I also use the KL Audio - I don't have the silencer, but will check out the sale now.
In terms of water, you are looking for the highest purity you can obtain. In particular, check out Audio Intelligent, which is purportedly "filtered and de-ionized in a 6 step process that produces a research grade product":
Tomb- I use reagent grade water which is very expensive to buy at retail. I buy it in bulk. For a while, I was buying it from OpticsPlanet online, but it was more expensive each time I ordered it. A week or so ago, I checked their site, and it appears that they no longer carry it. I tracked down the supplier of the water, Fisher Scientific, which sells it under the Thermo brand. The price, with shipping, was about 2/3’s the cost of buying it from Optics. I use it for my KL, as a rinse when cleaning records on my Monks, and to make up cleaning fluids from concentrates like the Hannl, which is not sold in un-concentrated form here in the States. As to benefits, it is costly, but peace of mind- I don’t exactly know what processes some distilled, R/O, DI and other ’purified’ waters go though, particularly those sold in groceries or large retail outlets, the ’lab’ stuff has to meet certain standards, and goes through multiple purification steps. It is probably overkill, but since I usually do one thorough cleaning of a record and that’s it--for posterity--I want some assurance I’m leaving no residue on the vinyl surface. There are different grades of ’lab’ water, and a few sites that explain the processes to meet the various grades. To me, it is a relatively small cost given the sizable investment I have in records. To others, it may be a waste of money.
In my discussions with the preservation specialists at the LOC, they suggested DI water, which is not terribly expensive and meets the objective of not leaving mineral residue on the record. That interview is posted online.
I have the four step Walker fluids that I use those on my Loricraft which I use for only really soiled records if its a rare title. Hate to use that $$ water in the Klaudio
not sure i will keep the Loricraft
i have been using drug store off the shelf distilled water
the tank takes about 2/3rds of a gallon
I’ll check out the Fisher Scientific Thermo and compare with the Audio Intellegent
doesn’t Albert Porter use some specific brand?
Tomb- it is this stuff: [url]http://www.thermoscientific.com/en/product/nerl-reagent-grade-water.html[url]
It is also available from other third party suppliers for even less than I paid, but check the shipping cost before you order- the shipping price from Fisher to me in NY was almost nothing, and 5 Gallons is pretty heavy.
Yes, I think Albert uses the same grade of water- in fact, I had him verify what he was using b/c I was tired of paying beaucoup prices for small containers.
I use, like Whart, reagent grade water for my record cleaning chores. While I don't have a fancy US cleaner, I do use it to mix up my surfactant solutions and as my two rinse. I got mine from Amazon for a similar price as above.
IMO, using expensive double-distilled, RO purified, or reagent grade water is probably overkill. Even distilled water from the grocery store only has a few ppm of impurities, something overwhelmingly contaminated from the junk on your records. It might be interesting for someone to do a water conductivity study over the course of cleaning records. I think the best course is to change the water regularly; I change mine about every 25 records. I also wipe off the superficial dust and fibers with a microfiber cloth before cleaning. If you want to use the expensive ultra-pure water, by all means do so but I would wager its conductivity to increase significantly after only a few cleanings and therefore higher than that of new distilled water.
Only ever use premium quality oxygen-free, cryogenically treated, zero ion pure, RoHS compliant 100% H2O variety water. Only use that water after all the bad electrons and lithium grease has been filtered out. Don't use cheap imitation water.
For best results, use water that has been removed from vacuum mines after vacuum mine implosion accidents. Many think that idea sucks, but performance is much better than artificial H2O. Compliments will rain down. Using artificial water will result in low performance as will artificial vacuum.
Don't use water on mint records because everybody knows that mints melt in water.
To Rlawry's point: I pre-clean virtually every record that goes into the ultrasonic, to reduce the amount of contaminants that pollute the bath. There's no 'one way', but using a conventional vacuum record cleaning machine with appropriate fluids, followed by a pure water rinse, is a predicate to the next step of cleaning in the ultrasonic. I buy a lot of old records, and even with pre-cleaning, change the ultrasonic water out at roughly 50 cleanings.
