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  • Ultimate Album Cleaning

    Would you send your LPs out for special cleaning?

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    Even just your favorite albums?


    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
    -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

  • #2
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
    -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

    Comment


    • #3
      No need. I've developed good techniques and get great results with each of my three record cleaners.

      Comment


      • #4
        As above. No need. Plus, I wouldn't want to risk having albums lost, or damaged.

        Comment


        • #5
          No way! DOA. No need....won't last 6 months...too much risk
          Primary 2 channel stuff: Atma-Sphere MP-1 Mk 3.3, Pass Labs X600.5 amps, Aerial SW 12 subs, True Sound Works Ultimate Apogee Divas, Dunlavy SC4s, VPI HRX Reference w Avenger mag drive and Reference footers, Gimbal Fatboy, Yamaha GT2000 for Mono, Miyajima Kansui, Miyajima ZERO, Fidelity Research MC-201 & 202, VPI ADS, Vendetta Research SCP-1, Audio Note UK- 3.1X II balanced DAC, Meridian Sooloos, Western Electric Speaker wire, mostly diy balanced interconnects, Furutech Power Cords

          Comment


          • #6
            Living 10 miles away, I may try a dozen lps. I do Degritter all albums, old and new. Very curious how noticeable the improvement will be.
            Avalon Time, Walker Proscenium, Koetsu Coralstone, Air Tight PC-1 Supreme, Goldfinger Statement, Dalby record weight, Kondo KSL-SFz step-up, Jadis JP80-MC...heavily modified, Convergent Audio JL-2 Black Path, Sony NS999 ES Modwright modded, full loom High Fidelity Ultimate cables, Rel S-5 sub, Stillpoints ultra and 5's, Shun Mook, Dalby footers, Critical Mass bases, Acoustic System Resonators, Magnum Dynalab Etude, Telefunkens throughout, assorted fuses, Furutech outlets, PurePower conditioner.

            Comment


            • #7
              If I can find 16 albums I think would benefit, I might. My VPI Typhoon does a pretty darned good job, but since I too could drive there pretty easily, maybe!
              TAPE: Studer A807, A810; Revox B77 MkII; Technics RS-1700; Pioneer RT-707, RT-909
              VINYL: Denon DP59-L/Hana ML/ModWright PH 9.0; Pioneer PL-50LII/Dynavector 20xH
              DIGITAL: Bryston SP-3, Marantz NA6006/Pioneer N-50, Schiit Bifrost
              SPEAKERS: B&W Nautilus 800, Pioneer DSS-9, Velodyne FSR-15
              AMPS: Cary SLP-05/Sunfire Signature 600, Pioneer SX-1980

              Comment


              • #8
                I’d say 99% of my records are clean or at least clean enough for me and I don’t have room for more. Ain’t I lucky? S..T!
                TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter mat & weight; PS Audio Stellar Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.

                Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer

                VTL 6.5 preamp Series II
                Pass Labs 150.8 Amp

                Piega C711 Loudspeakers

                Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls

                Acoustic Revive RR-888 Low Frequency Pulse Generator, Synergistic Research 12 UEF SE Line Conditioner, Level 3 HC AC Cord and Level 3 power cords, Synergistic Carbon fiber wall plates, Synergistic Research Orange Outlet, Furutech NCF Booster Braces, Audio Art Ref IC, MIT Oracle IC, synergistic Research Atmosphere X Euphoria Level 3 Balanced ICs, Synergistic Research Euphoria Level 3 Speaker Cables, Synergistic Research Cable Risers.

                Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD800s Headphones.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi MylesBAstor , thanks for the post and the community for interesting feedback. I'm here and happy to answer any questions the group may have. But first, there is a handful of comments that warrant a response.

                  Mr. Letsmakeadeal interesting prediction but I hope you don't have real money bet against PVF. We've been professionally cleaning records for a consistently expanding client base since 2017. We've also developed three significant revisions to our services, maintaining our commitment to continuous improvement.

                  Regarding shipping and handling risk - with thousands of shipments in our purposely built mailers, we've NEVER had a record damaged in transit. We've only had one package that didn't arrive to its destination due to a mercury spill in a USPS facility in 2018. The client was made whole through shipping insurance and PVF's reimbursed service fees. Also, consider that your records likely have been shipped several times before they arrived in your possession. Regarding damage to your records while in our possession - we carry a one million dollar product liability insurance policy to cover any large scale losses. We've had record collections worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in for cleaning.

