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  • ~ DIY RCM Kuzma

    Lord help me - I'm creating a thread on record cleaning...

    I've been thinking about having a dedicated RCM for pure water rinse to go with my Audio Desk.
    That almost seems decadent.

    A couple days ago I re-read the recent KLaudio and some other of the Ultrasonic Record Cleaner threads. I ran across this from Rob:
    Originally posted by Rob View Post

    If you don't mind rolling up your sleeves there are a few very good DIY options that require no assembly basically plug and play and its less than 1/4 the cost of KL Audio.
    Then last night I ran across Kuzma's RD Ultrasonic Ultra Cleaning Kit



    It's basically the rotisserie part of an USC (ultra sonic cleaner) that supports cleaning 10 records at a time.
    As usual, Kuma has a great manual for it which you can d/l as a PDF from that page on their site.

    All you need to add is the actual Ultrasonic Cleaner with a ~2.5 gallon capacity. Kuzma has specs along with a list of suggested cleaners on their site. These boxes provide the cavitation function at various frequency, a water heater, and a timer. You can spend ~$270-$2700 on one - probably more if it is within 20 feet of the word 'audiophile.'

    To give you an idea, something like this:


    Air dry - no blower.

    I"m vaguely aware there are other offerings and kits of varying completeness out there, but I have not looked at them. Recommendations?

    So ... what to you think? It could be the complete system, not just a rinser. Yeah it looks industrial, so I figure haul it out when you feel like cleaning 10 or more records, then hide it. Anyone done something like this, or particularly used the Kuzma RD kit. And if so, what ultrasonic cleaner are you using. The KL/ADS machines are what ~$4-$5k?
    With a cheap chinese cleaner box I'm guessing somewhere around $1600-$1700 USD for the whole thing.

  • #2
    Tim, great thread. I used to own David Ratcliff's V8 and now own and use this set-up:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ultrasonic-V...38.m2548.l4275

    They've sold over 500 units and maintains perfect feedback which should tell you something. I don't know what the Kuzma costs but I don't like the overhead gantry design as it uses the rotisserie rod like the V8 which requires more space and is clumsy compared to the ingenious solution I found in the Vinyl Stack. I think I spent half of your budget.
    TechDAS | Graham Eng | ZYX | B.M.C. | Boulder | Magico

    "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke

    Comment


    • #3
      I am no expert on Ultrasonic Cleaning but I would be concerned about 2 things regarding the ability to clean TEN records in an Ultrasonic bath of this size:

      1) The "power" of the transducers may not be enough to clean this number of records.
      2) The frequency of the ultrasonic cleaning has a relationship to how closely spaced the records can be in the bath. Even if it were an 80 kHz machine (not likely if it's an inexpensive Chinese brand), I'd be concerned that the records will be too closely spaced for the cavitation to work.

      This entire subject has been discussed ad nauseum on a diyaudio thread:

      http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/analo...d-cleaner.html

      The thread has grown so large that it's hard to read but based upon my understanding, I'd be very cautious about its ability to work effectively when cleaning that many records given the specs of the machine.
      Last edited by squasher; 06-14-2017, 04:44 PM.
      Speakers: Rockport Avior
      Amp: Ypsilon Aelius Mk II (Silver Edition)
      Preamp: Pass Labs XS
      Phono preamp: EMIA LR Phono Corrector, Slagle Silver SUTs
      Phono: Continuum Criterion, Kuzma 4-Point, Lyra Etna SL Lambda
      Digital: dCS Network Bridge, dCS Scarlatti DAC
      Tape: Studer A80 RC, Doshi V3.0

      Comment


      • Guest's Avatar
        Guest commented
        Editing a comment
        Squashed - do you have suggestions for dealing with the concerns you mention?

    • #4
      Did you read Rush Paul's article in Positive Feedback? He distilled a lot of information from that crazy long thread on DIY, and had some good ideas that he implemented.
      I'm thinking Elma brand, rather than a cheap import. (expensive import?)
      When I spoke to them about field service of the transducers-- the thing likely to fail after time for a simple bath type machine-- they said nope. The big factory line sized installations- they send a guy. The little bench top sized ones we use: you have to send it back.
      As I understand it, these transducers, as used in other industries the employ ultrasonic cleaning, have a life. Despite our collective audiophile bitching about 4k dollar record cleaning machines failing after several years, that's life in ultrasonic land as I understand it- nothing to do with audio.

