40khz vs 120khz or 40 plus 120khz US cleaning?

Has anyone been able to actually get better results from 120khz? Does 40khz only miss anything? 


The Khz from recollection will determine the Particle that can be impacted by the Cavitation taking place.

A increased Khz Machine will have the potential to remove smaller micron dimension embedment in the Groove.

This can be interpreted as a Deeper Groove Clean/Purification

The PAVCR Cleaningology Document will offer the most accurate guidance . 


Here are some basic UT rules:

1.  Power needed to produce cavitation is inversely proportional to kHz.  So, lower kHz requires less power to produce cavitation.

2. Cavitation bubble size is inversely proportional to kHz.  So, lower kHz produces a larger diameter bubble.

3. Cavitation intensity is proportional to the bubble size and the power into the tank.

So, a KLAudio 40kHz 200W 2.5L UT is a very powerful machine compared to the inexpensive 40kHz, 6L 160W UT machines.  A Degritter 120kHz 300W 1.4L UT is a very powerful machine compared to a 6L 120kHz 180W machine.   

But this is all very simplified because there can be other factors.  Of the power advertised, how much actually gets into the tank.  The Elmasonic P-series UT tanks are very powerful dual frequency 37/80 kHz and 6L P60H is rated 180W but peak power of 720W, and the tank water from just the UT heats up accordingly.  Serial cleaning with the Elmasonic P60H requires an outboard pumped/cooling radiator to keep the fluid temp <100F.

Most people find the KLAudio with DIW only (OEM says no to any chemistry) quite acceptable, but some will pre-clean to remove junk from used records, while some people will indicate that without some chemistry, the Degritter may not be effective in removing some tenacious surface fingerprints which can often just be cosmetic.  

So, the devil is in the details and if you want to deep-dive into the details Chapter XIV of this free-book will take you there Precision Aqueous Cleaning of Vinyl Records-3rd Edition - The Vinyl Press

Thanks for the replies. I currently use a 40khz tank and run it for about 25 minute with 3 records. I then use my VPI 16.5 to vacuum off the records.. The results are very good. I am interested in purchasing a 120khz tank to run after the 40khz cleaning. This is the unit I am looking at.



Shapertek is a US company, and the model you list is 11L and total power with heaters is 850W.  Call them on the phone and ask them how much UT power is in the tank.  High Frequency Ultrasonic Cleaner XP-HF-450-11L-120KHz (sharpertek.com)

I know from other people that they will answer the phone and will talk to you.  Note that as the tank volume increases, the amount of power required per liter decreases due to the ratio of tank surface vs fluid volume.  

Otherwise, FYI 40kHz machines are sensitive to record spin speed, and most spinners rotate way too fast. Slowing them down is easy and can improve cleaning - SHNITPWR 30W Universal Power Supply 3V 4.5V 5V 6V 7.5V 9V 12V Adjustable Variable AC/DC Adapter with 5V 2.1A USB Port, 100V-240V AC to DC 3V~12V Converter 0.5A 1A 1.2A 1.5A 2A 2.5A Max with 14 Tips (amazon.com).  The PACVR book addresses the why.

I can give them a call. The spinner I use is set to the lowest speed which is about 8 minutes per revolution.

Your spinner sounds like the VinylStack unit; its the only one I know that can spin that slow - 0.13 rpm. You can spin too slow. Depends on the tank power and temperature. I recently assisted someone who likely damaged a record, but he also allow the tank temp to reach about 125F.

I generally recommend 0.3-0.6 rpm and an even number (no factions) of rotations, so the record sees uniform exposure. 25 min may be a bit long. But this can be affected by how many records you are cleaning at-once and the tank size. General rule of thumb is to space the records about equal to the wavelength, so for 40kHz, 3/4-1 inch is about right.

I don't think it's ever been higher than 35c. I do at the most 20 records and stop. The process gets boring quickly. 

If you search the internet, you will see that 450W (~41W/L) is a pretty powerful unit.  If the heat-energy balance holds, the tank will heat from just the ultrasonics at about 1F/min.  

I have to wonder if this would be a worthwhile investment being that I already have a 40khz unit?

Without knowing the details of your current cleaning process, and what your goals are, it’s impossible for me to make any recommendation.

Are you using any chemistry with your current UT?

Are you intending to replace your 40kHz or use it with your 40kHz?

What are the details of your current 40kHz, tank size and power?

Do you clean used records or just new records?

How do manage your current bath - do you filter, do you monitor with a TDS meter, how often do you replace the bath?

The purpose of these questions is to 1st determine if there is opportunity to improve what you currently have before considering something new.

Edit - One more question.  How much effort do you apply to keep your stylus clean?  Or, does your stylus routinely pick up detritus that needs to be cleaned/removed?

1) Clean LP on VPI 16.5 to get any major junk off.

2) Run 3 LP's at a time in Vevor 40khz tank with splash of 91% alcohol and small amount of Tritan x-100.

3) Rinse off on VPI and let air dry before placing back in sleeve.

The tank I use now:


Vevor PS-60A which is supposed to be 360w US,400w heater, and 15l.

If adding the 120khz cleaning after the 40khz would make much of a difference is my question? 

If you optimize what you have I doubt you will get much benefit from adding the 120kHz UT unless your 40kHz is on the way out. Here are some suggestions for the hardware you have.

