How do you play it without a tonearm?
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I'm not reviewing the Transrotor turntable but I am reviewing the new record cleaning machine from Germany that's also distributed by Axiss.
I'm confident this new record cleaning machine is the best currently available.
So far Lloyd Walker and I have (I think) the only two in the USA of this version. It clearly beats anything I've heard but it's very expensive.
You are very lucky to be able to experience a great record cleaning machine, I am assuming it is either a Clearaudio, Acoustech or Hanni. I have the Clearaudio Matrix and it is performs great, my albums look like brand new and sound very quiet when I clean with the Matrix.
I forgot to add in my previous post that I have an SME V with Benz LP on my Transrotor Apollon and it is a great combination. It is being run through an Aesthetix IO Signature. I am contemplating adding a second tonearm, probably another SME V or Phantom Graham with Clearaudio Goldfinger MC.
I still would like to see someone review the Apollon and make a comparison with the other high end turntables in the market right now.
Maybe after the record cleaning review Arturo will want me to audition the Transrotor. I bought the record cleaning machine, so it's not on loan.
I am assuming it is either a Clearaudio, Acoustech or Hanni. I have the Clearaudio Matrix and it is performs great, my albums look like brand new and sound very quiet when I clean with the Matrix.
I don't doubt your Matrix is excellent, I have not had the pleasure of trying that brand. My choice was inspired by Lloyd Walker who has tested most of record cleaning machines available, including two versions of the Loricraft (his previously highest rated machine for cleaning).
The new machine is called Odyssey RCM MKV and it is basically a German engineered version of the Keith Monks with extra motors and precision driven cleaning arm.
Well first off Happy Holidays or Christmas.
"The new machine is called Odyssey RCM MKV and it is basically a German engineered version of the Keith Monks with extra motors and precision driven cleaning arm."
I have to bow my head down and praise to anything that is Keith Monk or even related to it. That is "The" lp cleaner of all cleaners. I am sure that is one fine record cleaning machine.
That would be great if you could get your hands on the Apollon to conduct a review after your review of the Odyssey RCM. With your experience in this market, your observations are highly admired and respected, even in Germany. Thanks for the feedback.
Albert, when you say expensive what kind of money are you talking about? I remember, back in my vinyl days, cleaning my records with some kind of thing I held in my hand and I swirled it around the record. Zerostat? can't think of it. Maybe on of you guys could explain to me the complexities and conerns when evaluating a great vinyl cleaner? I see these babies in AS and Stereophool in ads, but they never get into anything about them. Happy Christmas to you all, warren :)
I will say anybody without experience of an lp cleaner period, well of the automatic vacumme type is definatley a deprived audiophile or enthusiast.. Not only the ease of it, but the fact they can make some dud's sound incredible after treatment of the latest greatest super deep wash and Distilled rinse.
My only question is how long before cleaning the albums again? I have used mine for the last year and basically figure on tops 5 to 10 times of play on my favorites and that is not enough to really make them noisey again, they are all still dead silent and as dynamic as ever
Maybe 3 years before being to concerned on a re-treatment of the vinyl collection?
Yes Apollon is georgeous piece of equipment. I am sure it sounds great too. I have audition various Transrotor TTs. The Sirius, The Orfeo, The Leonrado, The Tourbullion and The Gravita. Of thoes the Orfeo and Gravita sounded great, so much as to form couple of the my few reference sounds! I wonder too, why no US mag reviews these fine mahines.
As to the cleaning machines, I too Have Clearaudio matrix which does a great job of cleaning records, My only regret: I should have bought the double matrix!! Plus the matrix looks great.
Sounds like you have a lot of experience with the Transrotor turntables. The Orfeo looks a lot like the Apollon except the Orfeo is mostly acrylic with an acrylic platter and 2 acrylic sheets, whereas the Apollon has a star-shaped chassis and is manufactured as a multiple layer construction; 2 polished aluminium plates enclose a black plate made of carbon-acrylic. The platter mat is made of a carbon-acrylic/vinyl composition rests on top of in my case a 80mm aluminum paltter, the 60 mm aluminiumplatter is standard. The tonearmbases are made of a 20 mm aluminium alloy.
Regarding Thomasheisig post.
The cleaning machine from AP is based on the Keith Monks. Made from the former Importer of Keith Monks.
I agree, the problem with Keith Monks and the Loricraft is the arm is left to gravity follow the LP (groove). If you have liquid near the label it gets caught in the run out groove and does not get picked up. Plus, the string that serves as protective boundary between the high suction and the LP's surface must be moved by hand with both Keith Monks and Loricraft.
