A quasi renegade in the record-cleaning world, this machine forgoes brushes and vacuums altogether. The Vinyl Cleaner (what we call the unit around here) utilizes “counter-rotating microfiber cleaning barrels and an ultrasonic process” to remove the dirt and dust particles from the record. To dry the record, the Vinyl Cleaner uses a “gentle” fan drying process driven by two high-performance motors. Both sides of the record are cleaned and dried simultaneously.
Ultra Systems (the manufacturer apparent) and the US importer Robert Stein both strongly suggest that you only use the provided record cleaning solution with the Vinyl Cleaner, as it was designed specifically for the machine. Apparently, other solutions may leave a residue that can ultimately cause less than optimal results. They provide two bottles of solution, enough for around 400 records to be cleaned, and it is easy enough to reorder the solution on their website (the solution replacements we ordered arrived in two days time).
Once set up, the fully automatic cleaner is effortless to use. The only thing required from you is to place the record into position, press a button, and wait about five minutes for the beeping alarm to let you know the process is over. Here is when you realize that technology can be your best friend. If you keep the machine in a separate room, like we do, you can seriously speed up listening sessions by cleaning one record while another is playing- because you don’t need to be there. One thing should be said- we have found this unit to be a bit noisy (think: semi-loud bathroom fan) throughout the entire process.
The Vinyl Cleaner is convenient and takes up about half the space of the VPI HW-27 (another impressive LP cleaner, an American made beast that will never let you or your LPs down). It beats out its closest competitor, the Clearaudio Double Matrix, in effectiveness and ease of use (as well as in price). Every record we have cleaned with this machine is sonically improved. Since the machine does all the work, it is a great luxury if you want keep your record collection pristine. I found myself cleaning over 25 records in one session. The unit is made in German and imported to the states by Ultra Systems based out of New Hope, PA.
The Vinyl Cleaner does not come cheap, and is noisy, but is by far the most satisfying way to clean your LPs.
[infobox bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” subtitle=”www.ultrasystem.com”]Audio Desk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner – $3,895[/infobox]