Humminguru - The budget ultrasonic with the funny name

Discussion in 'Vinyl Nutjob World: Turntable and Related Gear' started by shotgunshane, Feb 14, 2022.

  1. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    Humminguru Ultrasonic Vinyl Record Cleaner
    https://humminguru.com
    ~$465 shipped to USA

    The Humminguru (HG for the rest of the review) is a fully automatic, one step process ultrasonic record cleaner. The HG originally started as a Kickstarter campaign in Dec 2020. Shortly after fulfilling campaign backers fall of 2021, I bought one of the first retail versions in Nov 2021. The HG is produced by Happy Well Tech (a subsidiary of Happy Well International Enterprise LTD) out of Hong Kong. They also own and operate the factory the HG is produced in, located in Zhuhai China.

    Specifications:
    • 350ml removal water tank
    • Dual 40 Khz transducers
    • Dual dryers
    • 2 and 5 minute cleaning cycles
    • 5 and 10 minute drying cycles with dual dryers
    • Dimensions 13.5” D x 6” W x 10.75” H
    • Optional rings for 7” and 10” records
    • Replaceable water tank, water tank filters and record rollers
    • Low noise/Quiet operation
    upload_2022-2-14_21-25-6.png

    Simple Operation:

    1. Press power button.
    2. Fill water tank with distilled water to recommended level for record size. It will hold 400ml but I typically fill half way between the 12” and 7” level marks. Approximately 350 to 375ml would be my estimate.
      upload_2022-2-14_21-27-59.png

    3. Pour water tank contents into basin through top of cleaner.
    4. Insert water tank back into its slot in the size of the cleaner.
    5. Set switch on other side of cleaner to 5 or 10 minute drying.
    6. Press automatic button once or twice (2 or 5 minute cleaning).
    7. Press Start.
    8. Grab a beer and relax while the Humminguru cleans your dirty shit. A Belgian dubbel is recommended.
    upload_2022-2-14_21-29-9.png

    Things of note take one:

    • The power button must be fully depressed. If you only lightly press it, it will power on briefly and then turn back off.
    • New water poured in the water tank should be degassed. Optimal cavitation will not be achieved until degassed. I run a manual 2 minute cleaning cycle to degass with each new replacement tankful. Reused water doesn’t need to be degassed until replaced IME.
    • You can reuse the water. How many times depends on your records.
    • I only use the 5 minute dry time. 10 minutes is a long damn time.
    • On a rare occasion, a record is cut small that won’t rotate. I’ve ran across 3 in 300 records so far. I just stood there and hand rotated but Happy Well suggested putting a mm or two of folded paper behind the rotation wheels to accommodate the slightly smaller records (if I recall correctly).
    • A drying cycle is required to drain the basin. Unfortunately this is the only way to drain the basin into the water tank.
    • Get a drying rack, so you can keep drying cycles to a minimum. I use this Oxo Good Grips dish drying rack: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007SU1WUW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. It’s much easier on records than the racks that come with manual cleaners like Knosti Disco Antistat or knock off Amazon cleaners.
      Oxo drying rack.jpg
    • Before placing records into the drying rack, wipe down any beads of water with one of these antistatic microfiber cloths: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00009R7VT/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1.
    • Never put cleaned records back into an old inner sleeve. There are lots of choices for inner sleeves. I’ve tried many and most are pretty good, but this one is far and away the best I’ve used: https://www.marecordings.com/main/p...ucts_id=202&osCsid=4dc259d2lm2m95fh71773iuft0



    Things of note take two:

    • I use two Humminguru cleaners. One for washing/cleaning the record and one for rinsing the records .
      Humminguru dual.jpg
    • Using a cleaning agent with a surfactant will significantly improve HG cleaning in my experience. Besides aiding in actual cleaning, it helps the record get fully wet by reducing surface tension.
    • If you use any kind of cleaning agent, in any kind of record cleaning ritual, I’m of the opinion you must rinse. Otherwise some of the cleaning agent could dry on the record for your expensive stylus to pick up later and potentially cause additional noise or veiling effect.
    • I replace the cleaning water every 8~10 records cleaned. It just depends on how dirty they were. While 8~10 is average, I have replaced it quicker on occasion.
    • I replace rinsing water every 5 records max
    • Only use distilled water for cleaning and rinsing.
    • Every record gets 5 minutes of cleaning and 5 minutes of rinsing. For my workflow, I do let the 5 minute drying cycle run both times. I figure the drying cycle after the cleaning is helping blow off some cleaning solution before going into the rinse cycle. What works for me may not work for you. Experiment.


