We have spent 4 years in researching all past and current processes and methods to clean records. In fact, that is all they do, we found them only to clean the record’s surface. Ultrasonic technology while interesting needs to see records properly spaced in a bath that never exceeds 95 deg. F. In the process, a surfactant needs to be applied with a brush that is sized to fit into the grooves to wet the records and take advantage of the caveatting bubbles creating the “plasma wave that “brushes in the surfactant”. Our Process sees multiple 5 minute cycles, typically 3 or 4, to get down into the grooves and remove past contaminants including record release agents, left over cleaning agents as well as of course, fungus and dirt. We also allow you to know when the process is over, something that no other manufacturer or process allows you to see when a record, as in our case, is “restored”.
Unbeknownst to the DIY audiophile, frequencies higher than 35 KHz will see a danger and risk of "sandblasting" or damaging plasticizers and records thus affecting the record permanently. Easy test: Insert a flat piece of aluminum foil into the machine. Then turn on the system. Then remove the paper from the machine. You should see small dimples on the foil’s surface. Higher frequencies “tear” the foil. Lower frequencies such as 25 KHz do little to the foil. This measures easily both sonic performance and safety.
Lower frequencies to less than 35KHz create slower waves and you do not clean the grooves.
All sonic systems needs a surfactant to be manually applied to the record’s surface as vinyl repels water, and with no water "touching the record” any Ultrasonic system will not see the desired cleaning action.
On the contrary, higher frequencies see cavitating bubbles increase in number and in speed of the plasma wave generated which, in-turn, negatively affects the record.
What is on the needle is softened up contamination found in the grooves of the record, now being picked up by the needle itself. You should put the record to one or two more cleaning sessions. In using our process and system and when you are brushing in the surfactant onto the record using the goat haired brush, do this in swirling patterns. As you brush you will see (in the case of this record) a "white paste-like" substance that will come out. Repeat the 5 minute process until there is no more of this white "tooth paste-like" material appearing on the record surface. This indicates a restored record. Also, always use a light mist spray of distilled water to rinse out the goat hair brush after each 5 minute cycle, dry the goat hair brush using the supplied rabbit cloth.
To note: also use the same light mist of distilled water applied lightly onto the record’s surface at the 12, 4 and 8 o’clock positions at the end of the last 5 minute cycle to then be dried off using the optician’s cloth as well as polishing the grooves using the paretic felt brush, supplied with the system.
CHARLES KIRMUSS DEMONSTRATING HOW TO USE THE
KA-RC1 WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY MR. MICHAEL FREMER FROM ANALOG PLANET
SHOWING OFF THE SYSTEM ATTRIBUTES OF THE KA-RC1
Kirmuss Audio div of Kirmuss & Associates, LLC © 2018
Specifications subject to change. All Rights Reserved
Ultrasonic Record Washing Unit.
Ultrasonic Bath Assembly. AC Power Mains Lead.
Combination Carbon Fiber Brush/Parastatic Felt Brush
Surfactant serving also as an Anti-fungal/Anti-Static Spray.
Goat Hair Brush to apply the surfactant onto the record.
Stylus Cleaning Kit
Optician’s Microfiber Cloth
5” Felt Mat
Rabbit Microfiber Cloth for workstation space and drying out the rinsed goat hair brush between surfactant applications.
2 Year Warranty.
Not Supplied but required with the system per washing session:
6 Litres of Distilled water, 40 ml (1.4 ounces) of Isopropyl Alcohol 70%
"As such, I have to declare that the KARC-1 is the best record cleaner on the market. Bar none."
The short answer is NO.
Photoflow which is used in the development of print film and paper repulses water which is exactly the opposite of what we are trying to accomplish. In the washing process you want to see water run off the paper or film when it is drying to avoid water spots.
Sonic cleaning systems need to see the record attract water to aid in the cleaning process.
High amounts of alcohol affect the plasticizer of the record, damaging the record over time.
Shellacked records cannot tolerate alcohol unless in the mix ratio of our system.
99% Distilled Water and 1% Diol2 Propyl 178, a type of ethyl glycol.
It has two purposes:
Our mix is both anti-static and anti-fungal. It is PVC friendly and water soluble.
PVC rejects and repels water; the surfactant acts as a “wetting agent”, reducing surface tension and thus helps attract, for lack of a better term, the resulting 500 MPH plasma wave in our system that results from the cavitating and exploding micro-bubbles in the tank. With the supplied surfactant brushed into the record’s grooves, this therefore assists in the cleaning action in the grooves.
A bath with distilled water alone or with a cleaning agent in an ultrasonic’s tank added will not do anything to clean the grooves, it just lightly cleans or wets the surface. WE RESTORE and not just clean.
