"Service Bulletin" For Audio Deske Owners

An analog planet reader emailed to say his Audio Deske ultrasonic cleaning machine has ruined some of his collectible records and not because of ultrasonics.

Look at the white ring next to the lead in groove area. He said that was caused by the record's rubbing against the hard slot edge at the left side of the machine and that it is audible.

Apparently the soft plastic insert installed on the right side of the slot was or became mis-aligned relative to the slot so that when record was inserted rather than lining up centered in the slot on the left side, the record pushed against one side or the other of the slot.

It must have been seriously off because on my machine at least pressing the record against the side of the slot produced a very soft rub and not one that would scrape the record. So I assume the alignment was seriously off.

I could find no problems with my machine. The record rides centered in the slot. If you have an Audio Deske, it would be worth your while to look at the machine from the left side while cleaning a record to make sure the record does not touch or worse is not forced against the slot side.

If it looks good, you are good. Check it every so often. If it doesn't look good—if the grooved area near the record's edge scrapes against the slot edge, you should contact your dealer about sending it back for an alignment.

COMMENTS
volvic's picture

Years ago my local hifi store had a Nitty Gritty that one could use to wash their records, the store though had neglected to change the felt brushes on the machine and they had worn out causing the record to rub up against bare plastic and damaging the vinyl.  Never used another Nitty Gritty machine after that, I feel his pain and now clean and inspect my felt brushes on my VPI after each clean.  Just curious, was not the misalignment visible to the naked eye?  

Michael Fremer's picture

It probably was, had he thought to look. But he probably looked from the front, not the side, where it would have been more apparent. I turned my Audio Desk sideways to look and the record remained mid-way in the slot. Even when I pushed the record toward the slot edge I had a difficult time seeing where the contact point could be that would produce such a "ring of damage" but I take his word.

volvic's picture

It is a great machine, moving parts and all.  If economies of scale ever take over and the price dips I will be first in line for one.  Love what it does and how it does it.  

SimonH's picture

Thank you for the warning - and you have my symapthy.

On a slighlty differect matter I have recently changed my regime for my Sonic - reverting to giving records a carbon fibre brush and Disc Doctor clean first (these are in the majority  new or sealed lps) - I have recently found some sealed 50+ year old pressings (e.g. Jazzland and Colpix) that really dirty the cleaning fluid.  

 

mauidj's picture

I ran...not walked...to my Audio Desk in fear of what I might find but I just do not see where the record could contact the cleaner to produce the marks shown in the (rather murky) photograph.

The only place the record could touch is at the very edge of the lead in grove. The shape of the slot does not seem to allow for there to be any contact on the record surface.

I am really confused by this. If you look at the shape of the slot there is no place it can possibly touch the record surface.

My only thought is that either one of the rubber guide/wipers on the right of the slot had some grit on it or the rollers were likewise contaminated with something abrasive.

There is simply no way that the record "surface" can contact the slot.

I'm sad that the reader has had these problems as the Audio Desk remains, hands down, the best investment I have ever made to my vinyl record playback system. 

Michael Fremer's picture

And I could not duplicate this problem either, even pushing the record to one side but I don't doubt the man. I await to hear what the importer has to say. I felt obligated to report this though. Believe me, I've cleaned a dozen records since posting this and I would not be without the Audio Deske!

Suheil lajam's picture

Hi Michael,

maybe the problem seems to be those butyl rubbers that are misaligned, but we did suggest to change those rubbers for hitemperature rubbers that you can find on eBay,

they are green color or brown and do not leave any residue at the beginning of those discs.

but honestly, I will not go back by any chance, this machine works splendid and it is necessity.

Suheil lajam's picture

Hi Michael,

maybe the problem seems to be those butyl rubbers that are misaligned, but we did suggest to change those rubbers for hitemperature rubbers that you can find on eBay,

they are green color or brown and do not leave any residue at the beginning of those discs.

but honestly, I will not go back by any chance, this machine works splendid and it is necessity.

Jack Duavit's picture

Hi Mikey

I have a number of NM records that are warped. I bought a pretty big lot of them at very, very good prices since I could play them easily with my old table that had a clamp and periphery ring. Now I'm playing them again as I use a table with vacuum hold down after a living with a table with neither solution for a few years. Will cleaning warped records on slot loading machines like the Audio Deske be a problem for me?

Michael Fremer's picture

I really don't think so. As I wrote, I cannot duplicate the problem here or figure out how the machine caused this problem. I believe the individual who emailed me a few photos. I await the importer's comments upon his receiving and inspecting the machine....

GGA's picture

I was one of the early buyers of the ADS and I have cleaned over 1500 records (1/3 done), not without incident but attribute the problems to the growing pains of the German company. That is compared to about 50 records with my Loricraft (just too much work and too many records). I could not do without the ADS today.

As I got deeper into my collection problems with the drying of certain types of records began popping up. Dished records would not dry properly because one side, due to being convex/concave, would not contact the white "vinyl" wipers on the right side of the machine, thus leaving water drops on the record.

The dished record would also rub against one side of the slot on the left side since there was no way the non-flat record could stay centered within the V. Actually not quite true, as what I would do is use a small block of wood (1"x2") with a weight on it (Walker lead disc) and use it to press against the offending side of the record in order to center the record.

I would do the same thing on the right side to center the record within the wipers. This works pretty good but usually requires some touch up (I use Chem-Wipes to blots the drops and then air dry the record).

