What do you think about record cleaners?

Project record cleaning machine VS-S3. Vs. VC-S2. What do you think about record cleaners? Are they worth the money, and which models do you like. The project models look interesting.
I Live in the UK.

https://community.naimaudio.com/search?q=record%20cleaners

There are a number of older threads on here discussing RCMs.

If you have a collection of old vinyl and still regularly buy secondhand LPs I reckon a record cleaning machine is pretty much essential.

Originally I had a Nitty Gritty RCM which served me well and must have cleaned thousands of LPs over the 25 or so years I had it. Eventually though it started to show its age and use and so I replaced it with a Pro-Ject VC-S Mk1.5 which was inexpensive and an excellent bit of kit, still doing sterling service here.

I like the look of the latest Pro-Ject VC-S machines, with their aluminium casework, although I might miss having a lid - one of the neat things about the earlier VC-S units was that you could fit a transparent turntable lid to the top thus keeping the cleaning top surfaces and arm clean and dust free. I also like the fact that spare/consumable parts are cheap and easy to buy, and you can also buy a 7 inch cleaning arm for those 45 singles and EPs.

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Have a VC-S2 and it is so worth it. Cleaned a lot of records on it and no issues and the results speak for themselves.

Sounds a lot better and the stylus stays cleaner and wears less.

Combine with anti-static inner record sleeves for best results.

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Yep, definitely worth having in my view.

Being able to clean new vinyl which are often covered in debris and to get rid of the charged to the max with static is as useful as rescuing second hand purchases from years of miss-handling. Properly clean records, aside from generally sounding better, must save wear and tear on stylus and vinyl too.

I saw an interesting if long video the other day on the subject. If you search you tube for ‘Record Cleaning - part 1: the myths, the theory, the practise unravelled’ you may find it interesting.

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If you use and still buy records, cleaning machine is a must, unless someone does cleaning for you. Like VC-E model.

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Thanks, I will check it out.

Most vinyl needs only a very occasional clean imho, but every 5-10 years (or after buying old vinyl) it is pretty vital. Not only does grungy vinyl waste your expensive turntable and phono stage and sound dull or noisy or both, but it also reduces increases cartridge wear.

There are lots of decent machines - I have an Audiodeske Systeme. However I don’t understand why people don’t lend/ borrow them. After all, mine sits unused for months at a time, and that is probably true for many here. So we trust each other so little?

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It’s a great idea, but needs a way to facilitate, not sure this forum’s AUP is particularly amenable to it either - makes contact between users tricky other than by individual consent.

Perhaps @Richard.Dane could suggest if he or Naim would countenance suggestions, or if the idea is just totally out of the question?

Too many issues for Naim, hence why loans etc are strictly forbidden as per forum rules.

Secondhand record dealers will often offer a cleaning service.

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No problem Richard. I am sure we can post on another forum that has more helpful and less-SQ-restricting rules if we want to share kit.

It’s probably my fault for trying to be helpful in that way here, but hardly insurmountable.

For years I have used a Knosti Disco Antistat which certainly is a very effective little thing for about £60 and does reduce surface noise for sure. You do end up basically bathing records in fluid that has been used to clean other records though so there is a risk of contamination. It’s a slow process too because the records just air dry - no suction.

I contemplated upgrading to a Pro-Ject machine for around £350 but the noise is an issue as they sound like a hoover. That tends to spoil the mood of a listening session and prevents me being able to clean any records while anyone is in the same room watching TV. The drying head also ends up potentially contaminating subsequent records due to the design but there’s no question they offer a big bang for the buck and they were top of my list.

