OK I called the store and found out I was mistaken... they carry Okki-Nokki and Nitty-Gritty... they must have a thing for rhyming names :)
So let me re-ask the original question. Between Okki-Nokki and similarly-priced Nitty-Gritty, are there strong opinions either way?
Thanks again for your input.
okki-nokki is better value.
at $500 all you can get from nitty gritty will be a fully manual cleaner.
turning records by hand is a right pia and a quick way to rsi.
as with all platter based rcm you don't want to put your dirty record down on a clean platter so put a piece of card or paper (cut to fit) on the platter before cleaning side 1, then remove the paper when you reposition the record for side 2.
@mambacfa: I am not 100% sure that I do not have *any* static, but I do notice a difference after changing my method of cleaning, therefore I am sure that cleaning has a significant effect, and that I can further refine the cleaning process so as to take it out of the noise equation. Also, I am not sure what else I can do in order to reduce or prevent static. After cleaning a record, I use the Milty Zero-Stat, then insert it into an anti-static sleeve. The when I go to play it, I use the Zero-Stat again, followed by a few passes with a carbon brush while it’s on the platter.
@audio_d: Thanks for that advice, it makes sense. Thanks to the other guys who replied as well. Okki-Nokki seems well-regarded!
So for now, I altered my cleaning method and it seems to have made a positive difference. I put a record on the mat that came with my TT (I upgraded to a Herbie’s Way-Excellent mat) on a towel on the coffee table. Then I sprinkle it with Nitty-Gritty record-cleaning solution (just because I have some on-hand from the hifi store). Then I use one of these painting pads...
... and spread the solution into the grooves, in a clock-wise direction, not using too much pressure, just enough so that I am sure the bristles are getting down into the grooves. Then after several passes with a back-and-forth motion, I flip the record over (yes the newly-cleaned side is now sitting on the mat) and do the other side. Then I do a final scrub/rinse in the Spin-Clean with just distilled water. Then I dry with cotton cloths and air-dry on a dish rack for an hour.
I have noticed an improvement over just the Spin-Clean, with this method. I think the next step upward would be to vacuum the record after the spin-clean rinse. But for now, I am mostly happy with the results. At some point I will get a proper RCM and I thank you all for your input!
I would definitely recommend moving forward and getting a RCM with vacuum capabilities. I have recently upgraded (substantially) my RCM. I had used the Okki Nokki for a few years before upgrading, and I went with it because dollar for dollar it seemed the best value. I really liked the forward and reverse feature. A few minor issues though, and they are not huge: 1) Its is fairly loud 2) the full platter, so that when you clean one side and flip it over to do the other side you are laying your freshly cleaned side directly on the platter. 3) the hold down clamp has a small outside diameter. It does not cover the label, so when you spray your cleaner on the LP you risk wetting the paper. I solved this by simply cutting a disk from an empty windshield washer jug and drilling a spindle hole in the centre. Just place that on the label before the clamp goes on, and the label is protected.
I think once you do get a new RCM you will be glad you did.
Good luck Erik
Hi Erik. It's a 56 panhead (slightly modified HAHAHA)
I went up to the Clear Audio Double Matrix Pro Sonic. It is a fabulous RCM, with a price tag to match!!! I am primarily a vinyl listener, and my collection is quite valuable to me, so the cost of the Clear Audio was justified as I deem it to be a good maintenance tool to ensure long/clean/quiet life to my precious albums
If you haven't seen it, this record cleaning method might be the ultimate:
It's based on a DIY ultrasonic cleaning method developed by Harry Weisfeld of VPI. The good news is that the recommended ultrasonic machine and record spinner aren't very expensive - only $200 or so each. And a record vacuuming machine is an integral part of the method, so you can build your way to it starting with the Okki-Nokki and pick up the other pieces later. Reviews of the method say it gets close to master tape quality from LPs. Weisfeld says:
Just remember one thing guys, my basement has two USC machines lying there dead with a total retail price of almost $10K. My Chinese USC for $179.99 has cleaned over 3000 records and is still going strong with its Spin-Klean still working perfectly and 1 micron fish filter for $100.00
I make my own record cleaner using the formula from the 1996 Stereophile. The cost is next to nothing, I make it a gallon at a time and my records are all spotless and silent. I clean at every play.
I have shared this formula with hundreds of audiophiles all over the world and have dozens and dozens of emails from those who agree it's the best thing they have ever used. I try and mention this every time I see someone inquire about cleaning fluids.
Email me. n at normansizemore dot com and I will send you the reprint.
"You can get it from Music Direct for $499 with no tax and free shipping."
mktracy- no tax? You're not implying you don't pay your states sales tax? Remember the line on the state form you're supposed to state EVERY out of state purchase and declare tax owed?
An agent who's also an audio freak may be reading these forums!
umm...that's not how commerce works here in the U.S.A.
Online retailers simply put the burden of taxes on the buyer, regardless if you're in the state or not.EVERYONE is responsible for tax on a purchase. You're not exempt just because you purchased something out of state.
Perhaps you're not aware it's been a subject govt. has been trying to resolve with online purchasing for years. For now, it's left to the consumer, to be responsible.