Cleaning Records

xjb123 · 41253

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Offline xjb123

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on: June 10, 2010, 12:25:03 PM
I just picked up a used VPI HW-16.5 record cleaner. What a great machine! I've been manually cleaning records for years with a DIY rig I made that uses my wet/dry vac. It got the job done but was a chore to set up each time. Wish I had purchased the "real" record cleaner a lot earlier....

Anyway, check out this video I made showing off my new toy:
www.knoodle.com/go/935

I'd be interested to hear other people's experiences cleaning records!



Offline ssssly

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Reply #1 on: June 10, 2010, 04:52:48 PM
I myself use the Gem Dandy. Basically you set the thing up in the sink, soak the records down with cleaning solution, and then pressure wash them. Definitely more messy than the VPI but very effective.



Offline Grainger49

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Reply #2 on: June 11, 2010, 12:46:52 AM
To enter the fray I bought a VPI 16.5 back in the early 90s for $300 from Elusive Disk (saw the shipping label yesterday) when they were having a moving sale.  

I have tried a bunch of cleaning fluids and have settled on the AIVS #15 for a cleaner and ultra pure water rinse.  This combo was suggested by Jim Pendleton, owner of Osage Audio.  It is the best I have used since 1972.  It does what I would call an amazing job.

Jim sells a three step cleaner and I'm trying not to find out that it works better.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2012, 01:48:17 AM by Grainger49 »



Offline Brillo

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Reply #3 on: August 20, 2010, 06:17:11 AM
Wondering how the VPI unit stacks up against the Nitty Gritty (say the base 1.0 model, realizing there's a level of manual operation with the latter machine).  I need something beyond my D4 brush, but not interested in spending a ton of $$ on a fancy machine.  Not a big fan of creating a mess either.  I'd welcome suggestions - just starting to research this topic. 

Chris


Offline Grainger49

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Reply #4 on: August 20, 2010, 07:20:33 AM
Paully has a NG.  And I have a 16.5.  I am pretty sure the 16.5 has higher vacuum.  I find that having a platter to work on, scrub, and rotate the LP is extremely handy, for me.  They can be had for $350 used on that auction site if you watch and wait.

Sadly the price increases on the 16.5 has made it hard for many guys to purchase one.  I wouldn't buy at today's price.  I caught a sale over 18 years ago.  Yet, I don't think that there is there a vacuum machine out there with a platter that costs less.  

There are quite a few threads on AudioKarma.org that describe making a home made, wet/vacuum vacuum cleaning machines using an old turntable.  The result is a pretty low cost.  You might look there.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 01:46:16 AM by Grainger49 »



Offline barry robin

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Reply #5 on: August 23, 2010, 09:23:51 PM
i've been using the machine from okki nokki with good results. internally, it's the same thing as a VPI 16.5 or a clearaudio smart matrix, but at a lower price point. worth a look, but you'll never be fooled into thinking it's on a par with a Keith Monks Machine...



Offline Brillo

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Reply #6 on: August 24, 2010, 06:33:28 AM
Looks like the Okki Nokki is about $615 USD - a bit more than a VPI 16.5.  Can't seem to find a US sales channel either.  Love the name though....

Will need to keep researching this topic.  I like thought of building a DIY machine, but not sure I want to invest the time and effort in this case. 
 

Chris


Offline Grainger49

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Reply #7 on: August 24, 2010, 07:18:32 AM
That puts the Okki Nokki at $65 more than list on the 16.5 which is made in the US.  

And now I think to mention that there is a VIP 16 that preceded the 16.5.  When buying used don't get one of these.  It is easy to identify, the vacuum tube is mounted to the lid.  
« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 01:48:19 AM by Grainger49 »



Offline Brillo

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Reply #8 on: August 24, 2010, 09:14:44 AM
Thanks Grainger.  I'll need to continue my research.  This is one of those "buy it and be done with it" sort of purchases, so want to make a good decision.  All the input is helpful.

