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  1. #1
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    Record Cleaning Machines (RCM) - Anyone build one?

    I've wanted to purchase a record cleaning machine. What's kept me from proceeding is the exhorbitant prices I've seen for some of these contraption.

    In my frustration, I've done some searching and I've discovered several DIY projects on the net . I am inclined to emulate one of the projects.


    But before I proceed further down this path --has anyone here built there own DIY machine? What are your impressions? Would you do anything differently to improve your initial design?

    Could you kindly share designs and/or pictures?

    Thanks - Much appreciated

    (Maybe this discussion belongs in the DIY forum but I thought it would be more relevant here)

  2. #2
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    don't have one, don't need such an expensive thingy too,

    I think JRA built something like a vacuum record cleaner thing, I'm sure it's effective, but I seriously don't know how he made it...


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  3. #3
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    I would love to get one made by VPI, SOTA, ACCUPHASE, and others, but dont they just have a cleaning brush that just glides of the surface? I would rather scrub used records manually with brute force. If you only play brand new LPs, then VPI looks great.

    I just used a Dirt Devil Wet Vaccum, with LAST microfibre cloth glued around the nozzle. It's ugly as hell, but works really well. I was going to throw it away for my relocation, but not a chance.

    Some velvet cloth will do fine, but I didnt have any luck finding them.

    How about the one made by KAB? $130 isnt too bad, if you have an extra vacuum sitting around. If you can make one for much less, then why not. I've seen about 6 different designes, but they all seem to be the same. How fancy are you trying to go? I'm sure they'll turn out great. How is your DIY TT coming along?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    I would love to get one made by VPI, SOTA, ACCUPHASE, and others, but dont they just have a cleaning brush that just glides of the surface? I would rather scrub used records manually with brute force. If you only play brand new LPs, then VPI looks great.

    I just used a Dirt Devil Wet Vaccum, with LAST microfibre cloth glued around the nozzle. It's ugly as hell, but works really well. I was going to throw it away for my relocation, but not a chance.

    Some velvet cloth will do fine, but I didnt have any luck finding them.

    How about the one made by KAB? $130 isnt too bad, if you have an extra vacuum sitting around. If you can make one for much less, then why not. I've seen about 6 different designes, but they all seem to be the same. How fancy are you trying to go? I'm sure they'll turn out great. How is your DIY TT coming along?

    I've seen a couple of used Shop WetVacs that would do nicely. This actually spawned from the DIY turntable project. The original platter and bearing from the donor TT would not allow me to upgrade to an acrylic platter. So I decided to use it in a RCM.

  5. #5
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    That's cool man. I wish I had kept my old Marantz 6100 TT for some future purpose(at least the platter and spindle. That was perfect for cleaning my records.

    Alot of DIY designs on the web use VPI RCM's arm and tubes. Are you looking at those, or going to make it yourself? If I rememver correrctly, alot of DIYers never had too much success with big shop vacs..too much sucking can be bad sometimes.....What?

  6. #6
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    I was frustrated because I could not find the VPI vacuum tubes mentioned in some of the threads.

    After a few searches, I found the VPI upgrade kit.

    I think Ill pick one up and utilize it in my setup.

    http://www.elusivedisc.com/prodinfo.asp?number=HW-3015
    Last edited by squeegy200; 01-27-2007 at 09:34 PM.

  7. #7
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    What "manual" alternatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by squeegy200
    I've wanted to purchase a record cleaning machine. What's kept me from proceeding is the exhorbitant prices I've seen for some of these contraption.
    ...
    Thanks - Much appreciated

    (Maybe this discussion belongs in the DIY forum but I thought it would be more relevant here)
    Some of my vinyl could use a light cleaning. But my LP collection is under 200 and, anyway, it's my intention to record 'em to digital then pitch 'em. So I'm not about to buy a $500 record cleaner.

