The record cleaning game has been changed (Degritter for the win)

So a thing happened. I had a bit of a revelation, crossed with major frustrations with the vinyl accumulating and no easy way to clean them.

My old process was to run three records on a Vinyl Stack gizmo, which sits the records in an ultrasonic tank. Following that, they would get moved to the record vacuum for a rinse with purified water. (Harry Weisfeld of VPI follows the same method, although his ultrasonic tank and vacuum were of higher quality.) It...worked. Certainly better than wet vacuuming alone, but still wasn't completely satisfied with the results. Not only that, it's cumbersome to haul all these parts up from the basement in three trips, take over the entire dining area of the kitchen, and put up with the incessant noise of both the ultrasonic cleaner and the vacuum. I dreaded cleaning records, and couldn't afford the major chunk of time I needed to clean them all.

I'd seen other all-in-one solutions, but there was something about the Degritter that appealed to me. While it's designed to clean records (duh), it was also designed to make record cleaning as easy as possible. Easy, as in stick the record in the toaster slot, press a button, and walk away with a clean record shortly thereafter.

It does have a handful of settings that can be adjusted but when they are set, you can clean one record after another with one single press. It's a simple rotation of the right-hand knob to change between the three cleaning levels the machine offers. The water is cleverly filtered after each record--the water and cleaning solution are stored in an outboard tank, pumped into the machine to ultrasonically clean the record, then pumped back into the holding tank after the crud is filtered out. A drying phase runs a fan (with adjustable speed and drying time) so you pull out a record ready to play.

A lot of thought went into the design, and the design of the casing as well as the round LED screen make it attractive, as opposed to looking like a contraption. The cleaner uses four ultrasonic elements, two on each side, to thoroughly cover the surface of the vinyl; it uses a frequency as high as 120kHz, much higher than the others, which creates smaller cavitation bubbles to get deeper in the grooves. (It also uses some frequency sweep, the details of which I'm not fully aware of.)

I'm not alone in admiring this new cleaner. 😉

I can without a doubt recommend the best audio purchase I have ever made -The Degritter. This thing has changed my life related to audio. I can come home with ten albums and without standing there, scrubbing and listening to the thing grinding and vacuuming away, I can have the records in pristine condition within a few hours all the time I'm listening to my music. The best thing is the records get cleaned rather than stacking up in the newly arrived sectioned. Yes it is expensive but it clearly is the best audio purchase I've ever made!

How do the results sound? Well....clean. 😁 They're cleaner than my old method. I also notice a lack of a very distinct "fuzz" I was hearing with uncleaned records. I rarely buy new vinyl these days, largely due to buying new pressings that are noisy. I tried four recent new purchases, and the Degritter did a great job on three of them; the fourth is probably a pressing defect, as someone else I know with the same record has the same type of noise on Side 2.

Lately, I've mainly been buying sealed new old stock vinyl from the 60s through the 80s, and they all respond well to a good cleaning. A few I've purchased in Near Mint condition have similarly cleaned up well. There are so many now that I want to go back and reclean, just to see if they improve further. I'm sure many of them will. I don't really have anything too gritty anymore, although many of my 12" singles are in jackets and sleeves with the die-cut label openings, and they are prone to getting dusty.

I'm waiting to get a 10" adapter so I can clean those. I have some 7" singles too, but as I rarely play those, I'm not sure if I want to spend the money on the adapter. I'm also willing to play with the cleaning solution a bit. I have some ingredients on hand that I've used for my old cleaning regimen, so I could experiment if I wanted to. But for now I'm using the cleaner supplied with the Degritter.

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As a couple of ol' movie critics would have said: Two thumbs up. Way up!
 
Did @Wntrmute2 and/or @jmathers put you up to writing this?
Nope. But I've seen long threads in another couple of forums where they've been pretty much praised, more so than other cleaners out there, including a couple that cost substantially more and look like something dreamt up in someone's garage. The design of this Degritter makes me think someone took notes and figured out what vinyl owners wanted and needed in a record cleaning machine, vs. others designing it their way and hoping they get customers for it.
 
I normally wouldn't have bought it myself, except that I have some tax refunds coming my way, and a handful of things I am selling off to more than cover it, things I'll never use again and have no value to me (other than monetary). It was either buy a good record cleaner or quit playing vinyl altogether.
 

airdronian

Radar Member
These Degritters are very cool. Did a quick search and watched a video from the "Vinyl Junky". He mentioned the couple of issues he had, and that he was happy with the support. I especially liked that he commented about an overheating issue which was handled by a software update. Very slick !

The Junky feels it was worth it for him, and regarding price he commented that it was twice as much as a VPI, and half as much as a Loricraft/Monk device, which gives it some perspective. I may not be buying one, but I'm a Degritter fan nonetheless.

 
These Degritters are very cool. Did a quick search and watched a video from the "Vinyl Junky". He mentioned the couple of issues he had, and that he was happy with the support. I especially liked that he commented about an overheating issue which was handled by a software update. Very slick !
I agree--the reports about customer service were also what impressed me. I've heard of a couple of units that needed to be shipped back to Europe for service--the company took care of everything, at no cost to the end user (they paid shipping both ways). I like to say it's "friendly." And that it was designed with the end user in mind, to make both the cleaning process and the ownership experience a positive one.

The Junky feels it was worth it for him, and regarding price he commented that it was twice as much as a VPI, and half as much as a Loricraft/Monk device, which gives it some perspective.
I only had this small window of opportunity to get one, so I took advantage of it. If I got desperate, I could charge others to clean their records. 😁

As I've said on multiple forums, this was the best audio purchase I've ever made - bar none. It has increased the enjoyment of my vinyl rig by an order of magnitude.
Are you using their cleaning solution, or did you make your own? I used 1.5ml of the fluid they provided for now.

I'm thinking that after 20 records, I may need to change my water out and clean the filter. I noticed after cleaning a record last night that it seemed noisier after the cleaning process. I think they say 30 records per load of water (or one week maximum). I did have a few that were a bit dusty, although I had nothing really grimy.

I agree--I don't mind cleaning records anymore. And I'm enjoying listening to the cleaner records, which my previous setup never fully cleaned.
 

Wntrmute2

Not So Mediocre Member
I use 2 mls of the Degritter fluid. Usually I rinse with clean water in a second tank but occasionally I skip that if it is a poor copy.
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I had my first records cleaned on one ages ago. And it was fantastic. Likely the first machine in North America. My buddy was looking at becoming the North American distributor. Such a gem of a machine to use.
 
I use 2 mls of the Degritter fluid. Usually I rinse with clean water in a second tank but occasionally I skip that if it is a poor copy.
Yeah, I was debating getting a second tank. Do you run it on Light the Quick cycle? I don't want to subject records to too much ultrasonic cleaning, but a clean rinse certainly has its advantages.
 
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Wntrmute2

Not So Mediocre Member
Dirty records I run a heavy cleaning cycle with no dry followed by a quick cycle and 3 min dry cycle.
New records I do a heavy cycle with clean water (the rinse tank) followed by the 3 min dry cycle
Redo's I usually do a quick cleaning followed by a quick rinse and dry.
 
A rinse cycle may be what I need--once the adapter I need is back in stock, I will get that and the extra tank.
 
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