ultrasound record cleaning machine damaged my records

I recently purchased an ultrasound record cleaning machine. For reasons which I hope you understand I won’t name brands, because I am not wanting to make bad publicity to anyone but to discuss the matter. 

Previously, I had anather ultrasound machine which broke. I cleaned more than a 1000 records with it, with no concerns at all. The machine broke and, due to its steep price, I decided to go for a less costly solution. 

With the new machine I cleaned 7 records. One of themLeonard Cohen’s “New Skin for the old ceremony”. When listening to “Chelsea Hote”, I remarked a distortion that wasn’t there before. IT was clear on the low notes, like the instrument being out of focus or vibrating. I had some old very worn records which had that problem due to bad stylus. At first I started to think that there was a problem with the stylus of my Lyra Atlas. So I went to another version of the same album I have at home, to check if there was a problem with the stylus. Clean passage. No problem at all. 

As on the previous cleaned record I noticed a similar problem, not so apparent, I decided to clean the second version of the LP on the new machine. Playing it i heard  the same distortion on the same music. Checking out all the 7 records I cleaned, I heard issues on all of them, some less apparent ( the mono ones) and some more appparent. 

I couldn’t believe it but the new machine was damaging my records. 

The combination of my atlas and my SME 312 arm gives some “needle talk” - music heard when with everything muted you put your hear next to the stylus on the record. Doing it, I heard the same rumble distortion that was being amplified by the system. 


I used distilled water (not a new one but one which was opened for the previous machine) but it was clear clean. I put the exact amount of surfactant liquid on the mixture of distilled water. I kept all the operating instruction rules. I don’t understand what is wrong, but the fact is this machines damages the grooves on the record. 


Does anyone had this problem before? Any help provided?


Note: I already contacted the dealer who sold it  and I am going to see him next week. It is a very good a solid dealer.  It I’d like to hear your opinion. 


Best regards,


I’ve used the Klaudio US cleaner without issue for years. It sounds as if the OP problems may be from using some US cleaner that’s been adapted from another purpose. He’s being a bit secretive, so it’s impossible to know for sure.

The machine @pfmaudio is using based on the power, kHz and volume is a well-known unit (he has decided not to disclose the OEM, and I will respect that) for which there are 1,000’s in use. The damage being described is contrary to what others have experienced of which no similar type damage has been experienced.

Note that the KLAudio is the most powerful of all the specific record cleaning UT units with a power of 200W at 40kHz and a bath size of only ~700-ml, and this works out to 286W/L whereas the unit @pfmaudio is using is 150W/L, and both spin at near the same speed (~2-rpm),

It is entirely possible that detritus that was there before and essentially burnished into the groove has been removed. However, some people on other forums have noted that the cleaner (some unknown surfactant of unknown concentration) provided with the UT machine was not satisfactory. Most people are happy with 1-drop of the Groovewasher G•SONIC ULTRASONIC CONCENTRATE G•Sonic Ultrasonic Concentrate – GrooveWasher.

@pfmaudio, try recleaning a record with just distilled water. If the source of the issue is cleaner residue noting that you did not rinse and may have used too much cleaner (even using the OEMs recommendation) then the 2nd wash with just distilled water will act as a rinse. If this solves the problem, you can consider continuing use of the supplied cleaner but reduce the concentration. Again, not knowing what surfactant they are using and what the concentration is, it impossible to tell you what a "no-rinse’ concentration would be. Note that most people are satisfied with the G-Sonic used at 1-drop/tank for a ’no-rinse’ cleaner.

Optimally, for best achievable results, some people buy a 2nd tank and then use that for rinsing. There is an active thread at Audio Hardware | Steve Hoffman Music Forums just search for the thread using the OEM name.

Hope this helps


The machine @pfmaudio is using based on the power, kHz and volume is a well-known unit (he has decided not to disclose the OEM ...

That doesn’t make sense. Something cannot be "well known" and undisclosed at the same time.

IMHO, the OP really should have considered revealing the make & model of the cleaner, liquids used, etc.  I understand & respect the rationale of not initially wanting to criticize a specific manufacturer without knowing if the mfr is at fault, but in this case, that seems inappropriate. 

Even if the problem occurs only during a specific use case, it does a disservice to  the community to conceal the details.  Many of us may have the same model or may be about to do whatever it is that specifically damaged the OP's records.  And those of us who do duplicate that use case without a problem should be given the opportunity to say so.

But if there is a real product-specific issue, that should not be concealed, nor should a manufacturer of a defective product, or one that publishes risky procedures, be encouraged to continue without addressing the issue.  If the OP's experience is rare, due to an isolated product defect, or even the OP's own fault, that fact would be more likely to come out in the thread if we know the details.

But if this is a legitimate product issue that affects all units, reporting the issue in detail without giving readers a way to know whether their own systems are vulnerable, or even giving the mfr a chance to evaluate and rectify the issue, doesn't get anyone anywhere.  E.g., if someone reading this thread reports a similar problem, we wouldn't even know if the issue can occur in more than one model of ultrasonic -- a crucial fact for armchair-analysts trying to understand exactly what is happening.

Just my 2c, but worth considering.

I do agree totally with @cundare2 in the post above. I am in the process of buying a second US rcm to place in my summerhouse. In my permanent house I use a Degritter and never have encounterd any problems. For the summerhouse I am looking at a cheaper US rcm to replace my old Okki Nokki. Now I do not dare to buy one of the ones I have been looking at the records in the summerhouse are carefully choosen so I do not want them destroyed in any way So, please @pfmaudio, do provide us with more detailed information as the majority of answering members are wanting. I do not think I am alone hesitating right now..