Seems there is no end to the 'truth' of water. Yes, it is in the 'hearing' the difference, if you can. But better yet, a true audiophile will want to see 'clean'. For that you must put an electron microscope in play. I know, I know they cost mega bucks, but if you are 'serious', like Al Porter, cost would not be important. The 'purity' of the matter should not be important. Remember, it is all about the music.
One wonders, would it be of any value to place soothing messages on the water container since water so treated produces more beautiful crystals than water that is untreated or treated with alarming or disturbing messages?
Amen, Coolhunter. The problem with a lot of audiophiles is that if someone hears, or claims to hear, an improvement in sound, everybody MUST follow because they don't want others to think they can hear subtle differences.And even if they can hear a difference doesn't mean it's an improvement. MOST LIKELY, changes are based on a change in resonance somewhere in the equipment chain.
I don't purport to claim some 'magic' improvement in sound as a result of water (or even fluid for that matter). What I do hear is the difference between an old record that has an unknown history of contamination (including previous haphazard cleaning) and one that has been properly cleaned. My experience has been - using only ultrasonic was insufficient for some records, that multiple cleanings using different methods yielded an improvement and that the results are often more in the method than any particular product. Since many of these records are from the '50s and '60s, some are quite valuable, and I listen to them (I'm not just a collector), I want to achieve the highest state of playback as possible. In addition, since I don't want any chemical residue from fluids to remain on the record over time--which can potentially interact with inner sleeve material, etc.- I want to do my best to preserve them. Thus, the reason for using high grade water in various rinse and cleaning cycles. As I originally noted, it may be overkill. I have no commercial interest in any product or company. My explorations of various cleaning methods are published, along with my visit to Culpeper and interview with the preservation folks at the LOC re cleaning. I do not believe that any of this borders on the absurd but you are free to decide otherwise. The only caveat I would make in evaluating cleaning methods and products is to perform some comparisons using different cleaning methods and combinations- something that is not easy to 'test' scientifically, since every record is sui generis in its pressing quality and history of contamination and multiple cleanings, even using the same method, usually yield some improvement up to a point.
nice insight Whart
I to am there to play - not collect records
The ultrasonic brings so much more detail to the recordings and removes nearly all the pops and static on even new records. I also have to buy a lot of used records that sometimes are vg grade. The Klaudio nearly always brings them up to a excellent level sound wise.
Having a solution that might squeeze more out of this is worth doing.
It's not bragging rights, it's protecting and enjoying your recordings
I run the ultrasonic record cleaning service Record Genie and use 2 Klaudio machines, plus 2 Audio Desk machines. I also have a VPI 16.5 which is useful for pre-cleaning very heavily soiled or moldy records before doing any ultrasonic cleaning steps.
Audio Desk recommends using only "supermarket" distilled water for some reason, but I was curious about using purer "lab grade" water in the Klaudio machines in the hope of getting even better results. I've always used distilled water from CVS (which is also filtered to 0.5 micron) but just like Whart, I bought some NERL "lab water" from Optics Planet.
I bought 3 grades of NERL of varying cost. The 2 lower grades came in 5-gallon "cubitainers" (LDPE bladder in a cardboard box) at about $8 and $12 per gallon. The top grade came in 6 x 1-pint bottles and was more than twice as expensive. This was back in 2013, and the water had to be delivered to my business address because lab water is (or was) restricted from being delivered to a residence since it is required for certain illegal manufacturing activities!
I asked some of my customers if they would like to try "lab grade" water, and clearly marked those records as such, running one Klaudio with CVS water, and the other with NERL water. Only one of the half-dozen customers that I worked with on this "testing" expressed a preference for the records cleaned with the more expensive water. I didn't charge anything extra for using the more expensive water.
In scientific terms, I'm sure my "experiment" was seriously flawed due to a tiny sample size if nothing else (only 6 customers) and I've gone back to using CVS distilled water in my Klaudio machines since then as I couldn't really justify the additional expense of the lab water.
