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Doug Deacon can explain it more eloquently, but the fact that you hear more clicks and pops is probably an indication that your Spin Clean does a good job cleaning the records. No RCM will clean away the mechanical damage to the grooves; clicks and pops are usually a sign there is damage to the record grooves unless the record is dirty enough to affect the tracking of the stylus. A dirty record can mask the damage by sounding more "quiet," but the separation and resolution of the instruments will also be negatively impacted. Conversely, a clean record with some groove damage may appear to have more surface noise, but will actually sound clearer and more "alive." That seems to be supported by your observation that "[o]n the positive side, music sounds great: clearer, more "alive" and more dynamic."
Thanks for your thoughts. I'd thought that the cleaning might have uncovered some damage, too. It reminded me of another thread on cleaning regarding Gruv Glide spray (which I also own). Some suggest that Gruv Glide makes records sound quieter by smoothing over damage in the groove walls, while at the same time "smoothing over" musical detail, as well.
I have both a Spin Clean and a Nitty Gritty. Both work fine and, while the Nitty Gritty may well do a somewhat better job overall, certainly the Spin Clean is more "economically efficient." Sliding the LP between the two cleaning pads on the Spin Clean does make me nervous, but I've never noticed any actual damage from doing so. As for drying the LP at the end of Spin Cleaning, I first leave the LP perched at the top of the cleaning pads for a few moments to drain after withdrawing the LP from between the pads. I then blot both sides of the LP on a 12x12 cleanroom wipe ( http://www.uline.com/BL_8470/Kimtech-Pure-Cleanroom-Wipes ) which I've laid over a couple of layers of paper towels. (NEVER directly blot with a paper towel! Many paper towels will leave a residue, typically titanium dioxide.) Then, with the LP still on the cleanroom wipe, I'll dry the LP with the cheese cloth wipe per the Spin Clean instructions. Lastly, I'll wave the LP in the air (carefully!) for several seconds to finish drying it and then place it in a new high-quality record sleeve.
The Nitty Gritty, of course, doesn't have the same drying challenges that a Spin Clean has. And I've never noticed any increase in surface noise from either cleaner, and I'd be upset if I did. But then I'm usually working with new or very little played LPs for commercial remastering and release.
I second Actusreus's seconding! ;-)
The OP's experience of music that's more alive, with more jump, with more low level detail BUT with a slightly noisier record surface is what I hear on many cleaned records. Vinyl surfaces often contain microscopic imperfections that are masked by trace substances. Thorough cleaning removes the mask, making both noise and the fullest range of music more audible.
If you don't hear this, you either haven't removed all foreign substances or your sytem/ears lack the resolution to reveal it. I've had friends visit with supposedly clean LPs that sounded quite dull. When I re-clean them using my RCM and methods, the musical result is always startling (despite a slight increase in background noise).
FWIW, my somewhat insane cleaning regimen requires 20-25 minutes/side and was developed during beta testing/comparing RCM fluids from 4 competitors. It's not for the impatient, lol.
Rebbi's statement of how Gruv Glide works is also correct, IME. If a dead quiet background is all you care about, it's effective... provided you don't mind missing half the music. Personally, I can accomplish that by listening to second rate CDs for a lot less money and with a lot less hassle.
Wow, very useful thread, folks, thanks. I did hear back from the Spin Clean folks with a nice email. They said that the usual culprits for what I'm hearing are residue on the cleaning pads from a really dirty record (and they suggested cleaning the pads), too much cleaning solution in the water mix (so try a bath with only distilled water and no cleaning solution) and a record that was still somewhat damp when played (in which case the record should now sound quieter when replayed. I should mention that the records I cleaned were a mix of old favorites from my collection and a few recently acquired used records which may have been quite dirty, so the "residue on the brushes" theory might be on to something.
I'll look into all of this and report back.
I have a 16.5, and have recently been using it without vacuuming. I have been using SPIN CLEAN pads to dry while record is spinning on the 16.5.
I use Audio Intelligent #6 one step, and then dry the record.
Then I use distilled water, and dry off with a Spin Clean rag designated for water only. I have been happy with the results so far. Not using the Vac seems to actually decrease static charge.
Well, I went back and listened to some of the records I'd cleaned and there's definitely increased surface noise in quieter passages, so it's not a matter of the records having been wet when I played them.
I was looking at the enzymatic cleaners to see if that might be the missing piece. The audio intelligent stuff is reasonably priced, How would I use it in combination with the Spin Clean?
