New Vinyl Cleaner PRO From Audio Deske Systeme

Audio Desk Systeme and its USA agent Ultra Systems, Inc. announced at CES 2016 the Vinyl Cleaner PRO, the next generation, upgraded edition of its ultrasonic LP cleaning machine, reviewed here.

The new machine incorporates five years of evolutionary enhancements as well as key upgrades to internal component parts that the company says offers an improved feature set and better performance and reliability.

The result is improved, quieter drying ability using a new premium motor, an upgraded pump with ceramic bearings and a better control system that includes a dry-only option.

While the cost to build is 20% greater because of the many improvements, which results in a 20% price hike in Europe, the price in America has actually been reduced because of the increased strength of the U.S. dollar.

Custom finishes will also be available in combinations of white, black and red in addition to the standard gray finish, though the custom finishes will cost more ($800) and require a lead time of up to six weeks. Ultra Systems also announced it would now be responsible for Canadian distribution.

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COMMENTS
ArthurZenithTransoceanic's picture

Here we go, more high cost record cleaning voodoo, and opportunity for hipsters to put out new 20-30 step YouTube cleaning videos. Forgive me here, but cleaning vinyl ain't rocket science.

Michael Fremer's picture
Cavitation is not "voodoo" unless you are lacking knowledge, which is obviously the case. There's nothing "voodoo" about what happens when you bring jewelry into a store that uses a cavitation device to clean tarnish within the tiniest crevices of the piece of jewelry. Likewise cavitation does the absolute BEST job of removing dirt from record grooves. I'm sorry, but your post is clueless. Clean one record using this or one of the other cavitation machines and you'll then understand.
ArthurZenithTransoceanic's picture

Like most, I don't have that kind of money for a cleaning machine. Additionally, I don't have the kind of time necessary to invest into such cleaning solutions. To me, that time is better invested into listening to vinyl, with or without imperfections. I do love your site, and your YouTube videos.

Michael Fremer's picture
No doubt this is expensive but it does save time: you drop in the record, push a button and in five minutes of so it's done while you do other things. Other type machines require you to spend more time and exert more manual labor. You can't walk away. You cannot make a better investment in your records and your phono cartridge than cleaning your records! Aside from the obvious sonic improvement, dirt in the grooves acts like "sandpaper" increasing friction and heat that produces record and stylus wear. Clean records are essential to maximize record life, cartridge life and of course sound quality.
OldschoolE's picture

Just because one of these units is well beyond one’s budget is no reason to automatically put it down as voodoo, unsound, stupid, etc.

I can’t afford one of these even in my dreams, but I’ve studied record care for a while now (at least a couple of years) and speaking scientifically, the method is sound (no pun intended). In my opinion, I do think it may well be fiscally unwise or foolish to invest in one of these if you have say, 500 records or less. However, if you have say, 1000 or more records or close to it, you almost must invest in such a unit or similar, otherwise you could spend a very long time cleaning records (get out the calendar), instead of listening to them by the time you’re done.

ArthurZenithTransoceanic's picture

A lot of it is overkill. There are no industry standards, and literally thousands of methods. When i see these contraptions, I usually do roll my eyes, and see lots of gross margin.

OldschoolE's picture

It's true there are no industry standards, but there are not "literally" thousands of methods either. There are probably a few hundred at best. The important point is that many of them are bad. That's why it's good to learn what is good and what is not and learn the science behind it. I have plenty of used records that I have brought to near CD quiet with a vacuum RCM, proper fluids and methodology, but some took more work than others. A US RCM can do the same with less labor.
As for an US RCM being overkill, probably not (especially when you consider those who have a thousand records or more).
I don't know what the margin is on them, probably up there a bit,but it's no different than most anything else unfortunately. It's the way of the world now. Would you think the same for say a VPI 16.5, which is a different method, but equally solid and a fraction of the price?
Personally, my whole point is: "please take care of your records".

ArthurZenithTransoceanic's picture

It could be in the 1000's, or the tens of thousands. No two ways or steps are exactly alike. Watching YouTube, and some of the showmanship makes cleaning vinyl akin to brain surgery, or whipping up a witch's potion. I agree, good record care makes great sense. But, my point here is that some of these methodologies represent overkill to many listeners.

