Pro-Ject gets in the groove to help clean your vinyl records
The return of vinyl records to a listener's daily dose of music may have prompted legacy album spinners to dust off some attic classics. Folks looking to remove accumulated gunk from the grooves will be interested to learn that Austria's Pro-Ject has launched two new cleaning machines.
Though a fiber brush should be enough to remove surface dust from a vinyl record, grime that's made its home in the grooves might prove more resistant to eviction – resulting in occasional pops and clicks if you're lucky, or causing the stylus to dance across the album if you're not.
Earlier this month, Rekkord Audio launched a whole surface suction machine called the RCM that cleans a side at a time using non-alcoholic fluid and a vacuum arm. Fellow Austrian firm Pro-Ject has been selling such boxy devices for years, and has now updated two of its models.
The only appreciable difference between the newcomers is their size. The VC-E2 is home to a 0.5-liter tank, measures 310 x 266 x 210 mm (12.2 x 10.4 x 8.2 in) and weighs in at 6.5 kg (14.3 lb) while the VC-S3 features a 2-liter tank and comes in at 415 x 325 x 272 mm (16.3 x 12.7 x 10.8 in) and tips the scales at 8 kg (17.6 lb).
They each benefit from a nifty magnetic clamp that protects the label during the cleaning cycle, instead of having to screw down the clamp as before. Once the vinyl record is secured to the machine's turntable, the user applies a thin coating of newly improved Wash It 2 cleaning solution to the upper surface with the supplied brush, moves the vacuum arm into position and powers on motor and vacuum.
The turntable can rotate clockwise or anti-clockwise at 30 rpm and the system sucks the fluid and dirt off the surface in one or two disc rotations, leaving no residue behind. Pro-Ject says that the waste tank in either model may never need emptying as the supplied eco-friendly, non-alcoholic cleaning solution will evaporate in the container. The VC-E2 has been treated to an improved vacuum outlet while the VC-S3 gains a new vacuum motor for more suction power. Both include a new self-adhesive vacuum arm strip for better cleaning.
The new record cleaning machines are on their way to Pro-Ject dealers this month, with the VC-E2 priced at €450 (about US$480) and the VC-S3 retailing for €699 (US$745).