RRL Cleaner, Vinyl Zyme, and Groove Glide


I was the guy who was unhappy with my vacumn cleaned records a few weeks ago and I think I found the answer.

After cleaning with super wash and regular wash, then vinyl zyme, then regular wash, then groove glide,(I know it is time consuming!), I got to tell all of you guys that my records are Dead Quiet and Detail has improved alot. The soundstage perspective is a little more like sitting in row 35 versus row 20, but the smoother detailed sound and presentation is nice.

Just thought I would let others know that I tried these products in case others of you are interested. Definitely worth the money spent.

I should add that these improvements comes at the expense of some immediacy. Some of my LP's sound a little less "live" and more like great recordings. Difinitely a plus for some LP's, and it cleans back off with Super Cleaner and Regular Wash, but may not be for every album.

I tried it on Jimmy D. Lane's latest album from APO, and the sound lost that "you are there" edge to it that really makes the band and vocals feel as though they are in the room.

Did you try using JUDT the RRL and skipping the enzyme. Unless I miss my guess, doing so will allow you to realize th esame detail with out "moving back ten rows".

You may have applied too much Gruv Glide. I've found that the quickest spray you can possibly apply to the pad is just right and you'll treat about twice as many albums. You don't need more than you need. Not to worry though. The stylus will push out the excess with a couple of plays or you can buff the record somewhat with a dry pad.

I've found that record cleaning is such a personal thing to us audiophiles that it's easy to get into disagreements about the subtleties. Grasshopper, read the archives, try different approaches and you will find peace. Enjoy!

I did find a bunch of gunk on the stylus. I'll take your advice and use alot less.

Does the "Grasshopper" refer to Kung Fu when he came to the Buda priest for insight and wisdom??? I love it!!!! As Audiophiles, we need a little God or Budda to pray too!!! Careful, for many of us, our stereos are our Gods.???


I'll skip the Vinyl Zyme and just use RRL and the Groove Glide and see what it does. I can always wash the Groove Glide back off. The Vinyl Zyme washes back off too I think with Super RRL cleaner. The idea behind this stuff makes sense but may leave a sonic signature.


Take the Grooveglide and throw in the thrash. It will probably take multiple cleanings to get it off your records, but you will be rewarded by the best LP sound you have heard.

I use DiskDoctor cleaner with my Loricraft but find I still need to use distilled water rinse afterwards.
Using a distilled water rinse *after using RRL is a distinct no-no.
Applying RRL and giving it a wait period of several minutes before vacuuming is a positive.
The quality of application instructions between DD and RRL is day and night. DD wins hands down, and RRL/Sumiko don't even compete. At $25/bottle, RRL is shameful in this regard.
In my opinion it is the GruvGlide that is sucking the life out of your records. It certainly quiets the surface but at a heavy cost. It's putting a barrier between the stylus and vinyl interface. Not a good thing. ANYTHING, that leaves gunk to be picked up by the stylus is bad. I tried this stuff 25 years ago and promptly tossed it. Try your regimen without it and, in my opinion, you will be happier with the results. I also found it took repeated cleanings to totally remove the stuff.

Good luck,

I clean only used records I buy. New ones and those in my collection from new do not seem to need washing. Just the aq carbon brush and a cleaned stylus. Also, the zyme is great for mildewy records. I use Last rather than gg, but have not compared them. Last has been effective, and based in a quickly evaporating solvent, seems to get the proper dose from the mark on the pipette to the provided brush.
Shasta, you say that, "using a distilled water rinse *after using RRL is a distinct no-no" but say DD, which I use wins hands down. Do you mean I should not be rinsing after cleaning with DD?
Shasta: From what you stated, it would seem that you believe that the residue left behind by RRL's solvent is beneficial to the stylus / groove interface in terms of retrieving data and / or the life expectancy of both surfaces. What do you base this belief on? If i'm putting words in your mouth, please correct me, but that's how i interpreted your message.

Other than that, i do agree that giving a solvent time to penetrate and loosen imbedded particles is beneficial to its' effectiveness as a cleaner. This is akin to soaking an item in a solvent compared to simply rinsing it off quickly. A quick rinse will remove surface film, but is far less likely to achieve anything beyond that.

