Gorgeous record cleaning machine declares war on dirty vinyl
Vinyl record sales have been steadily growing over the last decade, after having been declared a dying format with the introduction of the Compact Disc. But you may discover that the albums brought down from the attic are not as pristine as they once were. The latest cleaning machine from Keith Monks Audio can help rid your classics of clicks and pops caused by dust and grime.
Carbon fiber brushes can help remove quite a bit of surface dust, but to really get into the grooves and dislodged caked-in grime, you'll likely need a dedicated cleaning machine. Some give records an ultrasonic bath, there are those that spin and dry, and others employ surface suction. The lattermost are broadly split into two groups – whole surface suction (where the vacuum arm reaches across all of the grooves) and point suction (where the vacuum nozzle moves across the surface of a record somewhat like a tonearm cartridge in reverse). The Prodigy is a point suction cleaner.
Not only that, but it comes from the British audio house responsible for the first commercial electric record cleaner, which was originally designed to meet radio broadcasting standards for the BBC. To celebrate the company's 50th anniversary, Keith's son Jonathan has launched a bamboo-housed, liquid on/liquid off beauty that promises whisper quiet operation, ease of use and can not only clean vinyl records, but also CDs, Blu-Ray discs and Laserdiscs.
All Keith Monks machines have been built with two key elements in mind. First, that the record is efficiently cleaned without stripping the vinyl of its natural plasticizers. And second, that the experience mustn't be tedious.
The new 22 x 6 x 9-in (55 x 14 x 22-cm) machine is reported capable of cleaning both sides of a vinyl album in around five minutes, while quiet operation means that users can simultaneously listen to another record on the home hi-fi system. And where previous Keith Monks machines have made use of a thread to act as a buffer between the machine and the surface of the record, cushioning the nozzle tip and protecting the surface, the Prodigy has gone threadless for "simpler, easier and more effective" cleaning.
The cabinet has been injected with multi-colored lighting to add an element of fun, and the system comes supplied with a bamboo lid, a microfiber fluid application brush and some discOvery cleaning fluid. It's available now for US$995. The video below has more.
Product page: Prodigy
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For most just a record cloth following the grooves 2x around should do the trick.