Record Cleaning Machine – Recommendation Please!


I bought a VPI HW16.5 seven years ago and when I turn on the vacuum switch nothing happens.

My options:

Buy a new vacuum motor (if that’s what’s really wrong…could it be the switch?) for about $200

Buy another new VPI HW16.5 for about $700 (I’ve liked mine)

Buy a Music Hall WCS2 for about $600 (is this any good?)

Buy something else (Nitty Gritty??)

 

Any suggestion of something you’ve dealt with that’s gone well will be greatly appreciated! Thank you!


rbschauman
If it's like the vacuum cleaner motors of old, the brushes on the motor may have worn out.  That or the switch are cheap fixes.  
Fix your VPI 16.5, and then buy a DIY ultrasonic record cleaning machine. The VPI is great for really dirty records, and the US machine will take it to a new level.

All that for less than the cost of replacing your VPI 16.5
+1 @jperry . Plus I seem to recall postings identifying the motor as costing less than 1/2 of what VPI charges from the original equipment manufacturer if you do a search. There is synergy in combining the two cleaning methods.
+2 @jperry , @whart,

No-brainer.
Thank you all for your responses. Quickly convinced me not to give up on what I have. 

My brother (who's electrically competent) was over and diagnosed the problem and found it to be a faulty switch! I'll take it! 

Now just need to search the internet and find a replacement...

Thanks again for responding,
Randy
Electronic parts are available from Digikey. A big, reliable, reputable dealer, with great service. I buy a lot there.
The switch on the HW-16.5 is nothing special.  It's just an off the shelf part.  Should be very easy to find.
Thank you terry9 and mofimadness. Will keep Digikey in mind for future reference. However, I had already found the VERY switch at Grainger for a mere $2.65, and can pickup tomorrow only 9 miles away!

Happy ending :-)
I've owned about ten different record cleaner, with  the original Keith Monk's being the first. I bought it from a radio station. In my opinion the Audio Desk that does everything itself is much better than  the original.

Just slide the record in turn it on and kit the clean button. Return after about five minutes and carefully remove your clean and dry record. I had previously founjd that cleaning a record with another record cleaner improve the sound, but not with the Audio Desk.  
I'm glad that the switch problem was resolved.  I'd like to chime in and say I really like my VPI Cyclone.  It's probably a tad overpriced for what it is, but it does the job with no fuss.
rbschauman
If you have a large LP collection, you should definitely try the Klaudio ultrasonic cleaner.  Its great, love mine and use it regularly.  Much better than my old Keith Monks cleaner.
Can anyone comment on the okey nokey?
I think the Clearaudio Double Matrix Sonic Professional is (by a wide margin) the best available cleaner.

I owned a Nitty Gritty (ok if you are in a budget or good for a first cleaning of a really dirty record) and the KLAudio ultrasonic machine in addition to the Clearaudio.

The KLaudio is fantastic, BUT won’t get fingerprints, smudges or any oily substances since it doesn’t have brushes. The Clearaudio uses ultrasonic vibrations, brushes and record cleaning fluid, so it gets EVERYTHING.

My process was typically a quick wash in the Nitty Gritty then onto the Clearaudio and then finally a short 2 min bath in the KLAudio. Overkill? Yes!

But the Clearaudio alone will get you 99% there. It’s big money but worth it if you’ve got the funds.
I was in the market for a new RCM and thought I was going to purchase the Clearaudio Double Matrix Professional Sonic. One of the dealers I do business with carries the line and I had a chance to try it out on several albums. It is built incredibly well and it has a very nice aesthetic. I was already imagining where I would place it as a pride of ownership piece :)
I loved the one touch cleaning (after a quick mount and locking of the album in place). I could even push the button twice and it would automatically perform a double wash. Very cool. The problem was I just didnt think it did that great of a job. The record looked fantastic afterwards, due the chemical wash but I suspect it simply is not capable of getting to the gunk held deep down in the grooves. I went back around three times trying to make the case for the unit (I really wanted it to work for me) but at $6k and not making an appreciable difference to the sound of unwahsed Lp’s, I had to pass.
Also this unit is NOT ultrasonic, it has a "sonic" capacity in that it uses sonics to vibrate the cleaning pads but it does not generate excitations in the ultrasonic frequency ranges hence the fact that Clearaudio does not use the word Ultrasonic.

I ended up buying one of the last new KLAudio units with the external tank. I chose this for serveral reasons. It has an external fan forced radiator to actively cool the water when it gets too heated and it has a micron filter (something the all-in-one cleaner lacks) which actively circulates the water in the basin during a wash so the records are not washed in contaiminated water. The priming pump fills the resevoir and washing begins, at the same time, the water is constantly circulated back into the external tank while clean water is actively pumped through the micron filter into the resevoir. This is like the Degritter but the filter in the KLAudio is far more capable.

I purposely kept track of the records I cleaned with the Clearaudio Professional Double Matrix Sonic and re-washed them with the KLAudio. I could EASILY hear the improvement as it relates to reduction in ticks and pops but also in the sense of depth and transparency.

I was surprised to see that it does remove physical marks from the record, and I have noted the removal of at least a couple of finger prints. I will grant that I handle my records carefully so I don't have much experience with heavily finger-printed Lp's. I had a records slide in my hand and in catching it I inadvertently had a finger smudge appear. The KL took it right off. Perhaps older prints may present a challenge for a purely US machine with no surfactants or cleaning solutions added. Thats where my Spin Clean or Disc Doctor cleaning kit come in handy :)

The KLAudio is disctontinued so I bought the Silencer Case, a spare belt set, spare motor and priming pump.

If I were in the market today, I would most certainly buy the Degritter. According to an individul I know and trust who has familiarity with both units, the Degritter cleans a little better than the KLAudio, most importantly it is a current product. I could have purchased the Degritter but I chose the KLAudio for its build quality, the Silence case, external tank and filter and the Robotic arm :) Just too cool!

Really wanted to like the Clearaudio DMPS but in the end it just didn’t deliver and especially for the kind of money they are asking for the unit.