- Written by Rick Schmidt
- Published on 01 October 2012
Introduction to the Audio Desk System Vinyl Cleaner
For all of these years that I've been extolling the virtues of analog playback I've known that it just isn't really practical for most people. Many people don't make it a priority to sit and listen to music (I blame CD's for that) and so how can they be expected to take the time to properly care for vinyl? I really think that record companies should clean the records before packaging. Are we not paying enough? But they don't and they won't.
Several companies make devices that clean your LPs. The Audio Desk System Automated Vinyl Cleaner is one of them, and we review it here.
My long term solution for record cleaning has been a Nitty Gritty 1.0 machine. This is a sought after and probably too expensive by half record cleaning machine at the bottom of the Nitty Gritty line. With this machine you, the user, are applying the cleaning fluid manually, spinning the record manually, and flipping it over to do the other side. The process only takes about a minute per record but still I was always reluctant to do it. I would come home from the record store with a pile of records, feeling the urge to listen to some of my new-found treasures but not really wanting to mess with having to clean them. Perhaps it was the noise, the machine is basically a shop-vac in a box. Another issue is that since the vacuum goes almost, but not all the way to the edge of the record there will be a bit of fluid left all around the outside edge of the record. I have gotten into the habit of not only drying this fluid off but then letting the record spin on the table for a while before listening to make sure it is dry. When I'm up to the task the Nitty Gritty does do a good cleaning job but since acquiring the Vinyl Cleaner from Audio Desk System I have learned that deeper cleaning is possible.
I had seen some advertisements for this ultrasonic record cleaner in the months before the 2010 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest and was intrigued to say the least. I saw one being demoed at the fest and tried to get one sent to me for review but the fine people at The Cable Company (the sole US outlet for the machine at the time) kindly informed me that they didn't want any reviews because they couldn't keep up with demand as it was. I eventually ended up buying the machine outright because of my aforementioned dissatisfaction with my existing solutions and ultrasonic cleaning just makes sense. There is stuff deep down in those grooves. Gotta get it out.
AUDIO DESK SYSTEM VINYL CLEANER SPECIFICATIONS
- Automatic Ultrasonic Vinyl Record Cleaner
- Cleans 12" LPs Only
- Fluid Requirements: 4.5L Distilled Water plus One Ounce of Cleaning Fluid (supplied), Good for 100 Cleanings
- Warranty: 2 Years
- Price: $3,895 USD
- Audio Desk System
- Secrets Tags: Vinyl, LPs, Cleaners