Does the Sonic Spin Kit include an Ultrasonic Cleaner?
No, an Ultrasonic Cleaner is not included. The Sonic Spin Kit is designed to be used with your own tank as long as it meets the minimum required inside dimensions. The Sonic Spin arm is adjustable up and down from 11″ to 16 3/4″ so be sure to check that the outside height of your cleaner is less than this.
What are the minimum required inside tank dimensions?
11 3/4″ (L) x 6″ (D) x 6″ (WD)
My tank is only 5.5″ wide. Is this a problem?
The ‘3’ Record Stack units will fit in a 5.5″ wide tank, however we like one that is a little wider just to give you extra room to maneuver loading your stacks on and off the motor spindle. To remove the stack from the motor spindle you have to tilt it slightly to release the magnetic hold, so it may require a little extra care to keep from hitting the side of the tank. We wouldn’t recommend any narrower than 5.5″.
Note: if you are using our Sonic ‘1’ Stack that holds 1 record, this is not an issue since they are narrower.
What brand of Ultrasonic Cleaner do you recommend?
We cannot recommend a specific ultrasonic cleaner, but there are many to choose from online. As long as the inside dimensions are in the range that we recommend (not less than 11 3/4″ (L) x 6″ (D) x 6″ (W)) it shouldn’t be too difficult to find one that fits your needs and your budget. TruSonik, Sharpertek, Sonix and Vibrato are some brands that our customers have purchased. We have no personal experience with any of these so can’t offer any advice, but we have heard no complaints. Also, some have purchased the less expensive Chinese models such as Kendal without any issues.
What should I look for in an Ultrasonic Cleaner?
You will want to look for the cleaning power one supplies. While one with only 180 watts may be adequate, it won’t be as powerful as one with 240 watts of power. Also, if the unit has a heater, be sure to look at how the watts are divided between the heater and the transducers. Sometimes the watts listed are the total between the 2 and you find out after the fact that most of the watts go to run the heater and not the transducers. The number of transducers also plays a factor. Typically, you will find 3-4 in the units that are being used to clean records. So, the higher the frequency and the more transducers, the better, but it will also cost more. If your records are not that dirty you might find a 40Khz unit to be adequate. Also, the difference between 40Khz and 60Khz may be minimal so you may prefer an 80Khz. The Vibrato is an 80Khz machine made specifically for cleaning records. So, it pretty much is a personal choice that depends on your preferences and the amount of money you have available to spend. One thing you will want to do is read the reviews on various machines to see what others think of them.
Here is a link to a very interesting article titled “Questions and answers about Ultrasonic Cleaning”, which may help you decide what might work best for you. It is:
If the link does not open, copy and past the URL into your address bar.
Do you have any suggestions for cleaning solutions?
There are many different ideas about the type of solution that should be used to clean your records, so probably the best thing is to do an internet search for something like “do it yourself record cleaning solutions”. There are all kinds of recipes out there from using just distilled water with a drop of Dawn dish washing liquid to others with different ingredients. You can also use a rinse agent like you would put in a dishwasher to eliminate water spots. The nice thing about reading these forums is that you will find comments on what works and what may not work as well. It will also have to do with your preferences, what is available in your area and the type of water available to you. There are also commercial solutions available for purchase online.
I’m ready to clean my first batch of records! What is the best speed to use?
It is generally accepted that the best ultrasonic cleaning results are obtained when using a slower RPM. Following are examples of approximate times for one 33 record revolution achieved at the various voltage settings on your power supply:
3.0 volts – 7.0 Minutes 7.5 volts – 2.5 Minutes
4.5 volts – 4.5 Minutes 9.0 volts – 2.0 Minutes
6.0 volts – 3.0 Minutes 12.0 volts – 1.5 Minutes
NOTE: Due to the difference in the resistance of various motor windings or the output of various power supplies, some motors may or may not turn at the 3 volt setting. The amount of the voltage used determines the speed of the motor. The Sonic Spin motor is rated for up to 24 VDC. If you prefer faster speeds, power supplies up to 24 VDC with a 2.5mm male pin can be used (not included).
Following are examples of approximate running times for one 33 record to achieve a 5 minute clean at various voltages:
3.0 volts – takes 7.0 Minutes for one revolution; run Sonic Spin for approximately 6.5 Minutes
4.5 volts – takes 4.5 Minutes for one revolution; run Sonic Spin for approximately 10 Minutes
6.0 volts – takes 3.0 Minutes for one revolution; run Sonic Spin for approximately 15 Minutes
7.5 volts – takes 2.5 Minutes for one revolution; run Sonic Spin for approximately 18 Minutes
9.0 volts – takes 2.0 Minutes for one revolution; run Sonic Spin for approximately 22.5 Minutes
12 volts – takes 1.5 Minutes for one revolution; run Sonic Spin for approximately 30 Minutes
Feel free to contact us if you have any other questions.