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  • Enzymatic record cleaner

    Are we in universal agreement that Audio Intelligent #15 is the best enzymatic cleaner on the market? If there is a superior product please indicate. Always willing to try something "better".
    PROGRESSIVE SOUNDS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
    www.lasercd.com
    www.lasersedgegroup.com

    Rockport Aquila, Boulder 2010, Boulder 2008, Boulder 2060, Transparent Audio Reference XL, Nordost Quantum QBase8, TW Acustic AC Anniversary, TW Acustic Raven 10.5 arm, Lyra Atlas, Bricasti M1 Special Edition, SRA Scuttle3 rack + various SRA/Symposium stands

  • #2
    Originally posted by lasercd View Post
    Are we in universal agreement that Audio Intelligent #15 is the best enzymatic cleaner on the market? If there is a superior product please indicate. Always willing to try something "better".
    Audiophiles by nature are not in universal agreement about anything, including the possibility of universal agreement.

    Audio Intelligent (Jim Pendleton) also offers their Enzymatic Formula and Super Cleaner products. Like the #15 these are designed for multi-step processes. Whether they are superior to their Premium Record Cleaner Formula No. 15 probably depends on how you use them, but used properly they are not inferior to #15. Admittedly AI's mutiple products with similar labels, names and multi-step uses can be confusing.

    I would not under-estimate Lloyd Walker's Prelude system.

    Here's a gift that keeps on giving: Audio Intelligent Vinyl Solutions • Record-Cleaning Products

    Comment


    • lasercd
      lasercd commented
      Editing a comment
      Based on my conversations with Jim Pendleton, my understanding is that #15 is their strongest enzymatic cleaner.

      Lloyd's a friend and makes great array of cleaning fluids. A 4-step program is simply too fatiguing (and costly) for me to consider. I do use his rinse as a final step after a ride in the Audio Desk Pro bubble bath.

  • #3
    I haven't found anything better on the deep clean side. I was doing Lloyd's 4 step, the AIVS #15 simplifies that to 2 steps and I didn't really discern any difference, other than the time, effort and additional expense of 4 steps over 2. My regular fluid is the Hannl, but it is really meant for regular, not heavy duty, cleaning. And isn't so easy to get in the States. at least right now, until Hannl's new ownership and distribution kicks in.

    PS: I use Lloyd's applicator for the AIVS, though. Sacrilege. I like how it applies the fluid and is great for agitation.

    Comment


    • #4
      I tried a couple like AI, Record Time, MOFI and maybe one or two others (?). The best in my experience was the AI followed by the MOFI. But of course success depends upon the application and agitation after distributing the fluid more or less evenly across the fluid. Not to mention the brush used for applying the RCF. Here the MOFI brush turned out to be the best of the brushes used tried. It seems logical but could be wrong. The MOFI brush just gets deeper into and makes the most consistent contact with the record grooves than even the finest-and there are limits to this-bristle brushes.

      Lloyd demoed his RCF for me at a show and I didn't care for it. Reminded me of what LAST does. Everything was just smoothed out.
      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


      • Bill Hart
        Bill Hart commented
        Editing a comment
        I like those pad applicators too, but on the Monks, given the rotation speed, no clamp, they tend to stick to the record sometimes, and with agitation, can lift the record off the platter while spinning.
        This hasn't been a problem on your machines? Rob- you use a Loricraft. Jonathan?-not sure what you use.
        This is the reason I've gone back to Lloyd's pad applicator for the AIVS.
        For the mild fluid, and the rinse steps on the Monks, I like the Monks brushes for application, but they aren't suited for agitation.

      • Rob
        Rob commented
        Editing a comment
        Bill, as we talked about before I don't use brushes on the RCM, any application of the brush is on a stationary surface and is only used in the pre cleaning process. I've abandoned using brushes while the record is rotating on the RCMs, its ineffective and will just wear out the platter drive system.

      • Bill Hart
        Bill Hart commented
        Editing a comment
        Rob- interesting re your concern about the platter drive system. The Monks is certainly designed for brushes, and doesn't seem fazed by them. If I am doing a more vigorous scrub/agitation, I'll apply the fluid while the platter is moving then shut off the motor; agitate and move the platter manually using the Walker applicator.
        I had the Monks completely rebuilt when I got it, and knock wood, it runs like a top. (I was going to say British car, but it doesn't leak oil and the lights don't go out).