Also sometimes the block method is more effective pressing against the record label.

Thin records and certain labels are also a problem for me. I don't mean Dynaflex but thin records that don't have enough strength to stay flat when being cleaned. I recall that  Asylum records issued during the 1970s would not dry properly. I can see the edge of the record going back and forth in the V on the left side and invariably end up with drops due to the uneven wiping on the right side. Using the wood blocks can sometimes fix this.

This problem can also occur with warped records.

Interestingly sometimes I can just reverse the record and it will come out perfectly dry. Trouble is that in all these cases you generally have to wash the record twice unless you watch the drying cycle.

I do use the tweek where you I put round toothpicks in the right side slots to push the wipers out a bit farther (put a tiny amount of grease on the toothpick to make it easier to slide in). Also I replace the wipers regularly as they do shrink or wear down.

Last tip is replace those rollers every 500 washes (this is in the manual). They can become uneven and not rotate properly. The first time this happened I could actually see the rollers rotate eccentrically due to something not being truly round anymore.

In spite of all this I would not be without my ADS, although today I would probably take a hard look at the new cleaners.

I do not believe it has ever damaged a record. Note that the only problems I encounter are during the drying cycle with certain records.

Robert Stein - Ultra Systems's picture

I had a telephone discussion with the user. I have asked him to send his machine to our service center for evaluation along with one or two of the LP's that exhibited this issue.

At this point I must admit to being totally baffled by how this is even possible. We will know more, and I will report on this thread, when we receive and test the machine.

What I can say definitively is that we have never had any reports whatsover from any other user along these lines.  

 

More next week assuming the machine arrives as discussed.

GGA's picture

I am confused about some statements:

He said that was caused by the record's rubbing against the hard slot edge at the left side of the machine and that it is audible.

Apparently the soft plastic insert installed on the right side of the slot was or became mis-aligned relative to the slot so that when record was inserted rather than lining up centered in the slot on the left side, the record pushed against one side or the other of the slot.

On the left side of the machine is a V-shaped slot. On my machine there is no soft plastic insert, just the bare fiberboard. Is this plastic something new?

And then later this post was made:

My only thought is that either one of the rubber guide/wipers on the right of the slot had some grit on it or the rollers were likewise contaminated with something abrasive.

It seems that this post is referring to the white "vinyl" wipers inserted into the parallel slots on the right side of the machine.

Which side of the machine and which side of the slot are we talking about?

In any event the photo is too poor to determine the nature of the damage and if there is any way the ADS could have cause it.

 

 

tubeular's picture

Just guessing but I don't think it could have been scraping against the sides of the top plate openings, really hard to even get a record edge to scrape that far over as others have noted and also given the raised lip at the edge of virtually all LPs how could the side of the gap reach in to touch the record at that spot on the outer grooves?  From my experience with a first malfunctioning machine, I think if there is a problem it is from the rubber wheels that turn the LP - my first machine left a lot of black specks and residue on the outer 1/2" or so of a lot of records and also had a tendency to not engage the edge of the record so as to turn it without me having to give the record a nudge to engage it (this happend a lot more frequently than the occasional instance that I suspect all Audiodesk machines can have).  As a result I had many records that had significant surface noise in the opening grooves after cleaning (and attempts at re-cleaning).  The rubber wheels incorrectly engaging with the outside portion of the record seem much more capable of damaging the outer groove area than the edges of the top plate to either side of the opening for the LP.  

I took my first machine back to the dealer, he kindly gave me a new one and I have not had these problems with my second machine.  No residue of black powdery specks and surface noise on the outer grooves and many fewer instances where the rubber wheels do not engage the LP correctly and start turning it at the start of the cleaning cycle.  And fortunately re-cleaning the first rounds of records has removed the surface noise and residue on the outer grooves as far as I can tell.  

hockeyyo's picture

I recently purchased Suzanne Vega's Close-Up Vol 2 & a Chet Baker Quartet on Sam Records. I decided to listen to these records fresh out of the sleeves. I then cleaned them with the Audio Deske. Everything appeared to be aligned but to my shock both of these record suffered from the inner groove ware as described in the bulletin. I normally always clean them before playing them and I've experienced this inner groove ware before but I attributed it to poor manufacturing. It appears to be more of a problem on the heavier vinyl as I don't think I've experienced it with my older lighter vinyl. I love this machine but I definitely have a problem now. It's especially disappointing when you spend a good buck on a record like the Chet Baker. Thanks very much for this report.

Michael Fremer's picture
I understand a possible outer groove issue because of the mechanism that spins the record but inner groove area wear? That I cannot understand. There is absolutely nothing contacting the inner groove area of the record other than a small section of the very soft white roller brush.
hockeyyo's picture

Sorry, I meant outer groove

Michael Fremer's picture
I've yet to experience this problem and I've cleaned hundreds of records. I'd contact your dealer/importer or from whomever you purchased the unit and get the problem fixed. I assume at this point they know what causes this to happen.
javabarn's picture

I JUST spent 4oo USD on a few of the best of the versions of the who's next and just CANNOT have this $%@%@^@%^^%@^##@^&#&# thing happen and then hear "oh my bad" from the company.....thefu#%@%@!%^%@#^ machine is NOT as important as the VINYL.....maybe the disc doctor is for me...but i agree with mike, I LOVE the idea of the sonic machine, i JUST NEED to be assured that they have fixed ALL of the record EATING problems OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!~

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