CleanerVinyl.com products are designed by vinyl enthusiasts for vinyl enthusiasts and made in the USA. This blog focuses on vinyl record cleaning and related topics. Enjoy the blog!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Completely Redesigned CleanerVinyl Pro System Released!

Exciting news! We just released our completely redesigned CleanerVinyl Pro System with a nice new look:
These are the updates we made: 
  • Pro System now also fits on Made in Germany Elmasonic P60H dual-frequency ultrasonic cleaners. This great news for anyone interesting in highest quality cleaning performance. The P60H can run at 37 kHz and 80 kHz.
  • The Pro motor unit now has integrated RPM control from ~0.2 RPM to 5 RPM (0.2 = 1 round in 5 min).
  • There is now an integrated adapter for the larger holes of 7" singles.
  • The Pro now comes with spacers for running 3, 6, or 12 records per batch.
  • The Lift-Pro fan unit for accelerated air drying of the records now has 'air guide panels' that reduce the average drying time to only 15-20 min. Go 'sleeve-to-sleeve' in 35 min or less, and never touch a wet record!

Check out our new Pro System video for an introduction:

Combine the Pro with our Micron fluid filtration system for truly audiophile cleaning results!

All Pro System components are available separately, i.e. you can put together a system that fits your needs and your budget and upgrade later.
Or get a complete Pro System Kit and save some money!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

What is the Best Ultrasonic Vinyl Record Cleaner?

You may have found this post while Googling "what is the best ultrasonic vinyl record cleaner?".
Of course our opinion here at CleanerVinyl is that our designs are the best! You would probably expect that...;-). 

We usually do not comment on our competitors, but we would like to take the opportunity to tell you why we think that our products deserve your consideration. When you look at the other products in the marketplace, ask:

  • Are they designed and made in the US? 
  • Are they designed by vinyl records enthusiasts, who understand what is needed for a great cleaning experience? CleanerVinyl was founded by Beolover, a premier provider of vintage Bang&Olufsen restorations. We live and breathe vinyl! Many of our competitors are ultrasonic cleaner manufacturers, who mainly aim to sell more cleaners by providing a vinyl record cleaning attachment.
  • Are they shipping next-day and reach most destinations in the US in 2-4 days (international locations within 5-7 days)?
  • Do they ship free in the US?
  • Do they come with 1 year full warranty and a satisfaction money-back guarantee?
  • Do they have dedicated and fast customer service? We usually answer inquiries same day, even on the weekend! We like discussing all things vinyl...give us a shout at info@cleanervinyl.com!
  • Are their products ultrasonic cleaner independent? (in other words: can one upgrade or replace the cleaner at a later point in time?). For example, higher frequency cleaners are becoming more affordable right now...maybe you would like to get one in a year or so?...
  • Are they ergonomically designed? Cleaning a bunch of records can get old pretty quick if the equipment is not easy to use! With this in mind CleanerVinyl Systems...
    • are designed considering the needs of serious collectors and record stores, i.e. people who want to clean often, or large numbers of records.
    • vertical record loading on CleanerVinyl Easy6
      Convenient vertical record loading.
      Take the motor unit to your records
      (and leave the ultrasonic
      in the garage!..;-)
      allow record loading in a different location than where the ultrasonic cleaner is located. That means the motor units can be removed and taken to your record collection instead of the other way around. Load the records and then safely carry the motor unit to the ultrasonic cleaner, which is usually placed in a location where the noise does not bother.
    • allow record loading in vertical orientation, i.e. the records are simply stacked on the shaft of the motor unit. No balancing on a horizontal shaft or scraping along a slot...
      in ultrasonic cleaner fluid filtration system
      Micron in-tank fluid filtration system.
    • can all be combined with state-of-the-art cleaning fluid filtration. Our Micron System circulates the cleaning fluid in a 6 liter cleaner tub through a 1 micron particle size rated volume filter within 4 min. This means you can clean many batches of records in a single filling of the cleaner before the fluid needs to be replaced. The Micron system also essentially eliminates re-deposition of dirt, i.e. no 'rinse cycle' is necessary. Just run the records and dry them and put them back into their sleeves. Done!
    • have integrated air drying, which typically allows going sleeve-to-sleeve with a batch of records in about 45 min. Never touch a wet record!
      Most of our designs have a singles
      adapter built in on the base of the shaft.
    • can clean 7" singles without the need of inserting adapter clips into the larger center holes of 45s.

Check us out at CleanerVinyl.com!

Friday, May 24, 2019

How Do Wetting Agents (or "Surfactants") Help the Removal of Dirt from Vinyl Records During Ultrasonic Cleaning?

Here at CleanerVinyl we frequently get asked: "How do wetting agents work when cleaning records?" or "Why should I add a wetting agent to the distilled water in the cleaner?"

The simple answer is that a lot of dirt is 'hydrophobic' (i.e. water rejecting - think of oily fingerprints, for example) and cannot easily be dissolved by water. The reason for this behavior is that water molecules are 'polar' (i.e. have a positively and a negatively charged end), while many dirt molecules are non-polar (i.e. they are neutral). Polar and non-polar molecules cannot mix well. An example that you probably know well is when some oil is mixed with water. The oil forms droplets in the water, but does not dissolve. 