The German RCM uses a tiny servo motor to feed the correct amount of thread each time the arm traverses the LP in "reverse" (from run out groove to front of LP). This process insures clean thread during vacuuming, even when excessively applied during cleaning and subsequently flung across the LP by centrifugal force.
The retail of the German RCM is $6500.00. When Keith Monks was alive and working on a much more favorable exchange rate between Pounds, Euro's and US dollar, the Monks was about $4000.00 US dollars plus shipping from the UK.
The Monks has no motor for the string, no motor for the arm and no motor to deliver the cleaning fluid. The German machine has push buttons to accurately distribute fluid and may be ordered with twin pumps and brushes so you can use two fluids or fluid and distilled water.
So far it's no contest, I'm getting resolution I never thought possible. It does a superior job and the added cost is due to superior construction and additional features and parts not found on other record cleaning machines.
I agree, the problem with Keith Monks and the Loricraft is the arm is left to gravity follow the LP (groove). If you have liquid near the label it gets caught in the run out groove and does not get picked up.
The Loricraft PRC-3 is typically operated with the cleaning arm starting in the runout groove next to the label and moving toward the outside of the record. The pickup arms on Loricraft machines are driven by motor and not left to gravity. On mine I have never experienced liquid caught in the run out groove.
The Monks has no motor for the string, no motor for the arm and no motor to deliver the cleaning fluid.
I think the last one is correct and it is true the Loricraft asks one to turn the thread spool by hand to let out 5cm of new thread when beginning a new cleaning run. If not all, I believe at least some of the versions of the Keith Monks machines had thread take up motors, as shown in the picture of the linked Web page.
The only regret I have about record cleaning machines is not having bought one sooner. The new German RCM sounds like it does it all. Now if we could only get coin-operated models installed at local laundromats. :-)
Arturo at Axiss mentioned his Canada dealer on a couple of occasions and that they had purchased two of the latest versions, perhaps the store you mention is the recipient.
The RCM from three years ago is a different model. I have no experience with that version, although it may clean just as well ?
I'm not certain what every change is, but I think the analog gauge mounted into the stainless steel top deck is one of the improvements. This displays the actual vacuum applied to the LP in the finish stage.
Mine is obviously very new, so new that the instructions are printed in German only, even though its the 120V USA version :^).
Fortunately my son speaks and reads some German, so between he and I we managed to get it unpacked, hooked up and running.
Thomas, I agree about static. My VPI 17F gets the LP completely dry at around 6 revolutions of vacuum. At that point, the LP is so charged with static that debris is drawn onto the surface before I can counteract with my Zerostat.
Great responses here, looks like Keith Monks did build later versions with motor for the thread.
The machine I knew and used locally did not have this feature and I (wrongly) assumed all designs continued in this same way.
I also did not know the Loricraft had a motor powered arm. That motor is the force that keeps the arm from "sticking" in the run out groove and failing to pick up all the liquid. The Loricraft I played with in England while covering the audio show there was leaving fluid in the run out grooves and the arm offered no resistance to being moved by hand, unlike the Monks or my Odyssey RCM.
So perhaps the biggest difference between these later versions is fluid pump for the new RCM and the vacuum gauge. Perhaps when I get the English language version of the owners manual I will understand it's features better.
Meanwhile, it is by far the best LP cleaning machine I have ever used. The Keith Monks here locally may have done an equal quality job but my friend that owned it moved away, so I can't make a direct comparison. His machine had a hand pump (no motor). His also required moving the thread by hand. Perhaps this earlier models lacked this feature or perhaps this one was so old the motor was not functioning.
There is something wrong with the cleaning fluid or the VPI RCM??
ABSOLUTELY NOT, I used my VPI 17F for many, many years and my record library was improved both sonically and with superior signal to noise. Perhaps my dedication to the 17F is what caused me to go so crazy for the German RCM. The RCM is indeed better than my VPI and by a good margin.
My nitty gritty used with the pure 2 I think actually removes all static and debris from my records.
Are you using the Nitty Gritty machine or the VPI? I can't tell from your question.
On the topic of fluids, I no longer use Nitty Gritty, or the Disc Doctor because I tested and preferred the sonic character (or lack thereof) of the Record Research fluids.
Unfortunately, Record Research is much more prone to static build up when used with the VPI 17F (due to it's pick up tube) and I think that's because Record Research leaves nothing behind to "treat" the LP. That's good from a sonic standpoint and bad from the static standpoint.
Fortunately, the system used by Keith Monks, Loricraft and Odyssey RCM all avoid the static problem, providing superior cleaning over the Nitty Gritty and all VPI machines while avoiding the static issue.