Michael Fremer's picture
Cavitation is now the "industry standard" IMO.
Pretzel Logic's picture

...is a Spin Clean and perhaps a little extra time by hand dealing with those mysterious little nuggets that you find on some used vinyl (you know them: the one to four rotation "poppers"). Scratches and non-fill are the real bane of the vinyl lovers' existence, and no expensive gadget will ever fix those.

J. Carter's picture

Having owned and used a Spin Clean for a couple of years and upgrading to a vacuum cleaning machine I can say that the Spin Clean does do a great job but the vacuum machine is noticeably better at getting records clean. It is also more convenient in the fact that you don't have a bunch of drying cloths hanging out to dry and you aren't limited to cleaning the number of records by the number of dry clean drying cloths you have.

Michael Fremer's picture
Cavitation is the best way to clean a record period. Spin Clean is better than nothing and recommended. A vacuum type machine is better but a cavitation machine is best. You need to try one before commenting like this.
Rudy's picture

A good portion of the cost of these units goes into the custom machining, and the limited production runs don't lend themselves to cost effectiveness either. And there is the stigma that goes with the ownership of an item that costs thousands vs. hundreds.

My cleaning setup isn't perfect, but it does the job well enough. The main thing is having a clean record when all is said and done.

J. Carter's picture

So if you go by that logic if your method gets them mostly clean is it really clean or just somewhat clean.

What if this machine gets them significantly cleaner than your method to the point of making your records sound better?

tube dog's picture

done. That's the problem. You don't have a clean record unless you're cleaning with an ultrasonic machine. I pre clean all my records before I put them in the Audio Desk. They come out cleaner and sound better with less noise. These are records that I've already cleaned with a VPI machine. The kicker is that the filter is black after cleaning about 100 supposedly clean records. Believe me. I wish this wasn't the case. But it is. My records sound so much better that I consider this thing a component. Seacrest out.

Rudy's picture

Oh, I know it. I'd give anything to have an ultrasonic at my disposal, and a better record vac, and a better cleaning fluid, and a better demagnetizer, and etc.. But not all of us have the bottomless pockets needed to buy all of this equipment. The rest of us have to make do and get them as clean as we possibly can, using the tools we can afford at that point in time.

Dorian Workman's picture

That's funny

Michael Fremer's picture
Does a better job than any other method.
Rudy's picture

We used an ultrasonic cleaner in one of my industrial jobs, and it was the only thing that could really get inside small mechanical bits and pieces to get the crud out. Seeing the accumulated muck at the bottom of the well was an eye-opener, especially when we would toss parts in that looked shiny.

I'll see if I can find a review of this machine's predecessor, to see how it works.

DanaMck's picture

I got back into vinyl 10 months ago with the promise to my wife that I would only purchase 1 LP a month. Just my very favorites. 10 months later I have over 500. So there's that. But my cleaning process has changed as well. Started with some fluid and a lint-free cloth. Quickly upgraded to a Spin Clean. 3 months ago got an Okki Noki, which I love. Now my process is a combination the Okki Noki and the Spin Clean (I use the Spin Clean with distilled water only to get rid of any chemical residue left after the vacuum process.) It works great for me, and it's kind of fun. That said - I would LOVE to have an Ultrasonic cleaner. But the price would have to come down a lot more before that ever happens!

rakalm's picture

I use two Spin Cleans with the 2nd being distilled water. I have noticed an improvement since adding the 2nd one especially on used vinyl. I use high end microfiber at times but mostly use cotton. I find that cotton leaves a bit of lint. These extreme microfiber cloths w/silk edges really do a nice job drying the records. I have not had a static issue with them that some people describe.

Cartel's picture

I've had the Audio Desk for a couple of years and I'm very satisfied with it.
Expensive but worth every penny!
The dry-only option is very good news as the LPs don't always come out totally dry.
I use dual osmosis water so there shouldn't be anything left in the grooves when it eventually evaporates.
Are the improvements retrofittable? That would be very nice.