Then again, the more thoroughly that the solvent penetrates into the various "nooks & crannies", the more thorough one has to be in removal and rinsing. Otherwise, the cleaner itself will remain imbedded in the various "cul de sac's" of each groove. Over time, it will dry up and harden leaving a film and / or attract and hold other contaminants that it comes into contact with. Whether it becomes a dried film or retention pond for other contaminants would depend on the chemical make-up of the solvent(s) used and the long-term chemical reaction that takes place with the vinyl that they reside upon.

That brings me back to the original question: Why not rinse off any / all residue from the records? Sean
Shasta and Sean, from my experince RRL Fluids do not leave behind any residue of any kind when used in conjunction with a vacumm cleaner - unlike MANY other fluids I've used. DD fluids do, even after rinsing with distilled water, again in my experience. The resaon that RRL recommends no rinse is that the fluid itself is more pure than the distilled water one would use for a rinse. If you are experiencing what you think is residue following RRL cleaning, I'm guessing process must have gone awry or your vacuum wand are dirty/contaminated. If you a hearing good result using it, it is not due to any reside left behind. It is because the fluid has held the crap from the grooves in suspension before you vacummed it away - what a cleaner should do.

As for price, you can get it from Galen Carol for $20 a bottle. I think people use way, way too much. I can do a shade over 180 LP's with 32 oz. At $20 a bottle, that is about 11 CENTS an LP. Cheap.
4yanx: If a solvent has some form of detergent action to it, it is not a neutral PH. Anything that isn't neutral will leave behind some type of residue that will have some form of interaction with the materials that it resides upon. On top of that, there's no way to avoid "smearing" contaminants back onto the record. That's because the brushes come into contact with the foreign materials on the record and have the "grunge" sucked up over and through them as it is recovered by the vacuum pump. One would literally have to clean the felt "lips" or brushes after each record to avoid this. Even then, whatever you used to wash them with will have left some form of residue on the lips. As such, i'd rather have distilled water left behind as a residue than anything else i can think of. Sean
Okay, here's the deal guys. Tomorrow I'm going to immerse several records in an isopropyl alcohol bath, labels and all. I've got an import picked out, a generic pressing from the 70's, an early 60's jazz and my least favorite MFSL. So, here's the questions I have. How long should I soak them? What magnification should I be seeking in a microscope in order to see any changes? Do the members here trust my ears when reporting sonic changes or lack thereof? How long is sufficient, in your opinion, to wait for leeching to happen?

I'm also going to try and find residue from an evaporative process of the cleaners I have on hand. I'll be using alcohol in computer chip manufacturing multi-stage processed water and RRL cleaner and wash. How much of each type of fluid would be enough in your opinion? Would you prefer microscopic inspection, weighing or both?

Does anyone have any idea on how I can find fact about whether Gruv Glide interferes with the stylus interface in the groove? My ears do not confirm what Narrod claims and my vinyl has been played on some of the finest systems I've ever imagined. Input on this subject is really wanted.

Then, if I go through all of this trouble will anyone believe the results if I post them? I did this with the rice paper sleeve controversy and the same old claims pop up.

Anyone have access to an electron microscope?
Lugnut: You are doing what i would love to do. I was going to check with my local Cal Lab to see if i could work something out with them in terms of inspecting vinyl and documenting the differences in cleaners. I would think that they would have some type of high powered microscope and the ability to record / document before & after photo's. I was interested in doing this myself, but having some type of third party perform the tasks seemed like a better idea. I might "fool myself" into obtaining the results that i wanted to see and this would act as some type of a "control" in the whole testing process. Sean
Sean, until I got the Loricraft with the string that is the only contact with the record groove, I experienced what you mention namely the contamination of the cleaner brushes. I use DD and I do follow-up with distilled water as I can hear the benefit of the additional rinse.

If you can vacuum all that is dissolved in a liquid off the record, I cannot imagine that the Ph matters, but distilled water should remove anything remaining.
I'm working today so I'll put this off until I get some input and more free time. There's no sense in doing this unless others are interested. Perhaps I'll just soak the albums for a month or so, clean them and note any audible differences. But then, maybe my system isn't capable, in the minds of others, to resolve any differences. One last note on this. I'm not trying to be a smart ass or start any barbs between members. I'm genuinely curious as my findings differ from others. Honestly, I think the hardest part will be gaining access to a really high powered microscope without breaking my bank, not to mention a desire to photograph the resultant images. Should this become cost prohibitive I will need some ideas on how to evaluate on the cheap.
I use DD pads, the vac is an old NittyGritty (I think a 2.5 Fi). Operating surface is an orginal rubber mat from a Kenwood TT.

