VPI RCM Vacuum Wand Velvet Strips

Ok Folks, I know VPI doesn't sell these but places like Disc Doctor does. Still not very cost inexpensive if you ask me. And I'm in disagreement with mintlp's Yip's method of replacment, by Gluing on any such strips. Problem is, how do you then get these off when they are shot?

From what I understand, some manufacturer, which I thought it was 3M, who makes this material, but still web-searching has prooved fruitless. I would imagine this same similar material is also used on Mo-FI/Disc Doctor Brush Pads.

Does anyone know of a better, less expensive source for this material? I'm thinking at the right source, $15-$20 worth of this material should be enough to virtually supply everybody on Agon who has a VPI RCM! Mark
It is really interesting that you can't replace the velvet lips on the wand for the VPI machines. That seems somewhat ridiculous actually. Instead, VPI makes you buy a whole new wand for $25.
(Not very "green" of them is it?)

Wand for VPI @ Music Direct

Whereas Nitty Gritty, lets one buy the velvet lips (in a four pack) for $18.50. (And they are self adhisive on one side, so no glue is necessary.)

Replacement velvet lips for Nitty Gritty @ Music Direct

Assuming that you could strip off the lips that are on the wand, do you think the Nitty Gritty pads would work? (If you need the measurements of them, just email me, and I would be glad to email them to you.)

As a side note, I think I am glad I found a used Nitty Gritty before a used VPI showed up. (I was going to buy whichever showed up used first.) And based on my friend's records, who uses a VPI RCM, I really can't tell the difference between them. (Of course, I will state that I do hand clean mine with DD brushes and RRL fluid, and just use the NG RCM as a drying device.)

I have replaced the lips on my NG a couple of times already, as I tend to replace them about once every year or so. (The lips are the only thing that really gets dirty and needs replacing.) Based on this, I spent $9.25 vs. the $50 that I would have spent had I had a VPI.

Good Luck in finding a cheaper alternative to the whole new wand.
Thanks Kurt for your reply.
You gotta figure, at $18.50, why such a ridiculously high price for these?! Even silk from the orient wouldn't be so expensive.

I'll hopefully soon find the right source to this correct peel, and stick material, and will of course share this info with the audio community.

There may be differences between what Mo-Fi uses on thier brush pads, versus what VPI-Nitty Gritty, and others use on thier RCM's? Mark
Check your local fabric store for velvet ribbon. I got a yard a few years ago and have replaced the strips on my VPI several times. I removed the wand from the black piece, stripped off the old velvet and used an Xacto knife to clean off old adhesive. 3M double-sided carpet tape works well to fasten the new velvet strips. I cut it in half lengthwise with scissors, stuck it in place, peeled off the backing, stuck on the new velvet strips, and trimmed off the extra tape. I let it sit overnight before using, to make sure the tape was sticking tight before it got wet. Works great. Make a mental note of the position of the old velvet before removing, and the position of the wand in the black fitting.
I use the Mint strips and they work much better than the stock VPI strips. Removing the Mint strips is very easy just pull them off , then i use GOO GONE to clean off the glue.You could use the lighter fluid i just didn't want to use a very flammable liquid and i had the goo gone handy.
I have found the Mint strips to clean much better than the VPI. I think they are thinner and finer which moves the wand closer to the LP .When i install them i reduce the slot area to about half . This reduces the slot area for the air to travel through and increases the velocity of the air and it removes the debris from the LP much better. The difference was amazing , you can hardly lift the tube off of the LP until the vaccuum pump is stopped cause the suction is so strong. A word of caution this restricts the airflow and may cause the vaccuum pump to shut down from overheating sooner if you clean multiple records in a row.
There are also these strips from Disc Doctor. However they always seems to be on back order!!

I use the Disc Doctor strips currently and like them better than VPI's original strips but do wish they were less expensive. The old strips come off more easily when wet and the Goo Gone suggested works well on residual adhesive. The new strips stick much better if you pre-heat the stripped wand with a blow drier first.
I was actually excited when I saw that Mint LP had strips for $1.00. Markd51, why do you disagree with the glue on method? Yip seems to beleive that it is supperior to the adhesive backed strips. I was really thinking this may be the next thing I try.
I guess it all boils down to how much your time is worth to you. From a turn key solution, a replacement tube is pretty unfussy at $25. At today's cost of new vinyl, it doesn't seem too high to me. But I see your POV from a green inititative. Sometimes when I examine an old tube, I see tiny cracks in the plastic and figure it's best to be safe and just replace the tube.
I have never actually experimented with different strips, but I'm very interested in the solutions you all mention.

