I love Walker audio products. I am currently using Audio Intelligent solutuions. I wasn't even aware they are not in business anymore. I'm glad Walker has stepped up to bat.
I am using the Walker HDL Reference links on my Watt's with excellent results. Lloyd Walker and his line of products are wonderful tools for us all.
AI is still in business. Paul Frumkin sold the rights to the product to someone else who is still producing and marketing it according to Paul's formula.
Joe (Slipknot1), thanks for the update on the Walker Audio Prelude record cleaning system. The only thing missing is that "holy cow" remark you made to me over the phone. :-)
I heard the same results Joe described in a demo in Lloyd's system about 4 months ago and I was impressed with it, too. So apparently was David Robinson in awarding the Prelude cleaning system a 2006 Brutus Award at Positive Feedback Online
What was particularly impressive to me was the impact on two LPs I brought over that I'd recently cleaned carefully using Disc Doctor and my VPI RCM. We played the LPs, then Lloyd used his 3-step cleaning (starting with the enzyme cleaner) and we played them again. The improvement was not subtle. Was this simply the result of a *second* cleaning and might the same result have come with another cleaning with my standard regimine? Maybe - I've not tested that. But once my system is set up again following this move I'm in the middle of, I plan to get some of Lloyd's materials and find out. I look forward to comments from others who get a chance to try this in your own systems.
I didn't see any information on Lloyd's site indicating how many LP sides one can expect to clean with one complete system (without having to re-order any particular item). Any idea?
If you don't expect any "biohazards" on an LP, is it necessary to perform the enzyme step?
Let's see: so far I have cleaned 20 LP sides (10 records). I have used about 2 fingernail size anounts of the enzyme powder, 3 to 4 ounces of water, and less than an ounce of cleaning solution. My guess is the first thing to be be replenished would be the premixed cleaning solution, but not until I have cleaned well over 200 LPs
As far as HAZMATS on the LP or not, Lloyd sells it as a three-step process and it is efficacious as a three-step process. Could you skip the enzymes? Sure. You've bought and paid for them, why not use them?
Perhaps it is a bad choice of words, but I was under the impression that enzymes were not living things and as such had no life cycle. I'm not challenging the effectiveness of this cleaner but perhaps questioning the claim on the effective time span of an enzyme solution.
I'm just an EE with a masters in CS so I claim no expertise in this area. I'm simply confused by past conversations concerning enzymes.
I'm no chemist either. I too claim no knowledge about the biology or chemistry of enzymes. I can only report what I read in the directions for use. Perhaps it's not so much that the enzymes themselves are living organisms, but perhaps the chemical reaction created when they are suspended in a liquid (in this case water) limits the period of effective viability.http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/E/Enzymes.html
Enzymes are catalysts. Most are proteins. (A few ribonucleoprotein enzymes have been discovered and, for some of these, the catalytic activity is in the RNA part rather than the protein part.
Enzymes bind temporarily to one or more of the reactants of the reaction they catalyze. In doing so, they lower the amount of activation energy needed and thus speed up the reaction.
It appears from the above that the key is the enzyme solution as a pre-treatment allows the cleaning solution to work better as there is less energy required due to the catalyst effect created by the bonding of the enzyme solution and the cleaning solution. Call Lloyd Walker to discuss the research he put into this before he brought it to the market.
Fair enough. If Lloyd's solutions work as good as the AI and are as affordable then this could be an excellent alternative.
Enzymes are catalysts - a very special kind of "organically grown" catalyst with a very precise chemical definition. A "true" catalyst in chemical terms substantially reduces the energy barrier which exists between atoms and which prevents the atoms from "getting close" enough to react and form a bond with one another. An enzyme, like all strictly-defined catalysts, is therefore said to lower the energy of activation of a reaction; but, the catalyst is not changed in any way in the process - kind-of like a conduit - a path through which reactions occur.
From:What the Heck is an Enzyme?
