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Klaudio LP200S Ultrasonic Record Cleaner Problem(s) - The "S" Version - Any Owners?

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  • Klaudio LP200S Ultrasonic Record Cleaner Problem(s) - The "S" Version - Any Owners?

    I'm always looking to improve my ultrasonic record cleaning results, so recently bought a new Klaudio machine. It's their "S" version LP200S which has no internal reservoir, and instead has separate "supply" and "drain" hoses.

    It can be used with an "external" water container that's at least 5 gallons, or an optional $400 "Tap Water Kit" filtering stage which allows filling up with clean water for each record, then dumps used water down the drain hose.

    I don't want to use tap water, so didn't get the "Tap Water Kit" but I do want the advantage of records being washed with clean water each time, so I figured the supply pump could draw clean 0ppm distilled water from one container, and the drain hose can dump the used water into another (dirty) container.

    Used water won't be very dirty from cleaning just one record, but I have RO (reverse osmosis) equipment to filter the used distilled water back to 0ppm purity, so it can be returned to the clean container and not wasted. I used two 5-gallon food grade buckets for my supply and drain containers.

    The problem with my LP200S is that water starts coming out of the drain hose as soon as the machine starts filling up, and it continues pumping and draining throughout the wash cycle. So much water goes through that it takes about 4 gallons per record during a 5 minute wash, from the supply bucket to the drain bucket.

    I figured nothing would come out of the drain hose until the wash cycle ended, and I'd only see drain water when the drain indicator lights up and the machine empties, right before it starts drying, but instead 4 gallons gets used!

    I've been in touch with Tim at Klaudio of course, and he advised me that the "S" does work the way I expected when used with their optional $400 "Tap Water Supply Kit" so that it takes (clean) water from the supply each time. Tim said a little water might come out of the drain during washing to keep the internal water level correct, and that used (dirty) water gets dumped down the drain at the end of the wash cycle, right before drying.

    Tim also said that Klaudio's engineers have only tested the "S" with a single container of water being recirculated, or with the "Tap Water Kit", but never with separate supply and drain containers, so I guess I'm on the bleeding edge here..

    I'm not sure what the difference between using the "Tap Supply Kit" and two containers would be? Surely both should be the same with clean water coming in to clean each record, and then the dirty used water gets sent down the drain? Why should it matter if the drain goes into another container so the water can be saved, filtered back to 0ppm, and used again?

    Does anyone else have an "S" with the same setup, supply and drain containers? Even if you're just using a single container (or the Klaudio "Tap Water Kit") could you please take a minute to check and see if water is coming out of the (blue) drain hose while your machine is filling up and while it is washing?

    Last edited by Record Genie; 08-17-2017, 11:34 PM.

  • #2
    While it is certainly not clear from the manuals (either for the machine or the optional 'Tap Kit'), the diagram in the machine manual shows a single reservoir, into which both the feeder to the machine, and the drain from the machine are inserted. Reading the 'Tap Kit' manual there is some language about solenoids used to activate the water fill and drainage at appropriate times. Even having read that, you'd have to use it and have the experience you had to appreciate what the manufacturer seems to be saying: without the tap kit, the water is essentially recirculating constantly while cleaning, being filled from and draining back into the same container.
    I have no idea what you could DIY (and potentially risk voiding the warranty) to achieve what you want, which would seem to make more sense, without having to buy the tap kit. Also, how effective is the filter on the Tap Kit- what grade of water are you getting compared to various purification stages in the hierarchy of "pure" water? Will it work in combination with your R/O system?
    I didn't watch any demo videos or any marketing stuff that demonstrates the operation of the machine with pump and external reservoir. So, I gather, with two containers, you wind up manually pouring the water from the 'waste' bin back into the main reservoir? I'm speculating here, but if your separate water purification system is 'slow' you couldn't connect in the loop for this recirculation process, or could you? (You said a single wash consumes 4 gallons, so maybe you can R/O your water as it is draining, and then feed the drain back to a single reservoir (of course, the container won't be as pristine then, will it?) Sounds like you might need to buy the Tap Kit if you can be sure it will work with your R/O system and allow a two container approach. I would probably ask for written confirmation of this before buying. Sorry I don't have practical experience with this, my next unit will probably be a DIY, not to cut costs but to control heat, degas, and use a surfactant in the US tank.
    Good luck and let us know what happens. As the noted jurist Pierre Leval once said in connection with a legal discussion, "it's nice to be on the cutting edge as long as you're not the salami."
    I only had a couple conversations with Tim; is it possible to speak to an engineer at the HQ to verify all of this?


    • #3
      Good thoughts Bill..

      While it's true that a properly executed DIY set up can give you flexibility in all options, the problem is lack of automation that allows convenient everyday use, and can ensure consistency of results..

