Discussion in 'Vinyl Nutjob World: Turntable and Related Gear' started by Falcor, Oct 10, 2015.
Good on yer, please let us know what you think.
Now,back to your OCD; how do you clean your stylus?
In between records, I use a stylus brush. After the day’s playing is done (or before and after each needledrop), I use an OnZow ZeroDust. Maybe once a month I’ll use SC1 Stylus Cleaning Fluid and a stylus brush.
I’m not THAT OCD... I used to be a lot LOT more fussy, but with a wife and two kids (level of attention to detail relatively low for all 3 - except when my wife is working), I’ve had to loosen up. Had I not, I’d be divorced, or dead of a stroke. Haha... hope she doesn’t see this...
I bought na Moth RCM 2 some years ago, it cleans in both directions. It works great, the downside being it is noisy. The test of any product is how often they come up for sale, which in the case of the Moth is rarely.
I suspect that everyone knows that new vinyl should be cleaned before first play. The thing about Lps is you can become obsessive with the dreaded DUST.
I use a carbon brush before each play and I have an anti-stat gun as well but still the bloody dust re-appears. Perhaps a good idea is to use a negative ion box. They are not expensive and do bring the dust particles to ground, a micro fibre duster can be used that really do collect up the dust.
I love the Zen look of my Kenwood KD990 deck but that piano black finish just loves to flash the dust - vinyl is great but as always there's a price to pay.
A clean stylus will not pick up dust and so about once a week I use my AT ultrasonic stylus cleaner for about 10 seconds.
I had ordered a VPI MW-1 Cyclone, but the online retailer charged my credit card when they actually didn't have a unit to sell me. They didn't bother letting me know, so the charge sat on my card for a week without me receiving a shipping notice - which, of course, prompted me to call them. This resulted in a canceled order, since they didn't know when they'd get more in from VPI.
Soooo... I picked up an Okki Nokki cleaning machine, an extra vacuum wand, an extra cleaning brush, and an acrylic cover. So far, after cleaning >2 dozen LPs, I like it.
The footprint isn't too bad - 13" x 16" x 13". It fits nicely on the 2-drawer filing cabinet I have near my listening area.
The vacuum is loud - about 91dB if the SPL Meter I have on my phone is accurate. I'll test with my Radio Shack SPL later for comparison. I use earplugs when I know I'll be doing more than one LP.
Buying 2 vacuum wands - one for cleaning phase, the other for rinsing phase - was good advice I picked up on the audio fora. It also helps to have a clean, lint free cloth to pat the velour strips dry after each use. The velour strips can get soaked, and after a few LPs, if one doesn't pat them dry, they'll leave a nice line on the record when the wand pops off the surface after the vacuum phase.
I purchased MoFi cleaning brushes, but I think I'll pass on them after I noticed they seem to shed some very fine black fibers when I pat them dry. The goats hair Okki Nokki brush drops a hair every now and again, but at least they are easy to detect. I'll probably get another Okki Nokki brush for the rinse phase.
Is it better than a Spin Clean? I'm going to say, "YES." Although I don't think it is faster than a Spin Clean - after all, the Spin Clean cleans both sides at once, and is a wash and dry process - there is no rinse phase (at least I never set up a separate Spin Clean or tub filled with distilled water for rinsing). However, I do like that I get to scrub, rinse, and dry with one unit. Not having to hand dry the LPs or wait until they air dry is a positive. I think the LPs are ready to play in less time with the Okki Nokki vs. Spin Clean. Haven't timed anything yet, though.
Although most of the debris sinks to the bottom of the Spin Clean, just knowing I am sticking my LPs into a tub of used vinyl bath water did cause a pause to reflect on the sanity of it all from time to time. With the Okki Nokki, I rinse the velour strips on the vacuum wand and cleaning brushes after a few LPs. It just seems to be a "cleaner" process than with the Spin Clean. Did I mention that not having to hand dry the clean LPs is awesome? It is.
The LPs are spotless and shiny after the process, and I believe surface noise is lowered a bit. I put a copy of Jack White's Lazaretto through the process (keep in mind it had been cleaned by the Spin Clean twice since purchase), and it definitely sounded quieter than ever. Third Man Records are known for pressings with a lot of surface noise, so the Okki Nokki didn't completely vanquish the crackling, but I'm pretty sure the LP played a little quieter than it did in the past.