With the VPI-RCM, preclean with Alconox Liquinox Amazon.com: Alconox - 1232-1 1232 Liquinox Anionic Critical Cleaning Liquid Detergent, 1 quart Bottle : Industrial & Scientific prepared 0.5% in DIW in spray or wash bottle. Apply about 5-ml to the surface to fully wet and with a light but quick back & forth motion scrub with a Record Doctor brush Record Doctor - Clean Sweep Brush (pangeaaudio.com). Foam - some on the record and most in the brush are signs you are agitating the fluid enough.

After cleaning, perform two rinse/vacuum cycles. For the 1st rinse cycle, do not fully dry the record. For each rinse, apply about 10-ml of distilled water to the record. When applying the DIW, you only need to brush lightly. Note: I am not saying to measure out the rinse DIW each time. But you should measure it out once to eyeball what 5-ml cleaner and 10-ml of distilled water looks like on the record. Many people do not use enough rinse water with vacuum-RCMs.

FYI - the above was developed recently with someone in the UK, and we spiked a cleaning solution of known ingredients and concentration with a high-performance UV fluorescent dye. What the dye showed is that when using blower-style vacuum-RCMs (like the Project), not all fluid is sucked off the surface. Some fluid is evaporated in-place (20-30%), leaving behind cleaner residue. Two rinse cycles (with 10-ml DIW) were needed fully remove the cleaner (and whatever it removed from the record). Also, for the cleaning step, 6-ml was used; anymore and rapid agitation with the brush (necessary for best results) would fling cleaner from the surface. Many people do not use enough cleaner on the record to get good cleaning with vacuum-RCM.

If you are using the same brush throughout, after cleaning with Liquinox and the first rinse, rinse the brush with DIW spray into a sink or bucket.

For your UT tank prepare the chemistry as follows:

First add 2.5-3.0 ml of Triton X100 to the tank. Disposable pipettes are convenient Transfer Pipettes, Teenitor 50PCS 3ml Eye Dropper Plastic Transfer Pipettes for Essential Oil, Disposable Liquid Dropper for Science Laboratory, Lab, DIY: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific. Use the pipette to swirl the fluid to get the Triton X100 to dissolve.

Then Add 275-300 ml of 91% IPA.  Adding the IPA first will slow down how fast the Triton dissolves.

Degas the tank each day that you are cleaning records before cleaning records or the first batch does not get very much UT. I would recommend a spin speed of about 0.4 rpm and 15 minutes to get 6-full rotations.

Otherwise, for about the price of the 120kHz you can buy an Elmasonic P60H Order 103 3240 by Elma P60H Elmasonic Ultrasonic Cleaning Unit 115-120V - US Mega Store which is big enough to clean 3-records at a time spaced 1" apart, and you get the best of both worlds = 37kHz and 80khz. However, this is a powerful tank, and it will heat quickly so for serial cleaning, a pump/radiator would be required - the book has the details, and if adding a pump add a filter as well.

Good Luck

Thanks for the detailed response.

I have been using my VPI to do a 3 step cleaning with products from Audio Intelligent. The guy who originally started the company was Paul Frumkin and posted here on Audiogon.  Most of my records have been cleaned with that process. Have you compared the Alconox to enzymes? 

The US time I was doing did seem a bit long. I will drop if down to 15 and hold off on purchasing a new US machine.

Getting details from you is like pulling teeth. 

If you are using the Audio Intelligent 3-step process, there is no need to change. 

Since you are talking details, how much IPA and Triton X100 were you using?

I was using a capful of the Triton. 

The Audio Intelligent by itself does not work anywhere near as good as Audio Intelligent plus ultrasonic.

For vacuum-RCM always remember that YOU and the chemistry is what does a lot of the cleaning. The chemistry w/o good agitation is not going to do as much as it could. The vacuum-RCM rotating platter brush action is actually very slow. And while enzymes can soak aways some soils, unless someone has had sex, used your record for a toilet or a surgical table, they have limits, and they still benefit from agitation - think what happens with a clothes washer.

High quality laundry detergent such as Tide is a blend of surfactants and enzymes. The enzymes are proteins (...ase) that break down biological matter (sex, toilet, surgery). If they were the be all and end all, Tide would not have the lots of surfactants it does - CPID (whatsinproducts.com).


  I’m running an Isonic, and feel it would do a better job running at a slower turn. I looked at the power supply you recommended and I worry about damaging the stock AC motor on the unit.  Not a tech person, so….. otherwise I’m happy with results so far, but seems that slower would be more efficient.  Thanks for all the great info here. 



So long as it's a DC motor, and the power supply that is provided with it will state that, reducing voltage is a way to reduce motor speed.  Problems come up with high load/torque applications where the low voltage can draw a lot current and potentially damage the motor or overload the power supply such as some pumps.  But the spinner is very low load/torque, so I have never heard of anyone damaging the motor so long as sufficiently large power supply is used.  


Provided wall wart for motor only shows input voltage/amps.  Box for motor states DC motor, so I’ll go with that.   Hey great I feel good about this.  There’s no heat provided with this unit so I can at least slow it down.  Thanks for EVERYONE’s input on ultrasonic cleaning.  

My VPI 16.5 gave out. I removed all the parts and made a new box out of 7 layer plywood. The old particle board started to disintegrate and it was leaking. I should be back up and running this weekend.