Clearaudio Smart Matrix RCM?

I have been trying to search around for info on this machine and there really isn't much available. The idea of being able to spin the platter in 2 directions and also the fact that it is a bit quieter than the VPI are both appealing but in terms of reliability and overall quality of cleaning I'm not sure what the real scoop is on the Clearaudio. Is there anyone out there who has experience with this particular machine? Even though the fit and finish and features that this machine has have piqued my interest, my gut is still telling me that the VPI 16.5 is the way to go because of the fact that it seems to be the workhorse that everyone uses. Any insight is greatly appreciated...
I got rid of my VPI 16.5 after 12 or more years due to that seduction of "fit and finish and two way rotation". The Smart Matrix, in fact, has that and waaaaaay better than the VPI.

However, it's also much louder than the VPi (I don't care what they say, it's a screamer)and doesn't clean as well, ALWAYS leaving a little residue.

I know I'd goofed up with the first record I cleaned. However, the VPI was gone already,sold for $300. I have a much nicer looking square box in my listening room now than I did when the VPI was here: would that it worked as well.

I've got box and papers. If you make me a reasonable offer, I'll go get a new 16.5 or used 17 in a heartbeat.
i'm in the same boat as you. looking for an rcm but scouting for something other than a 16.5. For me the noise factor is major. bi-directional is secondary....

Clearaudio appears good from what i've read on other forums. But the one that has piqued my interest is the Hannl. out of germany too. Saw one in action at an lp store last night. bi-directional i believe AND silent.... well pretty quiet at least.
I own a Smart Matrix, and I find it does anoutstanding job. Not knocking the VPI 16.5, but the guy I bought it from told me that it was much quieter, and had a better vac section. Very sturdy machine. Is it perfect, no. But for under a grand, you're gettin a damn fine cleaner. I try to have a couple of albums out and cleaned when I play vinyl. If I find something else I want to play, I take it into the other room, my office, to clean any new selections. Works out great.

Good Luck,
My advice is not to buy the Smart Matrix if you're primarily looking for a machine quieter than the VPI. It is not. You are better ff saving your money and using the VPI with the lid closed.
The bi-directinal platter I feel is unecessary. Most people spread cleaner manually anyway which is probably more effective. The 16.5 may not be pretty and it is noisey but it does everything you need it to at the most reasonable price. I have one and I'm not looking to upgrade. I always at least cover my ears during the vacuum cycle but this is a brief and intermitant part of the cleaning process.
Thanks so much for all of the info everyone. I have just picked up a VPI 16.5 this afternoon and I agree that it is a great machine. It seems to be the "gold standard" in sub $2000 cleaners overall. I'm sure that the Clearaudio works well also but the more simple and proven machine seemed to be the best bet in this case. Plus I will be able to spend some more on records so that is always a good thing as well. I would also like to comment that the noise level was less than I expected, the Nitty Gritty 2.5 that just died on me a few days ago(apparently it's a very early generation machine according to nitty gritty, they said possibly 25 years but I haven't a clue as I bought it second hand) actually made more noise than the VPI so that was a plesant surprise. It's not whisper quiet by any means but it doesn't sound like an airplane taking off either. At any rate, always good to get a consensus from the group here, thanks again...