A way around this is to add molecules to the water that have a polar and a non-polar section. A well known molecule in the vinyl community is Tergitol, the main ingredient of Tergikleen (similar molecules are in Ilfotol and Kodak Photo-Flo).

The figure below shows a Tergitol molecule. The green end with the -OH group is the polar part of the molecule, while the red end is the non-polar part. 

The great thing about such molecules is that they love to form mono-layers around non-polar objects like dirt particles. When they do that, the non-polar ends bind with the surface of the dirt particle, while the polar ends stick out into the water.
This has the very useful effect that the water now 'likes' the dirt particle, which causes a net-force on the particle that helps drawing it into the water away from the vinyl surface. And this amplifies the effectiveness of the ultrasonic cleaning process.

Now you know why a few drops of a wetting agent is very helpful for the vinyl record cleaning process!

ultrasonic vinyl record cleaning with wetting agents and surfactants
Surfactants bind to dirt particles and help prying them loose from the vinyl record surface. This makes the ultrasonic cleaning process much more effective.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

What is the Best Ultrasonic Frequency for Vinyl Record Cleaning?

At CleanerVinyl we often get the question: "What is the best ultrasonic frequency for vinyl record cleaning?". As it is often the case in life, the answer is not totally straight forward. Generally, lower frequencies are better for removing coarse debris from the surface of the records, while higher frequencies are better for removal of smaller particles and 'chemical' residues, such as finger prints, grease, oil, or other residues from liquid contaminants.
ultrasonic vinyl record cleaning vs. ultrasonic frequency
Cavitation bubble size vs. ultrasonic frequency.
From: https://techblog.ctgclean.com/2011/12/ultrsonics-number-and-size-of-cavitation-bubbles/
The reason for this relationship is that the cavitation bubble size depends on the frequency in an inverse way, i.e. the higher the frequency, the smaller the bubbles, and vice versa:

In the best of all worlds one would use a multi-frequency cleaner to cover both ends of the "dirt spectrum". 
The good news is that decades of research have shown that a frequency around 40 kHz is a very good compromise in the middle of the frequency range, which covers the entire range of cleaning challenges. That is the reason why most standard ultrasonic cleaners on the market have a frequency close to 40 kHz. 
Our research at CleanerVinyl has shown that this is true, and that excellent cleaning results can be achieved on vintage vinyl records with 40 kHz cleaners. 
Check out our playlist of before/after demonstration videos that demonstrate impressively how well 40 kHz works for rejuvenating vintage vinyl records.

Friday, May 10, 2019

What are the Pretty Turntables Featured in CleanerVinyl Before/After Videos?

CleanerVinyl.com Customers keep asking us about the lovely vintage Bang&Olufsen turntables we show in our CleanerVinyl Before/After videos, where we demonstrate how well ultrasonic record cleaning works on vintage vinyl records.

A great example is our recently published video featuring a George Benson track, "No Sooner Said Than Done" from the album "Bad Benson", which we demonstrate on a beautifully restored Beogram 4004. 
turntable playing a Ultrasonically cleaned vinyl record
Beogram 4004 Turntable from 1978 playing George Benson's "Bad Benson" Album after it was cleaned ultrasonically

Watch the video here:

These turntables usually are Beogram 4000, 4002, or 4004 units from the 1970s, which we restore at our Beolover branch (CleanerVinyl.com was founded by Beolover in 2014). Beolover started out in 2011 as a 'hobby on steroids', which turned into a small business with the mission to serve vintage B&O enthusiasts around the world. Beolover performs state-of-the-art restorations of vintage B&O, and most work we do is featured on our blog at beolover.blogspot.com.

If you are interested in getting such a turntable to play your ultrasonically cleaned records on, check out the blog or get in touch at beolover@gmail.com. While Beolover mostly restores units that are being sent/owned by customers, we also sometimes have fully restored Beograms or Beomasters up for sale on our "Audio for Sale" page. A bit like renting a time machine and traveling back to the 1970s to a B&O store!..;-). Beolover even gives the same 1 year full warranty on restored units like they came with in the day!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

CleanerVinyl Easy3 Enhanced with a 'Wind Tunnel' for Accelerated Drying of the Records

Check out this awesome enhancement of our CleanerVinyl Easy3 model with a home made 'wind tunnel' for speeding up the record drying process. Alfred of 'Alfred's good vinyl blog' in Germany went to town on the Easy3 with cut to size IKEA "FINFĂ–RDELA" panels that direct the airflow towards the records on the Easy3 shaft. He also added a second fan to double the air flow.
Alfred said that adding the fans and the wind canal reduced the drying times to about 6-7 min from about 20 min with the standard setup. Well done!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Entire Album Posted after the Ultrasonic Clean: Enjoy One of the Best Kraut-Jazz Albums Ever as it Sounded in 1978 on Vinyl!

After recently posting our fifth CleanerVinyl before/after video featuring a track by eminent kraut-jazzer Volker Kriegel we thought, why not post the entire album? Now that it sounds like new after cleaning it with a CleanerVinyl EasyOne setup, it makes for a great example of a successful restoration of a 40 year old vinyl record. And it is awesome music! Check it out here:

Volker Kriegel recorded "House-Boat" in 1978 for the German MPS label (MPS 15535). It is one of our favorite German jazz albums here at CleanerVinyl. It is far ahead of its time, has great melodies and a nice laid back atmosphere. Perfect for some relaxed listening on a Sunday afternoon! Enjoy!