    Things of note take three:

    • I replaced the filters in the water tanks around 200 records. There’s really no recommendation time wise that I’ve found. They just started to feel drastically different, so time to go.
      Water tank.jpg
    • To ensure I’m getting as much debris out of the water as I can each cycle, I use a Melitta single cup plastic pour-over with #2 filters found here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0014CVEH6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. This makes it easier to pour the water in to the basin of the cleaner, as well as additional mechanical filtering.
      Coffee filter.jpg

    Things of note take four:

    • This is the dirtiest record I had in my collection. Embarrassingly dirty. Strangely not as embarrassing as the things that sometimes come from Gene's mouth.
      Dirty Kiss.jpg

    • After run through the wash and rinse cycles

      Clean Kiss.jpg

    I’ve cleaned just over 300 records now with the HG’s and have just a little over 150 to go. It’s dead simple to use and the fact I can set records in and do other things is important to me. I just couldn’t get on with manual cleaning. It demanded too much attention from me. Can’t drink fabulous Belgian ales if you have to use both hands the entire time. It’s also pretty darn quiet, so I can listen to music or watch the playoffs while cleaning a batch of records. It is a little on the slow side, so if you have thousands to clean, you may want to consider something that cleans more than one a time. The price of entry is cheap too; around $465 shipped to the United States via FedEx. I love the Humminguru. It’s been a great investment for me.

    At the end of the day, I’m of the opinion that no one style of cleaner or one technique is inherently better than another. Just as long as you clean your records. So get something you know you can tolerate or even enjoy. That way you’ll be more likely to use it regularly. A clean record is a serious upgrade sonically. And it’s relatively easy to do. And rinse. I really think that’s as important as cleaning your records.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 14, 2022
  2. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    Things of note take five:

    Happy Well only recommends using distilled water. However most of us believe it's because they haven't fully tested different cleaners. I've been using Tergikleen found here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019YI38Z2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    I've been using ~14 to 15 drops per gallon of distilled water with very good results.

    When I start back up cleaning next week, I'll be using Audio Intelligent Vinyl Solutions enzymatic ultrasonic cleaning solution found here:
    https://shop.audiointelligent.com/0...oncentrate-For-Ultrasonic-Machines-16ECUS.htm
    I'll be using ~15 to 16ml per gallon.
     
  3. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    Just edited for spelling and fixing links. Let me know if something doesn't make sense or go to a product page.
     
  4. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    I was asked over a text, what kind of workflow I would possibly do for cleaning and rinsing if I had just one machine. This is why I bought two! But it can be done with one. I'd probably do something like this:
    1. Run 2 minute manual clean to degass new batch of cleaning water with favorite cleaning solution (you can have a record in while degassing)
    2. Run the clean cycle manually for 5 records in a row (2 or 5 minute your choice). This means the water does not drain between cleanings.
    3. After the 5th record has been manually cleaned, run the manual dry cycle. This will drain the basin water into the tank.
    4. Let unit sit unused for 15 to 20 minutes to cool down. Cleaning cycles heat up the water and the unit.
    5. Empty tank and put in clean distilled water for rinsing; pour into basin
    6. Run 5 fully automatic cycles (2 or 5 minute your choice). This will rinse and dry each record.
    7. Drying cycles also allow the machine and water to cool.

    With my 2 machines, I usually clean and rinse in 10 record batches with 15 to 20 minutes between batches to ensure I'm never over working the machines.
     
