So in my Keith Monks CR502 (a ‘budget’ model from the 70’s, but sharing many of the parts of The MKII), what fluids are best?
At present I have used Keith Monks ‘BreaktheMold’ cleaner, which I bought to give the machine a deep clean as per the manual, while replacing all the tubing on the wash cycle, replacing the thread and general service items, such as the arm nozzle & arm belt.
I also got some ‘Discovery’ fluid from them, as a trial.
I also have some L’Art du Son fluid, as that seems to be recommended, however unopened, so would be interested to see if anyone else has experiences of cleaning fluids for vacuum RCM, and in particular the string type.
Not sure about L’Art du Son - made up 500ml for use on a Project cleaner and before too long there was some kind of sediment so I chucked it - not sure if it was some kind of mold/microbial overgrowth or something in the fluid precipitating - either way I wasn’t happy to use it thereafter as it didn’t dissolve on shaking as far as I could tell.
I have a Loricraft PRCM 4. The L’Art du Son fluid is squirted on the record and vacuumed off. He recommends Isopropyl Alcohol to clean the tubes. The jam jar with the residue can look a bit black if you don’t empty it regularly. The squirt bottle Terry provides is quite small and I only makes enough for 10 or so LPs.
I am very happy with the results. The two machines have a lot in common. Loricraft machines have good sound insulation.
Similar, the KM CR502 has two jars inside a back panel, for the cleaning and vacuumed fluid. Unlike the MkII I have experienced, about 25-years ago, this one had no thread motor. The movement of the arm causing the thread to advance, which I believe is the same as the Loricraft machines.
There was sound insulation in this machine, however most of it had delayed and I had to vacuum it out, as I was servicing/restoring this machine.
Will see how the L’Art du Son goes, however at the dilution level (20ml to the litre) it is going to be a few years! The 200ml of cleaner I have made up, is good for good cleaning session.
I’ve used a few different ones over the years including L’Art du Son, the VPI solution and the Disc Doctors miracle fluid. I’ve settled on Disc Doctor and been using that for some time although not sure that I could definitively say I could tell the difference.
Came across this earlier from RMAF 2019 which might be of interest (or not)…it does go on a bit !
THis was recently discussed over on the facebook lp12 group. Concensus, admittedly amongst a fairly small group, suggested that the L’Art du Son is fine if used fairly quicckly but that if, like me, you only use from time to time, the fluid ‘goes off’ and can leave a residue on the records/ stylus. The product receiving universal thumbs up is “The Right One”.
Thanks, any observation on the shelf-life of L’Art du Son once diluted and prepared.
My cleaner has a jar for the cleaning fluid inside, so designed to be made up and then used from there.
The KM Discovery 33/45 liquid I got as a sample with the service parts I needed, comes ready to use, so may be a better option to leaving in the jar ready to used.
i have a KM omni m/c, here are some of my experiences!
i use 2 types of fluid.
KM 33/45 and
50/50 Industrial methylated spirits/deionized water
i use the 50/50 mix on second hand records, first wash
and the KM 33/45 for everything new and as a second wash for second hand
i have moved on from the moth m/c and i find there fluid is very good and now i don’t need the ear defenders, a must for every moth m/c owner!
I use the fluid for 20 seconds only, just as the KM manual suggests.
I only fill up the jam jar with a much fluid as I am going to use in that session
I have known the KM fluid to go off, but i think this is over many years.
I wash the brushes after every use with distilled water and flush out the fluid apply section above the deck first with distilled water then air.
I have had no luck obtaining a new nozzle from KM and have had one made out of nylon.
I have added a vacuum meter, this shows the vacuum pressure and offers a good indicator if the vacuum is getting big, ie the thread is partially blocking the nozzle.
You might want to look at the aluminum parts in the fluid section, I have had problems with the aluminum parts corroding and dropping aluminum oxide on the records/blocking the fluid apply nozzles, i have now replaced them with stainless steel and hence the paranoid flushing above.
hope this helps
PS some new records today play like second hand records!
Ok, I got accepted service responses on firstname.lastname@example.org
I was able to purchase new tubing, new nozzle, new arm belt, new mat, the one way valves, and some ‘BreaktheMold’ cleaner to perform the deep clean. I got a 250ml bottle of the Discovery 33/45 with the order.
Now service wasn’t prompt, and I did have to chase a couple of times.
I was able to get NOS thread from a Seller in France.
I seem to have good suction through the arm tube and the thread moves along.
I need to get a new cleaning block, as some of the holes have become blocked, but if I use a brush manually to ensure coverage, it seems to be ok for the time being.
In terms of liquids, the jars in this CR502 are much smaller than the MkII, as they within the body of the machine, accessed through a panel in the back. The CR502 was meant to be a more ‘budget model’ for the home user - so not as large, but still used the same parts (albeit a motor for the thread) and I believe almost cost the same, so didn’t last as a model. Its about the same size as a Loricraft machine, but without the jar hung off the side.
Also unlike any of the ‘velvet lips’ vacuum machines, can be used without ear protection.
I use The Right One cleaning fluid. Best I’ve tried so far.
L’art du Son is the worst. Leaves a residue and degrades easily.
I get excellent results with Bio Ethanol which is only £6.87 for 2 L from B & Q
Diluted 50 / 50 with distilled water it makes 4 L in total so is a bargain too : )
I use a Keith Monks Omni but would think the Bioethanol would work fine with any proper RCM
Good to hear you’re still using it Debs.
Not been around for a while. Hope you’re keeping well.
Interesting - I use L’art du Son and have no issues with residues on LPs. You need to store the concentrate and prepared solution carefully though and if left out and exposed to light over a significant period the prepared liquid can form with deposits. Best bet is to just mix up an amount which can be used relatively quickly.
@SteveJ, Welcome to the forum. Happy vinyl listening.
Thanks Phil. I’m actually returning to the forum after a few years away.
Welcome back Dr. Blues!
I’m fine thanks, hope you’re doing okay and enjoying a well earned retirement : )
It would be great to know how your audio system is set up in the new place, and what’s kept and changed. And get back to your excellent blues recommendations
How’s the new [last of line] Landy going?
I’ve never been busier since I retired Debs. Had a lot of work to do on the house since I fully retired last year and have become a live fire cook doing demonstrations and pop ups after winning a big bbq competition.
I have a large room for my system, but apart from a recently acquired DAVE, I haven’t added to it.
The Defender is a godsend down here in Devon and we now have a dog.
Lovely to hear from you.
Good to hear on my side too Steve that you are doing alright. I am looking forward any further music tips (blues or otherwise). I have bought some records in the past based on your recommendation. Welcome back.
I use the Clearaudio version which works very well using my VPI cleaning machine. The VPI fluid is also good.