Record cleaning

Re: Record cleaning

Postby smashatoms » Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:29 pm

After a brief distraction with a new digital front end, I’m finally done setting up my US cleaner. Scanning through the posts starting at Harry’s ‘perfect setup’, I didn’t see any mention of rotisserie speed. What RPM is best for the two rotation method?

Thanks to everyone for your input and advice. I’m looking forward to putting some test records through their paces with the cleaning solution recommended by Paul Rushton. I’ll report back on my experience but it won’t be for a couple of weeks - I’m headed to Denver for RMAF Wednesday and have evening meetings most of next week.

Cheers,
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Re: Record cleaning

Postby Mr_Putty » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:03 am

By two-rotation-method do you mean you want to be done cleaning after two rotations of a record in the USM? I don’t think that will give you the result you want. I consider time and temperature the critical factors, based on experience with a cleaning formula. My motor takes just over a minute to make one revolution and I don’t plan to change that. I clean three records at a time and can see the cleaning bubbles on the surface of all three. I do not clean if water temp is above 32 degree C. That takes about 30 minutes of cleaning to get to that temp based on my room temp of 77 degrees F. I have started using a pre soak rotation in the tank of about five minutes before turning on the USM. I have tried 8 minute cycles after the soak and that does not seem to be long enough. I was previously using a 15 minute cycle with no soak, followed by a distilled water rinse. Even that is sometimes not enough, hence the presoak method evolution. These times are based on used record sales that look clean, not counting the usual loose junk that is easily brushed off. I usually run the filter pump (120 volt), with one micron filter in the middle of the cleaning USM cycle for a minute or two. The pump moves a lot of water. I am open to changing this setup as more objective results become predictable. For those wondering about black specks in the water after cleaning, I think they come from poor edge trimming of the record. I have seen strands of plastic on the outer record edge come loose. And some edges are just sharpe after the trimming. Makes me wonder why there is not a tool to improve record edges in general. Maybe the newer pressing don’t have this problem?
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Re: Record cleaning

Postby Packgrog » Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:29 am

As long as rotation is constant, there shouldn't be issues with slower rotation speed, and that may well be preferable. Number of rotations certainly depends on rotation speed as well. Two rotations for me is PLENTY, since it takes 12 minutes per rotation with my motor. :D

I do think that "no cleaning in tank temp above 32C" is unnecessarily paranoid. My tank temp gets up to about 110F, and I don't get significant warps. Sure, you want to be careful with that, and certainly don't go much higher, but the vinyl does bounce back from these temps, and higher temps make cleaning (and solubility of contaminants) more effective. Don't go too crazy, and you'll be fine.

I do prefer to do one record at a time at this point, since I always follow it up with a double rinse/vacuum after the ultrasonic bath. Let it drip dry for a couple of minutes, then off to the vacuum RCM, while another record goes into the USM tank. If I let a record drip dry for too long (ie: doing multiples on USM then doing each on vac RCM), some of the tank fluid could dry on the grooves, leading to other issues, especially since I use additives in my tank (TergiKleen). Better to vacuum while they're still damp.
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Re: Record cleaning

Postby ctbarker32 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:19 pm

smashatoms wrote:Ok, I have my list sorted out, thanks to the contributors here on the forum and that handy article by Paul Rushton. I'll be placing orders in a few days.

If I'm reading correctly, a lot of folks use their VPI RCMs to vacuum dry their records after they come out of the tank. How do you do that without getting the mat wet?

Cheers,
Smash
Here's a trick I use with my VPI Cyclone to dry but not get the platter wet. Just place and ordinary rubber band like you get at the grocery store around the spindle (just lay it down) and then place the wet record on top of that and screw down record until just snug. This will keep the wet record from touching the platter but allow you to vacuum dry the record. Works very well.
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Re: Record cleaning

Postby Harry » Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:42 pm

Things have really slowed down on the thread, I guess most of us have figured it out and are happily cleaning away those great buys at the used record stores. I know I am.

Next subject we should broach is the transfer from vinyl to 24-192 with the best cartridge we can use.

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Re: Record cleaning

Postby LarryRS » Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:08 pm

Great idea and timely post. Just finished ultrasonically cleaning some records, followed by my MW-1, in preparation for ripping.