    • #5
      No. 15 for first scrub (disk doctor brush), let it soak a bit, wet it again with L'Art Du Son (new step for me), dry with micro towel then into KL Audio for final rinse, dry. That is how I like to do it. I change my water every 30-40 record's
      Christian
      System Gear

      Comment


      • #6
        Way back I used MoFi (nee Disk Doctor) style brushes for several years, but I now I'm not so sure about the notion of getting brush fibers in the groove. My theory for hand cleaning or vacuum RCM cleaning is/was to let the cleaning solution (enzymes) do the work. I don't try to scrub a record, I merely agitate the surface of the solution to keep dirt suspended in cleaning fluid. For that purpose the Osage Audio brushes work great. I found the length of time fluid is on a record can impact results. See my linked review above for a discussion of brushing vs. agitation. Granted we all choose our methods.

        The diameter of a human hair is ~75µ. Carbon fibers can come in many sizes: Mr. Dak (link below) suggests multiple carbon fibers fit into a groove; CF may be fine for brushing but it becomes kinda non-viable when wet. (Try it.) Whether a mostly flat MoFi brush actually gets into the groove and how far, I can't say but maybe someone has an answer.

        This is where ultrasonic cleaning enters the picture. The diameter of a cavitation bubble at 80 kHz it is ~4-5µ. (Higher frequency = smaller bubbles, lower frequency = bigger bubbles, stronger implosion.)

        Here are a few more or less interesting threads on this topic:

        A (Very Long) Primer on Record Cleaning Fluids

        Where theStylus Meets the Groove (a pitch for DAK carbon fiber brush)

        Ultrasonics - Number and size of cavitation bubbles

        Comment


        • Bill Hart
          Bill Hart commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm not sure that the MoFi/DD type pad applicators actually "get into the grooves" but they seem to be easy to work with for agitation if you use a fluid like the AIVS # 15. Large, slightly convex surface area. Nice handle to grab. However, As mentioned above, on the Monks, given its rotation speed, they sometimes stick to the record surface and can pull the record off the platter while (whilst?) spinning.
          I don't think you want to get those carbon fibre brushes wet. They also shed and I find them to be scratchy- I don't like them in dry applications either.

      • #7
        This is one of the reasons that I really love Tapes, it keeps me from getting so fanatical that I would believe that there is a miracle fluid that could clean better than a mixture of Denatured alcohol, distilled water, and a plant based organic liquid soap,agitated with a soft camel hair brush and rinsed under proper water pressure.

        Vinyl is not like a worn dirty grease bearing, however this mixture will make the bearing as clean as new. Incidentally the proper water pressure will take paint off of a wall.

        Comment


        • #8
          Originally posted by don View Post
          This is one of the reasons that I really love Tapes, it keeps me from getting so fanatical that I would believe that there is a miracle fluid that could clean better than a mixture of Denatured alcohol, distilled water, and a plant based organic liquid soap,agitated with a soft camel hair brush and rinsed under proper water pressure.

          Vinyl is not like a worn dirty grease bearing, however this mixture will make the bearing as clean as new. Incidentally the proper water pressure will take paint off of a wall.
          The reason is that one of the main issues is mold and bacteria in the record grooves. When they die, the exoskeletons remain in the groove and are impossible to remove with ROH. This you need something that cuts the proteinaceous bonds to the vinyl groove. It's pretty amazing when you hear the reduction in surface noise and ticks and pops after cleaning with enzymatic cleaners. They go more to the fulfilling the promise of RCMs.

          The original Discwasher fluid designed by microbiologist Bruce Maeier did exactly that. It had a fungicide to kill mold.
          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


          • #9
            Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post

            The reason is that one of the main issues is mold and bacteria in the record grooves. When they die, the exoskeletons remain in the groove and are impossible to remove with ROH. This you need something that cuts the proteinaceous bonds to the vinyl groove. It's pretty amazing when you hear the reduction in surface noise and ticks and pops after cleaning with enzymatic cleaners. They go more to the fulfilling the promise of RCMs.

            The original Discwasher fluid designed by microbiologist Bruce Maeier did exactly that. It had a fungicide to kill mold.
            You sound like a Micro-Biologist

            The mold and or bacteria can only be a surface problem, The only reason to use a fungicide is if the roots penetrate the PVC wall. Denatured Alcohol releases all surface contaminants , Plant based soaps suspends it and water pressure washes it away.The groove will be as clean as PVC could ever be.
            One would have to believe that the mold could penetrate into the walls of the PVC (that's physically impossible)
            I have used several enzymatic cleaners ( George Merrill's being the better one ) and none of them worked any better than the simple natural formula. The only pops that I ever experience are from static.

            Besides all of the above, Mold can only grow in a damp environment, are you playing your records wet?