IME, using supermarket sourced, steam distilled water rinse, post RRL was not a good thing.
Post DD cleaning, I *do use the distilled rinse, per the mfgr's instructions, with very good results.

The only area I consider DD products to "win hands down" is in the amount of instruction and guidance provided with the products. The DD is contactable (?) via email, as I recall. The mfgr. of RRL is, AFAIK, invisible. I consider both products nearly equal.

Not being a chemist, but I'd guess the RRL products are a bit more "dilute" with a lot more very HQ distilled water; the DD has a bit more surfactants (more sudsy).

The last job was a 1965 45rpm ("Harlem Nocturne/ The Viscounts)to be given as a gift. Utterly garbage vinyl...the RRL just beaded up, like the record had car wax on it. The DD flowed smooth onto the surface.

Different strokes for different vinyls. It's easy to experiment...
> Using a distilled water rinse *after using RRL is a distinct no-no.

I do not have a cleaning machine yet. But I use RRL.
Should I just leave it on the record after cleaning and not using destilled water ?
Yes, rinsing with DiH2O after using RRL is like brushing your teeth then gargling with Pepsi. :-0
Mmmhhh... interesting. What I don't understand is why is distilled water not clean. I have to point out that I use or own distilled water, we have a Pure Water machine which distills water. And this water is supposed to be free from anything. Some evidently information would be great.

Aroc, you stole my line..... :-)
Sean, "Anything that isn't neutral (pH) will leave behind some type of residue" There are gases that will disassociate in water and alter it's pH. HCl and NH3 are two that come to mind. The first will give a very low pH, the second will be somewhat basic. Remove the solvent (water) and there will be no residue. Window cleaners tend to use surfactants that are volital and will evaporate; hence the 'no steak' claim.
Styx, Do you mean a reverse osmosis machine? I too have one and am uncertain whether steam distilled or it would be more pure water. I did try distilled water and it as rinses but heard no difference.
Tbg, we have a water purification system from the Pure Water Inc.
It makes 1 gallon of distilled water in 4 hr.
We usually take this water for drinking and cooking.
The coffee now tastes like coffee, especially with Lavazza.;)
I suspect we have the same. Our area has high sodium. As you say, coffee tastes right. I know the sodium, mercury, organisms, etc. cannot get through the membrane, so it probably is the same as distilled water where water is brought to a boil and the steam then condensed.
TGB & Styx,

Reverse osmosis is a great method for filtering water to the levels you enjoy but many molecules less complex than water get through the membrane. You probably have somewhere around 1 ppm total desolved solids in your water. This is very high quality for human consumption. Assuming you live in a city whith chlorinated water you will notice that you have an activated charcoal filter in your systems. The purpose of the charcoal is to remove the chlorine out of the RO water just prior to dispensing. Chlorine is less complex than water and therefore passes through the membrane. Surprising as it is, the charcoal improves the taste of your water far more than the membrane.

Industrial grade pure water goes through multiple steps to achieve a very low TDS. Chlorine may be introduced to kill bacteria. An iron filter may be needed to remove very high concentrations of iron that would overload conventional water softeners. Water softening would be used to remove most of the remaining minerals. Reverse osmosis is then used to further reduce (mainly salts) the mineral content prior to multi-stage deionizing.

Your products are very, very good as the life expectency is longer than a refrigerator, therefore producing high quality water very cheaply. They don't compete in a scientific comparison to deionized bottled water though.

I also own an RO system and love it. Be aware that in order for the membranes to last the water should first be conditioned as salts are easier on the membrane than hard water minerals. The only reason I know this stuff is because I designed several systems for food processing plants and each plant had specific needs based on the incoming raw water.

If you can find KDF filled replacement filter cartridges instead of charcoal you will only need to replace the KDF once every five years instead of every six months or so. It also removes some nasty chemicals that can pass through an RO filter.
4yanx I couldn't remember where I read the first time! Sorry to steal your thunder.

To he original poster - It's my understanding that Brian @ RRL has access to higher purity water than most of us can get our hands on. Hence my reference to 4yanx's comment of gargling with pepsi.
For the one who are interested in how good the removal of our machine is, here is a link :


Go to the 'Can I see Lab test results for your distillers?' section where you can download a PDF with the lab test results.