    Any low cost "manual" methods or devices that do a good job.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular royphil345's Avatar
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    The next thread down turned into a discussion about cleaning. A couple people listed their tools and methods. Question about a turntable cartridge

    Gluing a piece of velvet or LAST microfiber to the wand of a cheap wet / shop vac like JRA did sounds like a great idea for extracting after a manual scrub. I just remembered I have a Hoover carpet cleaner I will definitely get around to making a record cleaning extractor attachment for... Great idea!!!

  9. #9
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    I love it, cuz I can flood the surface with the solution and scrub'em clean. But I think 3-6 drops of a solution would be fine for new records.

    I thought there was someone here who said he can rent a NittyG RCM for about 10 a day... I think RCM should be experienced at least once. Some records cannot be saved, but more than 75% of my heavily used records are sounding great like the cough drop candy commerical.

  10. #10
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    My local club had a software swap meet this weekend and I picked up several LPs. Most were preowned by caring audiophiles but a handful are in need of some deep cleaning.

    I guess more motivation to build the RCM.

    I ordered the VPI upgrade kit and I sourced a small 1.2A Vacuum pump.

    People have been responsive and sending me recipes for cleaning solutions. So many good suggestions especially on what brushes to use and how to use them.

    Good stuff! Thanks!

  11. #11
    Vinyl fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    I thought there was someone here who said he can rent a NittyG RCM for about 10 a day... I think RCM should be experienced at least once. Some records cannot be saved, but more than 75% of my heavily used records are sounding great like the cough drop candy commerical.
    That would be me - I've got a local HiFi shop that will let me take it home for the weekend for $10.00 - it's a great deal because they throw in the cleaning fluid, too.

    At least I don't feel a need to buy an RCM with this available!

    Bill

  12. #12
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    Finished the RCM

    I got the VPI RCM upgrade kit this weekend so I went to work.

    I assembled a small platform using some scrap melamine board and furniture grade fasteners.

    Positioning the platter and the arm wand were simple but the height in relation to each other was a challenge. Fortunately, the VPI arm wand has a lot of adjustability to it.
    The platter and bearing comes from an NAD 5125 turntable which can be acquired for cheap.

    I used a VW heater hose to attach the arm wand to the 1.2A mini vacuum which I positioned underneath.

    I tested it by cleaning a few of the records I acquired from last weeks Record Swap meet.
    This thing works great!



    Total cost was $80 including the arm wand ($65) and the vacuum ($15)
    If you would like to see the construction photos go to
    http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v7...ing%20machine/

  13. #13
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Sold!!!

    I'll write you a check for $100+shipping. Thanks man, I appreciate it.....

    Oh well but seriously, well done.

  14. #14
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Nope

    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    I would love to get one made by VPI, SOTA, ACCUPHASE, and others, but dont they just have a cleaning brush that just glides of the surface? I would rather scrub used records manually with brute force. If you only play brand new LPs, then VPI looks great.
    With the VPI, there are two steps: a scrub n' wash phase and a separate vacuum stage. Place the record on platter and fire up motor. For dirty records, place liberal amount of fluid on disc. Scrub using separate hand held brush. *Then* close lid, and engage vacuum. The felt on the pickup tube only protects the disc from getting scratched during the cleaning process. Repeat as necessary.

    I've had mine since 1983. Replaced the pickup tube twice.

    rw

  15. #15
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Still going strong eh?

    $20 a year is something we all can handle, but all at once is more than a stretch for me. I think VPI RCM are built strong enough for users to apply strong pressure in the platter.

    btw, I never got the answer back from you.. Was it easy to install the arm for your Scout?

  16. #16
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    $20 a year is something we all can handle, but all at once is more than a stretch for me. I think VPI RCM are built strong enough for users to apply strong pressure in the platter.
    Back in the day, spending $350 on a substantial improvement to vinyl playback was a no-brainer. There weren't any other choices. I'll have to admit that digital today can be very good, indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    btw, I never got the answer back from you.. Was it easy to install the arm for your Scout?
    Whoops, sorrry! Operator error.

    Well, the trick is always getting the azimuth correct. Measure twice, cut once. The actual process of drilling the hole and mounting the arm took, what fifteen minutes? The Souther arm comes with a mounting protractor that facilitates installation.

    rw

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