I've used both. To my ears, the AIVS fluids and pure water rinse produced cleaner LP grooves. For my listening preferences and with my cleaning protocols, AIVS are my RCM fluids of choice.
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I really don't know how one can compare one good fluid with another. Every record has a unique buildup of grunge on it and there's no way to really tell which cleaner is going to be able to best deal with it. Also, if you clean with one fluid and the record is still dirty, but the other fluid cleans it up, how do you know that it just wasn't a second cleaning that did it? All this aside, I've used AI#15 and it's very good stuff. I also like the other AI fluids, but I'm not nuts about 3 and 4-step processes. Frankly, if a record is not too dirty, I have no problems with Nitty Gritty Pure2, which is a 1-step fluid. Works fine, IMO.
The No. 15 is excellent for washing off pressing scum and oily finger prints. It is meant as a prescrub and needs to be rinsed off, not just vacuum off and your done. I use it for my first step and scrub with a brush prior to drying with a micro towel and inserting it into my KL Audio ultrasonic for final clean/rinse/dry process. I only do the pre scrub for my first cleaning on a new or used record.
Good questions. They can be answered, provided one has the time, patience and interest in doing a lot of work. As Edison said, the genius (in product testing and development) is 99% perspiration, 1% inspiration. Exactly right.
Being a nut case, I tested and compared products and processes on hundreds of records for over four years. Hundreds of hours spent cleaning, rinsing, vacuuming and listening. I made mistakes and learned from them. I found flaws in products and learned from them too. I spoke with fluid manufacturers/developers and learned things about some fluids that will never be published. One chemist/manufacturer (not AIVS) changed his formula based on feedback I provided, which lead to a better product. I went back and tested and compared some more.
Ultimately, I found that consistently good results (by my standards) require de-magging followed by a 5-fluid process (all AIVS). This is the minimum required to assure that I will not have to re-clean (which wastes more time than doing it thoroughly the first time). This is for new or fairly mint LPs. Visibly soiled LPs may require 1-2 additional steps.
Other brands of fluids did not achieve equal results no matter how many steps were tried. If a fluid consistently leaves an audible residue, even fifty washes or rinses with that fluid will not produce a clean record.
As you're not nuts about multi-step processes - and I don't blame you! - the above testing or results are presumably not for you. But for those sufficiently fanatic to put in the time and effort, it is possible to achieve valid comparisons and repeatable results.