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Product Review: Audio Intelligent Record Cleaner #15 (Enzyme Cleaner)

Posted by LionsMouth 
Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 1,129
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avatar Product Review: Audio Intelligent Record Cleaner #15 (Enzyme Cleaner)
January 28, 2016 01:15PM
Background:

Do some research on record cleaning solutions for use with RCMs and you'll find it to be an endless source of debate. There are so many different brands of fluids out there, as well as homebrew recipes, and who knows what else that the landscape can be very confusing and difficult to wade through. To make matters worse, most commercial fluid manufacturers and brands offer a line of fluids, some designed to be used together in a multi-step process with three, four, or sometimes five steps and five different fluids. For the budget conscious person that cares enough about record cleaning, this can be very off-putting.

What if you just want a simple, effective cleaning fluid to use in a two-step clean/rinse process with your RCM? Well my philosophy is that I'd rather spend money on a stronger, more effective fluid, than two or three bottles of mild stuff that only do the job on barely dusty records. In recent years, enzyme based record cleaners have come to the forefront and have gotten glowing reviews from a number of vinyl hobbyists, audiophiles, and recorded collectors. I decided that after using a more mild commercial fluid, that enzyme based cleaner was the way to go for me, hence why I am testing this stuff out.


Manufacturer's Copy:

Premium Record Cleaner Formula No. 15

At the request of many of our customers, we’ve spent several months working on a superiorly effective formula that could serve as a pre-cleaner for moderately to seriously dirty records. Our customers wanted something that would work more quickly than our 3-step cleaning system and that was safe for use on all records. As a result, we’re happy to introduce Premium Record Cleaner Formula No. 15.
A complex blend of enzymatic cleaning agents and specially designed lab-grade detergents, Premium Record Cleaner Formula No. 15 can be used before either our 3-step cleaning system or our Premium One-Step Formula No. 6 as a pre-cleaner for really tough cleaning jobs. Premium Record Cleaner Formula No. 15 should never be used alone, but we have found that it makes a very good cleaning system when paired with our Ultra-Pure Water product. This combination yields results that are comparable to our 3-step record cleaning system with less work and less cost.



Using the Product:

According to the instructions, the product should be applied to completely cover the record, using a soft brush and scrubbed very lightly. AI explicitly warns against rough scrubbing as it can damage the record or push dirt further down in the grooves. After applying and a light agitation with my velvet RCM brush, I let the fluid sit for 3-5 minutes, per the instructions, then vacuumed it off. Given that this fluid is marketed as "strong mojo", I do two RCM rinse cycles (with distilled water) with it on each side of the record after vacuuming off the cleaning fluid. This seems to get off most of the fluid residue and clean the record very well. Note that the manufacturer claims you can use this without an RCM, but I'm not so sure I'd recommend that. Trying to rinse all the fluid residue off without an RCM would probably be a huge pain.



Initial Impressions:

Very impressive. You know those types of stores that have good records, but they are always filthy? I don't mean mold or anything like that, but layers of dirt, finger prints, paper sleeve dust, etc. on the records that's been there for decades. Well, with this stuff and an RCM, you can clean those records very thoroughly. Compared to a more "mild" RCM fluid I've used, this stuff totally smokes it. Records that would've required 2-3 cleaning cycles on the Spin Clean or with the mild stuff are "done" and sounding great after one cleaning. The difference in how quiet the records are compared to other cleaning fluids is very noticeable to me. One major downside is the price. This stuff is expensive. You've also got to consider the soaking time. This will add 6-10 minutes per each LP cleaning. Is it worth it? IMHO yes, for used records. New records, unless they are coming from an especially nasty plant should probably be cleaned with a more mild cleaner that doesn't require soaking.


Final Impressions:

I'm almost done with the bottle of cleaner now and have cleaned a lot of records with it. I remain impressed with the product. As mentioned before, it is imperative that you are thorough in your rinse cycles on your RCM so that all the cleaner is removed from the record. If you are not thorough, surface noise will be a problem, and you will need to clean the record over again.

Pros:

-Does a great job cleaning records.

Cons:

-Expensive

-Diligent RCM rinse cycles are required to avoid cleaner residue and surface noise.

Recommended?

Yes, but if you buy this, go for the larger bottle as the price per ounce is cheaper.



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Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 1,400
Status: Street Wisdom
avatar Re: Product Review: Audio Intelligent Record Cleaner #15 (Enzyme Cleaner)
February 01, 2016 06:09PM
I am a fan of enzyme cleaners . I have been using Phoenix cleaning solution for years and highly recommend it . Plus it's $25 for a gallon .. That's a hard price to beat .
Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 1,129
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avatar Re: Product Review: Audio Intelligent Record Cleaner #15 (Enzyme Cleaner)
February 04, 2016 07:48PM
Quote
jaybrown
I am a fan of enzyme cleaners . I have been using Phoenix cleaning solution for years and highly recommend it . Plus it's $25 for a gallon .. That's a hard price to beat .

$25 a gallon is cheap. I've not tried Phoenix. Might have to try it at some point.



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Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 1,129
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avatar Re: Product Review: Audio Intelligent Record Cleaner #15 (Enzyme Cleaner)
February 04, 2016 08:08PM
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