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!

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!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

New Before/After Video: George Benson - "No Sooner Said Than Done" on the CTI Release "Bad Benson"

CleanerVinyl was founded by vinyl nuts who at some point realized that they needed a high throughput method for cleaning their massive vintage vinyl intake. Need is the mother of invention, and our first prototype led to CleanerVinyl One (now replaced by an improved design, CleanerVinyl EasyOne). When we buy a vintage record that plays rough, we record our favorite track on that album as it played when we received it. And when the record sounds great after cleaning we declare success, and record it again with the aim to publish before/after cleaning videos to promote the awesomeness of ultrasonic record cleaning.

So when we found "Bad Benson" (CTI 6045) in the bargain bin of a local thrift store we were excited! CTI is one of our favorite labels and our collection probably now contains about 50% of their output of great 1970s jazz. George Benson recorded it in 1974, and we love the track "No Sooner Said Than Done" on the B side. Nice and mellow, perfect for hanging out on a Sunday afternoon!
The record looked good. It did not have any major scratches and so we bought it for $2.99. Happy day, we thought. But when we put it on the platter and played it, it sounded very rough. That meant: Off you go to the ultrasonic, where we cleaned it with one of our new CleanerVinyl EasyOne units in a PS-30A cleaner (we like to use the EasyOne for the occasional cleaning of a single record...very easy to use. Instant gratification!)

And, wow, after our standard 15 min cleaning run in distilled water with a few drops of Kodak Photo-Flo, this record sounded great! Almost like new! So we decided that this one was a great example of the power of ultrasonic cleaning, and we decided to make it the focus of a CleanerVinyl Before/After video! Watch it on YouTube. Enjoy!:

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Awesome New Customer Review About the CleanerVinyl Easy6 Audiophile Kit with Micron Fluid Filtration!

It is always a happy moment when we receive a happy customer email with a link to a enthusiastic review at CleanerVinyl. Check out Ivan Buzik's review below about cleaning 600 records with the Easy6 Audiophile Kit that he bought a couple months ago. He included this picture that shows the Micron filtration system filter after cleaning 600 records in comparison with a new replacement filter. Impressive!:
CleanerVinyl Micron filtration system filter after cleaning of 600 records in comparison with a new filter
CleanerVinyl Micron filter after cleaning of 600 records (left) in comparison with a new replacement filter (right)

Review (click open the link below to visit the original posting at YouTube):

I have purchased CleanerVinyl Easy6 system about 2 months ago. Before purchasing I have done some research on another Ultrasonic record cleaning solutions and have decided to go with CleanerVinyl. I talked to Rudy at first, the man behind this invention for advice what system to get (One, Three, Six, Pro, I did not consider Max what is 24 records at a time) and decided for Easy 6 - and that was a good choice. That comes with integrated dry fan and I have added filtration system to it - Micron and that was another good choice. What a big difference from the days when Michael Fremer did his first review of CleanerVinyl system (sometimes in 2016?). No need to empty tank for drying after each clean, just lift al records above the water and lock it at that place and start drying using fan. I was using the same water, just always adding some more to the required level and adding few drops of Kodak Photo-Flo 200 solution. In about 2 weeks I finished cleaning about 600 records with the same filter (see attached photo of the new and used one) and the water was still very clean with no signs of contamination. To clean a batch of 6 records usually took me 1 hour from taking records out from the sleeves, clean and dry them and putting back to new inner record sleeves. Cleaning time I set for 15 minutes and drying for 25 - 28 minutes and that was sufficient even when house temperatures were lower. In the summer time I believe that 20 - 23 minutes will be enough for drying time. Currently I enjoy listening to cleaned records and for some what I play more frequently use just a clean Audioquest anti static record cleaner brush if there is some debris on the record. When time comes, I’ll fill up Ultrasonic Cleaner container with water again and with new filter will clean another batch of records, again about 500-600 of them. Before using Ultrasonic Easy6 record cleaner my primary record cleaning machine was VPI HW-17 for many years. That unit was a big, heavy, like a tank. It did the job but not the same way as CleanerVinyl system does. My records are now pristine clean after using Easy6 system and sound great too. For those of you who are looking for record cleaning system or have traditional one using brush with vacuum I strongly recommend CleanerVinyl. It is a simple but great and inexpensive solution to keep your vinyl collection in a top shape. Ivan Buzik 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Why Is Using Fluid Filtration a Great Idea When Cleaning Vinyl Records with an Ultrasonic Cleaner?

In the early days of CleanerVinyl we usually replaced the cleaning fluid after a few batches of records. It was common to see dirt accumulate at the bottom of the cleaner after running 10-20 records through it. Of course this depended on how dirty the records were, but even with pretty nicely looking records, after a while we could see some dirt! And of course this made us think about redeposition of dirt during the cleaning process. We also did not like to dump the fluid so often...lugging distilled water bottles around and draining the cleaner all the time also was not our favorite thing to do.

So we designed the CleanerVinyl Micron fluid filtration system, which eliminates this issue. We implemented a high capacity filter with a state-of-the art 1 micron particle size rating (hence the name CleanerVinyl Micron...;-) in a fully in-tank contained package that keeps the liquid where it belongs: Inside the tank...no leakage possible by design! This picture shows the Micron system in action. It circulates a 6 liter tank in about 4 min.
ultrasonic vinyl record cleaner fluid water filtration system
CleanerVinyl Micron in-tank fluid filtration system.

The 'high capacity' aspect of the Micron system is a result of using a 'volume filter' (instead of the frequently used small surface filters or sponges, which need to be replaced or cleaned all the time to keep the fluid flowing). A volume filter buries the dirt deeply in pores throughout its volume, and therefore can be used for a long time before it needs to be replaced. We estimate that a Micron filter cartridge is good for more than 1000 records before replacement may need to be considered.

Our volume filters are custom made to have the larges volume possible that can be fit under the records in the tank, and they have a state-of-the-art particle size rating of 1 micron. This means that they filter particles that are larger than one micron (that is about 1/100th of the diameter of human hair) during the first pass through the filter. 
But it does not end there: Smaller particles are still filtered out by this type of filter, but the particle may have to pass through it a second or third time to be caught in a smaller pore (these filters have a distribution of pore sizes, and the rating reflects the largest pores they have). The consequence is that there is not really a lower limit to the particle size that can be caught, but it may take a bit longer until smaller than 1 micron particles are finally removed.
In practical terms, this means if you run the fluid continuously through such a filter, it will finally be ultra clean and pretty much all dirt is being removed from it. Consequently, redeposition is essentially eliminated, and the cleaning fluid only very rarely needs to be replaced.
Hence, records can be cleaner almost continuously with the same batch of liquid. That is the perfect solution for record stores and serious collectors who clean large numbers of records for their collections. Check it out at CleanerVinyl.com, the home of ultrasonic vinyl record cleaning!