                  Many find their current home cleaning regimen satisfactory. That is fine and I wish you well. As a matter of fact, I'm happy to share my knowledge to help you get better results. But how would you know? What is your basis of comparison? We've cleaned tens of thousands of records. We've QC'd many. All have been evaluated by their owners. Most PVF customers have record cleaning equipment at home. But they still place multiple orders with us because the results are significantly better than what can be achieved at home, with any process, with any cleaning machine. Is it worth it to you? Maybe, maybe not. But you'll never know unless you hear the difference for yourself. You can easily put our claims to the test for $158, shipping included, to have 16 records cleaned with our new Archival 3.0 process. Considering the sophistication of the listeners and their equipment on this forum, that is a very nominal investment to challenge us, with your music, on your system. All variables that could influence the results of the before and after comparison have been neutralized.

                  Mr. Joe Harley of Music Matters Jazz and Blue Note Tone Poet was kind enough to review our new Archival 3.0 process. He too cleans every record with an enzyme based cleaner on a vacuum unit then ultrasonically cleans his records with a KL Audio ultrasonic record cleaner. Here is the differences he noted - "It was quickly apparent to me that the PVF A3.0 process had some notable advantages over my previously ultrasonically cleaned copies. Overall focus was better, the entire presentation having a more tactile and "real" sound. Dynamic contrast is another area where improvements over my previous cleaning method were noted. The entire listening experience was simply more immersive and enjoyable.

                  My ultrasonically cleaned LPs already play very quietly so there was less difference noted here. But it was fascinating to hear the improvements noted above that seemed to be separate from simply the overall "quietness' of the playback." He asked to keep the sample records. I happily obliged.

                  Every facet, every variable is carefully controlled to reduce risk to the absolute minimum. We use lab-grade ultra pure water in every step of our process. All solutions are made by using a pipettor. Ultrasonic equipment is tested and verified weekly. Honestly, you are at greater risk using any home based machine than sending your records to PVF for cleaning.

                  I'm happy to answer any questions the group may have regarding record care or sharing details of our equipment and processes.

                  -Steve Evans, Founder, Perfect Vinyl Forever

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I just looked at your websites. Pretty impressive operation. I suspect your process could improve on some records. I just bought a degritter and was amazed at the improvement over my old nitty gritty machine. I then added a pre wash step with a tegritol solution, rinse with deionized water, prior to the ultrasonic wash and dry. The results are amazing. So can you to us would your process provide an additional audible improvement over other sound cleaning processes when the records already seem to be really good sounding.
                    AMG Giro-Koetsu Urushi Wajima
                    Audio Research ref phono 2SE
                    Bricasti M12
                    Trinnov Altitude 16
                    ATC ASL 50 SCM/Anniversary amp paks

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      PVF, thanks for your post above. Very interesting. I've gone through 3 record cleaning machines in my life, a VPI, a ultrasonic something and now a Monks. I've had buddies bring in their perfectly cleaned records for a listen. Then a few spins on the Monks (and Keith Monks Fluids) and it's like a different recording it's so much better. I have no doubt that your process is even better than mine, and I will order a package and send some LPs up for a comparison. Besides, cleaning LP's isn't fun, I'd (almost) rather do my wife's honey do list.

                      One question, what I would REALLY love is if you would team up with Acoustic Sounds, Audiophile USA, Elusive Disc, etc and as I buy records, have a fee based option on their website to send to you for cleaning, then to me. Have you discussed this with the mail order places? One stop shopping for the LP buyer....Thoughts?
                      Speakers: Rockport Altair 2
                      Amps: Nagra HD Pre Amp & HD Amps
                      Cables: Transparent Magnum Opus speaker and interconnects
                      Power Transparent Opus Power Cords & Opus Isolators
                      Digital dCS Vivaldi full stack w/ Transparent Reference XL Digital cables
                      Phono: Grand Prix Monaco 2.0 TT, Spiral Groove Centroid, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement, Nagra Classic Phono & PSU
                      Racks: Grand Prix Audio Silverstone F1 (x4)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Lxgreen You've likely achieved the pinnacle of home record cleaning. Using a vacuum unit with detergents then a generous rinsing step is a very good process to help with noise reduction and contaminant extraction. Then moving to ultrasonic cleaning with your Degritter helps remove the sound obscuring manufacturing residue (errantly called "mold release" by others). Cleaning by cavitation is the only safe option in a home environment to remove the residue that infills sub-mircon details of the groove.