Here's a link to a very good dissertation on enzymes. Sorry, I don't do hyperlinks. :)
I'd forgotten that Lloyd was coming out with this product this month, thanks for the reminder. I too heard an early version of the product at Lloyd's home when he applied it to records I had brought with me and thought were clean. The differences were not subtle and are as you and Rush described. I suppose I should get separate vacuum arms for my VPI 16.5 RCM for use with the different stages, if I want to go all the way on this. It's a lot of work, but it is the best I've heard so far and is well worth the effort.
I too have tried Lloyds new record cleaning solution and it is all that you claim in terms of the sonic improvements it produces. My only reason for not using it each time I listen to LP's is the limited half life of the enzyme solution [I don't want to mix up more than I can use at one time and then have to throw the unused portion out. But I will swear by the sonic improvements, you really havent heard all that is on your LP's till you clean with this stuff!!!
Perditty, Lloyd tells me that you need to use the enzyme step only *once*. After that first cleaning, if there's ever a need to clean the LP again, just use the cleaning solution and rinse.
The response to your thread must be a record, or close to it, 14 responses in 2 days, congrats.
From previous posts,------- "Enzymes are catalysts - a very special kind of organically grown catalyst with a very precise chemical definition. A "true" catalyst in chemical terms substantially reduces the energy barrier which exists between atoms and which prevents the atoms from "getting close" enough to react and form a bond with one another. An enzyme, like all strictly-defined catalysts, is therefore said to lower the energy of activation of a reaction; but, the catalyst is not changed in any way in the process - kind-of like a conduit - a path through which reactions occur."
It appears from the above that the key is the enzyme solution, as a pre-treatment, allows the cleaning solution to work better as there is less energy required due to the catalyst effect created by the bonding of the enzyme solution and the cleaning solution.
Just a thought; a catalyst, by definition, affects the speed of a chemical reaction without actually taking part in it. Time and heat are both catalysts. Enzymes also contribute to the effectiveness of the cleaning process , the frame of reference that we are referring to in this text. We should be able to add another catalyst to enhance the final result. I suggest a vigorous mechanical action , much more violent than brushing.
Ultrasonic action should only enhance the final result.
Can you describe the process that goes on with the premixed solution? One ounce (you indicated that you actually used less) of cleaning solution for 20 LP sides equals about 1/3 teaspoon of solution per side. Do you feel that that is enough fluid to "flood" the surface and bring the crud from deep within the grooves to the surface while you scrub? It seems like a healthy amount of this quantity will be soaked up by the brush.
When I imagine cleaning an LP I imagine the dirt being put into suspension on a very wet surface before it is vacuumed off. Can this be effectively done with less than 1/3 teaspoon of solution?
Here are a couple of reasons that enzymes could become inactive in solution. Most of this depends on the concept that an enzyme is a large polypeptide chain with a tertiary structure that is relatively unstable compared to simple chemical catalysts. Changes in this structure can lead to its inactivation.:
1. Denaturation of the enzymes by agitation at air:water interfaces. Do you see soap-like bubbles when you shake the enzyme solution? Uh oh, that is enzyme that has lost its tertiary structure by denaturation caused by separation of hydrophilic and hydrophobic regions of the polypeptide chains at the air:water interface. Better be careful mixing this solution and use swirling, rather than shaking motions. Hint: roll it between your palms.
2. Degradation due to proteases. The world (inc. probably record surfaces) is full of proteases made by microbes and even your fingers and these can attack enzymes and inactivage them by cleaving the polypeptide chain into smaller pieces and amino acids.
3. Inactivation due to inhibition. Enzymes often require cofactors to work and depletion of these can inhibit further enzyme action. Alternatively, inhibitor molecules can bind to the enzyme and modify it to an inactive state.
Hope this helps clarify things. (I am a molecular biologist with a background in protein x-ray crystallography and the design of peptide detergents.)