One other thing, I use a TDS meter (total dissolved solids) to measure how clean the water is, rather than just using a "fixed interval" of x-records between water changes. It's quick and easy to drain a beaker-full from the Klaudio's drain spout every 10 records or so, and pour it back in afterwards, with the small funnel. A quality meter only costs about $60, so I highly recommend using one to ensure consistent and repeatable results..
Dave- I think the 'uber' expensive stuff has labels like 'ultra pure' and goes beyond the so-called Grade or Type 1 Water; never tried it, b/c it is crazy expensive. (I think it may be used for injectable solutions, among other things). Yeah, they still require a business address- I used to use my law firm, which seemed to foreclose any question. I like your idea of using a TDS meter (which you mentioned in another thread), particularly if folks aren't pre-cleaning and rinsing records before putting them into the ultrasonic. I'm not surprised by the outcome of your experiments. For what it's worth, the pricing of some of this lab water is all over the map in the States, depending on the supplier and quantities--costs more for multiple smaller capacity bottles (obviously, just for packaging and handling) than larger quantities. I don't use enough of it to justify a water purification system. I think the better investment would be a small nuclear reactor in my backyard for cleaner power. Haven't checked government regulations on that front. Be well, :)
The impetus to use hyper clean water for record cleaning predates the ultrasonic machines.
That's a thread from 2008 that discusses the topic and NERL water. Part of the problem with buying fancy water is the cost of shipping it while buying enough to be cost effective. And of course some brands charge a lot more; generally water from record cleaning solution manufacturers is much more costly. Five gallons is roughly 44 lb. to ship (unless the container is glass, then it's lots more.) In '08, I was buying 5gal of NERL 9805 Reagent Grade Water at $34 shipped, but I could have paid more. It pays to shop around. And be cautious about interpreting different grades and costs as one being superior than the other. Compare the labels.
Ultrasonic machines aside, 32oz of Audio Intelligent or Mo-Fi water is $20 plus shipping. It is enough to clean 200 records or so, at least 100/120 if you do double rinse. You would call it expensive if you clean records once or very rarely? It's almost nothing compared to other things. If you can't afford this you can't afford anything audiophile grade.
I tried that link, and it's not working since it's got an extra http:// on the end, so here's the correct one:
Great to see you are actively furthering the cause of cleaner records Bill, and I agree that the "super lab water" in the pint bottles is very expensive for medically related reasons, not really relevant to record cleaning. LOL about your own nuclear plant, but I've recently acquired a RODI (reverse osmosis deionized) water purification system and have been experimenting with it. I use a lot of water, and even just buying the distilled water from CVS adds up! I can recycle the used 5ppm distilled water from my Klaudio machines and turn it into very nice 0ppm RODI water. I haven't used it in the machines yet, only for making up cleaning solutions (L'Art du Son, and a triple-enzyme mold treatment) for my VPI and of course rinsing, but I really should try it out in the Klaudios on some of my own records..
The TDS water meter I use is available from Amazon.com for $60:
Anyone who is reading this thread is going in the right direction towards cleaner records, it's good to have these conversations!
For those interested in ultrasonic record cleaning and curious about what the Audio Desk and Klaudio machines can do for YOUR records (either separately, or better yet, when "double-cleaning" with both) then just ask me or get in touch through my website (it's on my profile) to have a few of your own records cleaned. It's affordable for pretty much anyone, and for those who are lucky enough to be looking at buying their own $3-4k machine the first hand experience will help you make a much better informed choice!
The thread you've linked to is the "Justin Time water thread" and is mentioned in the thread that jtimothya linked to earlier here. It's excellent technical reading, very detailed, but may not interest those who don't care about the science of it all and just want to know which water to buy and use, and how to use it effectively to achieve the best results..
B.S. or not (and I don't know if it's anything I wrote) surely the bottom line is that anyone who is seriously interested in record cleaning is doing it with the sole aim of achieving better sounding records! It's not like I'm cleaning records just to look at them, I want to play them and hear more music, although I suppose reduced stylus wear might also be a nice bonus consideration if you have an expensive cartridge..