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by Rob View Post
        Tim, great thread. I used to own David Ratcliff's V8 and now own and use this set-up:

        http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ultrasonic-V...38.m2548.l4275

        They've sold over 500 units and maintains perfect feedback which should tell you something. I don't know what the Kuzma costs but I don't like the overhead gantry design as it uses the rotisserie rod like the V8 which requires more space and is clumsy compared to the ingenious solution I found in the Vinyl Stack. I think I spent half of your budget.
        Thanks! From the pictures it looks like the Vinyl Stack offers a simple, straightforward way to set-up 3 records for cleaning. I suspect loading and unloading are important when handling multiple records. The Kuzma RD comes with a stand to hold the rod while loading it and spacers - also seems straightforward but of course the more records the more to do. I'll guess the VS unit is 1/4 the price of the Kuzma RD which looks like mostly stainless steel and v well made - but that's just looking at pictures. .

        Which Ultra Sonic Cleaner do you use?

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by Bill Hart View Post
          Did you read Rush Paul's article in Positive Feedback? He distilled a lot of information from that crazy long thread on DIY, and had some good ideas that he implemented.
          I'm thinking Elma brand, rather than a cheap import. (expensive import?)
          When I spoke to them about field service of the transducers-- the thing likely to fail after time for a simple bath type machine-- they said nope. The big factory line sized installations- they send a guy. The little bench top sized ones we use: you have to send it back.
          As I understand it, these transducers, as used in other industries the employ ultrasonic cleaning, have a life. Despite our collective audiophile bitching about 4k dollar record cleaning machines failing after several years, that's life in ultrasonic land as I understand it- nothing to do with audio.
          Thanks Bill. I have not seen the Rush Paul article but will look for it at PF.

          From the cheap import aisle I looked at a 10 Liter unit from Beijing Ultrasonic - direct from them quoted at $350. I'm pretty sure this is the unit pictured in the Kuzma RD manual. Didn't really know where to start.

          Elma - "Superior German engineering supports a 2-year warranty". Looks v well made with features not found on others. Their size choices seem smallish (mostly ~7 gal.or less) and a bit pricey. I'm guessing size ties to heater and cavitator capacity. Was there a particular model you were looking at?

          Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by tima View Post

            Thanks Bill. I have not seen the Rush Paul article but will look for it at PF.

            From the cheap import aisle I looked at a 10 Liter unit from Beijing Ultrasonic - direct from them quoted at $350. I'm pretty sure this is the unit pictured in the Kuzma RD manual. Didn't really know where to start.

            Elma - "Superior German engineering supports a 2-year warranty". Looks v well made with features not found on others. Their size choices seem smallish (mostly ~7 gal.or less) and a bit pricey. I'm guessing size ties to heater and cavitator capacity. Was there a particular model you were looking at?
            When i was researching them last year, there was one that was a little tight, you had to overfill and play with the height of the records to get it to do its job; the other one was way too big, not only due to capacity but because the size of the bath impacted the amount of cavitation. The smaller one is the way to go unless they introduced a new model line. I'll try to get you the model number. The trick, too, is the amount of surface area that you want to clean v. bath size and transducers- there is a mathematical ratio-- so the idea that you can clean 10 records at once isn't really workable if you really want them clean. That ratio or formula is buried somewhere in the long DIY thread. There are a couple of threads on audiogon under the heading of Rush's article where these issues were touched on; the Elma may be overkill, I don't know. I'm still of the school where I like that old Mercedes bank vault "clunk" when I close the door, so admit that's part of the appeal too. (But it does have some tricks, including a degas, alternating frequencies, and build quality in addition to heat). My concern with the cheapies, like everything, is that in the long run they cost more, because you are replacing them. I may be wrong about that- I think the V-8 guy gets his from Asia, spec'd out as he wants them, and I don't think many people have complained about failures that I'm aware of. For the difference in price, you could buy one very good Telefunken tube! (I was just pricing those "S" versions of the 12AX7- Yikes!). Reach out to Rush if you want- he's a good guy. There's also a guy on the 'God named Terry9, very nice chap, up in Canada, he is/was a scientist and has a really good handle on DIY ultrasonic. You'll find him in the same threads over there on the 'Gon.
            Postscript: I looked back through my notes of conversations with Terry and he uses the Elmasonic P60H with some adjustments for filling. He thought it the best compromise on size, though a little small, and will clean two records simultaneously, with power to spare.
            The real kicker is to add a point nozzle dry. Then you'll be in biz! If you PM Terry on the 'God, feel free to use my name- we've chatted a few times, smart guy, no hype.

