as stating you
were bought off by advertising, not my intention. I merely noted that your
site advertizes the AudioDesk ultrsonic machine

Here is your statement on the KL Audio

When I emptied the KLAUDiO’s tank, the pulverized dirt particles removed
from the records were in suspension, which means each record cleaned
after the first few will inevitably be “cleaned” with dirty water. I can imagine
a scenario where the pulverized dirt particles in suspension are within
cavitated bubbles hurled at great force against the vinyl. No doubt that can
happen in the Audio Desk too if you don’t change the water frequently
enough, yet the sonic results with both machines were consistently superior
to vacuum cleaning and often times miraculous as chronically noisy records
were rendered quiet.

The "residue" is soluable - not a hard substance

I don't recall that same cautionary comment being applied in the initial
Audio Desk review

sorry if this came off overtly critical on my end

Thank you for all that you do for keeping the analog flame alive