Given that thousands can easily be spent on buying hi-fi equipment, upgrades, and tweaks for a "really good" system (the hardware) it surely makes sense to pay close attention to how best to clean your record collection (the software) and get the best from your investment in both.
Just my 2 cents of course, I spend a lot of time cleaning records!
I have a Loricraft and stepped up to a Klaudio
i have only used the Loricraft as a first step on just a few records
what are your thoughts on the washing and drying times?
I go 4 min on the wash and 3 minutes gives you a fully dry record
My Klaudio Silencer arrived on friday. Very expensive but well worth it. It is built like a tank and well thought out in execution. It really silences both the cleaning and drying phase. The drying phase is the slightly noisier stage. I have mine in the next room from my audiosystem and I never cleaned records while playing them (cds only). I can do both. We can now watch tv without turning the volume up. My 22 year old son always cringed when he saw me taking a stack of records towards the machine. Now he is thrilled by the process.
klaudio does have the unit priced $200 lower
On the Klaudio machines I normally do a full 5 minutes wash, and 5 minutes dry, to make absolutely sure records are 100% dry before putting them in new sleeves. I use either MoFi or Diskeeper 2.0 sleeves, based on whether I’m single-cleaning or double-cleaning, and customer choice.
I do the same with the Audio Desk machines, a maximum 5 minute wash, and the drying time is fixed at 4 minutes.
I’m doing more double-cleaning than anything else right now, that’s been very popular with customers, and I use the Audio Desk for a 5 minute wash first, and then Klaudio for another 5 minute wash and 5 minute drying. This works out well, since the Audio Desk drying power isn’t nearly as good as Klaudio’s more powerful fan, especially when the "wipers" get worn on the Audio Desk..
Aside from the expense, I don’t have room for the Klaudio "Silencer" boxes (reminds me of when noisy commercial dot-matrix printers went in something similar) since all my equipment is on two 6-foot stainless steel tables, and my old desk. I’ve got 2 Klaudios, 2 Audio Desks, a Furutech DeMag, and VPI 16.5, and a Furutech DF-2 flattener.. So it’s a bit crowded, and all of this shares space in my music room, which I’m lucky to have since it’s a "no-go-zone" (with a baby gate) for my kids 6, 4, and 20 months!
Honestly, all of this equipment is way too noisy, couldn’t these machines have been designed to be quieter, knowing they’d most likely be used in an environment (room) where the owner also wants to listen to music?! The Klaudio and Audio Desk are bad enough, but the worst offender is my VPI 16.5 which I use for pre-cleaning chores when needed. Depending on what customers send me in any given week, I can literally be cleaning for hours at a time, often late into the night after the kids have to gone to bed, so I have worn earplugs at night (when I can’t turn up my system volume) and I now use some Klipsch X7i earphones that fit snugly and offer very good sound isolation.
You’re smart to protect your hearing from prolonged exposure to the audible noise the machines make (without even knowing what the potential effects of the ultrasonics might be) otherwise you may not be able to enjoy the better sound from those super clean records!
it sounds like a great setup / business that you have
the Klaudio silencer doesn’t take up much more of a footprint at the base, but it is a bit taller
laugh, I have mine on the back end of my kitchen table except when I have guest over for dinner
good place to lay down albums sleeves and stack the ready to go and completed records vertically on two adjacent chairs
i read somewhere that the silencer even fits the Audio Deske
you might ask Tim
my friend has an audiodeske
maybe we should join forces
My lps are always dry by three minutes and I used to run the dryer at four
will go five just to make sure
the Acoustic Sounds QRP inner sleeves are great
i buy packets to get my order totals high enough for free shipping
thanks to everyone for the great thread
going well beyond the subtleties of h2o
If you love records then cleaning them sounds like a fun job right? I do love wearing my Record Genie hat, as otherwise I'm a stay-at-home dad to my three relentlessly energetic youngsters, and music, or music related stuff, is my escape!
