Pro-Ject VS-C Record Cleaning Machine
I've been waiting a long time for this product to come to market. They announced it more than a year ago, 2 years maybe? And it's finally for sale!
I had a VPI 16.5, which was a nice machine. But it developed a terrible leak around the motor. So, I was very pleased to receive my new Project VC-S about a month ago. And it would seem that Project has examined the competition and made improvements wherever they could. The unit is heavy, with solid aluminum suction arm, and heavy duty rocket switches, seems like a rock solid machine.
It's doesn't have a platter, but it has a clamp that holds the record and covers the labels completely so they can't get wet. I feared that the record would not be stiff enough to apply enough pressure to scrub them, but in practice that has not been a problem. I suspect if you really had a train wreck of a record you could lay it on a towel and scrub it if required, but so far, I've had no issues with the way it works. Instead of a platter down in a box, the record is over a smooth box. So any fluid that may spill over the side doesn't get up under the platter or is difficult to get out of the box, you can just wipe it off. And mostly the best thing about no platter is the fact that when you clean the second side, you don't put your clean side down on a dirty platter. Both sides perfectly clean, and easily slides into a vinyl sleeve without having to touch it.
It has a bi-directional motor, so the record spins in either direction, with plenty of torque, which really helps get it clean. And you drop the suction tube made of solid aluminum with felt lips onto the record and it vacuums it dry in one single rotation. Very good suction. And quiet! Much quieter than other machines I've heard. And mostly, I can take a stack of 10 albums and clean them all in half the time. It has a plastic collection bottle inside, no drain hose hanging out the back, no leaking. It recommends you simply tip the unit up on end to dump it, but I think I'll use a small siphon hose and a cup to empty it. As I said the unit is heavy.
So I have to say it's a superior machine! One caveat, I had to screw the lower clamp plate on, and the screw was too long. So, i had to find a shorter screw. (Actually I cut the screw off) Hopefully they've fixed this minor issue by now? Anyway, it was minor and now that it's together it works great. And the good news is it's substantially cheaper than others at its quality level! Selling new at $499! Highly recommended.