Ed Litman's picture

I have one of these and I find the real benefit is maintaining new or newer vinyl. For old and used vinyl I find that a good cleaning with my VPI vacuum cleaner using a good enzymatic cleaner(3 min./ side then rinsed w/ distilled water) is needed before cleaning ultrasonically. In effect having one of these machines significantly increases one's vinyl collection because you can finally listen to all the records you were avoiding due to too much noise.

volvic's picture

I have found that experimenting with different cleaning solutions has made a difference; not all cleaning solutions are the same. Having said that I would love one of these to compliment my VPI cleaning machine. I worked in the jewelery industry when I was going through college and saw the effects an ultrasonic cleaner could do to dirty rings so don't doubt the effectiveness of the AudioDesk. I am hopful someone on this side of the Atlantic will create one so that more choice can become available.

xtcfan80's picture

At the RMAF a few years ago, I had an LP cleaned free as a demo by the AudioDesk machine. It is expensive and "clearly" better to my ears than all other machines. I use and love the VPI 16.5 but there is no real comparison.

Homestories's picture

listen (and that is the objective word)
record cleaners improve the sound quality of LPs
I bought am=m audio desk systeme vinyl cleaner 2 years ago and it has simply re-dynamised my record collection. The improvement after a cleaning is simply phenomenal. I don't know how it works, it simply does.
A phenomenal addition to my system

madfloyd's picture

I've only had one at a time - but I've had to have them replaced because they are not dependable. With my latest version the rollers keep getting stuck, the cavitation isn't working and my records come out with hundreds of drops on them and I have to let them air-dry since the manufacturer didn't have the foresight to provide a dry-only mode.

Now he expects us to pay more for that.

So many reports of owners that have had so many problems and can't get support from the manufacturer who won't answer emails about repairs but will answer if you're interested in buying another one. I was lucky to buy mine through a wonderful dealer.

I will say there is no better cleaner than this or the KL Audio, but the latter is the one to get as nobody has problems with that and it actually dries the LPs properly.

eugeneharrington's picture

I feel your pain and frustration. It was precisely because of reports like yours that I purchased the U.S. designed and Korean built Klaudio unit. I actually saw, for the first time, the Audiodeske cleaner at Munich 2015 and I was very underwhelmed by its appearance. It is quite small and compact in contrast to the Klaudio which is robustly constructed and exudes a feeling of solidity and confidence. The Audiodeske does seem to be 'finicky' but I am sure that it does a very good job if you have been lucky enough to get a good sample.

Getting back to the discussion specifically, Ultra Sonic Cleaning is the ultimate in terms of cleaning vinyl records and your ears will quickly tell you that that is the case. I would not discard my VPI-HW-17F for one moment and side by side both systems work very well. I agree with the previous comment that a first cleaning on a VPI/Loricraft/Monks etc. followed by a session on either the Audiodeske or Klaudio will make your records sound just as good as they can .. and that is very good indeed!

BillK's picture

Going on four years old now and hands down the absolute best investment in my audio system.

Nothing - neither cartridges nor phono stages nor tonearms - has done as much to improve vinyl playback for me as this machine.

Jlmlong's picture

I have had the machine for about a year and a half. The first one did not work out of the box the replacement has needed repair twice. The first time the rollers would not turn. Next there was a water leak. If the machine is not used for a few days the rollers do not turn. I must take a 5mm Allen wrench and Thursday the two stainless screws on the left side of the tank, turn the two screws back and forth one half turn, then the rollers operate. I will the say the machine is great ,when it is working

BillK's picture

My unit often sits unused for six months or more until I acquire some new vinyl, yet I've never had rollers fail to turn.

hifi guy's picture

Michael Fremer is 100% correct. Cavitation (via ultrasonic) is the best, albeit expensive, way to clean records. My friend has both the Audio Desk Systeme (not the Pro version) and the KLAUDIO, and he recommended the KLAUDIO to me, which he prefers.