My understanding in speaking with Lloyd about this is that the "enzymes" are primarily used to "eat" the oils from the mold release products such that once accomplished it doesn't need to be done again and that this has nothing to do with facilitating the action of the second step. The two steps apply themselves to different aspects of cleaning and the third is simply to clean off the cleaners.
As usual, Lloyd has taken it to the nth degree with predictable consequences.
I understand what you are saying re: the amounts of cleaning solution used. But, if I follow your math, I would have used 4-6 teaspoons for 20 sides. FAR LESS than an ounce. I stated that I used less than an ounce, but not that much less.
Most of my LPs are pretty clean to start with, so after the enzyme step, I only need enough to to do the job. I don't apply it directly to the LP, but to the brush pad, as I don't want to apply a dry brush to the LP.
As has been stated above, the enzyme step only needs to be done once, not with each subsequent cleaning, unless the LP has been containimated by oils etc from your skin.
FYI, I just talked to Lloyd and he is developing a directional brush, three of which will be used with the cleaning system, one for each step.
Tafka_steve, thanks for the great explanation of enzymes. I enjoyed reading it.
I wonder why something like Sporicidin Enzymatic Cleaner
wouldn't work on records.
From the website:
Enzymatic Cleaner Recommended Uses
* Pre-cleaner for mold / Indoor Air Quality remediation and restoration
* Carpet, fabric and upholstery cleaning
* Pet stain and odor removal
* Ultrasonic cleaning
* Cleans clothing and linens
* Safe for use in automatic washers
* Removes dried blood and protein stains
* Cleans rubber, plastics, stainless steel, vinyl and much more
* Deodorizes as it cleans
Sporicidin Enzymatic Cleaner Features and Benefits
* Mildly alkaline (pH 7.5)
* Low foaming, concentrated formulation
* Special blend containing a cellulose enzyme and a proteinizing enzyme for cleaning and removing material stains and breaking down both organic and inorganic debris
* Contains enzyme preservative for added stability
* Safe for use on rubber, stainless steel, vinyl, plastics, linens, clothing, carpets, fabrics and upholstery
* Reduces the need for manual scrubbing
* Economical highly concentrated formula - 1 ounce makes 1 gallon of cleaning solution
1 gallon of concentrate makes 128 gallons of cleaner. $29.50/gallon sold in 4 gallon cases.
Tvad, the sporicidin enzyme cleaner sounds similar to the Buggtussel enzyme system and it would probably work well with records contaminated with fungi, but it would not work on the mold release compounds. That would require something with lipase-like enzymes. The sporicidin enzymatic cleaner or Buggtussel would be a good first step on a heavily contaminated record, to follow with Lloyd's system.
What I really need is another record cleaning liquid, but I am have ordered some Preclude. I presently have DiskDoctor, RRL, AudioTop, and L'art du Son here and found L'art du Son best, but I trust Lloyd's tweaking.
Tvad, the sporicidin enzyme cleaner sounds similar to the Buggtussel enzyme system and it would probably work well with records contaminated with fungi, but it would not work on the mold release compounds. That would require something with lipase-like enzymes.
You are correct! After I specified that I was looking for an enzymatic cleaner for vinyl records, the technician at Sporicidin recommended their lipase, protease, and amylase based cleaner, Sporicidin Enzyme Mold Cleaner
Enzyme Mold Cleaner Concentrate
Sporicidin® Enzyme Mold Cleaner ENZ-3212An effective enzyme combination of protease (to remove protein), amylase (to remove starch) and lipase (to remove fat), which also quickly dissolves and removes mold and organic matter.
Sporicidin Enzyme Mold Cleaner Features and Benefits
* Deodorizes as it cleans
* Environmentally safe
* Neutral pH (7.5)
* Removes mold, blood, bacteria, and viruses
* Eliminates the biofilm that mold and bacteria live on
* Reduces the need for manual scrubbing
* Lifts stains on carpet, fabric and other water-safe materials
* Removes protein, fire and oil residue
* Eliminates sewer backflow, smoke, and pet odors
* Economical (2 oz. makes one gallon)
One $32/quart of concentrate makes 16 gallons of cleaner.