I recently reviewed a Loricraft machine though which is vastly more expensive (£2000+) BUT it has changed my thinking completely. The Loricraft machine eliminates all of the disadvantages of the cheaper machines:

  1. It’s quiet, like really really quiet thanks to its expensive medical dialysis derived suction pump
  2. The drying head is a small vortex head on the end of a tonearm. The only thing that makes contact with the record is a length of cotton thread which automatically advances through everytime a new record is cleaned so there is never any contamination from previous records. The vortex also creates far more suction over a smaller area than the slot suction type machines like Pro-Ject.
  3. Waste fluid collects in a jar attached to the side of the machine which you can easily detach and take to the sink. With the Pro-Ject you have to take the whole machine to the sink to empty its tank.

The quietness of the Loricraft means I now don’t have to batch clean records and can just clean them as I play them if they need it. I can also do it while others are watching TV and it doesn’t set my nerves on edge with a hoover-like roar.

Surface noise is certainly reduced, even with a lowly Disco Antistat machine and even more so with the better machines. The Loricraft has a dramatic effect on secondhand records I buy.

Quite honestly I now feel that I’d rather save up for longer and aim for the Loricraft (or one of the Keith Monks machines that operate on the vortex/bobbin principle too).

As ever in this hobby there’s a risk of budget creep! With the need to buy secondhand vinyl nowadays due to discs being out of print I think some sort of cleaning machine is vital

Hope that helps, JonathanG

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“Made by SME in Steyning, West Sussex, England.” Didn’t realise that. Cheapest SME product on the market today!? :smiley:

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I have an Audiodeske Systeme machine. Use on new records one cycle (a must), 2nd hand two cycles. Store in anti static sleeve and stays done for years. Can recommend highly enough.

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I also use an Audio Desk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner Pro. It works well, but they are expensive, up to $4600 now in the U.S. I justify having one since I have over 4000 LPs in my collection, and growing. For someone with a few hundred records or so that might be a more bitter pill to swallow.

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I have never owned or used a proprietary record cleaner, but I use ‘green paper’ and Stylast fluid on the stylus of my cartridge before playing any LP side. That allows the stylus to ‘clean’ the record as it plays, and I don’t have a problem with ‘dirty’ LPs.

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I used a Okki Nokki vacuum based RCM for about 5 years and loved it. My records were cleaned well and stylus detritus was significantly lowered.

Last year I upgraded to a Degritter ultrasonic cleaner which takes record cleaning to the next level. It’s not cheap either but I have not regretted the investment. I’ve cleaned around 1,000 records with it now and am hearing new levels of detail from previously cleaned vinyl for sure. Stylus detritus is pretty much non existent.

My advice would be to invest in a RCM. You won’t regret it.

“Source first?”……… start with cleaning the grooves. I don’t think there’s an environment closer to the source (apart from the original recording/pressing machine I guess?) :smile:

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Hi, After ruining a stylus (which thankfully was reaching the end of its life) by unwittingly playing a gunked up second hand record that a rudimentary wipe did not clean, I decided to investigate options and settled on a ultrasonic solution in the form of a Hummingbird. It works really well with hardly a crackle to be heard after cleaning.

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The more LPs you have, the more a record cleaner makes sense. But the spirits somehow argue about the remaining questions of the topic: Which design is quiet and with what design can you also play a record while another record is cleaned? Which design cleans more thoroughly? Which is more comfortable?

I started with a simple nitty gritty ccopy offered by KAB many years ago moved on to a VPI 13.5 and finally switched to a record cleaner that is quite similar in the working principle as the Keith Monks KMAL, what´s the reference in record cleaning since 1969. It´s a Minos. This is more than just a blessing for the ears. Finally, no more noise, and the suction is whispering with a much higher cleaning result.

Thus I recommend a KMAL or Loricraft PRC4i.

This will pretty much cut all vacuum cleaners out of the running. Not at all saying that for you this not an important requirement for you and others out there. But for the cost difference of an Ultrasonic cleaner the 5 minutes spent cleaning the new record would mean a lot of incoming records for this to become a factor.

Again this is not saying it is not a valid point to take into consideration for yourself and other. Merely saying this would never feature for those in my shoes.