vpi cleaner

I was looking for a cleaner and decided on the vpi. The 16.5 seems to be the popular model but cost doesn't really matter with in reason I could go to the 17 would this be a worth wile upgrade or am I just wasting money. I want the simplest thing possible and it probably won't get use to much just here and there.
The more expensive VPIs have more features, but don't clean any better. Once you get an RCM, you will learn it's more about cleaning technique than whether you move up or down one notch in a product line. Buy the 16.5 with a couple of Disc Doctor brushes and some pure water rinse and you'll be just fine. Some people buy an extra wand or two so they can use a perfectly clean surface for their final rinse.
Don't forget to use steam as part of the cleaning process, it works much better the brushes.
I have used a 16.5 for about 6 years, same machine, cleaned about 1500 lps in that time. Still looks and works like new. I have thought about going to the 17 with fan for the ability for more cleaning before the machine heats up and a bit quieter but am unwilling to pay for or have a pump I would not use. I did try steam but fount it a pain and not better than the Audio Intelegent system I use. I do let them soak a bit. I also change wands between solutions but use the same table on all. I also try to keep the cork mat clean but brushing with a carbon record brush.
One corner joint on my 16.5 split from water seeping into the seam. I'm not that surprised since there isn't much more than a butt joint and some glue to hold it together, so I'll probably reuse the internal parts and make a stronger box myself. Even though I have problems with mine (bought it used), it doesn't mean you will. As others have attested, it's a really good cleaner--just be aware that it's entry-level and all aren't created equal. Caveat emptor as always.
Should add that I had cleaned about 500-600 lps when the seam split, and I'm still using the 16.5 now.
The 16.5 is a classic, it was my first contact with such a Design. A bit loud, but with increase amount of cleaning fluids today you can get good results.
The 17 model is made for cleaning more records, it is available with a fan. I saw this unit mainly in shops from record dealers who sold vinyl and cleaned them before shipping.
I would buy an Okki Nokki RCM over a 16.5. Better build quality, auto shut off when waste cleaning fluid reservoir fills. All metal construction.

I almost bought the 16.5, but at the same price for the Okki Nokki, the decision was easy.