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ncdrawl
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Review of the GEM DANDY record cleaning kit.

So, a box arrived today from www.tracertek.com containing my new GEM Dandy kit, designed by Analog guru George Merrill.

The kit consists of the cleaning apparatus (hereon referred to as a "mandrel" as in the rather concise manual that is included) ***The device is rather utilitarian in look, no feat of eye pleasing aesthetics..but those things are never concerns of mine. **** , a tube with a nozzle that attaches to your sink, a variety of adapters for garden hoses and standard faucets, the cleaning solution, as well as the "Groove Lube" kit which is a treatment much like gruv-glide or last. (applicator, treatment solution, and buffing pad)

The operation is incredibly easy. The mandrel is placed into the sink. Protective cups that protect the label are secured by a wing-nut. Once the wing nut is removed, one of the cups slides off the bolt and the record can be slid over the bolt and into place. After the record is in place, the cup is slid back over the bolt and secured with the wing nut.

After the record is secured onto the mandrel, the manual advises that the operator spray a light mist of cleaning solution on either side. Once the coat has been applied the manual advises a wait period of 1-3 minutes before cleaning.
Cleaning is just a matter of spraying the record down with the supplied hose. The manual suggests 30 degree angles, but to be honest, I used what seemed right and did not worry about it. The water is forced through a very small opening and as such the pressure is more than adequate for deep cleaning. The record is rotated on the bolt manually. The "drag" can be adjusted for more or less resistance to allow one a faster or slower rotation. Again, I left it as it was..didnt worry about it.

Once both sides have been sprayed down, you simply remove the wing nut, remove the record, and dry with a suitable towel(the manual reccomends some sort of baby wipe ,the name of which escapes me) The labels did not get wet at all. (I know Fremer had a quibble with this)

That was that. Total cleaning time per record(I cleaned 4 today that were particularly filthy) was about 5-10 minutes. Set up and tear down was very easy(as a matter of record, my 2 year old daughter followed in suit and placed her own "Mother Goose " record onto the mandrel and secured it..speaks to its simplicity)

Now here I sit listening to Willie Nelson's "Phases and Stages" and Ryan Adam's "29".

My instincts tell me that the GEM system does a more thorough job than my Nitty Gritty, but i'll have to spend more time with it.

at any rate,

I recommend this system heartily. It is a no frills, well thought out product that comes at a real-world price.

I will attach pictures later on.

Kal Rubinson
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Re: Review of the GEM DANDY record cleaning kit.

Cute. Looks like a gadget I built for that purpose way back when my lab had an ultrasonic sink. That really sped the process!

Kal

smejias
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Re: Review of the GEM DANDY record cleaning kit.

Awesome. Thanks for the report.

rvance
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Re: Review of the GEM DANDY record cleaning kit.

Cool device, nc. Which reminds me... do you have one of those hand nozzles on the rhs of the sink? If you tape the handle down and point the sprayer to the front it will hose the next person that turns on the water! Never fails to amuse...

ncdrawl
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Re: Review of the GEM DANDY record cleaning kit.

Update..I am really, really glad I purchased this device. After several iterations of wash cycles with the Nitty Gritty and the GEM Device, I can say with the utmost confidence that the GEM Device does a more thorough job. As a matter of fact, I had to use the GEM device on records that had been previously cleaned with the Nitty Gritty for a more thorough job. The nitty gritty records still had some clicks/pops/dust/grime, whereas the GEM cycled ones are spot free and dead silent.

my nitty gritty will be up for sale soon. Gem is easier to use, does a much better job, and , other than on aesthetic value, is better all-round.

ncdrawl
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Re: Review of the GEM DANDY record cleaning kit.

[image][/image]

[image][/image]

smejias
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Re: Review of the GEM DANDY record cleaning kit.

Kinky! LP bondage-a-go-go.

Buddha
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Re: Review of the GEM DANDY record cleaning kit.

Wow! Look at the bottom of the sink.

All the black stuff washed off the record!

ncdrawl
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Re: Review of the GEM DANDY record cleaning kit.

Actually, that was about 5 records worth, but yes, it is nasty. the interesting part was that some of that sludge was still on there after having been already run through the Nitty Gritty! the 5 that were dirtiest(including the Roy Acuff thing in the picture) came from someone's estate sale, got 100 or so albums for 20 bucks.(Mostly classic country, which I love, and Classical) boy, do they sound amazing now...

rvance
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Re: Review of the GEM DANDY record cleaning kit.


Quote:
Wow! Look at the bottom of the sink.

All the black stuff washed off the record!

Oh..right. I thought that was from cooking meth.

ncdrawl
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Re: Review of the GEM DANDY record cleaning kit.

Nope. I bust drug dealers, not join em..


Quote:
Wow! Look at the bottom of the sink.

