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In Reply to: RE: RCM specs and features posted by email@example.com on October 16, 2023 at 11:06:59
I had the VPI 16.5 for several years and boy did it suck. Yuk, yuk.
Had a Nitty Gritty before that and it was a POS. Noisy, leaking f'ing thing ruined the finish on a piece of furniture. So, based on my experience with NG, which was not good, I could not recommend one of theirs.
For what it does the VPI is probably near as good as it gets. However, it was/is NOISY AS HELL. Deafening even.
So noise level would be very high up on my list - that and not leaking fluid all over expensive furniture.
in my extensive reading , noise has always been a primary objection. It also seems the agreed upon best vacuum machine choice is the one that feeds a wet thread into the grooves and then sucks it up as a vacuum arm tracks the record. consistently rated higher than any design that vacuums across the width of the record with a single pass.
One concern with a vacuum cleaning is the possibility of the vacuum accelerating the lighter cleaning solvent at a different speed than higher mass contaminates, with the very real possibility of the fluid accelerating so fast it becomes vaporized, increasing the accelerated mass difference , so that some mass separates out as the fluid leaves.
Whoever thought up that complex hypothesis around vacuum-based RCMs was working overtime on paranoia. Nothing in my present and past experience with my VPI HW17 would lead me to believe it has any validity. After more than 25 years without a hiccup, I am quite happy with the VPI on all counts except the tedious process of using it.
I also wonder why there is antipathy due to noise. Of course, most vacuum-based machines will be noisy, but who cares, unless you're trying to listen to music while also cleaning LPs, which I never do? My HW17 is in my basement workshop, far from either of my two audio systems, so I could not care less that it is noisy. Furthermore, the noise only pertains when the vacuum motor is running, which is only a small fraction of the time required to clean LPs. Anyway, that's my two cents.
I had the 16.5 and the 17. I thought the 17 was a better machine and worth the money (the 16.5 was worth it too). IMO it cleaned twice as well. I don't know if it was the reverse or the stronger suction or something else. I just didn't like using them or having them around. If I need to deep clean a record I can do well enough without a RCM - problem is most records that sound like they need a deep clean are damaged. Magically my vinyl playback is not so susceptible to surface noise. Thank you Dynavector.
If I ever sell my records it'll be worth getting a record cleaning machine.
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