Honestly, if I didn't have some kind of part-time business going on I'd probably have gone (completely) nuts by now, although my accountant thinks I'm nuts anyway since I haven't actually make a significant profit with all the equipment expenditure in the last 3 years, so I'm hoping 2016 will be better!
If you're happy with the cleaning and drying times that you've been using, then I can't see any reason to change. It's not a fast process anyway, especially double-cleaning, and I use 5 minutes cleaning and drying to be sure I'm getting the best results possible for customers while I have their records here. It doesn't make sense for me to try to cut any corners when the whole success of what I'm doing is purely based on the results, so I just accept that it takes longer to do it that way. The only way to speed things up would be to add more machines.
I understand about the Klaudio "Silencer" being only a bit bigger than the machine footprint, but I've got my 2 Klaudios slightly angled on one end of a stainless work table (one behind the other) and access would be tricky, especially since I regularly take water samples for TDS testing to ensure quality results.
I think you and your friend with an Audio Desk really should get your machines together - On a decently resolving system, I bet you'll easily hear the difference between cleaning on only one of the machines, and cleaning on both of them. I use the Audio Desk first, and the Klaudio second, but I keep the water very clean in the Klaudio. The CVS distilled I use starts at 0 ppm and I change it out once it exceeds 5ppm. My TDS meter has 0.1ppm resolution.
I keep the inside of the Klaudio tanks clean by using a large clean microfiber cloth, getting into all the corners and making sure it picks up as much dirt as possible. There is a large area of the tank that's not visible from the "access port" on the back, so I push all of the microfiber cloth "around the corner" with chopsticks, then pull it out again, a couple of times, to try and keep that part clean. The metal threads on the access port are razor sharp, so chopsticks are safer than risking your fingers!
How do you keep your Klaudio tank clean?
I've never bought QRP sleeves, although I've replaced plenty with MoFi sleeves on records I've cleaned. They seem to be very similar to MoFi sleeves. I know MoFi had some serious problems in 2012 or 2013 with sleeves that had a powdery residue which left nasty fingerprint marks, and I've cleaned some records "with prints" for one customer that was affected. I was lucky enough to miss those problems in my personal use, and I didn't start ordering sleeves in bulk for the business until later in 2013.
Bill Hart (whart) has a Keith Monks and is definitely a believer in multiple cleaning steps, so maybe you should be experimenting with your Loricraft and Klaudio together, and please do post here about the results of trying "double-cleaning" if you can get your Klaudio and your friend's Audio Desk together for a cleaning and listening session!
One last thing, I have a customer in NYC who asked me in 2014 to do some cleaning for him, to do blind testing. He sent me a couple of 4 record box sets, and I had my wife randomly pick which record would be cleaned by which method, plus one "control" that wasn't cleaned at all. They were assigned "A", "B", "C" and "D" and then cleaned by Audio Desk, Klaudio, both, or none, and returned to the customer. I kept a note of what was what, and he told me what he thought they were after careful listening.. It's unscientific of course, but it was fun, and we did a couple of batches like that. While he couldn't tell the difference between Audio Desk or Klaudio cleanings, he did pick out the ones that were cleaned with both. I'd be more than happy to do this again for another customer if requested!
Recordgenius, Thank you for correcting me, above. I apologize for using the term "BS"; I only meant that there was good information and perhaps less relevant information and some other information with a commercial tint. However, I apologize also for quoting an old posting that I thought was especially erudite on this subject, when it had already been quoted by someone else. Even if one doesn't want to know THAT much about water and levels of its purity, could it hurt? Anyway, I am or have been lucky enough to be able to get extremely pure deionized and distilled water from my lab, for the past many years, which I use to clean LPs. (Distilled water from an outside local source passes through a built-in deionizer that sits over each of two of the sinks in my laboratory, at work. I am a biologist/virologist.) I can get it at no cost, so I use it, but do I believe it's vital to cleaning LPs? No. I think the other ingredients of a record cleaner are more important to getting a good job done. I don't think deionized, distilled water is sufficient by itself, unless perhaps if one also uses ultrasonics. I think a small amount of ionic or nonionic detergent plus a little alcohol (usually isopropanol) added to the water are very important to doing a good job.
