Saw this Humminguru Ultrasonic Record Cleaner Kickstarter and decided to back it. If the project delivers would be a good option for really dirty records. See what you think
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Apart from that, it looks like good value!
I am a big fan of ultrasonic cleaning. This one looks nice and all, and will certainly fit many people’s needs, especially as it is not an eyesore. But be aware that ultrasonic cleaners make a nasty high-pitched wzwzwzwzwzwz sound that I doubt they can prevent, as they seem to just use widely available standard generators. Not sure if you really want it in the hifi area next to your listening sofa
The fans are nice but somewhat canceled by not being able to wash more than one record at a time. The Chinese cleaners that are available on fleabay (e.g. doukaudio) for 550 euros can wash 6 at a time. No fans, but overall will take the same time. If you only need to wash one for immediate listening this Kickstarter one wins, if you want to wash the whole collection as I do, the other ones win.
I have the better doukaudio and it’s great. The video on the Kickstarter page for how people are supposedly using existing cleaners (rotating by hand the record that is stuck askew in the bath) is a total lie, none of the existing vinyl cleaners (expensive or cheap) work like this. The comparison with only the most ridiculously overpriced competitors is at least misleading.
Nevertheless, kudos to them, it looks neat and I agree that ultrasonic beats the vacuum cleaners that forgot that they are not really a record player and therefore the record player model is flawed.
Also beats the Audiodesk which is a similar design idea, costs ten times as much as the Kickstarter, doesn’t have any more features as far as I can tell, and is much uglier
If they can hold it to 350 dollars (say £300ish) …as they are pitching it…then it looks good value and easy to use
My DIY ultrasound cleaner cost about £130 all in to make
Even though it can do at least 4 discs at a time…I only clean 1 at a time
This is just my choice
If you’re not the DIY type…or prefer the styling of a pro built unit…this has got to be a good choice…but can they get the funding…and can they hold the price???
Can you tell about your DIY one? Thanks
I am planning a degritter
My DIY one (as you asked) is a 40Hz tank bought off eBay (I paid £98)
It’s (7 ltrs I think) and big enough to take the LP’s without having to “angle” the records…they just fit directly in
The motor is a disco ball motor (from eBay) and rotates at 1 rpm
I extended the spindle with a slip on shaft that is the same size as the LP center hole and long enough to hold several records (I made this on my lathe)
I made an L shaped wooden stand that the disco ball motor is fixed to and the ultrasound tank stands on
That’s about it for hardware
Cleaning fluid is 90% distilled water 10% isopropyl alcohol and a tiny dash of photoflo …a photography surficant to allow deeper cleaning
Tank temperature is set at 30 degrees …for optimum cleaning… with a MAXIMUM of 37degrees before records start to warp …but they do recover so don’t panic!
For people less talented/equipped, a simple motor assembly without lift is ~70 on ebay and fits any regular tank, a 5L one is fine to fit the 6 records vertically.
(Tanks with temp and power dials and a drain valve at the bottom are preferable)
Regarding the temp, the water temp rises slowly during cleaning and if starting too high it can go over 37. This gives a heart attack as the records start to warp. However they automatically become plane again when the temp falls. Always test with disposable records.
Kuzma (hifi manufacturer from I think Slovenia) sells one one based on a regular tank too, it’s not great IMO and expensive, but their instructions in the manual on the website are very helpful (though the manual is poorly written/translated in general, but easy to ignore everything apart from the cleaning and liquid instructions/tips
Agreed with all that’s above!
I made mine well over 5 yrs ago but now eBay is littered with tank and motor options…and complete units
The Humminguru will probably be around £399 if it ever gets productised. At that price it’ll be cheaper than most mechanical record cleaners, which can only be used to clean one record at a time (e.g. Pro-ject).
The Humminguru Kickstarter campaign now has 50% of the backers needed to launch the project and there are 50 days left for new investors to join so it is looking good for realisation.
The Humminguru Kickstarter has now had 401 backers for the £230 ultrasonic record cleaner. Only 99 units now left at this price. Much cheaper than most mechanical record cleaners. At this rate, the project is looking like it’ll get its funding.
I’ve had a wet cleaning VPI 15 machine for around 4 years. It does an excellent job and its good to see that parts including the cleaning head are widely available. My VP15 came from a certain auction place for 250.00. I must have cleaned 400 LPs - old and new and see real improvements…as well as burning a pile of inner sleeves of course.
The only issue with the VPI is that it’s louder than an old vacuum machine!
It’s very tempting and I figure that the landed cost in the UK is just over £270 with duty and VAT paid. But… on the flip side, it does look a bit toy-like and, being unproven and with no mention of any guarantee the risk is that if anything goes wrong it’s fit only for scrap. But it is cheap…
Edit; I’ve just noticed that shipping is not included, so £272 plus duty and VAT.
It does indeed look very tempting.
I wonder just how many records could be safely cleaned before needing to replace the distilled water in the tank?
Difficult to say. For standard 5 liter tanks, Kuzma for example says, if I remember correctly, that it can be used for 400 records or one month, whatever comes first. But this Humminguru only has a fill of 350 ml.
It also depends on the kind of dirt. In my case, which involves lots of cat wool, I change it every 100-150 records. However, given that the record is vertical in the water and there are typically a few drops of wetting agent (dishwasher) in the water (if you do), there is not much incentive for dirt to stick back to the record. With cat wool though, it stays at the water surface and therefore tends to attach in the area of the run-out groove.
I err on the side of caution. A 5 l container of demineralized water is like 10 euros (super-distilled laboratory water, probably overkill), so not worth any trouble. Plus the Humminguru seems to make it easy to change.
Looks very nice, however, i do wonder about the power transmission to the record surface. We have medical products i deal with and some internal parts with US cleaning have to be replaced every 12 months due to US cleaning damage. We are talking thin stainless steel probes too. Interesting.
If it puts anyone’s mind at rest
I put an (unliked) record in my ultrasound tank so it was stationary (ie cleaning one half) for a couple of hours
I then played it to see if I could detect any degradation from this long clean
I could hear zero difference as the record played leading me to think that half the record had not been noticeable damaged
Not very scientific I know…but I could see no difference in the groves with my microscope either…it gave me some piece of mind
My tank will disintegrate aluminium foil in a matter of minutes
40khz Chinese OEM unit designed for blast cleaning car parts , jewellery etc these cost $100 each ECE
These can put out 120Db @ 1metre & many cases of very young operators with severe deafness
Units operating at 25-40kHz are most often used in applications such as for cleaning, degreasing or deburring heavy metal products such as engine components
Used a 120khz Degritter designed for cleaning records