I just did some research on the Loricraft and found this German review and images (PDF file)
It appears from the image of the arm that it does not have a motor powering it. This is in line with my experience in England at the audio show there.
Are there two versions of the Loricraft, one with a motor powered arm and one without?
Albert - I don't believe there is a non-motor-powered arm version of the Loricraft. Perhaps the pictures on your linked pdf for the Loricraft are "deceiving" as they show the pickup arm not attached to a motor. Actually, the bottom of the pickup arm shaft contains a magnet that couples to another magnet on the arm motor. The coupling occurs with the arm in place, so the pictures don't hint at this. Note the picture on the left with the 3 switches; the middle switch engages the pickup arm motor. It might be easier to take a look at the Loricraft info at the SmartDevices web site. All models of the Loricraft shown there include motorized arm.
I think you are correct that the main difference between the KM and the German RCM is the push button fluid distribution and vacuum gauge. I believe it is the nature of the pickup head design shared by the Loricraft, Monks, and now another machine that yields superior cleaning. The concentration of vacuum a thread's width away from the vinyl may be more effective than the open slot of a VPI style vacuum head.
Happy New Year,
Someone is makiing a high margin on the new German RCM "The retail of the German RCM is $6500.00"
see on ebay and it sells for 2500 euro in Germany
Albert, I use the nitty gritty machine with the nitty gritty pure 2 cleaner and NO STATIC. I am sure I could improve on the vacuum thou
I get ZERO static with VPI and record research fluids, I check it and then just run a Carbon brush on it right before played anyway which grounds out and pulls any debris and static, the albums sound perfect, not a crackle or pop, so I have no plans to spend more on a machine..
But I have to mention I do not have to run the vacumme on the VPI more than about one rotation to completly dry the surface, if you go much over 2 rotations then yes you run the risk of some added static from the velvet type padded wand used on the vacumme tube. other than That I think its a little silly to worry too much about it, especially for this kinda money we are talking. But some have it so spend it!!
I agree with Tim.
- my PRC3's arm is powered; so is the arm on every other Loricraft model currently on offer
- the arm is driven independently of the record groove; it traverses an ungrooved and/or non-spinning record just like a grooved and spinning one; it will even traverse and clean the bare platter, which I do from time to time to keep the mat clean
- best practice, as explained in the instructions, is to start the arm at the label and have it sweep outwards; you can use it the other way if you like variety ;-)
- I've never experienced liquid left behind in the runout groove, the lead-in groove or anywhere else
- twisting the thread spool by hand 1/4" after each sweep is a "chore" I can manage, especially if the alternative is paying $4,000 for someone to twist it for me!
I can certainly imagine improvements to the PRC-3, and Loricraft's newer models incorporate some of them, but what you've described so far may not address them.
- fluid dispensers only allow for one or two fluids; I use more than that
- a vacuum gauge would be useful if there's an adjustment, otherwise it serves no purpose
- string drive is a nicety that's not worth spending any money for (IMO of course)
- forward and reverse platter rotation with a slow speed for liquid distribution and brushing would be VERY useful; does the Odyssey offer that?
"I don't understand your comparisons. The SME 20 or 30 and the VPI HRX versus the Walker Proscenium Gold? You must not have heard these tables nor understand their technologies. The Walker stands alone and many times better than the rest of this crowd. I cannot speak about the Transrotor."
I am not sure who you are replying to, however, I do have plenty of knowledge of these turntables, despite being in Europe. The last sentence in your reply speaks for itself. When I referred to the Walker, SME's and VPI HRX, obviously I was comparing the character of sound to that of the Transrotor Apollon in which case it seems no one in the USA has had the opportunity to listen to one, therefore, a lack of any comparatives and snap judgment decisions cannot be made, only theories and assumptions until otherwise tested.
The turntables mentioned speak for themselves, however, the fact is their are some other turntables in this world of equal character to that elite crowd, just no one has had a chance to hear them. As soon as someone makes a qualified comparison or a review, we will be left pondering and in the dark. I will post my own rudimentary comments about the Apollon in the not to distance future.
Albert - I don't believe there is a non-motor-powered arm version of the Loricraft. Perhaps the pictures on your linked pdf for the Loricraft are "deceiving" as they show the pickup arm not attached to a motor. Actually, the bottom of the pickup arm shaft contains a magnet that couples to another magnet on the arm motor. The coupling occurs with the arm in place, so the pictures don't hint at this
That makes sense, it's impossible to know from the photo's. Good information I needed before I write a review on the RCM.
