Ultrasonic V-8 Record Cleaning Machine Cleans 8 Records in 10 Minutes

In the Magnolia Ballroom at Capital Audiofest 2013, along with a great selection of used vinyl, David Ratcliff, the inventor of the Ultrasonic V-8 ultrasonic record cleaning machine demonstrated how it works. The device consists of a square stainless steel vat filled with heated distilled water, some isopropyl alcohol and a few drops of Photoflo, which acts as a surfactant into which is placed an ultrasonic element associated with a 7 micron filtered circulation pump.

Eight records separated by thick wooden discs loaded onto a motor-turned spit, kebob-style, rotate in the ultrasonically agitated solution. Eight minutes later, the cleaned records are removed from the spit and put on a dish rack-like drying device. 45 minutes later they are ready to play.

The advantages of the machine are that it cleans eight records simultaneously and at $1495, is reasonably priced. The disadvantages are that you have to wait forty five minutes before you can play a cleaned record and between the vat and the drying rack it takes up a great deal of space.

Visit the ultrasonicrecords website for more information. And watch this:

vinyl listener's picture


malosuerte's picture

I would still run it on a vacum after it was cleaned.  I don't see why he wouldn't reccomend doing so.

Michael Fremer's picture

Vacuuming with "velvet lips" has two issues. One is that the rubbing produces a static electric charge on records (true) and the other is that unless you keep those lips exquisitely clean you are spreading the wet dirt across the record surface. The Audio Desk and another 'slot' type ultrasonic machine currently under review dry with fans.  

malosuerte's picture

I was thinking that if the records were as clean as he says they are, the velvet lips would stay pretty clean themselves.  I do agree with you on the static issue.  On my Nitty Gritty I usually only give it three revolutions to keep static to a minimum.

Thanks again for your website.



Jeffrey Lee's picture

Your point is entirely valid and deserved a response. Still does. If the machine cleans as well as claimed, and if you begin with a fresh pair of felt LIps on your Nitty Gritty, there should be absolutely zero issues with "smearing dirt." You can't smear what isn't there.

avrcguy's picture

Had high hopes when I read the title, but looks like it would be far too annoying to use. I would also be too impatient to wait for air drying. Think I would just dry it with my 16.5. I mean... what's worse? Sitting in open air for 45 minutes to an hour collecting dust, or taking a quick spin through a vacuum cycle?

avrcguy's picture

Plus it's incredibly ugly. Looks like someone just ran a stick through some records, stuck them in a fryer full of water, and threw in a vibrator. This thing screams DIY.

Wymax's picture

I agree. It looks much like what I have made, with a plain ultrasonic vat - his vat is a bit more advanced, and has more room (I can fit 7 records in mine).

But I had to get help for the motor part from someone with electronics knowledge, and my solution is a bit more improvised, so for a person not able of sourcing or making the parts for a neat solution, the V8 might fit the bill.

None the less, the handling is obviously quite DIY like cheeky

Norfolkbarry's picture

I had a chance to watch the machine work at the show and I think it does what it advertises. You will not want to run it while listening to music as the US is noisy, though not nearly as much as my Nitty Gritty. Even LPs that had been cleaned on a traditional vacuum type cleaner still shed some dirt, which you could see afterwards since it was trapped in the fluid recirculation filter. It is built for batch work, but you can walk away and come back to turn it off and remove the LPs. Likewise, you can walk away from the drying LPs. I usually have to air dry my LPs after Nitty Gritty cleaning anyway as I find that strong as the vacuum is, trace fluid is left behind and causes some crackling noise. It does look like a start up product and so lacks all the fancy covers of full production devices-- it also lacks the high price that comes with that. Large US tanks are not cheap and this guy has already worked out all the little parts that would otherwise take hours to figure out and build. I thought the price was pretty fair.

liuj88's picture

What was the exhibitor referring to at 3:24?

wpascoe's picture

I imagine it was Michael's post about Dr. Bose, refuting the New York Times obituary.

liuj88's picture


wpascoe's picture

Because as much as I love my Audio Desk Systeme cleaner, it takes me a looooong time to clean a bunch of records.

I tend to buy my LP's in bunches -- a dozen here, two dozen there -- and they sit on my floor waiting to be cleaned. With the Audio Desk, it takes about 10 minutes to clean one record. Cleaning and drying a dozen takes two hours, and that's IF I can remove a clean/dry record and replace it with a dirty record to be cleaned within a minute of the drying cycle ending. That means I have to be pretty much devoted to record cleaning during that two hours.

With this new ultrasonic cleaner, if I run a 10-minute cycle, and then it takes another 5 minutes to pull out the clean records and put them in a dish rack and load the next 8 LP's, I can clean and dry 40 LP's in the same two-hour period -- run 5 10-minute cycles of 8 LP's in each cycle, and then allow 45 minutes to dry. 

I'll report back on how this new cleaner stacks up against the Audio Desk Systeme.

Michael Fremer's picture


Glotz's picture

So kidding.  It does remind me of a milk dispenser in an old diner, though... 

Looks impressive!  Love that fact that ultrasonics are blowing up the record cleaning landscape. I just hope one trickles down to the masses in a few years for under $700. (I am holding my breath... so the cops dont see I just took a big hit!) 

Ironically, I have a fledgling audiophile friend that came up with an idea of ultrasonic cleaning, and then the Audio Desk came out a few months later.  He was completely blown away.  

Hey one question for you, Mikey-  Would the fact the last lp on that rack is white would  in any way improve the sonics because the 'black' is essentially 'removed' from the vinyl, ie; remove the possibility of magnetism?  If so, this may prove to be a nice way to save money vs purchasing the Furutech demag..?

skipgiles's picture

I've been using a Nitty Gritty for the last 30 years or so and I gotta say the V-8 is just the ticket for me.  The result of a cleaning with the V-8 is a major increase in the dynamics and soundstage as well as a disappearing noise floor.  Ultrasonic cleaning is as you stated Michael.  A massive improvement over vacs.

I find the bulk nature of the unit to be a big plus as I'm in the process of cleaning a couple thousand albums.  I also dig the DIY vibe of the unit as it's very honest and does just what it promises.  That's very refreshing in audio gear and should be applauded.

I highly recommend this device to any vinyl fan.

BigBrother08's picture

When the records are removed from the cleaner to be placed on the drying rack, they're still "wet" correct?  Have you had any issues with trace amounts of water making their way to the label?

One earlier poster mentioned a possible "weakness" in that sitting in the rack for 45 minutes can allow dust in the air to settle on them.  If they're still slightly wet, wouldn't that present the possibility of the grooves getting contaminated again?  I suppose using a small fan, or intermittent sweeps with a hair dryer on LOW could shorten the cycle, but I'd still be blowing dust onto a wet record wouldn't I? 

Other posters suggested using a vac machine for the drying cycle.  That sounds plausible given that I currently use the white "liner" from the packaging of my Herbie's Audio Lab mat for the 16.5 platter, to avoid laying a freshly cleaned side on a "contaminated" platter.  Any other suggestions for this?  

Please forgive the "newbie" nature of my post.  I've only gotten back into vinyl as of 2005 and have been using a 16.5 the whole time.  I'd never even heard of ultrasonic cleaning of records until I saw someone advertising the service on eBay.

Thanks in advance to any and all who respond.