“I used my Kiwi RCM for the first time last night and I am mightily impressed!
The first album I cleaned was an old Crowded House album that I knew to have quite a bit of snap, crackle and pop on it – so I targeted it as a test. After cleaning with the RCM, all the pops were gone save for the very occasional faint example. Otherwise it was lovely, clear audio.”
Prana69 – Australian www.stereo.net user
“Suffice to say the Kiwi RCM is a real eye-opener in terms of the results I’ve been getting, and those with even modest collections should really have a serious think about investing in one.”
Over the last few years I have developed and extensively tested a motorised, vacuum assisted record cleaner. Why? Because I love vinyl. Dirty records sound bad, they don’t need to, and they’re easy to clean.
The Kiwi Record Cleaning Machine is only $499 and is proudly built in New Zealand. Some other record cleaners can cost as little as a few hundred dollars, but they are not motorised, and have no facility for vacuum cleaning the dirt deep out of the grooves. Other record cleaners cost up to $5,000 or more, and they do exactly the same thing as a Kiwi Record Cleaning Machine.
I’m one of the owner’s of Real Groovy in Auckland, and have used Real Groovy to exhaustively test my product. Real Groovy knows a thing or two about vinyl!
I started in 2008 when my own record collection grew and I got tired of the snap, crackle and pop typically associated with vinyl. Did you know that a clean record should be virtually silent? And did you know that unless a record has significant scratches, you should be able to clean it up so that it sounds brand new? Even new records should be cleaned, chemicals can be released during pressing, and handling during packaging can reduce sound quality.
Here’s a microscope pic of the same record before and after cleaning. The white specs are bits of dirt that have built up in the grooves. Each one reduces the fidelity of your record and comes through as noise.
Both sides of the record above were cleaned in under a minute using the Kiwi Record Cleaner.
Above is a picture of the dirty fluid that came from a cleaning session of 24 records. The fluid is dark brown with bits of debris suspended through it.
Only one of the records that were cleaned looked really dirty, but as in the before and after picture above, the dirt is deep in the grooves and a vacuum record cleaner is the best way to get it out.
My record cleaner uses a very high torque motors specifically manufactured for me. All you need to do is supply your own vacuum, some cleaning fluid, and a brush and you’re ready to clean. Real Groovy has researched and put together cleaning fluids specifically for 12” and 45RPM records. You can buy some and read about it here.
The Kiwi Record Cleaner has been in development for over two years. During that time I’ve tried many different designs — I think the current design is the best value for money cleaner available anywhere in the world. It combines high quality acrylic construction, with a custom motor, and a “bring your own vacuum” system that keeps the price down and leaves the quality in.
Why a bring your own vacuum? Well the vacuum is the noisiest, the most expensive, and most complex part of a record cleaner. For larger collections we recommend a wet and dry vacuum like the Ryobi VC23, only $99 in NZ (try Bunnings). Noise and over-heating are the most common complaints for record cleaners with built-in vacuums – ready made vacuums are quieter, less expensive and more robust then anything I could build in.
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