How many records can I clean with one "bath"?
You can clean two 33 1/3, one 45, and one 78 at the same time. The spacing between the records is crucial to the process, any larger number of record reduces the advantage of the ultrasonic that works the surfactant into the record grooves.
We suggest you change out the distilled water with the 1.4 ounces of 70% IPA in the tank after restoring between 15 to 20 records.
Severely contaminated records will show up with murky water in the tub.
Definitely change the "distilled water with 70% IPA "mix" when the water in the tank is murky.
You should be able to clean between 100 and 150 records before requiring a new bottle.
The spray bottle is available through all of our retailers.
In our studies of record washing programs and methods, it has been very evident where many sonic systems air dry the record by way of a fan after being processed ultrasonically. This air drying process dries whatever contaminants that were left in the ultrasonic bath onto the just cleaned record! Added to this; the fan itself blows dust onto the record and moving air also adds a static charge to the record. These both cancel out entire effort to clean the record!
We see these contaminants appear out of a recently cleaned record easily as where with our system they appear as a white paste-like substance through one's observations of our repeated wash cycles: we have to process the record several times as we, in fact, see our system stripping out of the record these left over residues and contaminants including fungus from the tank itself. We have also noted where the so called-filters in some of these sonic systems that pump water around do little as the bathwater is kept for 100 record washings or where the 3 to 5 micron sized fungal spores cannot be removed by the low cost foam filters purported to do this.
As to the vacuum; Vacuum drying brings through the Venturi Effect surrounding dust back onto the record. While the vacuum sucks off water from the enzyme cleaner (many of which are not PVC friendly) this process does not go into the grooves and removes the film onto the grooves that was produced as a result of the vacuum drying process. Only the use of a mechanical system, such as an optician’s cloth as well as the use of a felt brush remove these coatings from the grooved, applicable to any process. A little elbow grease goes a long way!
Surface scratches if not deep do not affect the audio experience. In fact as we restore records we may see more surface scratches as some record sellers use lighter fluid to “shine up their records for re-sale.
Why are other Ultrasonic machines currently on the market anywhere between 3 and 10 times the price of yours?
All sonic machines use the same operating principles. In my opinion, it’s unfair to price an Ultrasonic cleaning system to the likes of the turntable/tonearm/cartridge pricing.
A $900 - $1000 price is more than reasonable. Everyone thus may afford a record restoration system and enjoy the audition as a result of the restoration process.
We guarantee between 1.3 and 5 dB increase in signal output from the phono stage using our process.
In our process, human intervention is needed.
After every 5 minute cycle using our surfactant applied to the surface of the record, we keep applying this to the record by way of brush and between applications until there is a noticeable decrease in the presence of a white paste-like substance while the brush is used. This is validation of our restoration action stripping out fungus and contaminants not removed by other systems or processes.
Very hard to give you an exact number as needed is first the provenance of the record and how it was maintained. In general, new records see 3 or 4, 5 minute cycles with corresponding application of surfactant needed. Users that have cleaned their records in a prior ultrasonic cleaning system using a fan and where the water has not been changed for months or for a tank that managed 100 record sees us repeat our cycle 7,8, 9 times. This is not the fault of our process, it is a result of the record being improperly cleaned using another process. Generally 4 to 5 cleaning cycles suffice.
Frequency is key, we use 35KHz.
Temperature is critical: Ultrasonic bubbles create heat when they burst: water in the tub of any sonic used should not to exceed 95 deg F for water in the bath as records will warp. We signal a visual alarm. What is in the tank is also critical: no enzymes, no non PVC safe materials need to be used.
Many systems use high concentrations of alcohol which damages the plasticizer of the record.
Others see the creation of more fungus with enzyme based agents.
Systems with tanks that keep water for more than a day should be avoided, as fungal spores are omnipresent, causing health risks.
Every manufacturer should have available a certificate in their name from a qualified testing laboratory that meets with local electrical and safety requirements.
DIY systems see contraptions that can be dangerous and fall into the water causing the case for electrocution may arise.
"The Fungus Among Us..."
and After! >>>
Record after using the KA-RC-1
DEMONSTRATING THE PROPER MAINTENANCE STEPS FOR THE
KA-RC1 AFTER USE
FUNGUS on Record Before Washing
AN AFFORDABLE SOLUTION TO MAINTAINING AND RESTORING YOUR VINYL COLLECTION:
THE TEAM: After 4 years of extensive research and trials audiophile and business owner Charles Kirmuss developed an affordable, simple to use CLEANING AND RESTORATION SYSTEM based on researching the record making process and the environments that records are stored in.