Very interesting. I have never found Buggtussel to do anything, probably because I have not had fungus on my records.
I do know from conversations with Lloyd Walker that the percentage of what he is adding made a great deal of difference. I also suspect that it is not like Buggtussel from his comment about my getting nothing out of using it.
>>I have never found Buggtussel to do anything, probably because I have not had fungus on my records<<
If you read the product description:
Buggtussel Gold-zyme. Not a record cleaner at all, but a powerful enzyme that neutralizes and removes mold (sometimes spelled mould in scientific circles), spores, fungus, and bacteria that grow in the grooves of a record.
Why would you expect it to do anything??????
I was just recalling a discussion with the developer of L'art du Son. She said that one of the standards of the Library of Congress was that the cleaner not remove any molecules of vinyl. Does a sporicidin enzyme remove any vinyl? I think if so, I would not use it.
Err, the salesman said so?? And the bottle say "For disks that sound like gold" and "...developed for safe and effective cleaning of analog recorded surfaces." Foolish me!
That's a real honest response and goes to show how careful we all must be selecting products.
There is a lot money spent(and wasted in fact) in search of the holy grail in this hobby.
I spent almost 25 years in the chemical industry and won't waste space here with that but the average consumer would be flabbergasted to know what goes on behind the scenes in the research and marketing departments.
FWIW, vinyl molecules are NOT substrates which can be metabolized by proteases, amylases, or lipases. However, I cannot vouch for the safety of the sporicidin enzyme mixture on vinyl if it contains ingredients (enzyme cofactors, buffers, etc.) not described here. Also, I cannot predict the ease of removal of any residues from the sporicidin enzyme solutions from the vinyl surface. What residues? Well besides the enzymes, the products of the enzyme/substrate reactions are small polysaccharides and sugars, peptides and amino acids, and fatty acids--those will have to be removed as well. Otherwise, you'll just end up growing bacteria on your records. Fortunately, they should be readily extractable with a detergent/water rinse.
Also, to avoid confusion, the "mold" described in the sporicidin enzyme solution lit. is fungus and is not to be confused with the "mold" in the mold-release compounds of vinyl records ("mold" = metal template).
Clearly, all these systems are two or three step processes which include an ispopropyl alcohol/water solution that follows the enzymatic cleanser to clean the residues mentioned by Tafka_steve.
Tafka_steve, thanks for explaining the difference between mold (metal template) release compounds of vinyl records and fungus. This was not clear to me. Are mold release compounds organic or synthetic? If they are synthetic, how would an enzymatic cleanser be effective on a synthetic compound? And, if the mold release compound is organic, and if Walker Audio Prelude enzymatic cleanser is effective on the mold release compound, would not another enzyme-based cleanser be equally effective?
Tafka_steve, are you vouching for the safety of the Walker Audio products? I see no disclosure of their ingredients or chemical properties as disclosed by the Sporicidin company. So, I suppose my question if you are vouching for the safety of Walker Audio Prelude is what is the source of the information on which you are basing your opinion, and how did you come by it?
Re: the safety of Walker Prelude, I'm not a chemist but I do know Lloyd to be very down to earth and extremely picky about the finer points of everything he does, in this case, record care. I know it's going out on a limb but I actually do trust Lloyd to do his homework. Just one vote of confidence but I think you'll find plenty more who feel the same way based on their personal experience with him and his products.
Tvad, I do not know the exact composition of the mold release compounds, but suspect they are a mixture of long-chain hydrocarbon alkanes. These can be synthetic or natural, like crude oil is a natural product. But either can be degraded by bacteria (synthetic or natural? it doesn't matter because bacteria are incredible chemists!). I do not know the nature of Walker's enzyme solution; that is his intellectual property. However, if I were to try to do this (try to remove mold release compounds), I'd start experimenting with the oil-degrading enzymes extracted from thermophilic bacteria. These enzymes are probably more (thermally and kinetically) stable than those sourced from other bacteria, because they have to be functional in the hot springs where the bacteria live.
