Navigating the Differences Between MARK I and MARK II
Still thinking whether to go with Mark I or Mark II Degritter? Or maybe even suspecting that MARK II is just a clever marketing ploy? Let us put your mind at rest and address the differences between the two machines. While their form is similar, there are distinct improvements hidden inside.
MARK II includes all the best features of the earlier model, but it also has a new edge. Most notably more efficient ultrasonic architecture – and when talking about ultrasonic record cleaning machines, that’s what makes a world of difference.
Pulse Mode and why do we keep talking about advanced ultrasonic architecture?
It does come down to the technicalities, but this is what essentially makes the MARK II more energy efficient (also more cost efficient for the user), while still more powerful. So how is that even possible?
That happens thanks to the Pulse Mode functionality, which is a sophisticated and resource preserving way of harnessing ultrasonic power. With Pulse Mode, the machine uses short ultrasonic pulses with higher energy to clean surfaces. However, since ultrasonic cleaning is not continuously on – as is the case with MARK I – the average power consumption is lower, while the peaking pulses are significantly higher, improving the overall cleaning effect.
In the following graph the MARK I ultrasonic power is presented as the continuous blue graph, while MARK II, red on graph, has more powerful pulses turned on and off.
To achieve this new and advanced ultrasonic architecture, we needed to also switch out some components on the machines: the MARK II features the next generation ultrasonic generator. Meaning that it’s not something that can simply be achieved with just a software update.
Narrower sweeping window for Frequency Sweep
The cleaning effect on both machines is – in our humble opinion – unparalleled. The MARK I already has an even distribution of cleaning energy across ultrasonic emitters with its Frequency Sweep functionality. By moving the ultrasonic frequency up and down within a few kHz the machine is tapping into the different resonances of the transducers ensuring equal cleaning effect on the record’s surface regardless of location.
However, the MARK II has improved the Frequency Sweep functionality with a more precise sweeping window. Narrower sweeping window reduces the amount of time the ultrasonic amplifiers are not working on their resonance frequency. Simply put, this is good because while the cleaning effect is evenly distributed in both machines, the loss of energy with narrower Frequency Sweep is significantly less on MARK II.
With the new ultrasonic generator, we also significantly improved the fault detection. The control boards in the new MARK II machines now periodically check up on the internal state of the ultrasonic amplifier and if the amplifier is not feeling well, the device will notify the user.
With MARK I machines, the device had a simplified overview of the ultrasonic generators status and on very rare occasions, it was possible for the ultrasonic cleaning to fail without the machine notifying the user about it. This is no longer possible with the MARK II.
How much better is MARK II at cleaning?
To assess the effect and power of the ultrasonic architecture on both machines, we have run countless tests during the development phase, ranging from electrical measurements at ultrasonic emitter level to cleaning dirty records.
To illustrate the cleaning efficiency and the cleaning effect we have filmed an aluminium foil test on both of the machines. During the test a thin sheet of foil is placed in the machine and ultrasonic cavitation will dislodge small pieces out of it. The resulting tiny holes will illustrate the efficiency of the machine. Running foil tests is a common practice by all ultrasonic cleaner developers, as it gives a simple visual representation of the machine’s performance.
According to our tests, the MARK II is about 20-30% more efficient than the MARK I. The same results were also revealed with the foil test.
Is ultrasonic cleaning safe if it breaks foil?
The ultrasonic cleaners will break the aluminium foil with ease, but this does not mean your valuable discs will have holes in them. With the foil, the rigidness of aluminium allows the material to break. Plastics such as vinyl will not be affected by this. In our next blog post we will cover the safety of ultrasonic cleaning and vinyl records in more depth.
Still the most user-friendly ultrasonic record cleaning machine
We started designing the original Degritter with convenience and usability in mind and these are principles that we continue to apply to both versions of the machine. However, there are some tweaks in the MARK II that make the user’s experience even better and more reliable.
Of course, there are some cosmetic updates as well, but it likely comes down to preference how palatable they are. However, the most noticeable difference is the buttons on the MARK II. They’re fully aluminium, with a distinct “click”. This allows for a better grip when pushing and turning the knobs, giving you easier control over the machine’s programmes.