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I thought it was always a bad idea because it basically seals a certain amount of grime into the 
groove, unless you do lab-grade cleaning of the record, inspect it with a microscope and then coat 
it in a clean room (ie something nobody would ever do). I never understood the underlying theory of 
benefit -- why not just clean records, use clean and sharp stylii and track lightly? Mike Fremer at has written about how he has records that have been played hundreds of times and 
still sound great. I have some disks that have been played at least dozens of times (I doubt I've 
listened to any one LP side 100+ times, too little time and too many records to hear) and they still 
sound new. On the other hand, I've been given records dating from the 50s and 60s that were played a 
few times on record-wreckers of those days and were immediately damaged and thus don't sound good. I 
doubt LAST fluid or any other coating scheme would have protected those vinyl grooves from 
heavy-tracking slam-down changers of yore.

Back to LAST fluid, I've seen comments on the interwebs (take with shaker of salt, and I don't have 
any first-hand experience with what they describe) talking about the disk surfaces becoming "sticky" 
or "gooey" and there being no good way to remove the LAST residue. That's why I wondered about 
ultra-sonic cleaning, could it dislodge by vibration and liquid the sticky goo?

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Wolf, James L" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2014 12:18 PM

> What is the latest dirt on the LAST record coating? Has it always been a bad idea, or are problems 
> emerging more recently?
> James
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf 
> Of Tom Fine
> Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2014 11:11 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Hi Eric:
> Do you think ultrasonic cleaning could successfully remove LAST fluid coating from an LP record? I 
> don't know of any other safe method.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Eric Jacobs" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2014 10:46 AM
>> My apologies for being a bit late to this discussion.
>> Although I do not have experience with ultrasonic disc cleaning, I would
>> think it would be fine for vinyl and possibly shellac discs, but would be
>> reluctant to use it on transcription discs (aka lacquers or acetates).
>> Ultrasonic cleaning works on the principal of mechanical vibration to
>> detach contaminants from a surface.  I would expect the vibration to not
>> discriminate between contaminates and laminates.  In other words, if
>> there was even the slightest compromise in the laminate - a crack or
>> exposed
>> substrate edge, for example - the vibration could also detach the laminate
>> from the substrate.
>> Iım also curious what sort of impact ultrasonic cleaning has on the disc
>> labels, if the disc is fully submerged in the ultrasonic cleaner.
>> Again, my comments are nothing more than hypotheses.  It would be very
>> interesting to hear from the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra,
>> Australia, about their experience with ultrasonic cleaning on disc media
>> and under what circumstances they deploy ultrasonic cleaning:
>> - what types of disc media?
>> - what types of contaminates?
>> - pre- and post-ultrasonic processes?
>> Iıd also be curious if they follow up the ultrasonic cleaning with a
>> secondary rinsing process to remove or neutralize any remaining
>> Cetrimide on the disc and to remove any contaminates that were dislodged
>> but might still remain loosely on the surface of the disc.  In general,
>> disc cleaning is a two-step process, where rinsing is just as critical
>> as the cleaning for best results.  I cannot emphasize enough the
>> importance of proper rinsing to the final results of audio playback.
>> The Cetrimide (CTR) is an interesting compound.  A quick search online
>> indicates that it is an antimicrobial.  An ultrasonic cleaner with CTR
>> could be an interesting way to handle moldy media to minimize airborne
>> mold spores.
>> It also appears that Cetrimide in aqueous form is a weak base (pH < 7)
>> and a surfactant.  As a weak base, it might be useful for dissolving
>> acids (like palmitic and stearic acid formations on transcription discs).
>> As a surfactant, it helps dislodge dirt and grease and then suspends the
>> contaminants on the surface of the liquid.
>> I provisionally disagree with the comment:
>>   "that with the Monks machine some buildup may look like it is cleared
>>   but can reappear in time.  The sonic disc cleaner does a find job of
>>   permanently removing the buildup."
>> If the buildup is palmitic and stearic acid deposits, these are formed by
>> the exuding of plasticizer from the laminate.  After cleaning, there will
>> still be plasticizer in the laminate.  Plasticizers are, for the most part
>> a good thing, because they keep the laminate ³plastic² (i.e. not brittle)
>> and as plasticizer is lost (exuded), the laminate shrinks (which causes
>> long-term delimitation from the substrate).  In any case, cleaning cannot,
>> and should not, remove all the plasticizer from the laminate.  And any
>> remaining plasticizer in the laminate will eventually leach out over time,
>> then hydrolize and reform as new palmitic and stearic acid deposits.