            Comment


            • #8
              The Rush Paul article on DIY ultrasonic cleaning is here. Looks like a helpful read. :-)

              Warning.Rant Ahead It was a heck of a lot easier to find something on Positive Feedback by using Google than by searching at Positive Feedback. Whatever their Web developer chose for the site's search engine proved ineffective and frustrating. End Rant

              Comment


              • Rob
                Rob commented
                Editing a comment
                Interesting. I just read it and except for the tergitol he uses the same set up and follows very similar methodology that I've written about which appeared on Steve Hoffmans site as well as Audio shark before this article surfaced (maybe Paul read me first). Anyway, his approach mirrors mine except I pre clean all my vinyl on a stationary surface with a solution heated in baby bottle warmers and applied with a velvet brush to loosen the contaminants. Then they go into the US at an elevated temperature (important) using my own 'detergent' and run for 20 mins. The final rinse and vac with the Loricraft point nozzle RCM.
                Last edited by Rob; 06-15-2017, 10:18 PM.

            • #9
              I bought Kuzma Ultrasonic Cleaning Kit in union with three audio buddies. In two years we have cleaned about 4.000 LP's with no issues at all. Perfect results every time and we strictly clean 8 LP's at a time.
              Source: Kuzma XL DC/4Point 14 inch/CAR60; Phono: Zanden 1200 Signature; Tuner: Magnum Dynalab MD-108T Signature; Line Stage: Zanden 3000 Mk2; Power amp: Lamm 1.2 Reference; Speakers: AlsyVox Botticelli; Grounding: Tripoint Troy Elite NG; Cable system: Cardas Clear Beyond; Stands: Finite Elemente Master Reference & Master Reference Heavy Duty; Power strip: Cardas Nautilus; Power filter: P.I Audo: BUSS Depot; Acoustics treatment: Svanå Miljöteknik AB (SMT);

              Comment


              • #10
                I just had a chance to read Rush Paul's excellent Positive Feedback article. I wish it existed before I spent many hours sifting through the forum thread on diyaudio.

                To answer an earlier question, I ended up buying a (69 kHz) Vibrato Ultrasonic machine and a Vinyl Stack motor for turning the records. I have been using a simple cleaning solution of distilled water, 99% alcohol, and a couple of drops of PhotoFlo. I use a Loricraft with AIVS Ultrapure water as a final rinse and vacuum to finish the job.

                I have been very happy with the results.

                When I have the chance I would like to try the Tergitol mixture and add a filtering mechanism to the tank.





                Speakers: Rockport Avior
                Amp: Ypsilon Aelius Mk II (Silver Edition)
                Preamp: Pass Labs XS
                Phono preamp: EMIA LR Phono Corrector, Slagle Silver SUTs
                Phono: Continuum Criterion, Kuzma 4-Point, Lyra Etna SL Lambda
                Digital: dCS Network Bridge, dCS Scarlatti DAC
                Tape: Studer A80 RC, Doshi V3.0

                Comment


                • #11
                  Originally posted by squasher View Post
                  I just had a chance to read Rush Paul's excellent Positive Feedback article. I wish it existed before I spent many hours sifting through the forum thread on diyaudio.

                  To answer an earlier question, I ended up buying a (69 kHz) Vibrato Ultrasonic machine and a Vinyl Stack motor for turning the records. I have been using a simple cleaning solution of distilled water, 99% alcohol, and a couple of drops of PhotoFlo. I use a Loricraft with AIVS Ultrapure water as a final rinse and vacuum to finish the job.

                  I have been very happy with the results.

                  When I have the chance I would like to try the Tergitol mixture and add a filtering mechanism to the tank.
                  Whart caused me to think of US made USC's and the Vibrato is one of those.

                  I thought the 1.5 gal Vibrato 69kHz with digital controls looked interesting however it is discontinued. The fellow making these now has a 6 ultrasonic transducer, 80kHz, 2.5 gallon model ~$1200 shipped. But you have to get on a waiting list to buy one.

                  Another US made model I found that looks like it could meet the need is the 2.7 gallon Sonix ST126H which may be around $1000.

                  Looks like there is still discussion on the value of detergent/surfactant. I see on Kuzma's page: "After extensive use of ultrasonic cleaners we concluded that specially designed washing additives provided by manufacturers are not good for cleaning records. Records sounded much more noisier and maybe even better, but only after wash with distilled water the noise floor was lowered again."

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Originally posted by Marcus View Post
                    I bought Kuzma Ultrasonic Cleaning Kit in union with three audio buddies. In two years we have cleaned about 4.000 LP's with no issues at all. Perfect results every time and we strictly clean 8 LP's at a time.
                    Cool - without knowing much about itI too am attracted to the Kuzma unit. From your report, seems like it is durable.