After more than 6 months of use, I can say that it's a no-brainer. No special fluids, no rollers or brushes to clean, and changing the distilled water once a month is both a snap and cheap! I've had records where the surface noise was so bad as to be unplayable before cleaning with the KLAUDIO. After cleaning, wow! Almost no surface noise at all. All pops and clicks will not be completely eliminated, depending on their severity, but the surface noise reduction is nothing short of miraculous!

lorax's picture

I have had my eye on the Audio Desk and the KLAUDIO for sometime. I have been considering the KLAUDIO for the durability based on users complaints of the Audio Desk of breakdown problems, but this deserves a look to see if problems have been carefully addressed and improvements have been made.

jllaudio's picture

If you're on a submarine.

Kirby's picture

I would have one of these in a heartbeat if i could afford it, but in the meantime my Spin Clean and a vacuum with my Nitty Gritty manuel 1.0 will have to do. I do like rakalm's idea of using two Spin Cleans, now i'm just cloth wiping than vacuuming off the washing fluid. I like the idea of an extra distilled water rinse step. Spin Cleans are cheap so why not. I like when we share tips on this site, not all negative like so many others. One thing we can all agree with is a cleaned (washed) record sounds better and that's what were all here for.Cleaning and playing all my Bowie albums as I type this, RIP Starman!!!

Michael Fremer's picture
Absolutely great! Not expensive, works well....
orthobiz's picture

...on my Audio Desk. I love it. I have used the coffee stirrer trick to stop the water droplet phenomenon. The rubbery record wiping lips will contact the record surface variably, depending upon the record thickness and warpage. Cutting a coffee stirrer in half longitudinally makes two little long half straws. Put one behind each of the wipers and shove them back in (a bit hard, but doable) and it puts just a little more pressure on the record resulting in drier results.
I am also interested if this is available as a retrofit. Any word on that Mikey?
Paul

Michael Fremer's picture
The coffee stirrer mod sounds interesting!
lensimons's picture

Those of you looking for a less expensive, American-made ultrasonic cleaner should check out the Ultrasonic V-8. (www.ultrasonicrecords.com)

It's around half the price of the Klaudio or Audio Desk machines, cleans up to 8 records at a time and offers a drying option. I have cleaned my 1000 LP collection on my V-8 and the results are excellent. The amount of crud that comes off of records I had previously cleaned (using a Nitty Gritty RCM) is enough to prove the worth of the ultrasonic cleaning process. And the records sound glorious!

rssarma's picture

I don't understand it and I'm not trying to patronise anybody, this is an honest question. As a photographer I own lenses which are precision handcrafted and polished to the highest degree and use way more expensive materials and of course are labour intensive and they still don't cost as much as this simple machine.

I can't help but assume that given the current dearth of similar machines, the mark-up on this gadget is just enormous.

zenpmd's picture

Is it necessary to buy a cleaner as good as this if you are only using new vinyl, and especially music matters pressings which are exceptionally good?

J70s's picture

thankfully, a used records & book store near me has one of these (older version) and sells cleaning at 2 Euros per record. Excellent results, in the visual & audio categories. For example, I have a mint looking Japanese red All Things Must Pass that was noisy and that now sounds as good as it looks.

Downside: Naturally noisy vinyl will now be exposed for what it is and can't hide no more behind the "dirt" alibi.

Record stores should get one of these and offer the service. Machine will pay for itself and make a lot of collectors happy while saving them big $$$.

Mendo's picture

I built my own, or purchased my own from a few parts suppliers with an 80khz cavitation and it works awesome. I'm all in well less than $1k and it cleans four LPs at a go.

javabarn's picture

I use a Spin Clean and then place 2 Cerwin Vega speakers on each side up close and CRANK some Rock... The Cerwins are the cavitation generators.. Works like a champ.... :)

javabarn's picture

I get the best results with The Ramones.....

marktomaras's picture

Hello Michael, I recently bought a vinyl cleaner pro. I am curious, who you clean a record with this machine, has it been your experience that the record is always 100% dry, ready to go back in the sleeve after the cleaning/drying cycle? Or do you use a cloth or something to dry any small amount of excess liquid first? thanks!

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