>> So whether a disc is cleaned ultrasonically or with a conventional record
>> cleaning machine like the Keith Monks, palmitic and stearic acid deposits
>> (aka ³buildup²) will reform as the plasticizer continues to exude from
>> the laminate over time.
>> And whether a disc is cleaned ultrasonically or conventionally, the
>> cleaning process, such as rinsing, and the chemistry used are equally
>> important as the cleaning device.
>> Eric
>> _________________________
>> Eric Jacobs
>> Principal
>> The Audio Archive, Inc.
>> 1325 Howard Ave, #906
>> Burlingame, CA 94010
>> tel: 408-221-2128
>> [log in to unmask]
>> Disc and Tape Audio Transfer Services and Preservation Consulting
>> Please consider the environment before printing this email.
>> On 11/18/14, 7:25 PM, "Rebecca Feynberg" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>I visited the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra, Australia this
>>>summer. They use an ultrasonic disc cleaner. It is quite mesmerizing to
>>>watch the mold and residue lift from the grooves into the water dissolving
>>>into a cloud.
>>>Here is a link to the company the makes the sonic disc cleaners. They are
>>>not made specifically for discs but the cleaning process works well for
>>>them. Elma is the company that makes the machines.
>>>They use a solvent in the water, called Cetrimide.
>>>I have heard that with the Monks machine some buildup may look like it is
>>>cleared but can reappear in time. The sonic disc cleaner does a fine job
>>>permanently removing the buildup.
>>>On Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 9:51 PM, [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Has anyone used the current generation of ultrasonic record cleaners for
>>>> professional or home use?  Very pricey in the $4500+ range.
>>>> Eric Nagamine
>>>> ----- Reply message -----
>>>> From: "Dennis Rooney" <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Date: Mon, Nov 17, 2014 9:17 AM
>>>> I note in this thread that no one has mentioned the device that cleans
>>>> discs better than any other, viz. the Keith Monks machine. Forty years
>>>> use on vinyl, lacquers and shellac confirms it.
>>>> DDR
>>>> On Tue, Nov 11, 2014 at 3:41 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> > I have looked with an optical microscope at records before and after
>>>> > cleaning. Chunky dust as shown in those photographs can be greatly
>>>> reduced
>>>> > by wet-brush cleaning and vacuum-drying as is done by the VPI and
>>>> > other brand machines. I also looked at records cleaned with DiscWasher
>>>> > (original brush and fluid) and the new velvet brush and fluid sold
>>>> > the "stanton" brand. Both left clumps of dust, wherever the brush was
>>>> > rolled backward and taken off the record. I also looked at a record
>>>> cleaned
>>>> > with Sleeve City's spray-on fluid and their "shammy" type cloth. Not
>>>> > was dust left, there were visible small scratches caused by the
>>>>cloth. My
>>>> > conclusion was, I only want to use the VPI machine.
>>>> >
>>>> > Also, regarding syluses, I'm a big believer in that relatively new
>>>> > Japanese thing that's basically a blob of tacky gel. You lower the
>>>> > onto the gel blob and let it sit a few seconds, then use the lifter
>>>> to
>>>> > take it up. Dust on the stylus stays on the block of gel. The gel is
>>>> > water-washable and I recommend washing it regularly. Stylus
>>>> of
>>>> > the type that come included with some cartridges work OK but don't
>>>> dislodge
>>>> > all dust. I still have some old LAST fluid and brush from the 80s and
>>>> > does a nice job of cleaning crud off the stylus and cantilever. I use
>>>> that
>>>> > after every couple dozen sides.
>>>> >
>>>> > -- Tom Fine
>>>> >
>>>> > ----- Original Message ----- From: "Steven Smolian"
>>>><[log in to unmask]>
>>>> > To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> > Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 3:05 PM
>>>> >
>>>> >
>>>> >  Victor Campos wrote an article, "Gunk in the Grooves," that was in an
>>>> >> American Record Guide in the 1960s.  He published a group of
>>>> >> with it that were groove close-ups of great quality (on coated
>>>> >> showed all kinds of dirt problems and discussed their solutions (if
>>>> that's
>>>> >> the proper word.) This is well before Disc Doctor came to the
>>>>rescue, of
>>>> >> course.
>>>> >>
>>>> >> Steve Smolian
>>>> >>
>>>> >> -----Original Message-----
>>>> >> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>>>> >> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Don Cox
>>>> >> Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 2:22 PM
>>>> >> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>> >>
>>>> >> On 11/11/2014, Carl Pultz wrote:
>>>> >>
>>>> >>  Pretty neat images. Makes it that much more amazing that records
>>>> >>> at all.
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>> tion
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>>  Not sure about the first two, but the third picture is a scanning
>>>> >> electron
>>>> >> microscope image that has been around for decades.
>>>> >>
>>>> >> Certainly worth pointing out for those who haven't seen them.
>>>> >>
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>> Carl
>>>> >>>
>>>> >> Regards
>>>> >> --
>>>> >> Don Cox
>>>> >> [log in to unmask]
>>>> >>
>>>> >>
>>>> >>
>>>> --
>>>> 1006 Langer Way
>>>> Delray Beach, FL 33483
>>>> 212.874.9626