                    Which ultrasonic cleaner do you use with it?

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Originally posted by tima View Post

                      Thanks! From the pictures it looks like the Vinyl Stack offers a simple, straightforward way to set-up 3 records for cleaning. I suspect loading and unloading are important when handling multiple records. The Kuzma RD comes with a stand to hold the rod while loading it and spacers - also seems straightforward but of course the more records the more to do. I'll guess the VS unit is 1/4 the price of the Kuzma RD which looks like mostly stainless steel and v well made - but that's just looking at pictures. .

                      Which Ultra Sonic Cleaner do you use?
                      I'm using a Trusonic with 2.5 gallon capacity, cleaning output is 240W using 4 X 60W transducers operating at 40khz. The temperature can be raised to 65C. Its the exact same unit used by David Ratcliff and has the dimension ratios needed for my intended use. they were about 400 bucks back then, the equivalent model can now be had for ~200. I have cleaned >800 LPs so far over the course of about two years or 130 hrs of use (cleaning two LPs at a time).
                      TechDAS | Graham Eng | ZYX | B.M.C. | Boulder | Magico

                      "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke

                      Comment


                      • Spla'nin
                        Spla'nin commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Does your model have the frequency sweep also? Or is that a later feature? Thanks
                        https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HDWEA9E/

                      • Rob
                        Rob commented
                        Editing a comment
                        mine doesn't have the sweep function. i like the new price, it's alotta machine for the money.

                    • #14
                      Originally posted by Bill Hart View Post

                      When i was researching them last year, there was one that was a little tight, you had to overfill and play with the height of the records to get it to do its job; the other one was way too big, not only due to capacity but because the size of the bath impacted the amount of cavitation. The smaller one is the way to go unless they introduced a new model line. I'll try to get you the model number. The trick, too, is the amount of surface area that you want to clean v. bath size and transducers- there is a mathematical ratio-- so the idea that you can clean 10 records at once isn't really workable if you really want them clean. That ratio or formula is buried somewhere in the long DIY thread. There are a couple of threads on audiogon under the heading of Rush's article where these issues were touched on; the Elma may be overkill, I don't know. I'm still of the school where I like that old Mercedes bank vault "clunk" when I close the door, so admit that's part of the appeal too. (But it does have some tricks, including a degas, alternating frequencies, and build quality in addition to heat). My concern with the cheapies, like everything, is that in the long run they cost more, because you are replacing them. I may be wrong about that- I think the V-8 guy gets his from Asia, spec'd out as he wants them, and I don't think many people have complained about failures that I'm aware of. For the difference in price, you could buy one very good Telefunken tube! (I was just pricing those "S" versions of the 12AX7- Yikes!). Reach out to Rush if you want- he's a good guy. There's also a guy on the 'God named Terry9, very nice chap, up in Canada, he is/was a scientist and has a really good handle on DIY ultrasonic. You'll find him in the same threads over there on the 'Gon.
                      Postscript: I looked back through my notes of conversations with Terry and he uses the Elmasonic P60H with some adjustments for filling. He thought it the best compromise on size, though a little small, and will clean two records simultaneously, with power to spare.
                      The real kicker is to add a point nozzle dry. Then you'll be in biz! If you PM Terry on the 'God, feel free to use my name- we've chatted a few times, smart guy, no hype.
                      Thanks Bill - great info, espec. pointing out to consider the bath size/nbr of transducers & size/nbr of records.

                      Found the Elmasonic P60H on A'zon here: . See my post to Squaser (above) for a couple of US made offerings.

                      Agree about the Mercedes clunk - that's what makes the Kuzma unit appealing to me. (Too bad today's Mercedes has opted for volume over earlier values.)

                      So you're still looking?

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        Originally posted by tima View Post

                        Thanks Bill - great info, espec. pointing out to consider the bath size/nbr of transducers & size/nbr of records.

                        Found the Elmasonic P60H on A'zon here: . See my post to Squaser (above) for a couple of US made offerings.

                        Agree about the Mercedes clunk - that's what makes the Kuzma unit appealing to me. (Too bad today's Mercedes has opted for volume over earlier values.)

                        So you're still looking?
                        I've had a few start up costs to get the system up and running here- as well as the vintage system I decided to put together, as well as buying a house, etc. So, the DIY ultra sonic got back burnered for now, but I'm sure I'll come back to it.

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