In love with my Loricraft

After spending a day trying to get the unit set up correctly, and many phone calls to the great people at Smart Devices, (and reading an old post of DougDeacons that helped me identify why the arm wasn't moving) I finally got to experience the joy of a Loricraft PRC3 with an acrylic cover.

Turns out the arm magnet base needed some vaseline to allow it to seat fully.

I really have to do some before and after testing to really tell if I am getting the improvement I think I am over my 16.5. I however can say that one LP that was truly in bad shape with lots of scratches, now actually sounds quite a bit better, and I did seem to experience the greater blackness that some people have posted about.

I do not find that it takes considerably longer than it did with the VPI, with 2 passes, some time allowing the AI enzymes to work, etc.

The huge thing for me (aside from not having to wear earmuff protectors) is that I can now actually clean some LP's while talking on the phone with friends that seem to want to talk all night. I had tried that a few times with the VPI and had to mute the phone when I hit the vacuum switch.

Also when I get the urge to clean and hear something late at night I can actually now do it without fear of waking people, and can simply clean for hours without overheating/fluid overflow.

Sure I feel a bit foolish about spending more on an LP cleaner than most people spend on their entire music system, but I guess I'll just choose to keep the cost to myself.

Obviously I wish I had bought the unit a while ago when I first learned about it (and was cheaper), but I did get in before this current price increase, which in my estimation just pushes it over the edge in terms of cost (for me anyway). It seems impending price increases lately have really gotten me to buy items I hadn't planned on. But it seems Loricraft has made improvements to the machines over the years, and now include a reverse, leveling feet and an arm rest which is nice.

To be fair, the price to performance ratio of the VPI 16.5 just can't be beat. It's a machine anyone with even a casual interest in vinyl should own.

I also seem to be getting fluid being spun onto the top, and I plan to try cutting some synthetic chamois material into a shape around the platter to absorb the fluid. Drying the spill for just a one LP cleaning session is a bit of a drag. But it seems like I need to use that amount of fluid to get good coverage.

The acrylic cover really helps to dress the unit up and will be a huge help in keeping the unit clean since it sits near a window.

It's purchase I never would have had the courage to make were it not for the great posts of Loricraft users here and on the asylum.

Incidentally, after placing my order, I happened to see a brand new VPI Typhoon in person, and started to wish I had ordered that. It was not yet set up so I couldn't hear how loud it was compared with my 16.5. It would have been a nice comparison, and the Typhoon looked like a very nice machine as well.
So, apart from the noise reduction vs a VPI, what are you in love with? What else makes the Loricraft functionally superior to others? (I clean records in my basement workshop, where noise is not an issue, and I don't try to talk on the phone while doing so.)

Congratulations! I'm also a new Loricraft owner and it has exceeded my expectations. My early experience is similar to yours. Cleaning records with the Loricraft seems to allow my analog setup to extract more information from the albums with (?because of?) a quieter background. However, it is not a miracle worker. While Loricrafting damaged records may make a heretofore unlistenable record "listenable", it will not make a damaged record sound like new.

I did have a live demonstration of the 'Loricraft' effect prior to purchasing but I did not do a direct comparison to other RCM's. I must concede that there could certainly be an objectively superior or cheaper solution. For me, the Loricraft provides a good value by increasing my enjoyment and appreciation of my vinyl collection. If someone finds a different solution that provides similar value to them, I am happy for them and interested to hear their thoughts. That's what makes the hobby fun!

Enjoy your new Loricraft.

My recently acquired Loricraft was DOA. It required a new gear system for the arm mechanism. The Dealer was able to repair it and I was good to go.

In one sense the Loricraft is a ridiculously expensive tweak. Here on the 'gon $2400 can buy some very nice jewelry. And you can pretty much forget finding a used PRC 3/4. They are as rare as hens teeth these days.