  5. MellowVelo

    MellowVelo Friend

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    @shotgunshane, this is so helpful. I've been looking forward to hearing about the Humminguru. Do you have any experience with the Degritter? I'm curious how they compare.

    I've been hoping to enter the world of ultrasonic record cleaning, but the cost of entry has been too damn high, or the existing systems still have too many manual steps. The Humminguru gives me hope.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2022
  6. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    No, this is my only ultrasonic. I have read much about the Degritter and it certainly seems like a superior machine. However the price is ridiculously out of reach for the average user. At a 3k price point, I would hope it did more than one a time.
     
  7. MellowVelo

    MellowVelo Friend

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    Based on your reading, how is the Degritter a superior machine? I know that the ultrasonic frequency is often debated. I'm curious how you think the Degritter improves upon the Humminguru.

    That said, I agree with you that $3000 is out of reach. I'm hopeful that the Humminguru is good enough.
     
  8. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    From what I’ve read, the main advantages to the Degritter are:
    • Active filtering. As the Degritter is cleaning, it is pumping the water through a filter. Humminguru only pumps the water out of the basin prior to drying cycle and mechanically filtered when you pour the water back into the basin for the next record.
    • Degritter has more precisely matched tank/basin volume to power and rotation speed for optimum effectiveness. Humminguru spins the record a little fast for its volume of water and power output.
    • Potentially the higher kHz operation allows for deeper cleaning. 120kHz produces smaller bubbles to get into smaller places. However those smaller bubbles are less powerful, so the optimization of the unit comes into play.

    Humminguru is more than good enough for me.
     
  9. sfoclt

    sfoclt Friend

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    What brand of distilled water are you using?
     
  10. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    Nothing on purpose; just what’s easily available. I’ve used Wal-Mart great value house brand, Crystal and I think the other was Zephryhills.
     
  11. sfoclt

    sfoclt Friend

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    I ask because I’ve been using the lab-grade stuff which is expensive. I wonder if it matters.
     
  12. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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  13. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    I gave the Audio Intelligent Vinyl Solutions for ultrasonics enzymatic cleaner a chance. IMO, it did not get the record wet enough. It was more akin to just using Distilled Water, in that it didn't seem to break surface tension enough. My understanding is that AIVS designed this to be used without need of a rinse. While I can believe that, I just don't think it's good enough at breaking surface tension of records for use in the Humminguru.

    So for now, sticking with 15 drops per gallon of Tergikleen. I do have some G-sonic cleaner on the way from Groovewasher (from former employees of discwasher).

    I also ordered the black magic and black terry microfiber brushes (with walnut handle) from Groovewasher, along with G2 spray, for the stubborn greasy fingerprints than the Humminguru needs a little help with. The idea I have is to scrub those manually, when noticed, before using my HG process outlined in the review.
     
  14. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Thank you for this resource! I love that it exists and is free. I've long used the 3D printed vacuum solution we have a thread on here, but I'm sure I could fine tune and hone my pattern or technique using this.
     
  15. supertransformingdhruv

    supertransformingdhruv Almost "Made"

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    Some background:
    • I don't have any experience with ultrasonic cleaning besides this machine.
    • I've been curious about ultrasonic cleaning because spray and microfiber has not been particularly successful for me. I've been comparison shopping against other kinds of cleaners, such as spin-clean and record doctor, but only ever tried spin-clean. I didn't enjoy using it, so I never bought my own.
    • I purchased Humminguru because it seems to beat other ultrasonics on price and convenience, as well as the number of favorable reviews.
    • While I'd seen Humminguru on various youtube reviews before this thread, I decided to order one from the March batch once we started discussing it here. I'm always wary about pre-ordering, especially during the current everything shortage, but it arrived yesterday ahead of schedule.

    There's basically no setup process-- just pull out the packing materials, plug in the machine, and add distilled water. I decided to start by following their "distilled water only" instruction, but I've already put in an order for some turgikleen for further experimentation.

