Back in Issue 244 Andre Jennings extolled the virtues of ultrasonic LP cleaning in his review of the Klaudio KD-CLN-LP200 machine. I’ve since had an opportunity to try this record cleaner myself and will share my impression of the product.
But first a recap. The KD-CLN-LP200 is a very stoutly made, fully automatic record cleaner that uses ultrasonic energy to remove contamination from LP grooves. It operates on the principle of cavitation, in which the ultrasonic energy creates tiny bubbles that agitate the cleaning solution on a microscopic level. The high-frequency energy also pushes the cavitation bubbles into the LP grooves to scrub out debris. Ultrasonic cleaning is widely used in many applications, including cleaning surgical instruments, jewelry, and electronic components. Ultrasonic cleaning is ideally suited to LPs because the tiny cavitation bubbles can penetrate into groove modulations that are just too small for even the finest brushes to reach. (See Andre’s review for more details, as well as a full description of how the KD-CLN-LP200 operates.)
After using a vacuum-based cleaner for years I switched to the Klaudio. The Klaudio cleaner is fully automatic; just insert an LP into the top-loading slot and it goes into a clean-then-dry cycle, the length of which you can select from front-panel knobs. The dry cycle is quite loud, but your LPs emerge completely dry.
But the best part about the Klaudio is how it transforms the sound of LPs. I was expecting a reduction in ticks and pops, but wasn’t prepared for the way in which it improved the entire sonic presentation. In addition to making surfaces much quieter, the Klaudio cleaner rendered an improvement in clarity, soundstage depth, and transient performance. The reverb around instruments and voices was more apparent, as was the sense of space between images. Depth increased along with the ability to more clearly hear instruments at the back of the stage. Transient information sounded a little quicker and more prominent in the mix, which gave the music more life and verve. Even new LPs benefited from ultrasonic cleaning; the first thing I do after opening a new LP is pop it in the Klaudio.
After hearing the effect of ultrasonic record cleaning, there’s no going back to anything else. And the Klaudio KD-CLN-LP200 is easy to operate, doesn’t require special cleaning fluids, and appears very well built. Bottom line: An ultrasonic cleaner is an essential component for any LP aficionado.
Specs & Pricing
Type: Ultrasonic record cleaner
Dimensions: 7.12" x 11.65" x 17.12"
Weight: 45 lbs.