Back to the topic. As I do not own a RCM yet, what am I supposed to do with the RRL ? At the moment I apply 3-4 drops on a DiscDoctor brush. Wipe it in the LP. Wipe it off with a soft cloth. Than I wipe with another DD brush distilled water on the LP. Wipe it off with another cloth. Let it dry. Clean it with a carbon fiber brush and put it in a new sleeve. Should I skip the distilled water part ? As I do not have a vacuum should I just wipe the RRL off or let it dry ? I used before DD with the same technique, but was not satisfied with the result.As I just stared with vinyl, after 20 years absence, I appreciate some help here.
Regardless of what cleaning solution you use, removing contaminated solutions from the record before they evaporate is essential. Otherwise, when the liquid evaporates all the gunk that it's holding in suspension ends up right back in the grooves.

In fact, I'd say that a liquid + DD brush procedure without vacuuming is worse than no procedure at all. You're breaking the dirt and contaminants down into smaller pieces and spreading them evenly around the record, making it easier for them to lodge deeply in the grooves. They'll be much harder to dissolve or suspend the next time. It's easier to pick up a lump of coal than a layer of coal dust.

If you can't afford a new RCM there are plenty of threads here and even more on Vinyl Asylum about how to DIY one. Most DIY RCM's cost under $100. Any vacuuming is better than none. I used to use a $25 Shop Vac from Walmart. Served me well for nearly a year before I got my RCM.

I did create the DIY RCM but had some problems. The 'machine' was finished the velvet nicely lined up on the crevice tool. Than I used it with our house vacuum system, I shouldn't have done this. First the vacuum sucked the velvet in. Velvet gone. Than it sucked the record from the table. I used an old record for testing of course. That is one of the main problem. Even with a small vacuum it does suck the record up. First I have to find a weak vacuum. I almost feel like Gyro Gearloose. Thanks for the help.
Styx: A simple solution is to install some type of adjustable pressure relief valve into the vacuum system. This will allow you to achieve the highest levels of suction without actually lifting the disc off of the platter. If you don't want to get fancy, you can simply drill a hole in the vacuum hose or a plastic fitting and cover part of it with your finger. By varying how much air is sucked through the "controlled leak", you'll vary the amount of air ( suction ) at the disc. This allows you to adjust for the weight of the disc, as some discs are noticeably heavier and can sustain higher levels of suction whereas others are very light and flimsy and want to get pulled up very easily. If you have enough hose / fittings to experiment with, you might be able to find just the right sized "bleeder hole" i.e. a happy medium for all discs without the need for manual manipulation to regulate the suction. Sean

Just drill two 3/16" holes on either side of crevice tool. These will allow for vacuum release and you can easily cover them with your thumb and finger if/when you need to boost the vacuum. As to sucking up the velvet, did you glue velvet strips on either side of the slit on the crevice tool? These methods have worked very well for my on my DIY RCM. My only complaint is that the thing is so damn loud.

I used self-stick felt or velvet (forget which). Vacuum felts need to be changed regularly as they get contaminated and this made it easier.

I vacuumed with my GroovMaster on the record. That protected the label and gave me something to hold it down and spin with. Full Shop Vac power, no problem. It was slow though. I'm sure most of the DIY machine-based ideas others have published would be quicker, though I doubt they'd suck any harder!
Has anyone tried L'ART DU SON record cleaning fluid that is available from themusic.com? I've been using RRL but saw this stuff and was curious.
Styx: The answer is to experiment, and let your ears decide. And, it may very well vary from record to record.
Strongly suggest a RCM, even the lowliest.
Just read Mikey F's Compleat Guide to R-C'ing, and yikes...talk about A-C disorder. At what I'd estimate at 20 minutes per side, 1 record per day, several man-years invested here...

Strongly suggest a RCM, even the lowliest. At the least, using DD per instructions, you'll be ahead.

Congrats on trying vinyl again...
And please ignore the Famus Audio Revuer, who's wound up so tight that he says it's required to adjust VTA before playing each record.
I finnaly got my DIY working right after the same plight of lifting the record off the base. Dan ed is right for me one hole did the trick on my mini 1hp Shop Vac. I also found out that I was using too much RRL fluid. I found that three small drops evenly spaced then smeared across the width of the record works best(using a Carbon fiber brush). Don't give up on it styx, it's worth the effort. Styx, try a fabric store and look for(if I remember right) a glue called: I can't remember, something 9. I'll have to get back to you on that name, I don't have a computer at home, just work. All in all it does a job, but I still wonder if I am getting all the gunk out? hey, Doug how much to clean one of my records with your Loricraft?
Glad you got it working. I agree about the amount of RRL, less is more IME. Typically I dribble one row of almost-touching drops across the grooves, excluding the runout grooves. That meters the # of drops relative to the amount of groove space to be cleaned. If I use any more it actually cleans *worse*, and costs more of course.

