Degritter attacks vinyl record grit and grime with ultrasound
There's nothing quite like the shine of a brand new vinyl album removed from its sleeve for the very first time. But no matter how well you care for your collection, records can be insatiable magnets for surface dust and groove-filling micro particles (which could include dead skin and mold). If left unchecked, the build up could seriously affect playback. Rather than rely on detergents or chemicals to remove music-spoiling nastiness, a retro-cool machine called the Degritter uses ultrasound to get into the grooves and rejuvenate treasured vinyl.
The Degritter ultrasonic record cleaner is wrapped in a brushed anodized aluminum outer shell, and offers three washing settings and a drying mode, chosen via a color display and selection knob out front. Another dial can be used to adjust cycle timing.
After placing a filthy record in the groove up top, a user sets the washing mode and presses the same knob to activate the machine. The vinyl starts slowly spinning while the cleaning system tackles grime removal. Part of the record is submerged in a bath of purified water – deep enough to ensure a thorough clean but not enough to damage the label in the middle.
Four 120 kHz ultrasonic transducers excite the water, causing lots of tiny bubbles to form and deep cleaning the surface of the record. Grime that's removed from the vinyl during cleaning is cleansed from the water bath by active filtering. The steel mesh filter can be removed and cleaned between cleaning jobs.
Once a record has had its bubble bath, the Degritter moves into drying mode. Then the album can be removed from the machine and played, or returned to its sleeve for listening at another time. No detergents or chemical cleaners are used in the process and a 1.2 liter (0.3 gal) water tank can be removed and emptied at the end of operation, rather than having to find somewhere nearby to feed a waste hose into.
"Ultrasonic cleaning is the safest and most efficient way to keep vinyls clean and our device does it better than any other currently in the market," company CEO Taniel Põld told us. "We recently held a closed beta testing program, which was a success. We gathered some valuable feedback from our helpful beta testers and already made adjustments based on it. The final product will become available world-wide starting from May 8 with an Indiegogo campaign."
In the meantime, have a look at the video below for more on how the system works.