Again, I have no inside information on Walker's system and hope that I did not imply such, so I cannot vouch for the safety of it or the sporicidin enzyme solution, as I haven't tried either. I suggest caution in first use: IOW, try it on Herb Alpert's "Whipped Cream and Other Delights" before trying it on your 1s/1s RCA stereo pressing of Reiner's "Scheherezade".
Thanks Tafka_steve. That's useful information for investigating alternative cleaning solutions. Audio Intelligent's enzymatic cleaner is specifically intended to clean mold (spores), proteins, fats and starches. This is discussed on the website. Walker Audio makes no specific claims of what the product will do other than clean one's records. Walker makes no mention of mold (spores) or mold (metal template) release compounds.
I don't wish for a bashing so I will make my comments brief. For years I have been using consumer hand-held steaming devices to pre and post clean LPs. My ideas have been posted in several audio mags and one euro design group visted with me last year after my steaming method trashed a machine retailing for $$$$+. Mr. Walker & I had a brief conversation so he is awaire of the steaming method. Personally, I have found that all cleaning solutions I tested leave a "sonic fingerprint" that no one would know existed UNLESS you steam-clean( pre & post) to the use of cleaning solutions /or machines. I am certian that Mr. Walker has done all possible to putout a superior product. I suggest that unless one has not tried steaming as outlined in Michael Fremers article in Stereophile 2/06 you shall never know what is missing. I interject this suggestion because you-all are hard-core not for a bash'in. So take or leave it. Happy Listening
I like to consider myself open minded, and seeing as though I started this thread; would you be willing to post in more detail the process you go through to steam clean?
I, for one, am interested in reading about how it is done.
Slipknot: The process is simple. I use a a hand held steamer w/o any attachments. The steaming unit is filled with water approved for filling a car-battery --super clean and reasonable @ PEP Boys Auto. I cover the label ,cover the hand holding the lp with a glove and lightly steam the LP groves before using ANY record cleaning machine (of your choice)and record cleaning solution to gently scrub the groves followed by a second vaccuming & a post steaming. The post steaming removes any potental "sonic fingerprint" that were deposited by the cleaning solution. Thereafter, I use a couple of custom built machines to dry an de-static the LPs before playing. I find the combination of steaming/record cleaning solvents and machines leaves a record as utterly free of gunk as possible. Forget my custom stuff -- a lint free cloth or air drying works ALMOST as well. A couple of NASA folks did a series of unpublished experiments on the process and found nothing cleaned LPs better. I have developed a couple of other machines that can remove the .005% of gunk nothing elese can remove. But those are for me . I own quite alot of LPs. And with exception of those with manufacturing noise or misuse I can make 99.5% listenable. Enjoy the music.
Hi, your technique and system is the second inovation I have read about on these pages.
The other, the integration of a ultrasonic bath with a verticle RCM vacum above the tank is said to be available on the street retail in Taiwan.
Have you seen it ? ultraclean
Not wanting to take this to an extreme (oops too late) do you think combining both your deep steam treatment with the ultra sonic bath and verticle bath would or could yeild a more pristine result?
Thank you Crem1. it sounds like something worth persuing. It makes a lot a sense that a steam "pretreatment" would release a lot of contaminants down in the grooves.
Thankyou! Finally someone clearly explains the steam cleaning process and effect.
I bought myself a small hand-held cleaner but am concerned with 2 things:
1. How close to place the nozzle of the cleaner to the vinyl? (The nozzle is 4"wide by 1/2"deep with small holes along its length)
2. How long do you steam for? 30 secs or 3 minutes?
The answers to the above should remove some of my fear factor!
Groovey: For several years I have been experimenting with my own prototype made from off-the-shelf stuff that is effective. However, my concern is that the ultrasonic action "leaches" the chemicals out of the LP and sometimes I have experienced the H20 imparting a white crystal on the top groves ,should I use the machine for more than a 15 sec. or so. I have a feeling that the machine you forwarded has overcome my concerns, but who knows. All the Best
Slipknot1 Thank you for the kind response.
