Vinyl records are growing in popularity, with Nielsen reporting a 260 percent growth in US sales since 2009. So now might be a good time to cable up your old turntable again and bring down the once treasured collection from the attic. When the cartridge coughs up a fur ball big enough to rival the household cat, though, it may be time to consider a vinyl cleaning machine. The VC-S from Austrian audio house Pro-Ject is claimed capable of washing and drying a 12-inch disc up to three times faster than the competition.
Pro-Ject says that the 435 x 335 x 280 mm (17 x 13 x 11 in), 10.5 kg (23 lb) VC-S can clean a record in two full rotations, each taking less than 2 seconds. The record to be cleaned is placed on the spindle using an optional (though necessary) clamp, the motor is started and the record starts spinning.
Some newly-developed Wash it cleaning fluid is then applied and spread across the surface of the vinyl. A mechanical vacuum arm is positioned over the top of the record to suck up the fluid. The process is repeated for the other side, and a shiny, clean, completely dry record results.
The container in the base of the VC-S can hold 2.5 liters (6.6 US gal) of used fluid before needing to be emptied. A full tank represents about a thousand cleaned records.
As with much of the Pro-Ject range, the VC-S isn't cheap. It carries a suggested retail price of €449 (about US$490), though the cost will increase as optional (but necessary) accessories like the vacuum arm and cleaning fluid are added.
Product page: VC-S Vinyl Cleaner