Cleaning Vinyl LPs

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Sonik Wiz

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I tried one in the store back in the late '70s and it always clicked and I couldn't get it to work. I figured I didn't know how to use it. But then I always intensely disliked Discwasher and their fluid...
RE: Zero Stat
In the older disc cleaning post I mentioned I had the original ZStat. It never seemed to do much unless I pressed it someones arm & pulled the trigger. Big fun. Jump froggy!
 

TommyTunes

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If you have a substantial collection and your primary source is vinyl then an ultrasonic cleaner is necessary. I’ve been using the Audio Deck for about 10 years and now added a degritter. Previously I used a VPI 16.5 for 25 years. I have come across nothing that cleans as well as an ultrasonic machine.
 

Gimme 4

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Discwasher , in Columbia MO near here , essentially invented snake oil in audio.
Big fan of the Zerostat, not much on anything else Discwasher made.
The other things they made that were good, were the original walnut handled Discwasher record "brush" with their unique unidirectional pile material that actually lifted and picked up dust, and their stylus brush-cleaner (with a drop of 50% alcohol if needed). Never had any luck with the D2, 3, 4 liquids. Found that a light spritz of distilled water on the record cleaner brush helped keep the dust on the brush and reduced static electricity.
 

markshan

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The other things they made that were good, were the original walnut handled Discwasher record "brush" with their unique unidirectional pile material that actually lifted and picked up dust, and their stylus brush-cleaner (with a drop of 50% alcohol if needed). Never had any luck with the D2, 3, 4 liquids. Found that a light spritz of distilled water on the record cleaner brush helped keep the dust on the brush and reduced static electricity.
I never tried the stylus cleaner. I just use a cube of Magic Eraser.
 

Gimme 4

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I never tried the stylus cleaner. I just use a cube of Magic Eraser.
Interesting. After trying that once I was immediately concerned about pulling the stylus off the caltilever arm, so I never used Magic Eraser for that purpose again.
 

gene_stl

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I have the stylus cleaner brush since way back. I only use it ocassionally. I still use my original Discwasher because the more recently sold ones are an instance of trademarks being bought and sold but the product having little or no resemblance to the original.

They had a cartridge headshell shock absorber that my friend and I tried. It did improve trackability of warped records and also added constant rumble of its own. The DiscTrakker. One of those ideas that sort of sounded good until you tried it.
 

markshan

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Interesting. After trying that once I was immediately concerned about pulling the stylus off the caltilever arm, so I never used Magic Eraser for that purpose again.
The trick is to never drag the eraser across the stylus. Just set the block down and cue the needle down onto it. No lateral force at all. I've checked before/after with a scope and it works wonderfully.
 

Gimme 4

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The trick is to never drag the eraser across the stylus. Just set the block down and cue the needle down onto it. No lateral force at all. I've checked before/after with a scope and it works wonderfully.
Tried it that way. Got familarized with it over on the AK forum about 10 years ago. What I noticed was it just pushing the accumulated dust up around the base of the stylus. I examined the results with a 10X lithographer's loupe seen in one of my prior pictures, and a USB microscope. Whatever works for you!


Closeup of my Stanton 881S original Stereohedron stylus.
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stantonclops-1.jpg
 
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Reading all the postings in this thread, I was surprised I saw nothing about Knosti Antistat cleaning fluid from Germany. It is very expensive and it is more of a European/U.K. used item, but I have found it to be very effective as a cleaning solution in the spin machines. Anyone else had experience with it? How does it compare to other solutions discussed here if so? I have found a source on Ebay to get it rather cheaply in comparison to most places I have seen. It comes from U.K. with very low shipping costs compared to Germany.
 

gene_stl

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I would not apply antistatic containing solutions to records. The amount of noise reductions obtained by having less static ( which could indeed be considerable) could be countered by residue left on the surface. When dirt is warshed off of record surfaces the detergent should be rinsed well with deionized or distilled water. You don't want any residues. Water and low alcohols reduce static electricity. (There was a school of thought which I always thought was ridiculous that you should play records "wet")

Perhaps Knosti Antistat liquids instructions call for rinsing.

Record cleaning is one of those areas that are subject to audiophile "Majic".
It actually is pretty straight forward. All you really need is two laboratory squirt bottles (one for cleaning solution which is tap water, Dawn or similar non particulate containing detergent and about 3-4% of the alcohol of your choice (not for shellacs) Maybe a few drops of Kodak PhotoFlo or dishwasher "Finish". The rinse water should be the purest water you can get your hands on.

Now there are various ways to automate the process. Dr. Kirmuss will sell you very expensive (overpriced imho) ultrasonic machines which he claims "have the correct frequency" to clean records which "other ultrasonics don't". :rolleyes:
Here are some very pricey vacuum machines. If you have a big collection they may be worthwhile. They also aren't to hard to build and some are available for realistic and feasible prices though not the ones in this video.
 

MikeMonaco

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I created a home-made cleaning station from 1) VPI cleaning tube assembly, 2) old vacuum cleaner, 3) on/off switch, 4) cheap damaged Home Depot cabinets, 5) Technics turntable on craigslist (sold for parts), 6) pine top and 7) some paint. I added the ultrasonic tank and stand, but rarely use it.

IMG_0087.jpg
IMG_0089.JPG
 

gene_stl

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I created a home-made cleaning station from 1) VPI cleaning tube assembly, 2) old vacuum cleaner, 3) on/off switch, 4) cheap damaged Home Depot cabinets, 5) Technics turntable on craigslist (sold for parts), 6) pine top and 7) some paint. I added the ultrasonic tank and stand, but rarely use it.

View attachment 68040View attachment 68041
Shame on you! You hardly spent any money at all, on that beautiful arrangement. How are we going to have a high end audio industry if people build their own wonderful things?? ;) :giggle::LB
 
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markshan

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I have a very handy friend who built his own and he told me that if he had known how cheap and good the Canfab Squeakycleanvinyl RCM was he wouldn't have bothered.

Is that a Shop Vac? I use way too much fluid to have a regular canister vac for cleaning.
 

MikeMonaco

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I have a very handy friend who built his own and he told me that if he had known how cheap and good the Canfab Squeakycleanvinyl RCM was he wouldn't have bothered.

Is that a Shop Vac? I use way too much fluid to have a regular canister vac for cleaning.
It's a Hoover Spirit vacuum we bought back in the 80's or 90's at Kmart or somewhere. It was sitting unused in the garage so re-purposed it. It really sucks, especially when hooked directly to that small VPI tube.
 

gene_stl

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You might install a trap bottle to catch the liquid before it gets sucked into the vac. That way it won't get spat out of the exhaust also and possibly end up in the motor brushes which could make a bit of a shock hazard.
 

Mats Lindgren

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Reading all the postings in this thread, I was surprised I saw nothing about Knosti Antistat cleaning fluid from Germany. It is very expensive and it is more of a European/U.K. used item, but I have found it to be very effective as a cleaning solution in the spin machines. Anyone else had experience with it? How does it compare to other solutions discussed here if so? I have found a source on Ebay to get it rather cheaply in comparison to most places I have seen. It comes from U.K. with very low shipping costs compared to Germany.
I have used the Knosti cleaning machine and solution. First of all I would say that it is not expensive. Especially compared to other more automatic washing mashines. Unfortunatlely I washed all of my albums with it before I noticed some residues left in the grooves. I have to clean the needle halfway through an album side. I read somewhere that it is a good cleaning solution, but instead of letting the record dry with the liquid on it is better to rinse the record in distilled water after cleaning. Then there will be no problem with residues that affect the tracking and the needle.
 
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