Emptying the Okki Nokki isn't too much of a chore. I unplug it, grab an empty 32 oz Gatorade bottle, pull the rubber cork from the drainage tube, insert the tube into the bottle, and lift and tilt the Okki Nokki. I empty it after each cleaning session - so far, I've usually done 4-6 LPs per session. Maybe 2-3 ounces of dirty fluid comes out of the machine after each cleaning session.
I'm happy with the purchase.
So the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is on sale for $499 CAD ($350 USD). Is this a decent table or should I continue looking/saving. Probably will mate a Schiit Mani to it.
More tips for using Okki Nokki.
Keep the velour strips on the suction wand dry by patting dry with a lint-free cloth after cleaning a side. This helps keep them from getting over-saturated while vacuuming and leaving a line of moisture behind when the wand pops off the LP after vacuuming cycle.
Try to avoid going overboard with the cleaning fluid and distilled water. If there are huge puddles on the LP after working the fluid into grooves with a cleaning brush, you may be using too much fluid. If there are puddles on the surface of the cleaner, you’re either using too much fluid, or you’re being a wee bit careless. Accidents do happen, but regular puddling on the machine’s surface can be avoided.
Finally, dry (and maybe rinse if you’re super-duper anal) the cleaning/rinsing brushes after each side is cleaned. That makes sure they aren’t saturated and helps to keep the right amount of fluid on the LP being cleaned and less fluid getting sloshed onto the cleaner’s surface.
The Okki Nokki, and others like it (from VPI and Pro-Ject, etc.) are worth the investment. Wet cleaning records with the Okki Nokki really improves the listening experience!
I thought I was done with vinyl, but I think I was just done with my thin-sounding turntable. After selling my skeletal-type table, I’m drawn to mass-loaded tables like VPIs and I’m debating whether to go with a Classic 1 versus something like an Aries Scout v.1.
I’m hoping to get advice on good mass-loaded tables in the $1-2.5K range. I have a Mani v 1.2 and I’m not sure about the cartridge, maybe DL-103R?
Lots of turntable options out there in that proce range. VPI is certainly one, I went that way and throughly enjoy it. Since its been discontinued, similair options all seem to be much more expensive. VPI's quality, value and core focus has come into question since Mat fully took over for his father, so I keep an open mind about other options.
Project makes "The Classic" which might be a decent value within that price range. I would personally take some of your turntable budget and alocate it toward a good phono preamp (another whole discussion). Vintage Thorens & Linn can be high value option if you want to put in a bit of reaearch time.
As far as the Denon 103/103r, these are extremely high value solid options. 103r is kinda like 650 in the sense it will scale and perform better and better as its paired with better gear. Problem is moving to a MC cart will require a phono that can provide more gain or use a SUT.
I can see why a person might come to the conclusion that analog sounds thin with certain equipment, I came to the same realization with both analog and digital sources. Its about understanding how components sound, how they work with other components, and adjusting to a sound that is pleasing to your ear. Think of it this way, someone will try, buy, sell many dac's looking to meet their sonic preferences. With a turntable setup, you are trying to match phono, cart, table, etc to give you that same preference.
I can only give you my thoughts on the Technics 1200G as I own one. It’s an awesome Turntable and probably the last one i’ll Ever buy barring any catastrophic break downs. Having owned Technic 1200 MKII’s, And a Panasonic 1000, I can say the 1200-G is the best TT I’ve owned. If you can afford it go for it. I could go into how it sounds to me but I find that to be different for each person. I play a wide variety of music from Jazz, Rap, And rock and the 1200-G handles them all very nicely and I don’t have one single complaint. Here’s my setup to give you a better idea of what I tried to achieve in terms of sound:
Turntable: Technics 1200-G
needle/Stylus: Grado Red
Receiver: Marantz SR-6008
Speakers: Wharfdale Dentons(80 year)
Accessories: Music Hall Cork Mat
Like I said I have no complaints about sound at all and I’d definitely suggest the Technics 1200-G. If you go on YouTube you can find some Comparison’s between the Technic 1200-G and older Technic 1200’s as well as one where they compare the 1200-G to a Turntable that cost $10,000 and while the $10,000 TT does sound slightly better, it’s not enough to spend an extra 6-7000 dollars on when more thoughtful selections on components such as receiver or speakers will level the playing field. As for the 1200-G’s looks I don’t get why a lot of people don’t like it. I always thought the 1200 line from Technics was sexy but that’s just me I guess as I have always liked Technics Design. Happy hunting and be sure to come back and let us know what you got.
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