By David Galea.
For those of us that love the feel and sound of a record and high-end home audio, we know the maintenance can get annoying sometimes. The cleaning of vinyl records is a key part of maintaining a quality collection. Clean records sound better than dirty ones, and really clean records sound better still. But bath time for your LPs is kind of like bath time for your kids, they won’t do it themselves. You should clean them often, especially if you listen to them more than occasionally.
Sometimes you don’t want to clean your record before playing it, you just want to put the needle in the groove, sit down, and relax. Maybe you just got home from work and forgot that you hadn’t cleaned the record previously. Or possibly it’s a record you haven’t listened to in a while; you can’t quite remember when, or if, it was cleaned.
Whenever possible you should clean your records, especially if you don’t listen to them often or there is visible dust/debris. You must be delicate in your cleaning; one miniscule scratch would ruin an entire disk. You need a surface you can place the cleaned side on while you work on the other, and you should probably wear gloves. You need cleaners, brushes, and a bunch of other stuff… maybe it’s therapeutic, maybe it’s annoying. You be the judge.
Ease of Use – All Your Sound, None of the Fuss
Now imagine a machine made specifically for cleaning your records properly, both sides at once, one button, no hassle. The Clearaudio Double Matrix Professional Sonic is designed to give you enough time to pour yourself a drink while your record gets a bath. Ok, maybe not designed for a drink specifically but it takes about sixty seconds to finish… that is enough time to pour a drink. Just saying.
The Sonic uses surfactant and ultrasonic energy to wet clean your record, vacuum it dry, and if you’d like, neutralize any static charge lurking on its surface. With the ability to customize the settings you can assure your record gets as clean as it needs to be. Although the stock settings are optimized for 12” records of various thicknesses, records as small as 7” can be effectively cleaned without changing the head to a more specialized size.
Both Sides at Once
This machine cleans both sides of the record at once, applying fluid and equal pressure throughout. And with both sides being done at once you save time that would usually be spent flipping the record over carefully and cleaning the second side. You can also change the speed of cleaning, if it should apply more spray, and other various settings. The settings can also be programmed to hit a certain spot or spots of the record multiple times.
The Sonic is extremely easy to use, completely automatic if wanted, and able to clean records of various sizes and thickness with stock settings and attachments. With a single button press you can have your records clean in a minute or two depending on the mode and settings chosen.
The Sonic also has settings for different vacuum cycles, bi-directional operation, and anti-static brushing to ensure there is no damage to your records even when you walk away. There’s no learning curve, no worry about whether your technique might be doing more harm than good. The machine does a spectacular job, effortlessly. Or as close to effortlessly as it’s possible to get; it’s audiophile equipment for the 21st century.
Quiet and Elegant
Designed to be about as big as a standard record player to fit on current shelves and racks, it makes it easy to find a place for one of your new most used pieces of equipment. It has got a sleek modern look with a compact design and quiet operation for use anytime of the day, even late-night listening. It has attractive and rugged casework that matches any equipment setup with its attractive LEDs and aluminum outer shell making it a very pretty piece of HiFi equipment.
Uses Ultrasonic Vibration for Gentle and High-Efficient Cleaning
Find old records and help them play like new! Audiophiles love finding old gems at a garage sale or the back of a music store. The dust and gunk, however, might be a little much… That’s where this beauty comes in. Gentle, yet powerful, the vibration that can be emitted from the Ultrasonic can shake the deepest particles out with ease so they can be vacuumed away; and the microfiber pads follow up with equal pressure cleaning on both sides. Now with your record looking and feeling brand new you can place it on your turntable, lower that delicate needle, and enjoy the crisp sound as it moves unobstructed from vinyl to ears.
Is it Necessary?
Nothing is necessary, but anything worth doing is worth overdoing. If you’re going to spend the time finding records for your collection and listening to them in the golden old-fashioned way, why not make them look and play like new? Protect your records by keeping them cleaner than they’ve ever been, ensure the safety of your stylus and give yourself more time to listen to the music you love. Don’t waste time anymore cleaning one side, flipping it over ever so carefully, and cleaning the other – just hit clean and go grab a drink. Then put that record on your player and enjoy the night.
Want to see what The Absolute Sound Magazine is calling “The highest quality record cleaner” in action? BTA has one in their Design Center right now! We can clean a record or two for you and play them on our latest HiFi configuration that changes every month with new speakers and equipment. Call or email Jim Guido to set up an appointment at (561) 336-9600 or [email protected] You can also read The Absolute Sounds Editors’ Choice: Record Cleaning Machines here – Editors’ Choice: Record-cleaning machines – The Absolute Sound
Author – David has only recently started blogging but has a long history with technology. He acquired an English Degree from Florida Atlantic University and has worked with BTA as a copywriter for almost 4 years.