All the black stuff washed off the record!

tom collins
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Re: Review of the GEM DANDY record cleaning kit.

"Oh..right. I thought that was from cooking meth."

well, he is in north carolina, that's the states' second biggest income producer after churches. (just kidding, sort of)

mrlowry
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Re: Review of the GEM DANDY record cleaning kit.

Great write up. It's always nice to see an affordable product that performs well.

ncdrawl
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Re: Review of the GEM DANDY record cleaning kit.

Well, it was Tobacco and Jesus, but the Tobacco wasn't doing so well after all the public bans. we had to do something. Jesus is still our Ace in the hole.

I love NC.


Quote:
"Oh..right. I thought that was from cooking meth."

well, he is in north carolina, that's the states' second biggest income producer after churches. (just kidding, sort of)

ncdrawl
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Re: Review of the GEM DANDY record cleaning kit.

Thanks man. I appreciate it.

Quote:
Great write up. It's always nice to see an affordable product that performs well.

wkhanna
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Re: Review of the GEM DANDY record cleaning kit.

Thanks for taking the time to share your experiance and results!

I've had a VPI 16.5 for a few months now, and have learned firsthand how critical cleaning is with regards to noise on vinyl.

The thing I have a hard time coming to terms with is using tap water. Lots of stuff besides HO2 in tap water.

Daverz
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Re: Review of the GEM DANDY record cleaning kit.

Yeah, I do worry about particulates and minerals in the tap water. I rinse with a spray bottle of distilled water before drying, but I'm not sure it really makes much of a difference. GEM does recommend using a filter if you have problems with hard water.

I've had a Nitty Gritty 1.5 for 15 years or so, but it's gathering dust now.

ncdrawl
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Re: Review of the GEM DANDY record cleaning kit.


Quote:
Yeah, I do worry about particulates and minerals in the tap water. I rinse with a spray bottle of distilled water before drying, but I'm not sure it really makes much of a difference. GEM does recommend using a filter if you have problems with hard water.

I've had a Nitty Gritty 1.5 for 15 years or so, but it's gathering dust now.


not an issue here, either.

tom collins
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Re: Review of the GEM DANDY record cleaning kit.

you convinced me, i ordered mine on friday. it sounds like such a practical idea and it sure beats 540 plus solution for the vpi. i have been making homebrew and using sponges and tap water to rinse and microfiber towels to dry, but they don't seem to be quieter when i am done. i hope to get that from this purchase.

ncdrawl
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Re: Review of the GEM DANDY record cleaning kit.

I am sure you will enjoy it, Tom.

Mr. Merill reccomends using the gerber cloth baby diapers to dry with, so I bought a pack of them, work great.

tom collins
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Re: Review of the GEM DANDY record cleaning kit.

got it yesterday. cleaned a few records. easy to use. each record was quieter riding the grooves with less pops and clicks. used the groove lube too, but noticed that the diamond was picking up a lot of crud now. have you found this too or do you have any theories, am i not spraying long enough? only a minor issue, but would be interested in any ideas.
that aside, this has to be the best hundred and a half anyone could possibly spend on their records.

ncdrawl
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Re: Review of the GEM DANDY record cleaning kit.


Quote:
got it yesterday. cleaned a few records. easy to use. each record was quieter riding the grooves with less pops and clicks. used the groove lube too, but noticed that the diamond was picking up a lot of crud now. have you found this too or do you have any theories, am i not spraying long enough? only a minor issue, but would be interested in any ideas.
that aside, this has to be the best hundred and a half anyone could possibly spend on their records.

Yes..i noticed that too. The solution Mr. Merrill developed seems to do a really great job of releasing years of caked on grime, (much more than my nitty gritty fluid)I feel that this is why the stylus picks up more crud.. I basically spray the solution , wait about 5 minutes, use the spray attachment, wet brush and then spray again, dry and use the dry brush(I use the MoFI velvet brush)... takes all of 10 minutes or so. the "crud" issue got better after several spins, (now non-existant) so I am pretty sure that it is just residual gunk that has been loosened by the fluid. btw, that bottle of fluid lasts forever.

I love my GD.. works so much better than my "fancy" machine, it is incredible. dont even use the Nitty Gritty anymore..

oh yeah.. the onzow zerodust is fantastic for cleaning the stylus... the gunk issue will get better, I promise.

make sure to let the Groove Lube dry really well!

I have a lot of different types of fluid , too...but really, the Merill stuff is perfect. I will be refilling with the same stuff.

glad you are enjoying yours. mine was really one of the best purchases I have made for my system.

oh yeah... the diapers Mr. Merill suggested are perfect, too...they don't "shed" like some microfiber products, and are pretty darn cheap.. I paid like 6 bucks for 10 of them..ive only used one, will probably go through one a year or something.

ive cleaned probably 80 or so records, got over half the bottle left...

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