- best practice, as explained in the instructions, is to start the arm at the label and have it sweep outwards; you can use it the other way if you like variety ;-)
It appears the operation of the arm is identical for Keith Monks, RCM and the Loricraft, so the run out groove would not present any obstacle to cleaning where the grooves stubbornly direct the cleaning arm toward the center hole.
This WAS an issue with the LP being cleaned in England when I was covering the show there and photographing the Loricraft. Perhaps the demo was being done sloppily or perhaps that ONE LP had been cleaned tens of dozens of times for illustration and wound up being damaged or holding residual fluid.
Anyway, the issue is settled thanks to everyone adding to the pile of information.
As for Downunder finding the RCM at Ebay, I saw that too. In fact, if I had not included the term "Odyssey" in my text here at Audiogon to enable the search, the results are all but impossible to find.
Converting that Ebay price to US dollars is about $3600.00 and that unit is 240 volt. I'm not certain, but that fellow may be the manufacturer. I don't know what it would cost to ship from Europe and then convert it to 120 V, but it would not surprise me if it amounted to several hundred dollars. Add to this new total the import duty, profit for the importer and dealer margin for the end retailer (usually 40 or 50%) and the numbers are about right.
So, is the vacuum gauge, build quality, thread motor, possible vac adjustment or other features worth this additional money? That will be determined over the long haul.
The Loricraft has no dealer network and therefore costs less. I don't sell either machine, nor do I have plans to.
Last, is the Odyssey RCM better than the Loricraft? I can't imagine why, but according to Lloyd Walker (who owns two Loricraft machines) it is and that's the main reason I bought it. I moved from the excellent VPI 17F and wanted to make one last purchase of a LP cleaning machine, a machine that would last me the rest of my life. I think I made the right decision as I'm certain those that own a VPI or Loricraft are comfortable with their choices.
Albert, you are right. Just some Info about in general: The Keith Monks is "THE" Record cleaning Machine (RCM), it is all over the world known as the best there is. Very, very difficult to get a 2.hand one. Lots of collectors, studios, Radio Stations all over the world use it. It is very, very expensive, in Germany it was sold directly to have the chance to sell it to discriminated Vinyl Lovers.
The "Cult" about this unit made some think about copies, the Loricraft is based on that.
The Monks has the reputation to be the last one and it is true, they work all perfect.
That's the reason, why there are so rare on 2.hand, no one sells it, except he stopps listening to analog.
It is like a watch, when you want to have the "real" deal, go for a Rolex Daytona, when you only want to know the time, there are other choices.
The one from Albert is in a way the last step. Based on the last Monks version - my unit - with premium parts.
Thomasheisig, I'm out of my element here, though I have enjoyed talking with Terry Sullivan and seeing his cleaner at CES in year's past. The Monks product may be a much better vinyl cleaner than the Loricraft, but what is the difference in srp, and does the difference in cost correlate to the difference in performance?
Also, while some folks might think that the Rolie Daytona is the "real deal," I can assure you that many, many more collectors prefer other marques - particularly when it comes to chronographs. These absolute statements should be avoided...
Islandear, well, you know everything is a matter of taste, I see it here as an information platform. You can read something and what you do with it is your own decision. I know, that Information about Monks is rare and I know a little bit about, so I wrote a few lines.
What's the real price of everything? This decision is up to each own. I don't know. Is it 10x better than my previous VPI? NO, but so much better when I did a comparison that I couldn't believe my ears HOW MUCH better the sonic result was.
My comparison with the Rolex Daytona is just an example but let me say, all these socalled Collectors Items are more or less nonsense when you use them hard (Mountainbiking, lots of Temperature changes etc.), believe me, I know that. They simply do not work properly then. Always a safe return ticket to factory for Re-Adjustment. They are good for Show and to tell the World what you have but in extreme use the Daytona is the one. That's fact all over the world.
The Monks was designed for Professionals, who have to use it every day, like I wrote before. I know Record Dealers who offer customers a cleaning service for their records, they use Monks, nothing else.
Thomasheisig, I was just curious about the difference of price between the two. I agree that the performance of certain expensive products are worth the difference in price.
My point regarding the Daytona is that trying to make analgous comparisons is often misleading. For me, my 20 year old Breitling Shark Yachtsman is the ticket. It's been above 14K feet and below 60 feet (deep) and it's never had a hiccup. Is it 'better' than the Daytona? Certainly its mechanism is one of the best. And, for me, its aesthetics leave nothing to be desired. But I have friends who swear by their JLCs and IWCs. It's mostly a matter of taste (though for you and me, it's also about function).
I'll research the Monks so I can better understand your, and others, very high regard for this product. Thanks and enjoy your vinyl!