For machines, IMO the best bang for the buck is the VPI 16.5. Audio Advisor in Michigan also sells a proprietary Nitty Gritty machine called I think the Record Doctor.
If you don't want to spend $500, and don't mind a little work, the Disc Doctor system works well for a fully manual solution http://www.discdoc.com/
I have a copy of "Tea" as well, and it really is not just decent, but quite wonderful. My experience is that steam cleaning cleans better than any spray, machine, et al. There are lots of comments on steam cleaning on Audiogon. You really might check those posts. Also, although cleaning is a good thing, don't expect the finished results to be as rewarding as is a good setup/system.
No time to fool around. Nothing but a Keith Monk's professional unit will do. You can land a brand new, double platter unit for about $5,000., but after that you will never need another record cleaning machine. Think of all the time ou will save looking for something better. Best of all is the when we have your estate sale, your heirs will be $5,000. richer, as these never brake down.
I've never tried the steam cleaning machines; MapleShade carries one but I cannot remember what it costs. I am pretty sure that they have an unconditional 30-day money back guarantee...
I use the VPI 16.5 and it seems to work pretty well. I'd go for that.... Check AudiogoN's for sale items as well as eBay, perhaps you can pick up one that is used...
I have owned both a Nitty Gritty 1.0 and now a VPI 16.5. I prefer the 16.5 for its automation, but an automated Nitty Gritty might be just as easy and effective to use. I am not familiar with Premier spray on cleaner. Most spray cleaners in cans I would think leave a residue of some kind. You should check the ingredients of this cleaner before you continue to use it. I use Walker's Prelude record cleaning system which might be more than you need or want. I think the VPI Record Cleaning Solution works quite well as a one step cleaner and is obviously a match to a VPI RCM. I might add that the VPI at least allows you the ability to go to a multiple step cleaning system like the Walker Prelude should you wish to do so now or later. The most basic RCMs without any automation are not user friendly for a multi-step cleaning system like the Walker and while the initial price might attractive today, the most basic machine might outlive its usefulness in a year or two.
You're wise to take care with your record collection. Microcare Premier in a spray can does a fine job removing mold release from older LPs. However it cannot serve as the sole cleaner in your arsenal. Minimally the Premier should be followed by a pure water rinse. For optimal results consider the Walker Prelude system with final rinse - imo, this is current state of the art in record cleaning kit. A bit pricey, but it definitely does the job.
If your 'Needle Doctor' is a vacuum machine similar to the Record Doctor sold by Audio Advisor, do not give it up just yet. Try it with the Prelude system or similar - the machine is a bit of work, but keep its felt lips clean and it will reward the effort with effect vacuuming. I used one for many years before spending more dinero on a Loricraft, and they work fine for a small collection.
There is nothing out there better than disc doctor.Repeat nothing. Easiest when used with a VPI RCM but pretty good when used as is.
Some of us (probably most of the regulars on this forum) would disagree about Disc Doctor. The enzyme based fluid systems from AIVS and Walker outclean DD by a wide margin, and are also far easier to rinse off without leaving a residue.
The DD brushes are pretty good though.
Personally, I have a Nitty Gritty and found that steam cleaning is better, and cheaper. I have a Perfection steamer that was about 20 dollars from Waldgreens, and I'm in business.
Grimsbylad...have you tried steaming?? I don't think you would repeat again those words if you had.
I would personally save the money and buy the cheapest, hand-turned Nitty Gritty. Also, I would recommend the Audio Intelligent fluids - I have had great results with them.
Stringreen, have you used both the steam cleaning along with your favorites cleaning fluids... That is extremely good. I've done just the steam cleaning and by itself leaves more than a bit to be desired, IMHO. To me it is like the job is done half way. If there are finger prints on an LP, after steaming they are still there but after using the AI they are gone.
Clearly you don't wipe the condensed steam off with a microfiber cloth. If you do, I haven't found anything better.