If you want me to test clean a few records no problem. No charge except return postage. Drop me an email and I'll give you my office address to ship to (safer for receiving than my unattended front porch).

I love Mikey as much as anyone (20 minutes/side?!) but there are two music lovers in my home who will politely disagree with your view on VTA.

If all lacquers were cut at the same angle, all records pressed on the same vinyl then you'd be right. But they weren't and they aren't.

Whether you choose to ignore those facts or optimize for them is up to you of course, but don't assume that someone gets less pleasure from music than you because they take a few seconds to adjust their rig for each record. Do violinists enjoy music less than clarinetists because their instruments need constant tuning? You do whatever your sometimes imperfect tools require.
I loved Mikey as much as anyone until I heard him state that RRL was alcohol based during his turntable seminar at the Stereophile show. RRL's distributor, Garth Leerer of Musical Surroundings was assiting Fremer (because he was using Clearaudio tables), told the crowd that RRL has never used alcohol. Fremer had a puzzled look on his face.

How did this excape Mikey? He's Mr. Analog. He helped save LP playback.
jes45: That's no reason to stop liking Mikey, it's just a reason to remember that we're all human, can make mistakes and sometimes operate under pre-concieved albeit false notions.

Ten bucks says that Mikey won't make that mistake again though... : ) Sean
Hey, it was a show. He was probably a bit alchohol-based himself when he said that!
Thanks Guys for the hints.
I'll go with DD, when our house still stands after this hurricane.

Shasta, I tried VTA but I am not ready yet. The Denon DL-103 has only 20 hours. And I guess it should be driven in before.I tried the VTA on the MMF-7 and could not hear anything. I gave the MMF-7 back, because of quality reasons, anyway. I still have a TD-318 but huntig for a Thorens 2001/5020. In the meanwhile I give my best with DD. I can hear some pops after cleaning but it mostly disappears after 2-3 times playing. Thanks


E-6000 is the name of the glue, that I used to glue the fabric to the crevice tool.
I have now a VPI 16.5. I can not hear the difference between the RRL and the VPI cleaner, but I certainly have now clean records.

Thanks guys.

There is a new guy on the block; watch out. The AudioTop Vinyl cleaner cleans the others' clocks. Records cleaned with the other cleaners once recleaned sound like they had not been cleaned with the others.
"Records cleaned with the other cleaners once recleaned sound like they had not been cleaned with the others."

Huh? Who's on first???

At $150 a bottle - this stuff had better do more than clean my vinyl!

I've been seriously considering using the RRL solutions. Currently my method is as follows:

1: Apply liberal amount of 2:1 Disc Doctor fluid with the DD brush
2: Gently scrub with the Nitty Gritty Bristle Brush (back and forth scrubbing - about 10 times)
3: Gently scub with the DD brush (back and forth scrubbing - about 10 times)
4: Wipe dry with 2-ply toilet tissue
5: Rinse with steam-distilled water applied with clean DD brush (back and forth scrubbing - about 10 times)
6: Remove rinse water with Nitty Gritty machine - about 4 revolutions

I've gotten satisfactory results using this method - adding the step with the bristle brush helped with some of the more stubborn records.
Granted the AudioTop Vinyl is expensive, but how would you react were it to make what you thought was a cleaned record sound incredibly better? I did not expect this great of an improvement despite the claims of the U.S. importer who I have known for some time. When you get an improvement that sounds like you went from a mediocre cartridge to a great but expensive cartridge, I don't think the price is too high, but I certainly wish it was lower.
No - I understand. I just couldn't bring myself to dish out $150 for a bottle of solution.
I expect they will find substantial sales resistance without a demonstration. For the vinyl and lp treatments this would be easy, but for the contact treatment it would be difficult.
I've switched to Audio Intelligent Viny Solutions two step cleaning system. This stuff is really, really good. A big bonus is that it's more affordable than anything else except home brew. Great anti-static properties too.
I agree, and switched also. The beta test of AIVS went very well, I'm impressed! So, anyone want some RRL?