Chris


Offline Paully

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Reply #9 on: August 24, 2010, 01:57:36 PM
I have a Nitty Gritty and have seen and used Grainger's VPI 16.5.  I doubt the 16.5 gets the records any cleaner and I would disagree (very politely) that it has a lesser vacuum.  But the 16.5 is much nicer to use and it is much easier to spread various liquid on.  The motorized turntable is a large bonus and it just makes cleaning records so much easier.  I haven't spent the money on a 16.5 because the Nitty Gritty does a fine job.  But when funds permit I fully intend on getting one.  If I was buying for the first time I would rather have the 16.5 if I could afford it.

We did build a gem dandy ourselves.  Haven't used it since we built it.  It is just too much trouble for the same results (IMHO).  Other than that, I don't know any other cleaning machines.  Check over on the vinyl asylum, this has been discussed in depth and often.



Offline Paully

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Reply #10 on: August 24, 2010, 03:38:54 PM
Talking to Grainger and reading up, the VPI may indeed have a stronger vacuum.  Wasn't my impression but I have nothing to back it up other than my subjective experience and he has photos of the vacuum motor on the VPI which does look hefty.

By the way, do read up on the Gem Dandy over on vinyl asylum plus other methods.  The people who have tried the Gem have gone gaga over it, I just wasn't one of them.  I stick by my assessment that vacuum methods are easier to use and effective, and here I think Grainger would agree, but other people have different opinions and you should check them out.



Offline Grainger49

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Reply #11 on: August 24, 2010, 10:10:54 PM
Paul, Paully, and I assembled a Gem Dandy clone after a trip to Home Depot for a small piece of change, under $40.  It was a fraction of the retail price.  He can give you a parts list.  But I wasn't that impressed.  It leaves the LPs to drip dry or you have to use a towel to dry them.  Neither the NG nor the VPI leave the LP wet.  I think both the NG and VIP suck stuff out of the grooves that has become suspended when cleaning.  That makes the Gem Dandy slower and much less effective.  So the Gem Dandy would rank below NG and VPI for that reason in my opinion.

We all have opinions, and tend to like what we have since we invested in it.  It is the cognitive dissonance theory.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 11:35:06 AM by Grainger49 »



Offline johnsonad

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Reply #12 on: August 25, 2010, 01:06:24 AM
A used VPI machine and some good fluid is all you need.  I've got an early 16.5 without a drain tube and it does the job great.  They are around for $300 or less; you just have to keep your eye out for one. 

Aaron Johnson


Offline cpaul

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Reply #13 on: August 25, 2010, 04:03:52 AM
Don't underestimate the manual Spin Clean machine.  Google it.  I just purchased one (actually, my wife and kids did for my B'day), and at $80 more or less, it's remarkable.  I'm not saying it'll do the same as a vacuum machine, but I can buy a lot of bargain basement $1 specials for the $400 plus I saved.

The albums I'm mostly buying these days are quite dirty Goodwill specials - dirty enough to gunk up my AT440MLa stylus on one or two songs, and that's AFTER a hand cleaning and use of anti-static brush or gun.  But after cleaning with the Spin Clean, I don't get any stylus buildup after playing 10-20 of these formerly dirty LPs.  Both the previously hand-cleaned and ones I haven't touched are remarkably clean.  Except for some extremely dirty ones, the Spin Clean reduces surface noise to almost nothing, quite a dark background.  I simply can't believe the difference.

OK, just my $.43 for those on a tight budget.  It'd be interesting to see a side-by-side comparison of Spin Clean and NG or VPI or the others.



Offline willspeed

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Reply #14 on: November 23, 2010, 05:01:40 AM
I have a KAB EV-1 that I bought, it works quite well and has a good price point. All manual, and you must provide the vacuum cleaner. I like it.

For the really NASTY NASTY stuff, Titebond II premium wood glue. Works wonders (after cleaning with the vacuum machine).

Will G.

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