Clarets2: Place the nozzle on an angle , never allow the steam to come closer than 3/4" > I steam from 15-30 sec. per side followed by a ride on my VPI (cleaning solution of your choice but Walker highly recommended)followed up with a 2nd steaming and drying. My personal choice is the Eureka Hot Shot 350-A @ $55 to 60 at the big boxes.
Is it just me that thinks that the steaming will only make the vinyl expand, tighten up the grooves, and lock in the dirt, making it even harder to remove? I'm not bashing your steam cleaning idea, but I would at least like a scientific explanation of what is going on.
Also, how do you tell the difference between .005% gunk and 0% gunk? Were you just kidding around?
And the NASA folks... Were they just evaluating the steam cleaning idea by listening (you don't have to be employed by NASA to do that) or did they have some high tech methods to evaluate the effectiveness?
Creml, please explain more! It seems like the less you explain the more it sounds like "crazy talk," to me at least!
I also used steaming with great success. I use a procedure almost identical to Crem1's. I find it easiest to apply steam while the record is rotating on the VPI, then I simply turn on the vacuum to remove the condensate.
Ketchup : I have explained the ideas in Listener, Stereophile ( twice -2003&2006 ) & Positive Feedback (2005). I am not selling anything and if you don't prefer the suggestion that's ok. As for "crazy talk " for you that maybe the answer. As for NASA folks, they are SOME of the same that put robots on places far too distant to appreciate with the naked eye but they do. Remember, they sought me out after experimenting with the idea. As for the % of course that is subjective. However, during the past 30 years I have been constantly experimenting with LP cleaning ideas and in my opinion I have probably read just about every published article in english on the subject. Steam has been used as a cleaning method for well over 100+years factories. My idea takes steam from the macro to the micro. I know that it is difficult to grasp but its not really. You just need to spend a couple of weeks reading to understand that steam is a universal cleaner. Using household steaming machines that produce steam at "cool" levels as I have suggested CAREFULLY can bring remarkable results. For you that mat not be the answer. But one issue is certian --no amount of cleaning can take the place of extreme record care or fix manufacturing defects or abuse.
Please see Motic comments above.
I am a chemist. I do know what an enzyme is and how it acts. I also know what a catalyst is beyond the level of high school chemisatry displayed by some respondents above. If there is no chemical specific to an enzyme present on the surface of a record then the enzyme will do nothing. PVC is certainly impoervious to enzyme action, and the plasticizer molecules are probably too embedded in the PVC matrix to be accessible. The only contaminants I can think of that a commercially-available enzyme mixture might attack and break down into smaller, water-soluble washable molecules are residues from fingerprints or food particles accidently dropped on the record. I cannot see how bacterial enzymes specific to mold-release agents (if there are such enzymes) would be available at the price.
So if you haven't touched the surface of your records with your bare hands or dropped food material on it you're wasting your money subjecting your records to enzymatic treatment. You might as well do a pure water wash at this point. Unless I am corrected by the results of independent research that throws up strong possibilities that I haven't considered, I'll continue to regard this method as equivalent to the "demagnetizing" of vinyl records.
What about a "mold" that might grow on a water or damp damaged LP? Might that be a material that could be attacked by such an enzyme?
Clarets2: Frankly, I have not found any organic compound that was impervious to a good record cleaning & steaming. My all time favorite cleaner is "Disc Doctor". The H2O used to dilute the cleaner and make steam is critical to the process , that is why I purchase my H2O from Prestone or Peak via a local autoparts store. Read Michael Fremers March /03 Stereophile article outlining the use of the "Hotshot" to clean used records. Mickey likes it ! And remember this ; even if the stuff you clean vinyl with is ,unfortunately, "snakeoil" steaming most likely shall remove its traces before playtime.