Walker Prelude Step 4 rinse-Somewhat mixed results

I recently purchased the Walker Prelude Step 4 high resolution rinse and over the past week listened to (16) records rinsed with the Walker step four solution. I took careful notes and did critical listening and while the general results were positive there were also some mixed lessons. Four of the records tested had a negative results using step 4 with the sound somewhat more compressed, duller and less clear. With one record I could not tell any difference either way. With (11) records I heard positive results using the prelude step 4 resulting in a clearer more transparent sound, a 3-5% improvement overall.

Thus far everybody else on this forum have been 100% positive about Prelude Step 4 so I guess I will be the odd man out with my listening results. It is a shame that two of the records that had a negative effect with step Four were two of my favorite records, Steely Dan "Aja" and Cowboy Junkies "Trinity Sessions". Did anybody else have mixed results using this product?. I own all of the Walker record cleaning supplies including the Talisman and this is the only one that does not perform consistently.


Johnny, I've had only positive or occasionally neutral results using the Step 4 Final Rise as compared to the same LPs using Prelude and just the ultraPure water rinses. I've never had a negative effect.

On the two LPs you had a negative result, did you re-clean with Prelude first before doing the Step Four Rinse or just do the Step Four? I've applied just the Step Four Final Rinse on some previously cleaned LPs with good results, so just wondering.
Hi Rushton,

Four records had a negative effect (25%) using Step Four. All 16 lp's in my test were first cleaned with Prelude Step 3. I would listen to a track on side one of the record then quickly remove it and rinse it with Prelude Step 4 and replay that exact same track and take carefull written notes. While the majority of records did improve with Step 4 I can not explaine why 25% of the tested lp's did not. None of these were 180 gram reissues. All records were original pressings from the 1960's thru the 1980's.

To the best of my knowledge only myself and Tom Port of Better records had mixed results from the Walker step four. Tom sells all of the excellent Walker audio record cleaning products but does not use Step Four himself.

Glad to hear you have good results. I will continue to use step 4 on a record by record basis only after listening. On records where there is a negative effect with Walker Step Four I simply re-rinse using step three and the sound is restored.

Johnny, trust your ears. If you're hearing it, it's real. The next time I do some more cleaning, I'll do some more comparative testing to see if I come across any examples that match your two negative experiences.