Record Cleaning Machines

That's my experience I would like to share, probably the one or the other will benefit:
As a long time VPI 16.5 user, I always thought, the real important thing is the vacuum.
Cleaning fluid needs some time on the record to get into the grooves, helped by scrubbing.
And when 1 wash is not enough, ok, then another one ...

Now I got a Keith Monks RCM and I simply could not believe how much better that one is.
The vacuum with the string, which sucks every grrove is so much better it is hard to describe. No joke, I used records I cleaned* 5x times with my VPI and still had some noise, now it's gone. And, the fluid after the cleaning is DARK.
The improvement in dynamics was not subtle ...
I think, the Keith Monks is rare, really rare and there is another one, which I think is really interesting, it is based on the same system.
The Loricraft.
A excellent choice, too.

Happy listening.

* L'Art du Son
Yes, the Loricraft does work on the same thread principle as the KM. The original concept came from an editor at 'Gramophone' magazine back in the 1960's.

The LC also outcleans a VPI, much as you described for your KM. I believe your KM is even better though. Isn't your thread mechanically pulled through the waste tube? The Loricraft doesn't do that. With a Loricraft you have to give the spool a little twist after each vacuum sweep to help the vacuum pull the thread along.

Nice acquisition. The improvement in lowered noise floor with this vacuuming system is very noticeable, as is the ability to get ramped lead-in grooves cleaner.
Yes, I believe you guys! I have the VPI 16.5 & I think that it is average. I've had it for over 2 yrs now & cleaning 2nd-hand LPs is a royal PITA with this machine. Sometimes 5 times is not enough! I give up & just listen with the pops, crackles & tics! :-(

I probably need to change my RCF too. Right now I use a home concoction of 91% alcohol, bottled water & Dawn dish cleaning liquid. I also use the VPI RCF. My plan is to switch to either Disc Doctor or RRL for phase 1 & to Orbitrac for phase 2.
Hey Thomas. Doug, you knew I'd chime in here. My experiences with the Loricraft were identical to yours and Thomas' and I too had the VPI 16.5 for years. It still amazes me how much of a difference it makes.
91% alchohol is far higher than any other formula I've seen. In addition, '4yanx' recently posted that there are ingredients in Dawn that could *possibly* damage some vinyl formulations. I know nothing of chemistry, but those facts would give me concern about those cleaning solutions, regardless of the RCM.

In addition to DD or RRL, check out the AIVS thread here:
Well, with respect to the KM, I'm glad to know that SOMETHING that costs 10-15 times more than what Im using yields more than a 5-10% increase in performance... :-)
On my VPI 16.5, when I beta tested the two step cleaning fluids from Audio Intelligent Vinyl Solutions, the creation of Audiogon member Paul Frumkin, there was an impressive benefit. So, even with the more reasonably priced VPI unit, budget-minded vinyl enthusiasts can really enhance the retrieval of information from the grooves.
Paul's website, and the original Audiogon discussion thread from which his user comments are drawn, both give lots of positive feedback if anyone needs to get up the courage to try new cleaning solutions for use on the more widely owned cleaning machines.
I'm jealous Thomas. Knowing your standards I believe what you say. I wish I could afford one of these myself.

I called Keith Monks in England last year and they mailed me a brochure and price. I think the dollar has slipped since then. I still have it on my wish list, especially after seeing the LC and Garrard 301's at the High End Show in London last month.
By the way, here is a link to my image of the Loricraft LP cleaning machine. It can be seen directly behind the gentleman, pointing out the beautiful Garrard 301 painted in Bentley color scheme.
I'd like to confirm Listener57's view of Paul Frumkin's AIVS record-cleaning products. My LPs have never sounded as good or looked as shiny. Really amazing stuff.
I have two, a second one as back up, and to the question on the thread. It is unwound mechanically but the thread is vac'ed into the waste bottle.

The Monks outclasses all other record cleaners by a huge margin.

On fluids, I use: 33% IPA, Double distilled water, a small amount of "Lysol" and a couple of drops of baby shampoo for my old formulation.

No I use Tergitols, and a biocide in water. I think the above formulation works better despite the repeated warnings on alcholh leaching plasticizers.

I am a ChemE, with a lot of chemistry and a fair amount of time in vinyls. It may leach the plasticizer but the residence time on the vinyl is pretty low so I am not concerned. In 30 years I may find it a mistake but for now, it beats wearing them out with dirty grooves.

Build my record cleaning solution at your own risk. The alcohol in my formulatins have been as high as 50%. My reference cleaning disk, Cowboy Junkies, Trinity Sessions, shows no degredation after repeated cleanings and usage.

Yes I clean them every time!!!

Thanks for the info on how the KM unspools the thread, and also for your take on cleaning solution safety from someone with knowledge in the field.
Loontoon, Doug mentioned earlier in this thread that I had read some material recently on plasticizer leaching in vinyl visa vis some of the ingredients in households cleaners - particularly fragrances. What Doug did not add is that I also mentioned reading about how certain enzymes and enzyme-based cleaners would attack certain plasticizers, including dioctyl phthalate, a dibasic fatty acid, and the most common plasticizer in vinyl. What is your take – leaving the issue of alcohol aside for the moment?
I am in Australia and it is difficult (and expensive) to buy isopropyl alcohol here and I would like to know if pure ethyl alcohol (ethanol) is interchangeable. Ethanol is both easy to get and very cheap and using it instead would make life much easier.
Add me to the list of Listener57 and Dopogue's positive experience with Paul Frumkin's AIVS. It beats anything else I've tried by a wide margin. I previously considered upgrading my record cleaning machine and now have no intentions of doing so. Even the difficult to clean lead in grooves of used records are now as quiet as the rest of the record. I understand the pure science about leaching of plasticizers from vinyl but liken it to sun exposure. Five minutes of sunshine is not going to burn me nor give me cancer. That's about the time it takes me to clean a record. I judge it to be safe but only time will tell.
Add me too. My order arrived today, and I'm spending the day cleaning & listening. Great stuff, thanks Paul.
Ditto on the AIVS product! I have been using it for about a week. Really good stuff for cleaning used additions to my LP library. I also really like RRL cleaners, but this AIVS's specialty is cleaning those exceptionally dirty specimens.

I am still using a DIY rcm with good results. I can't see how a VPI rcm could be any better than what I have now. When I can purchase a commercial rcm I think I will bypass the VPI and go for a Loricraft.