First, the machine is brilliantly implemented. Starting with aesthetics, it is a nice looking machine with beige coloration and well-appointed features like vents, drain switch and touch control panel (which by the way has a Kirmuss Audio label that lights up as well in pretty colors – not shown in picture below). With this control panel you can only change the time, not temperature, that is locked in at 95 degrees and maintained. Remember, you don’t want to go over 95 degrees for records anyway, so the option is not needed. This is different from the usual industrial or cobbled together garage project look of the other more expensive machines out there.
The tank is well designed and holds about 1.6 gallons. It has a drain hole at bottom for well,…draining. There is a switch on the side and a spicket. To drain, one attached the supplied hose to the spicket and then runs it into a collection bottle, vat, sink or what have you (see picture below). One turns the switch and all the water drains out, no tilting, futzing around and what not. You may notice a little water sitting in the drain hole when finished, but eventually it will dry. To avoid waiting a long time for that you can take a paper towel and roll it up a little and stick it in the hole to absorb the water, speeding up the drying time (I recommend leaving it sit open without the record holder apparatus on top for about 3 hours or so before putting away).
Now to the record holder (pictured above). This is ingenious! The holder has slots on top: Two for 12-inch records (33.3 rpm), one for 10-inch(78 rpm) and one for 7-inch(45 rpm). The slots have a foam like lips in front the width of the groove area, which are easily replaceable. They are there for stability. You also need not worry about cross-contamination because you are not using different fluids, only water. You also only need to replace them once a year depending on use. If you are doing batches of say, 200 records at a time two or three times a year, then you may need to change them sooner.
On top of the record holder apparatus is the motor (that little square at the bottom of the picture), that turns the gears which turns the records. On the underside of the apparatus (picture above), are the gears, belt and instead of brushes or hard plastic or pincers, etc, there are rubber grommet like things that are slotted. The record sits in these grommets and they turn the record. Nice and safe, no worries. It is also not effected by the bath. Another great part is that should something need to be replaced or fixed it is easy to get to. The expensive $4000 machines have all the record handling built-in and can not be serviced by the user.
The machine comes with the following:
KA-B Combo 2-in-One M Carbon Fiber and Parastatic felt brush for dusting records before play
Anti-bacterial/anti-static surfactant solution with 6 sq inch microfiber cloth (enough to do about 200 records supposedly and of course you can buy more).
KA-N-1 liquid stylus cleaner with brush applicator
Microfiber cloth to cover work area
Small microfiber cloth to dry records
7″ felt thick record mat to place records on while handling.
KA-B-1 Camel hair brush to apply the surfactant.
The only thing I don’t use is the liquid stylus cleaner because I do not know what is in it. If there is a solvent of any type, that is not good. I have explained this in another article about record care. (I prefer to use a dry stylus brush or Onzow or similar dipping system).
Ok, so is this cleaning method valid and does it meet expectations and claims? (Continued on next page)