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Positive Feedback ISSUE 12
march/april 2004


LíArt du Son Professional Audio Record Cleaning Liquid
by Robert H. Levi


Record cleaning fluid from Germany with a French nameósounds good to me! As an audiophile snob, I like the idea of taking care of my treasured LPs with LíArt du Son Professional Audio Record Cleaning Liquid. The fluid, which is imported by Classic Records, is supplied as a concentrate that makes a gallon of cleaner when mixed with distilled water. I think it can be stretched to beyond one gallon, so letís at least one gallon. The little bottle of concentrate is $45, so itís not exactly cheap, but other high-end solutions are as high as $179 per quart! This fluid is as effective as any record cleaner Iíve tried in my VPI 16.5, including my own brew. It also provides a bonus by counteracting the effects of lesser cleaning solutions used in the past and by rejuvenating the dynamics of your LPs.

I tried LíArt on all kinds of LPs, new and old, classic and newly remastered. It worked well every time.  It does not appear critical that one use distilled water, though I did. It states in the instructions to shake well, but donít get carried away, because the non-alcohol cleaner bubbles up. It applied to the record without fuss and was removed quickly.

The home brew Iíve used for years contains alcohol. I cleaned successive records on one side with my brew and the other with LíArt, and LíArt won every time! How, you ask?? The LíArt makes records sound more dynamic and airy. The alcohol-based fluid sounded clean, but constricted and sort of flat. I panicked, but thankfully I had been remiss in the frequency with which I washed my LPs. I quickly used the LíArt on the sides I had treated with the alcohol blend and they seemed to improve. Time will tell, but I am retiring the home brew for LíArt.

The fluid improved the sound of older LPs. I had not cleaned them recently, and LíArt performed exactly as Iíd hoped. At $100 for great used LPs and $33 for new ones, I didnít want to accidentally ruin any. I recently acquired a 45 rpm Louis Armstrong test pressing from Classic Records, and used it as a test. I cleaned half with LíArt, the other half was not cleaned. The cleaned side was quieter and more dynamic. The mids were improved, with increased definition and more palpable musical textures. Even 200-gram virgin vinyl sounded better with LíArt. An occasional wet wash is the ONLY way to assure that you get optimum LP playback.

I strongly recommend LíArt du Son Record Cleaning Liquid. One bottle should last about three years for the typical audiophile. Itís the Tabasco equivalent for recordsóit perks them up and lasts until your spouse would prefer to make reservations than dinner.Robert H. Levi