Absolutely no apology needed for posting an excellent link, all I said was that it was referenced from the other link.. Given my interest, I had seen it before, but have to agree that Justin Time's "water thread" is one of the best threads ever on the subject of pure water for record cleaning, really detailed information!
I feel I should apologize if some of my posts have a commercial tint to them, I'm sure I'm guilty of being over-enthusiastic in wanting everyone to experience how good ultrasonic record cleaning results can be!
You are lucky to have access to free lab water, and no doubt powerful microscopes so you could look closely at record grooves before and after cleaning! I have a 220x Dinolite USB scope, it's not powerful enough for looking really closely at record groove walls, but can be useful for looking at general cleanliness and seeing skips and damaged lands.
None of my cleaning processes use any alcohol. I know some people use it, and I purchased a bottle of 99.9% pure isopropyl ($18 from Amazon for 2 pints) to experiment with cleaning mixtures (on my own records). Yes it's effective, but there is divided opinion on the long term safety of using cleaners with alcohol on vinyl records, with concerns about how they might affect plasticizers. Ultrasonics are so effective (helped by a mild surfactant in the Audio Desk cleaning solution) that alcohol really isn't needed.
LOL about Recordgenius, my wife came up with the name Record Genie, inspired by our Diaper Genie, and the URL was available, so that was it!
I've still got some of my NERL water left over, so I may go back and do more testing (plus customer evaluation) in the Klaudio cleaners, and let's not forget that audiotomb has 5 gallons of NERL soon to arrive which he will hopefully report on!
The Nerl came the same day as the silencer.
The great thing about the ultrasonics is absolutely little user effort needed to clean. This keeps one in the cleaning mode
no issue with spending more time in both modes
I have kicked out 30 sides over the weekend with NERL
no serious listening yet
but I had bought a very noisy Led Zeppelin II RL first press
the very dynamic version
the KLaudio really took the noise level down
Depending on the source of the music one pairs that with the perfect local water currated by the Timmy Brothers - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUv7NQelex0
For example Batch 1402 for cleaning Jazz records.
Tomb- just for fun, if you have some AIVS No 15, try and reclean the Zep RL, agitating and letting it soak, then vacuum off with your Loricraft, do a water rinse with the reagent water, vacuum again, then run it through the KL again.
I went through a bunch of copies of Zep II RL to finally find a minty one, not easy. But it does kick hard, and is great fun to listen to. (The UK plum is also a good listen, as is the Canadian Red Label TG).
In another lifetime, I worked for years for a bottled water company in Los Angeles. We had an industrial division that, through the RO process, produced water so pure that it would draw impurities into itself. It was used in aerospace applications in the ultra clean rooms. They would actually assemble some parts under this super pure water. The technicians doing the work had to wear protective gloves because the water that pure would draw the pigment out of their skin.
I hate to rain impure water on this parade, but I have to ask the following question:
If you go for lab or reagent grade water in the context of an ultrasonic RCM, will it be lab/reagent grade after the first record is cleaned (even if you pre-clean) your records? Does that mean you should change the water in your tank after every record cleaning cycle?
At some point, it’s about very, very good and not perfect (this, from someone who embraces the benefits of ultrasonic RCMs).
Thom @ Galibier Design
you should have a hose that constantly is giving a transfusion drip
and a drain out the bottom
not only every record but as the record spins
one cycle and it is removed
drill a hole in your brick to outside to drain the contaminated water
and you might as well have a still lab of reagent water for constant generation
the level regulators must be very faulty on both draining and filling the pristine water for best results
I wonder how this would hold up with new or mint records - not
I hereby declare the removed detritus inert!
off with all of you!
ps - for the record TIm at Klaudio says to use simple distilled water - it’s worked fine