            Comment


            • Rob
              Rob commented
              Editing a comment
              How many records have you bought that actually have visible mold? the tell tale sign is a moisture stained/delaminating jacket. Of the more than 10k records I've owned and cleaned I reckon only 1% of the used records I acquired had a visible problem. I tend to agree with Don, up until a few years ago I was an ardent user of enzymatic fluids and now I have ceased using them. IMHO, Its a solution looking for a problem

            • MylesBAstor
              MylesBAstor commented
              Editing a comment
              We live in their world.

            • Bill Hart
              Bill Hart commented
              Editing a comment
              I don't use the AIVS #15 b/c of mold- I agree that moldy records are few and far between. I do use that fluid for a deeper clean when faced with a challenged record- one that has grunge deeply embedded or glued into the grooves. Sometimes it is necessary to do repeated cleanings. My first experience with this was a UK Swirl of Gracious!, a relatively expensive record. It sounded chewed up after cleaning only on the Audio Desk I had at the time. I went back to the well with the AIVS #15, some of those Disc Doctor/MoFi applicators and really worked on it. After several cleanings, with rinse steps, the record played with very few gremlins. I went through the experience with several records over the years- one of the early Neil Young records had this wispy tracing distortion with only a regular cleaning. Doing the stronger, more intensive, more time consuming cleaning process eliminated that. (It was an early pressing with the "right" matrix numbers, so though a common record in general, the particular pressing wasn't easy to find in a high state of play.
              Otherwise, if the record just has fingerprints, dust or 'normal' detritus, I clean with the Hannl fluid on the Monks, rinse, and pop into the US.

          • #10
            Originally posted by don View Post

            You sound like a Micro-Biologist

            The mold and or bacteria can only be a surface problem, The only reason to use a fungicide is if the roots penetrate the PVC wall. Denatured Alcohol releases all surface contaminants , Plant based soaps suspends it and water pressure washes it away.The groove will be as clean as PVC could ever be.
            One would have to believe that the mold could penetrate into the walls of the PVC (that's physically impossible)
            I have used several enzymatic cleaners ( George Merrill's being the better one ) and none of them worked any better than the simple natural formula. The only pops that I ever experience are from static.

            Besides all of the above, Mold can only grow in a damp environment, are you playing your records wet?
            "Paper sleeves are also hygroscopic (water absorbing) and as a consequence facilitate the growth of mold or fungus on the LP. Older audiophiles may remember the original Discwasher record cleaning fluid that used sodium azide to kill and remove these organisms from the record grooves. (Sodium azide was, unfortunately, removed from the market several years later when it was found to react with copper pipes and cause explosions.) As we know from early enzyme based record cleaning fluids from Buggtussel and more recent products from Audio Intelligent and Walker Audio, not to mention two newly released items from Mobile Fidelity and Musical Surroundings, microorganisms lurking in the record grooves contribute to the record's background noise and the occurrence of pops and tics. These various organisms, according to Dr. Bruce Maier, founder of Discwasher, "produce vinyl etching enzymes." (see BAS, vol.3, no. 10, 1975.) Paper sleeves also contain and shed debris that is trapped by "sticky" record mold release compounds. (Note, other particles can also be trapped–and that's a compelling reason to clean brand new LPs.) Glassine paper is no better than ordinary paper because of its hygroscopic properties."
            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


            • #11
              A cleaning composition of high chemical activity with anti-fungal properties, and with low dry weight residue and particularly useful for cleaning the surface of phonograph records; the mixture includ
              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


              • #12
                I'm not an expert on cleaning records, but I have been doing it a long time and have tried many products, including most of the ones previously written about above. I use both a VPI 16.5 and a Keith Monks Discovery One cleaning machines. I haven't tried the ultrasonic cleaners, but have heard some records cleaned on one. I currently use the Nitty Gritty PUREnzyme+, Nitty Gritty Pure 2 and/or Keith Monks discOvery BreakTheMold. For new records, the first application is the Keith Monks. It is the best I have used to get rid of mold release and any type of fungus. I think cleaning brushes may not have fine enough bristles to get into record grooves, so it is important that the fluid thoroughly coats them. Keith Monks gets into the grooves easier than anything I've ever tried. This is easily seen when applying the fluid, as it instantly covers the record without any of the dry spots left by any other cleaner I've used, which require rotation after rotation in order to finally entirely coat the record. After vacuuming the Keith Monks, I use the Pure 2 to remove any residue. For old, dirty records the first application is Pure 2, then Purenzyme+, then Pure 2 again. It is important to allow each product the proper amount of time to do its work.

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