One thing to keep in mind is that you do not want the replacement strips to be absorbing the fluid on the record as it passes over the LP. In worst case scenarios this will result in the wand re-wetting the LP.

It seemed to me last I looked (though I need to look again) that the VPI strips are thinner than the Mobile Fidelity replacement pads (for their brushes). The Mofi replacement pads are made to absorb the fluid. Personally, I don't want that same stuff on my wand. If I could find the same thickness/material VPI uses, I'd buy a lifetime supply.
Actually, the Disc Doctor stips are thicker than VPI's and I like them. I still think I'll order some from Mint to check them out just on the basis of cost. I have no idea why anyone would spend $25 on a new tube. Unless it's been stepped on or something this should rarely be necessary. Anyone know where to get the Pattex glue that Yip recommends to apply his $1 strips?
I use 3M 467MP transfer adhesive (tapecase.com) and velvet strips from M&J trimming. Spent a little time cutting and assembling but now have strips for about fifteen cents each. The old stip usually peels off clean and the new one just sticks on. My RCM is DIY with a pvc vacuum tube.

That tube of Pattex is contact cement. Any brand of contact cement should work.
Hmm, some interesting responses.
As I've been informed by the highly knowledgeable here, but won't diclose thier name, it appears one is SOL in acquiring the exact same material-peel+stick adhesive as VPI uses.

If a material, such as Mo-Fi Replacement Pads are long enough, (I'll have to check this) I don't think that the Nap being ever so slightly thicker would be that much of a detriment. The Suction of the VPI 16.5 Motor, shoudl be able to such a mustache, and beard off one's face. I've seen similar Eletek Vacuum Motors in Commercial Tornado Floor Scrubbing Machines!

The Venturi effect from Vacuum should be enough to such the LP dry, as well as the Velvet Strips, all at the same time. A better "cushion" between LP, and Wand may be a benefit?

Yip only mentions applying Glue to one surface. Generally contact cements work best when applied to both surfaces.
Actually Yip does say to put the glue on both surfaces with a Q tip. I have just learned though that he doesn't sell the mint strips alone(only his brush pads). As for the strips, they only come free with each bottle of mint LP cleaning solution. Still, the brushes and pads are cheap and I will probably try them. The brush pads may be long enough to cut into strips. I'm not sure on that one.
I have been using the Mint strips for about a month now and cannot recommend them enough. Over the past six months i have aquired about 20 new old stock sealed direct to disc lps. I have not been able to get them perfectly clean. After playing one side of the lp i found that my stylus had a white powdery build up on it and the highs would suffer greatly after playing a couple tracks. I have tried AIVS single step, AIVS 3 step, VPI cleaning solutions and one other cleaning solution . These were all combined with steam cleaning and i was not able to get rid of the powdery residue. I talked with the very helpful people from AIVS and they suggested soaking the lp for a few hours , this did very little to help.
I now use steam ,vaccuum, MINT cleaning solution ,steam ,vaccuum, AIVS 2nd step,steam,vaccuum, then double rinse of AIVS ultra pure water, vaccuum.
The vaccuum is done with a VPI 16.5 with the Mint strips installed with the slot reduced to 50% of the normal width. Now my lp's are perfectly clean except for the
occasional piece of airborne debris that lands on the lp during playback. I view the stylus through a 30x power microscope after each play and the stylus is perfectly clean. The only change i have made in my procedure is the Mint Strips on the suction tube and my lp's are perfectly clean. One draw back is i now find that due to the higher suction rate if i vaccuum more than one revolution on the final rinse i get a considerable static charge build up on the lp and sometimes have to go back and re rinse and vaccuum to reduce the static build up. I will have to invest in a machine to reduce or eliminate the static build up next.
I am not sure what is causing my lp's to be so clean now, it might be the thinner and finer Mint strips or the narrower slot creating more suction at the lp grooves, but it works great and i replace the Mint strips every half bottle of cleaning solution and i am sure fresh clean strips help too.
Just my 2 cents worth.