    Maintenance aside: I was happy to see that the water and air filter materials are called out as being washable in the manual. I was a little worried that I'd be stuck buying disposable foam filters from China, which doesn't sound very cost-effective, or cutting my own foam pretty frequently. They do provide some additional filters in the box, as well as replacement rollers and a maintenance tool. Time will tell whether this is sufficient.

    I started with the obvious thing: the dirtiest record that I want cleaned.
    • This is a 2020 pressing of a live album that I bought to support the artist-- typical 180g colored "we promise we care about vinyl" stuff with nice wide grooves. This record started out as unlistenable; my needle was pulling junk out even after a few passes with the spray and microfiber cleaning method, so I'd avoided actually playing most of it.
    • Using only distilled water, I did two 5 minute auto cycles with 5 minute drying.
    • While not perfect, this resulted in a massive improvement. The majority of the record was well cleaned, with a very quiet background and no pops. Some busier portions had significant audible surface noise, and a few pops remained at the end of the inner-most track on either side. After playing both sides, the needle did not acquire any visible debris.
    • I hope to improve on the surface noise issue by using surfactant and I suspect the inner-most track issue is just not putting enough water in. I had used the 12" indicator on the water tank, but either some volume was lost during execution or the mark is conservative.
    In conclusion, the Humminguru took me from literally unlistenable to pretty damn good in under 30 minutes (including setup and teardown). Planning to experiment a little as I continue to use it, but I found the out-of-the-box experience to be pretty good.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2022
  16. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    @supertransformingdhruv I’d say the 12” mark on the removable tank is a little conservative. I fill it roughly half way between 12” and 7” marks. Then I check it after each complete cycle as I need to top it off every so often.
     
  17. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    Finally finished cleaning my collection. Nearly 500 albums. No issues with the units.

    Out of all those, I only had 4 records that had issues rotating. The first 3 were so close to working, I stood there and applied hand pressure for them to turn. The fourth was just too small to even do that, so I tucked a piece of folded piece paper towel behind the left side rotating wheel (left side easily pops by hand, whereas right side requires use of the tool). The record rotated on its own after that. Then popped it off after that record and threw away the piece of paper towel.

    I tried a total of 3 cleaning solutions:
    Audio Intelligent Vinyl Solutions
    G-Sonic by Groovewasher
    Tergikleen

    Tergikleen proved the best in the Humminguru for me. Tergikleen recommends a range of 10 to 20 drops per gallon. I ended up finding 15 to work best for me. It gave the best wetting and cleaning combination, yet still rinsed easy. If you decide to use Tergikleen, it should be followed with a rinse.

    G-Sonic would be a suitable alternative. It had similar wetting action but it did run on a few records, whereas Tergikleen never did this. I also picked up the Groovewasher brush with G2 spray, along with the black magic pad. This ended up coming in really handy to pre-scrub a few tough looking fingerprints to spots before placing into the Humminguru.

    Most importantly, my records are so quiet now. The investment was well worth it.
     
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  18. Je La

    Je La Rando

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    This is great information. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience.

    I also leverage Neil Antin's compendium. Did you conduct any comparisons pre & post cleaning under UV light? If so, were you able to achieve visibly clean?
     
  19. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    I have not checked with UV light or microscope; just before and after listening tests, which had obvious marked improvement to my ears.

    The Vinyl Attack reviewer on YouTube has a couple of videos on the Humminguru- one a review and one a best practices/methods. I think he does an overall fair and informative job. He uses a microscope to check the records before and after and shows photos on his videos. His conclusion is similar to to mine, in that the most productive way to use the Humminguru is a with a surfactant and then a rinse. He specifically uses Tergikleen too.
     
  20. Je La

    Je La Rando

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    I saw his video before. It seemed to me to unnecessarily stir up some controversy by implying perhaps this product was not a fully operational ultrasonic machine. Since all he needed to do was conduct the foil test to confirm any such suspicion, I felt the assertion was used to gain views and thus I did not lend full credence to his observations / findings.
     

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