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Re: Record cleaning

Postby tony22 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:14 pm

Do I smell a new thread? :?: :)
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Re: Record cleaning

Postby Packgrog » Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:32 pm

Digitizing is actually my primary focus (case in point: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=10860&start=50#p49113), so I have plenty to contribute there, even if my gear might be modest compared to what most people can afford here.

Of late I’ve actually skipped the ultrasonic. I’ve found that a 3-minute soak and agitation per side with AIVS No 15 followed by a lab grade water rinse is proving more effective for my grungy gems. For example: I did multiple cleanings of this extremely nasty 6-eye Brubeck Time Out. Ultrasonic wash, rinse/vac, Sporicidin Enzymatic wash on RCM, rinse, then repeat all steps. I went through about 3 or 4 passes of that entire process, even trying diluted distilled vinegar (50/50) somewhere along the way. Visibly much cleaner, especially after the enzymatic wash, but still unlistenable. I got fed up and re-ordered the AIVS No 15. One 5-minute soak/agitation with that per side followed by a single lab grade water rinse, and suddenly it's listenable. *shrug* So I just figured I'd save myself time an aggravation and stick with what actually works, takes less overall time, and requires about as much manual effort.
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Re: Record cleaning

Postby LarryRS » Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:52 pm

Packgrog wrote:Digitizing is actually my primary focus, so I have plenty to contribute there, even if my gear might be modest compared to what most people can afford here.

Of late I’ve actually skipped the ultrasonic. I’ve found that a 3-minute soak and agitation per side with AIVS No 15 followed by a lab grade water rinse is proving more effective for my grungy gems.



Plenty to contribute sounds great - I'm all ears (looking at your avatar, so are you)! I've tried many different cleaners, though none from AIVS. What do you mean by soak and agitation? Do you make a bath of the AIVS (i.e., like a Spin Clean)? I've been pretty successful in cleaning using my ultrasonic/MW-1 regimen, based on before/after listens but there are some records that look nearly flawless that seem to retain a level of grunginess despite repeated efforts on my part.
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Re: Record cleaning

Postby Packgrog » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:52 pm

LarryRS wrote:What do you mean by soak and agitation? Do you make a bath of the AIVS (i.e., like a Spin Clean)?

So I use a [brand redacted] motorized RCM that functions very similarly to VPI Cyclone. I'm ashamed of going for a different brand (thus the redaction), but I got a good deal on a used one that I couldn't pass up given my limited budget. Anyway...

I have the Listener Select brushes from Audio Intelligent. There's a special kit you can get from them that includes the No. 15, their Ultra Pure Water, and 2 brushes of your choice. I'd originally used the MoFi brushes, but they soak up a lot of fluid, meaning that you end up using a lot more of it, especially if you clean the brushes after each side to reduce cross contamination. With the Listener Select brushes, the bristles don't soak up much fluid so you use less, and since the bristles are longer than the brush that came with my RCM, I can vacuum them off after spreading each fluid, making it more practical to use just one brush that gets clean at the same time as the record and RCM nozzle lips.

Of late, I apply the No 15 while the motor is off, turn on the motor clockwise to spread fluid holding the brush steady for 20 seconds, then agitate the fluid with the brush both with the grooves and with LIGHT slight circular motions for 3 minutes, switching the motor direction after about a minute and a half. I do mean AGITATE, NOT "scrub". Contacting the grooves, but not applying any pressure. The slight circular motion does seem to help loosen gunk that doesn't seem to come up when just following the grooves, though I do try to start and finish in each direction going with the grooves. Finally let rotate for 10 seconds with no agitation to fully spread the fluid before vacuuming. I use less elbow grease with the rinse pass, which is similar but only takes about a minute instead of 3. Note that I'd done similar efforts with the Sporicidin Enzymatic dilution, but it just didn't work nearly as well, and had a much stronger odor.

The lab grade water I use instead of the AIVS Ultra Pure Water is considerably cheaper, but approximately as pure, or near enough that it doesn't matter much. I think it was $20 for a gallon, shipped. Still not cheap, and way more expensive than deionized water from Whole Foods or distilled from Target or CVS, but presumably more pure. Does work well. Might be overkill, but I want to make sure there's nothing soluble left in the grooves.
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