With ETL C US and CE Electrical and Safety Approvals our affordable system will increase your listening pleasure by removing most of those annoying unwanted pops and crackling sounds from both new and old records and giving breath to the artist and music as fungus as well as remnants of prior cleanings which are stripped off the record.
This is not some home-made product.
With Patents both issued and pending,You will be very pleased with the results and benefit from many years of satisfaction with our revolutionary ultrasonic based RECORD RESTORATION SYSTEM.
The KirmussAudio Model KA-RC-1 revolutionizes the way we clean records
First and foremost our Patented and Patents Pending record suspension system assures that records of any speed and size see their grooves cleaned safely.
No damage to the record by mechanical intrusion of skewers and the like.
Secondly, only distilled water with a maximum of 40 mL (1.4 oz) of ISA (Isopropyl) 70% solution constitutes the initial de-grease bath and where applied to the record in its second and subsequent RESTORTION CYCLES AIMED AT REMOVING ACCUMULATED SURFACE CONTAMINANTS PRESENT FROM OTHER CLEANING SYSTEMS is a PVC FRIENDLY, WATER SOLUBLE, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-static surfactant.
This is applied to the record by way of a supplied goat hair brush. Ultrasonics need a surfactant to aid in the cavitation of the water solution to better clean and remove contaminants.
As to determining when a record is clean and restored, our process allows you to see this first hand.
As the surfactant is brushed onto the record, a decrease of the appearance of a toothpaste-like substance validates the effectiveness of the system:
removing fungus, contaminants, as well as agents applied in prior cleaning methods and systems
For the 120 VAC US Model, at a list price of $870*, everyone can enjoy their collection and restore and maintain it.
No matter how you store and use your records they inevitably will require maintenance.
When playing records, dust particles and contaminants always build up on the stylus as the tone arm moves across the record.
This accumulation on the needle also “dulls” the sound.
The emergence of the dreaded “audible pops” and “crackle sounds” heard are caused by dirt, grime and particles lodged in the record grooves themselves being hit by the needle, as well as static discharges, all amplified by the cartridge.
All are annoying!
Even new and latest pressings are subject to the same conditions as your old collection.
Release agents are found on the record as a residue from the pressing process and must be removed prior to use, otherwise they attract at an alarming rate dust and other airborne contaminants.
Heat generated by the contact of the stylus with the record will see micro-dust particles lodged in the grooves.
As to release agents themselves as an explanation, there is not a spray that is applied to the pressing machine's surface.
Rather, as the PVC with plasticizers added in the mix that are used in the record's pressing are heated, a scillic acid forms and during the pressing process with heat, this bubbles up to the record's extremities and surface which by design aids in the release of the pressing. This is the residue that we recommend being removed before a new record is played.
Regular cleanings are recommended as continual maintenance and care of your records which in turn will reduce those unwanted pops and augment your listening pleasure.
Cleaning WILL NOT remove unwanted sounds caused by scratches on the record's surface and depending on the age and condition of the record; even repeated cleanings may or may not restore the record to like new condition.
In some cases it will not remove the pops and crackles which are a result of playing a new record that has not been subject to a cleaning, but it will reduce the overall undesirable effect previously described.
While we have used the word CLEANING, what is a CLEAN record?
EVERYONE'S AN EXPERT!
Frankly speaking, there is much nonsense published regarding the cleaning of records...
Soaps, chemical mixes and brews, and especially the use of large portions of alcohol, etc.
These all affect the record negatively either during or after cleaning.
As used in ultrasonic, manual, or vacuum record CLEANING systems, air drying or blow drying of chemicals or purported cleaning agents that are not physically/"mechanically" removed further creates issues that are cumulative over time.
These coatings, we term them as "left over residues", see the needle ride higher in the groove and not make full contact with the left and right channels.
This creates two issues: some of these agents actually are enzyme based and promote fungus, the enemy of the record, and while perhaps records are in fact glossy and shiny these processes remove some of the annoying pops as the needle rides higher the high frequencies and timber of the music becomes "masked".
Gone are the breath of the artist, and the soundstage.
The ultrasonic cleaners have been around for decades and its use and attributes are well known and while care must also be taken as to the introduction of chemicals in the ultrasonic bath, this cleaning technology is a very valuable tool to use.
But ultrasonic alone is not enough. Our concern is two fold: removal of the release agent on a new record; removal of fungus as well as the many layers of previous cleaning system residues:THUS RESTORING THE RECORD.
We differ from other Ultrasonic cleaning machines currently on the marker in how we handle the record itself.
Properly spaced, records float safely and are not speared or squeezed, temperate distilled water bath, using water soluble and PVC safe surfactants.