Record cleaning

Re: Record cleaning

Postby Harry » Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:09 pm

To make life easier with cleaning a lot of records I have installed a water line from my whole house filter to the USC and a separate .5 micron filter on that near the USC unit and just dump the water after 4 records. I use the USA made unit with the variable frequency USC mode and have never had better results. Making 24-192 recordings and they sound quiet like digital with the analog magic that vinyl gives.

Very happy with this setup after 5 years of experimenting.

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Re: Record cleaning

Postby theeng » Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:11 am


Love the brute-force approach, have copious quantities of purified water to eliminate a pumped filtration system. However, what actual 0.5 micron filter are you using - is it nominally rated or absolute rated, there is a big difference. Here are two cut-sheets to illustrate the difference.

Hydronix SBC - is nominally rated. A 1-mciron filter is only 80% efficient and does not each absolute till almost 50-microns.

Hydronix AR - is absolute rated. A 1-micron filter is 99.9% efficient. ... o%20humans.

But, the nominal filter will cost ~$10 while the absolute will cost ~$50.

Just some thoughts.
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Re: Record cleaning

Postby Harry » Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:32 pm

The next time the plumber comes by to change my kitchen garbage grinder I will ask him to open the system and check the filter or he may know which he put in. Works beautifully though and makes life very easy when cleaning about 20K in records!

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Re: Record cleaning

Postby Dizastical » Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:51 am

I figured Id post this here since you guys are doing DIY set ups. I have a Pro-Ject VC-S MKII record cleaning machine. Like most of them, the vacuum motor failed. I bought a new motor and wired it up. It worked the first 3 times I used it, then the entire thing stopped working. I think I purchased the wrong motor and it had too much draw. It must have blown one or more of the electrical components. I have already purchased a new record cleaning machine and thought maybe someone would want to take a stab at repairing this one or using it for a DIY project. I'd take $50 or best offer and buyer pays shipping. The box is about 24"x24"x20" and weighs about 25 pounds. I have the original box and paperwork. This is a complete unit, it just does not turn on at the moment. The only other flaw on it is a small tiny dent on one of the corners. Nothing that noticeable at all. PM me if interested.

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Re: Record cleaning

Postby tunerculin » Thu Feb 25, 2021 6:02 pm

This is my first post in a long time and under a new handle. I won't go into why I can't use my old handle "oldskooldude". It’s taken me a week to catch up on this thread.

Honestly I don't know how Harry is ever going to listen to 20,000 records. We only have a limited time here on earth. :)

Neil, you are providing a great service to us all. Similar to and much more in depth with scientific data than Rush Paul's endeavor three years ago on this very thread. Which is why I am posting this inquiry.

Rush and I used the Walker 4 Step cleaning method. I found that I could clean 3-4 records per hour and it was very labor intensive. The results were mixed, but mostly very good. When the method failed it was my fault, but a pain to redo a record.

I have used Rush's UCM method, more or less to the letter, since 2017 with what I thought were excellent results. And, I have not found the need to re-clean any records treated in this manner, even those that are listened to frequently. (Except some really well used ones from the used record store.) I do rinse again if they seem too dusty and that will eliminate whatever new noise I notice. I can clean 6 records an hour with this method and achieve better results.

I do not do a pre wash, but may find that as a necessary effort before UCM cleaning, with my new found knowledge and since I am buying many used records now. I have been relying solely on the UCM concoction from Rush:
For a 10L tank, 500ml 99% IPA mixed with 13ml Triton-X 100 and 10ml Hepastat 256 added to 9473ml of DIW (the Triton-X is mixed with the IPA to make it water soluble). Run the UCM for 10 minutes rotating about three times using a VinylStack rotisserie. Filter the UCM tank between runs, about 15 minutes.
Upon removal from the UCM wipe one side with a lint-free cloth that comes with the VinylStack, put the record, wet side up, on the MW-1 and rinse with Type 1 Regents water and vacuum dry. Rinse again with Type-1 Regents water and 3% 200 proof ethyl alcohol (tax paid) and vacuum dry. Flip the record and repeat the rinse procedure on that side.
Slide on a new MoFi sleeve after a brief air dry in the exact rack that is shown in his writings.
The Rush Paul method had stood me in good stead. NO static, NO noise and the records seem to stay clean for quite some time without further action being necessary. BTW, the stylus stays clean as well.

I’ve read the paper (not many people can say that judging by the questions asked) and the entire thread all the way back to Harry’s initial post.
So, as I understand it your objection to IPA or Ethyl is their volatility, not the purpose of their use in Rush’s method. The Hepastat is dangerous in its raw form. The Triton-X because it does not readily mix with water. Apparently the DIW and Type 1 are OK with you. These compounds and water were selected because of their effectiveness, not environmental or volatility issues.

I have not seen where you may have stated that these compounds/waters will not or do not work as well as those that you recommend. However, I do get the gist that just the ethyl alcohol is not an adequate surfactant and will not penetrate the grooves as well as ILFORD or Fotoflow.
Am I correct?

In our initial finds it was brought out that Distilled water is in fact dirty compared to Type 1 and we are trying to remove dirt. The Type 1 supposedly works as a dirt and debris magnet since it is so pure. I am not a chemist and never took chemistry. I’m just going by what I’ve read on this and other forums.
So, aren’t we better off using the Type 1 (if we can afford it) than distilled?

It seems that the time in the UCM is reduced in the new process to 5 minutes in the UCM. What is the reason? We determined, way back then, that 10 minutes and three revolutions was optimal for a clean record at 40Khz. There was no pre-wash.
What changed?

Needless to say, I spent a lot of time re-reading many issues regarding this to alleviate my confusion. I know you’re going to say if my process works go with it, but I want to optimize my cleaning being the perfectionist. So can you point out anything that I am doing that if I changed a step or a mix would I get better results? If I missed your answer to this I am sorry, there is a lot of data and little time.

Thank you for what you have done and I hope to hear back soon so I can get on with listening!

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