AUDIO DESK SYSTEME
Vinyl Cleaner Pro Review
If you have been a fan of Audio Advice for any length of time, you have probably met Ivan, our audio guru. Ivan and I love to debate the best way to put together systems and have had a ton of fun over the years figuring out the best combinations for our customers. Every once in a while, Ivan will start bugging me about a product he thinks we should get in. I have to admit, he is right about 90% of the time and in the case of this record cleaner, he was 110% correct!
I hope you enjoy our review of what is the coolest toy we have had at Audio Advice in quite a while!
Company & Product Overview
Audio Desk Systeme is a German based company founded by Reiner Gläss. He grew up in a rural, agricultural section of Germany that has inspired other famous German engineers. You might recognize a couple of their last names: Daimler or Bosch! Reiner looks at problems in a different light than most engineers with a desire to start from the ground up.
His first product came out in 2005 before the vinyl revolution was in full swing and is still in production today. It was a new approach on how to improve the sound of CDs. The next year it won an award from HiFi+, a European audio journal.
As vinyl started to come back, Reiner considered the records themselves to be what he calls “black gold”. It is somewhat true. The true all analog pressings before digital recording arrived on the studio scene are coveted by vinyl lovers worldwide. What was made back then is all there is now. Fortunately, a few new studios are going back to all analog production, but that is a story for another day. Reiner’s goal was to be able to take those old vinyl classics and help you get the most sound out of the grooves as possible.
Our review today is on their Vinyl Cleaner Pro; what is probably the best, and certainly the most fun to use and watch, record cleaner we have ever seen at Audio Advice.
Record cleaners have taken all sorts of shapes and concepts since the first really well-thought-out one appeared from Keith Monks Audio. All of the better ones in the last 50 years have used some sort of liquid cleaning solution and a vacuum system to remove the fluid. The Keith Monks record cleaner was a great system that added a string that helped loosen the particles in the record grooves.
One problem we have seen with all of the record cleaners is that they are a bit messy and the vacuum motors are pretty loud. Reiner Gläss took all of this into account when he came up with the unique design for his record cleaner. Since its introduction in 2012, it has won numerous awards and has recently gone through a small round of updates to further improve things.
Design & Build Quality
Like most things made in Germany, the Vinyl Cleaner Pro is built like a tank.
If you have ever owned any other record cleaner, you will love just how easy it is to use! It comes with a couple of small bottles of concentrated cleaning solution. You’ll pour one of these into the reservoir, and then add about 1 ⅓ gallons of distilled water. This solution will keep you going for about 150-200 cleanings. From there on out, it’s just a matter of pushing one button!
The process goes like this: drop your record into the top opening and push the start button. The upper chamber will fill up with the cleaning fluid solution and your record will start to slowly spin. Two soft brushes on each side (yes, it does both sides at the same time) will move over to the record’s surface and start to slowly rotate. At the same time (and this is the cool part) the cleaning solution gets hit with ultrasonic vibrations just like a jeweler might use to clean a super expensive diamond ring.
After about two minutes of cleaning, the brushes move away from the record and the fluid starts to drain back into the lower chamber. Once the fluid is all drained out, a very powerful, but super quiet set of fans kick in to dry both sides of the record. This will take about another 2-3 minutes, and if for some reason your record is not perfectly dry, you can hold down the on button for a few seconds and the drying cycle will repeat.
You have to see all of this in person to appreciate it! This machine is truly a work of art!
This machine is just flat out magic! Ivan tested the one he got before I had a chance to listen and he came back in the next morning ranting about how records he had cleaned on his previous machine sounded far superior after cleaning on the Audio Desk. There is nothing special about the brushes or cleaning fluid, so we are sure the magic is occurring with the use of ultrasonic vibrations to help get any and all residue out of the record grooves.
I happened to be testing out a new turntable and had pulled out a brand new 180-gram vinyl version of Norah Jone’s 2002 Come Away with Me. This turntable was not very high performance (under $300) and I decided to see if even something this modest in the world of turntables could show off the differences before and after an Audio Desk cleaning.
After about 5 minutes of the cleaning process (which I love that I was able to just go away and leave it alone), I put the LP back on. When the stylus was only about 5 seconds in, I thought, oh my gosh, this is just amazing. Surface noise dropped by at least 500%, and bass got deeper and clearer, but the truly wonderful part was just how much warmer and lush the sound got. And this is with a sub $75 cartridge!!
There is no question, the Audio Desk is the best record cleaner we have ever seen. Not only is it just super simple to use, but you will hear things in your vinyl you have never heard before along with far less noise. If you love vinyl, you need one of these! It’s not cheap, but it is truly worth every penny. We invite you to come into our Raleigh store to see how it works, and to hear a before-and-after demo.
HIGH NOTES UNPACKED
While there are many “wet” cleaning machines on the market, the Audio Desk is the only one to add ultrasonic vibrations. We feel this makes a huge difference in how well it gets residue out of your record grooves, even with new records.
Simple to Use
Push one button, walk away, and come back five minutes later to a pristine record that is clean on both sides.
The Best Record Cleaner Ever
We have never heard such an improvement in sound from a record cleaner. Not only will your vinyl look visually better than ever, you will be blown away with the sound.