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I use the V8 and have to say that I wouldn't even have considered buying used records before I got it. Just too much gunk in the grooves of used records and most of them are fingerprinted as well. The V8 is a batch unit, so not all that convenient, but I won't be going back. My 2 cents, anyway.
As I said in another thread, I compared the exact titles and pressings professionally cleaned on Audio Desk ultrasonic machine and cleaned by me on Okki Nokki machine with Audio Intelligent three step solutions. There was no audible difference of any kind. My system is sensitive enough to detect very small changes. So if you have very high end system there might be a small difference, if not I wouldn't bother.
I've always found that the cleaning method you actually USE is the best method.
This is different things to different people. For me, any machine with an obnoxiously loud vacuum motor will (and has gone) unused. Others may not mind this.
I also had an (unnamed) RCM that in combination with a three step cleaning protocol, took me about 15 minutes to clean both sides of an LP. For me, life is too short for this. Again, others may find this to be a pleasing, meditative activity ... different strokes and all that.
In photographic circles, you'll find parallel discussions about which DSLR has the best noise performance at (for example) high ISOs. At the end of the day, many of these individuals rarely carry their behemoth, full-frame DSLRs. From this, the adage arose: "you miss 100% of the shots with the camera you don't have with you".
Thom @ Galibier
I still fall back on my long time regiment with a VPI16.5, Disc Doctor, AI Super, and lots of elbow grease and pure water. DIY ultrasonics are on the way.
I believe ultrasonics have there place in this whole Vinylphile thing. They really recondition very old stuff that you would never guess could sound so quiet and beautiful.
If life is too short to spend cleaning a valuable vinyl properly in order to to enjoy it’s sonic riches, I guess there is always CeeDee’s, just kidding. :)
When I first started using ultrasonic several years ago, I was delighted at the ease of use- no toiling over a noisy machine, no real labor. I cleaned more records as a result. But, I also found that with older pressings of uncertain history--I buy a lot of old records- some of them weren't getting fully cleaned using ultrasonic. So, I started pre-cleaning using AIVS No. 15 and my old VPI, and rinsing before running in the ultrasonic. Sometimes, the records required multiple cleanings- whether it was fumes, cigarette tar or other contaminants that the ultrasonic didn't effectively remove. I've continued to modify my methods and equipment, but use both cleaning fluids and point nozzle vacuum RCM plus ultrasonic. Some old records are just damaged and can't be salvaged by intensive cleaning, but some have gone from distorted in places to very clean players as a result of these efforts. Worth it? For valuable older rare records, yes. Some are hard to impossible to find in mint condition.
My next move is to get another Spin Clean. One for washing, the other for rinsing, and I have a Lazy Suzanne to spin the records and dry them off; then I place them in a rack for further drying off. I picked up a paper holder at Office Depot that has six slots, and perfect for this. Right now my KLAUDIO is an expensive "Paper Weight". I am not knocking KLAUDIO, it works well, its just that I am not using it as intended because my old way of cleaning is much more satisfying to me. I guess: "To each his/her own".
whart, just curious, what frequency machine are you running and what cycle times? Why I ask is, higher frequency machines 60-80khz seem to have been found to produce smaller bubbles of agitation and therefore produce deeper cleaning. Cycle times also seem to be critical to safe use, but also deeper cleaning, of course. Harry of VPI (on his website) has made no bones about the fact that the two disciplines used together, seem to bring the finest results. And that is considering that he has abandoned the idea of producing a commercial ultrasonic machine entirely.
I find, more times than not, that with my line-contact Lyra stylus, many, many, old (50-60’s) vinyl that was damaged/worn-out with a conical/elliptical style stylus, is damaged in the groove above where I am playing, or at very least, the majority of the line-contact’s contact spot is so much longer (height wise) then those others, that the percentage of information delivered to the phonostage compared to the percentage of groove distortions makes for a mighty pleasant listen. This stylus type has done more (on a properly set-up deck) for pulling out the nuances while also giving me a dead quiet record surface with a surprising amount of the vinyl that finds its way to be spun at my place. And a thorough cleaning regiment is still vital, but not the only strategy to enjoy those old gems.
r_f_sayles: I'm currently using the KL, a finished commercial product, not a "DIY," so far less flexibility on frequency. I've been advocating the DIY ultrasonics (and may buy one myself) b/c it permits you to remove the ultrasonically washed record and do the drying on a point nozzle. To the extent I've done that with the KL (not recommended by the manufacturer, because pulling an undried record from the KL risks damaging the electronics in it), I've gotten better results than the forced air drying. I also like the idea that you can add some heat to the 'generic' ultrasonic baths.
No comparison for me
the low evel detail, lack of static and pops, dynamics, etc on my Klaudio are fabulous. And the ease of use has me, well, using it.
i have over 600 records cleaned and cleaned 15 or so a week, sometimes more. I just bought the silencer so that has gone up dramatically. I still kept my Loricraft which uses single point vaccum based on the Keith Monks rc to prep a very stingy record. I have used it 4 times since the KL.
i now buy a lot of uk and german and vintage 50s - 60’s jazz. First pressings.
i have really been able to extract the highest quality out of these records with the Klaudio. Taking vg records and getting many to m-/e+ status. Via surface noise, it doesn't removes scratches but I have actually seen it remove the magnitude of a scratch. This allows me to buy less expensive (already expensive) copies
the KL may not get fingerprints off the surface, but it brings out the sonic inneraction which is all in the underlying grooves