      I have already bought an Elma P60H tank that does 37 and 80khz, and will be looking at what I can do with it.. My interest is mostly to set up another work flow for moldy records, one that allows a choice of cleaning agents, and for easy cleaning access, since the sealed Audio Desk machines cannot be properly cleaned at all, and even the Klaudio machines have inaccessible parts of the L-shaped tank. If I wasn't getting such good results "double-cleaning" with the Audio Desk and then Klaudio, then I'd be tempted to move over to tanks completely..

      I've also bought a Loricraft PRC-4 cleaner which is very effective for pre-cleaning with its point-nozzle vacuum. It's quieter too, the trade-off being that it's a lot slower than my VPI 16.5, but I don't need to wear my ear defenders any more! Love the fact that the Celebrated Talbot (or Gudebrod) buffer thread means there is no cross-contamination from one record to another, other than brushes. That purchase was inspired by you Bill, and your Keith Monks machine, although I couldn't find a Monks for the right money, so grabbed the secondhand Loricraft when it came up first..

      Having said all that, back to ultrasonic and Klaudio, and your concern about using tap water is well founded, the Klaudio "Tap Water Kit" uses a single pleated filter, and there is no way that can give the purity of water that's needed for good record cleaning results. Tap or well water can have all kinds of nasties in it, and even a 6 stage filter process may not give lab grade water. I make my pure water from store bought distilled, which I process through an RO and DI system. The $400 Klaudio option includes solenoid control of the incoming filtered tap water pressure, as opposed to a controlled 12vdc pump the "S" uses with a container, or containers if that was possible. Either way, draining is controlled by another solenoid. The wash basin drain valve is normally closed (NC) but opens to allow the wash basin to empty when the drain solenoid is energized with 11.7vdc. I tested mine, and it opened during the Prime, Wash, and Drain stages, which explains why it goes through 4 gallons in 5 minutes. I'm wondering if that much water is wasted when the "Tap Water Kit" is used. The drain also stayed open for 2 minutes of the Dry stage, even though the basin drains in just a few seconds.

      You're also spot on with your concerns about controlling heat. You want just enough to help cavitation and any chemistry (if allowed) but not too much to cause problems, and unfortunately I will be sending the Klaudio "S" model back (it's the second one I've had, the first one arrived DOA) as I've already discovered that heat build up is a problem with the "S" model for a heavy user like me. It has no cooling provision to control rising temperatures during longer cleaning sessions. It's just like the situation I had with the early version reservoir Klaudio machines, before they added a thermostatically controlled radiator. My two Version 4 regular Klaudio machines I use are fine, I will keep those unless Klaudio starts making the "S" with a radiator and cooling fan, and only if it can be used with supply and drain containers. It's a shame, because the "S" has a nifty "water level control" that would be great for cleaning 7" and 10" records (with adapters) where the regular machine doesn't clean close enough to the label..

      Before I send it back, I'll do another heat-soak test session with the "S" unit and a single container, and will post some temperature results at the weekend. I've already seen (drain) water temps increase from an ambient 66F to over 90F when I cleaned a batch of 18 records with 5 minute wash and 1 minute dry. I stopped at that point. This might be unusual usage, but since I have multiple machines, I finish drying in another machine. The 1 minute drying is just to blow off larger water droplets before removing a wet record from the slot. Even before 90F is reached, the records start flexing side to side in the loading slot in a somewhat alarming manner, although both my test records returned to flat when drying started. Note that I used my own test records, no customer records were used for testing. That 24F temperature increase was without returning the heated drain water to the supply container, so I expect temperatures will climb even faster with the same 20 liters of water recirculating in a single container. I've never studied thermodynamics, but apparently 20 liters of water takes about 90 minutes to climb 13 Celsius (from 66F to 90F) with 0.2kw of heat applied, The 200w cleaning power of these machines means a cooling loop must be used..

      No salami for me, as I'm not interested in modifying a $4k product and not having a 2 year warranty, since who is going to fix these things or supply parts except for Klaudio? I only know as much as I do about the "S" model already because my second "S" machine arrived with water droplets everywhere inside the packaging, all over the machine, so I removed the front and back covers to let it dry out overnight. I think it still had some water left in the basin when Klaudio shipped it, and it went everywhere. I'm thankful the replacement "S" machine was tested, since the first one didn't rotate records and was essentially DOA. A quick look at that one revealed that a 12vdc motor was not connected (missing wires) and so it was clearly never tested as being operational before leaving the factory..

      As someone who spends a lot of time cleaning records, I'd love the chance to talk directly with the design and engineering team at Klaudio about what my perfect machine would do, but Tim has been the only person I've talked to at Klaudio in the 4 years I've been using their machines, and we email so I don't think I've spoken to him more than once on the phone, if at all..

      I know that collectively we can improve the art of record cleaning, and I'm glad I'm not the only one that really cares about this stuff!
      Last edited by Record Genie; 08-17-2017, 11:32 PM.