For decades I've only used LAST Power Cleaner to remove the mold release compound from new records, LAST cleaner on an old-school Discwasher brush, LAST preservative and LAST stylus preservative on every side. Works like a charm. Recently invested in a V8 ultrasonic cleaner, which works beautifully on my records that have been played a lot and used stuff. No real difference to my ears on infrequently played or new records. The Spin Clean is supposed to be a good cleaner by all the reviews I've read. I'd gamble on a bottle of a different cleaning fluid and see if it makes a difference. Good luck & happy listening!
"I was looking at the enzymatic cleaners to see if that might be the missing piece. The audio intelligent stuff is reasonably priced, How would I use it in combination with the Spin Clean?
You choose a thick towel, any color will do , but I prefer blue, place the LP on it and squirt a few drops of AVIS enzyme and clean using a brush with gentle circular motions.Repeat for side 2. Flip the LP a couple of times to ensure there is no liquid residue. Than insert in the Spin Clean. If you want to be really fastidious follow this with a RCM.
Okay, I ordered the AI Enzymatic solution yesterday, along with a dedicated record brush. I'm going to try your method to see if it makes a difference. I noticed on the Needle Doctor web site by the way, in a review of the AI Enzymatic Cleaner, that the reviewer found that the AI fluid gets rid of the noise that Spin Clean can't seem to get rid of. So we'll see...
I've found that TTVJ's Vinyl Zyme Gold does a much better job than AIVS. It's also a lot cheaper and can be bought in concentrate form and mixed with distilled water in varying levels of concentration. When I used AIVS on my record cleaning machine I found some residual noise until I switched to TTVJ. So far, this is the best enzyme cleaner I've used.
I have used my spin clean only on new records so far. I read somewhere that it is a good idea to clean new records to remove film that may be left from the pressing procedure. But after cleaning some there is a static. On the A side of Dylan's Another Self Portrait there is a level of static that renders "Pretty Saro" , my favorite song on the album, almost unlistenable. I ordered the brush with the ground wire from Mapleshade this morning. Hopefully it will help. Any other suggestions that don't call for the purchase of another cleaning machine are welcome.
Valinar, good luck with the Mapleshade brush. I have their footers/slabs and interconnects and I'm pleased with results.
Tried the brush and IMO, junk. Bristles stuck in cart which I then had to tweezer to get out! My pos Hunt is good enough.
A sweep on a record left bristles, which the cart picked up.
Luckily the customer service is good and they took it back with a return label, no hassle.
As far as the Spin Clean goes, I've had mine many years and I'm not giving it up-unless an Audiodesk ultrasonic is 1/3 the price it is now.
Yes, I did a comparison on the Dylan record I mentioned in my earlier post. I brought the record home, removed it from the sleeve, and played it without any prior cleaning. Maybe a pop here and there, nothing out of the ordinary. After cleaning it with Spin Clean the static noise problem arose.
The Mapleshade brush is supposed to arrive today via UPS. I will see if that helps. Even if it doesn't I have been wanting the brush for some time,as I think it is a good addition to a vinyl set up.
I had the same problem, and I understand your frutration. Clicks and pops increased after using the Spin Clean. Same thing happened with the old D3 cleaner from RCA as well At the time, I was using an Ortofon OMP10 cartridge. I upgraded to a cartridge with a Shibata stylus, and the popping stopped. I don't know why, but the thinner stylus removed the problem. I also didn't hear the pops on a nude elliptical stylus.
If you do not want to upgrade your stylus, you may want to rinse the LP once more with distilled water, but use a brush or clean micro-fiber towel rather than the Spin Clean for the final rinse. The good news is, I found the pops after using the Spin Clean will go away after you play the LP through a couple of times.
Hope this helps.
I’ve found a two-stage Spin Clean regimen works for me; clean as directed, then empty the basin, refill with only distilled water, clean the brushes, and clean records again in this rinse.
Allow records to air dry (if environment is not particularly dusty).
This has solved my crackly Spin Clean problems.
Pops and clicks at lead in grooves could be water residue left after the surface has dried.
Blow off surface debris using canned air
Spin Clean, using SC fluid
Nitty Gritty Vac dry
Result is clean records with great dynamics. In my case pops clics and background noise are reduced in amount and volume, but still present.
I am thinking of changing to an enzyme cleaner, and adding a rinse step before vac dry.
The SC definitely works as intended, but may need additional steps to effectively clean all records. The SC is probably best used as a scrubber, rather than an all-in-one device.
EBM said :-
"You get what you pay for the KL Audio is the best by far not cheap though.I cleaned the same record on VPI 17F and the KL Audio record sounded much better...."
Was it quieter or noisier after KLA? ;^)
The reason I'm asking is that MF has tested a few ultrasonic cleaners for TAS etc and his usually immediate impression is that the vinyl is quieter post-cleaning(?)