                        The Degritter is the only home based ultrasonic record cleaning machine (URCM) I'd recommend. First, they got the frequency correct. Their ultrasonic cavitation frequency is 120khz. This is significantly better than the ubiquitous 40khz machines. Higher frequency means finer cavitational "bubbles" which get further into the groove and have much better cloud coverage than 40khz. Also, the higher the frequency, the more frequent the cavitational implosions. A 120 khz unit will have 300% more implosions than a 40 khz unit over the same period of time. At PVF, we found our system works best at 135 kHz for cleaning then using 220 kHz for ultrasonically rinsing the records. Our ultrasonics differ in many additional ways but that is a topic for another day.

                        If you were to try our services, you'll notice additional improvements compared to your home cleaning process, even as advanced as it is. Because we can soak records in cleaning solutions, and because we can use cleaning agents not suitable for retail sale and distribution, and because we utilize a two-part pre cleaning solutions designed for specific outcomes (sonic improvement and noise reduction), we can deliver results that are significant and noticeably better than your home cleaned records. Whether or not the results are better enough to justify the investment in our services is something you'll have to assess for yourself.

                        The near-perfect analogy is using a dry cleaning service for your garments. You could invest in some dry cleaning technology for the home and clean suits and delicate clothes yourself. Heck, you may even like doing that type of work. However, if you value your capital and, more importantly, your time, your local dry cleaner service provides great value. Some people's clothes don't justify dry cleaning and some people's priorities don't align with using a dry cleaning service. But many do understand the value of the service and use it frequently. Same applies to Perfect Vinyl Forever.

                        -Steve

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          jfrech, wow, you've really tried all of the different cleaning machine philosophies! I'm glad the Monk's machine is delivering to your benchmark standards. I think the point-nozzle vacuum machines like Loricraft and Monk's do the best job at cleaning contaminants out of the groove. If you add a Degritter ultrasonic cleaning step afterward, you too will have achieved the best results you can get at home.

                          You mention a major component of PVF's value proposition - time. If you value your personal free time as low as $15 per hour, PVF's services actually save you money in the long run. Most who play in the higher levels of music reproduction have achieved a certain level of success, and with it, demands on their professional and personal time. By outsourcing something as simple as record cleaning, it returns to you a significant amount of your personal time, which most would use to listen to, rather than cleaning, your records.

                          I'm not wealthy (I work on that every day...), but I use a lawn care service. It costs me $45 for a professional to cut my lawn to save me 2-1/2 hours of personal time each week during the all too short Wisconsin summers. To me, the time savings and the fact i've delegated a task very low on my enjoyment scale with better results is a very high value service. Many value PVF's services a similar way.

                          I've engaged Chad at Acoustic Sounds when at AXPONA. He wanted to buy my equipment. I frustrated him (I'm told by many that isn't difficult to do...) by explaining it isn't for sale but would be interested in other beneficial partnerships. He didn't see the value of doing so at that time. I agree, he is missing out on a real differentiator. I've also had similar discussions with Music Direct and other record distributors. Since most also sell cleaning solutions and machines, they see PVF as a threat to their business. I don't think that is completely true. A Venn diagram of those who choose a service over those who buy equipment and supplies and clean at home would have a very small area of intersection.

                          I look forward to receiving your order. I recommend sending in four records with surface noise challenges, four records that you couldn't imagine sounding better and eight records with music you know very well. After evaluative listening, these selections will provide a baseline of understanding what PVF's Archival 3.0 process can do for noise reduction, sonic enhancements and by revealing new information from well-known musical pieces. But, possibly more importantly, it will inform as to what our cleaning processes can't do to help some issues on records. This becomes invaluable as you start setting records aside for your subsequent cleaning package.

                          -Steve

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