However, in my case it proved extremely cost-effective. About thirty percent of my records were too dirty to listen to comfortably. With good cleaning solutions (thanks dougdeacon) the results are very very good. Unless the record is damaged. As others have noted, nothing will repair a defective record.
Did you have a demo of the Keith Monks unit, which tops Lori in price? These UK units have now become very expensive due to the appreciated pound.
Lewm asked Emailists:

"So, apart from the noise reduction vs a VPI, what are you in love with? What else makes the Loricraft functionally superior to others?"

I've owned a PRC-4 since Dec. '06. It replaced a Nitty Gritty 2.5 I had owned for about 20 years. A few features I like about the Loricraft (apart from how quiet it is, which *is* a big advantage):

1. Manual control of fluid dispensing/cleaning brush pressure.

2. Bi-directional - spins in either direction with a flip of a switch, which helps in scrubbing dirtier LPs.

3. Can literally run for hours without overheating (my old Nitty Gritty 2.5 got pretty hot if I tried to clean more than 3 or 4 LPs in a single session).

4. Built like a tank.
I just did a comparison with a great used LP - Oscar Peterson Trio - Night Child (on Pablo today) that had been previously cleaned with the 16.5 using Audio Intelligent fluid step 1 and 2. I listened closely then repeated steps 1 and 2 with the PRC3.

What I was specifically listening for was the cymbals, which are quite nice on this LP, as well as the last track on side 1 that uses small chimes.

I find sometimes on comparisons of gear I like to focus on very discrete details, since they are easier to remember than many instruments all at once.
I have used the wood block sound on this LP before to compare tweeks - it's a simple sound and easy to remember. (I didn't listen for the wood block on the VPI pass, but I remember it standing out well on the Loricraft pass)

On the PRC3 pass, what I heard was a more extended top end with higher placement of the cymbols in the soundstage, and definitely more of a metallic sound. The chimes seemed to image wider across the stage and have slightly more detail. I also thought I heard less pops and ticks - but can't say for sure.

Obviously I'll be doing this test a few more times as I begin to reclean LP's with the new machine, but so far, to my ears it seems like the sonic benefit is there, as well as the usability issues I happen to like.

Is my little test conclusive? Not really since there is no way to know if one more dual pass on the VPI would have yielded better results than the first.

Is this a must have accessory? No, I don't think so - it's rather expensive, especially now. I do however consider some type of vacuum type RCM a necessity. I'm sure there are people getting good results with steam alone, or some other method, but I think they key is to remove particles in suspension under vacuum pressure. How one accomplishes the task is up to them.

I'm just happy I no longer have to keep hunting the classifieds hoping that one day a PRC3 will pop up that no one has claimed before me.
Try steam cleaning - equipment costs..about 50 dollars. Results...better
Sorry for the apparent "tone" of my post. I really was only curious to learn about the Loricraft as it might be compared to my VPI HW17. The HW17 also is bi-directional, and the cleaning fluid can be dispensed either from the storage reservoir by pressing a button or from a hand dispenser. The HW17 is very rugged but surely is also very noisy, very much like a commercial vaccuum cleaner in that regard. I wouldn't want to use it in my audio listening room, but since cleaning LPs requires all my attention while I am doing it, I don't attempt to multi-task. Therefore, having it in my basement suits me and my family just fine. I once tried to compare two cleaning fluids by cleaning opposite sides of a very familiar and much loved LP with one or the other. At first I thought for sure there was a definite difference in performance of the two fluids, but the differences I thought I was hearing did not stand up to closer scrutiny. Perhaps this is also true of comparing RCMs; most of the "good" ones are similarly good. That's why I wondered what might be lovable about the Loricraft.
In the end, go with what works for you. There is always something newer, bigger, more pricey, but that doesn't mean anything really. There are always trade offs as well.

The Loricraft suits me just fine.
Emaillist : Knowing how particular you are with regard to phono carts, be assured that Steam Cleaning has much to offer you, but the process does take longer with the LC and is hands-on, hard to do when you are on the phone.All the best.