A quick review of the Pro-Ject VC-S vinyl record cleaner. There is not much to say here review wise except that I absolutely love this totally functional machine. It is not pretty, or quiet but if it was beautiful and quiet it wouldn’t do the job properly, and let’s be clear, if you’re going to do it, do it properly (It’s why you’re playing vinyl anyway?).
Out of the box
Everything you beed to clean 150 vinyl records, both sides, is included . The fluid is included as is a goat hair brush (very important). The box itself is actually very boxy, MDF I guess and heavy so be careful. A Note of caution. The fluid is concentrated so needs to diluted 1:10 or 1:20 distilled water (not tap water). I rushed in spraying neat fluid everywhere of course. It’s fine but diluted it is a better process. I went with 1:15 in the interests of compromise, using condensed water (fairly pure) from the laundry dryer in the absence of distilled and it is fine.
The silver arm you can see attaches to the vacuum that is housed in the main body of the box. The idea is that you put you record on the spindle at the top, clamp it down with the clamp that has soft rubber to protect the label. The clamp covers the whole label to prevent ant soiling of the label. Then using a switch you turn the motor on to spin the disc and spread the fluid. Then you lift across the silver vacuum arm, place it above the vinyl, almost touching. The with the motor spinning the disc fire up the F-15 Tomcat, or rather the vacuum that sounds like an F-15 Tomcat, it’s loud. One spin and you’re done (or two).
Clamp the record
Drip some diluted fluid on the disc and spread it, switching the motor on to turn the vinyl. Use the goat haired brush.
With the disc spinning, turn on the vacuum. It sucks the fluid and dirt away with a very powerful suck.
Switches are robust and positive, well constructed.
The reservoir of gunk is clearly visible, you pour the dirty fluid out through the hole above with a spout that is provided.
Put simply, here is before:
Here is after, on the GyroDec, perfect. ‘April Skies’ has not sounded as good for a while (In Rainbows in the background has been cleaned twice, for no reason).
I can’t really add any more to be honest. If you love your records, I think for £300 this is essential and is the best solution I have come across. In the past I have used Multi-purpose wipes (which is likely why the above record looked so poor). I’ve also tried Isopropyl alcohol with soft mittens which I thought was sort of OK, but alcohol is not a good idea, apparently, hence the fluid in the Pro-Ject VC-S is not alcohol based.
In terms of ease of use, it is dead easy, I used some soft gloves (thank you AudioPro, again), you’re just lifting and putting the arm over, fire it up and you’re done. I have managed 14 records in 30 minutes which I think is about right, a minute a side or so. I will try my hand at YouTube this weekend and update this post with a video, technology permitting.
You can buy it here. The Pro-Ject VC-S is retailing at £299. I’d go halves with a friend, one of you stores it, why not?