Pro-Ject Audio Systems, manufacturers of hifi turntables, launched their first Record Cleaning Machine (RCM) in 2016. The VC-S received high praise for its simple design, effective cleaning ability and solid build. Now, the Austrian company are expanding on the knowledge acquired from their first RCM to release a MK II version with improved performance and features.

The VC-S MK II still uses a specially developed cleaning solution and high-powered vacuum technology and also improvements around the arm, motor, clamp and chassis.

The VC-S MK II has the same specially selected vacuum technology as the original model, meaning a record side can be dried in as little as two rotations; but the motor has been replaced with a new low-noise type that still delivers the torque and speed required for quick operation. The new motor is also still capable of dual-directional rotation, for deeper cleaning of the record groove.

Elsewhere, the VC-S chassis now has printed (rather than stickered) labels for a more professional finish. Similarly, the new long-life brush with plastic handle gets deep into the record groove for optimal cleaning performance. The re-designed stainless steel clamp makes an even more reliable fastening to the platter spindle, while the rubber layer on the inside of the clamp continues to keep record labels dry. Finally, the improved plastic flange with additional internal sealing ensures a smooth adjustment of the vacuum arm, while retaining high suction performance. Otherwise, the overall design of the VC-S is retained in the MK II. The clamp avoids the need for a platter, which could potentially bring dirt into contact with a clean record surface; and the vacuum arm is robust and mechanically stable with no spring mechanisms.

Everyone with a collection of vinyl records knows how important it is to keep them clean. Every use exposes them to environmental impurities that accumulate over time, resulting in a build-up of dirt inside the record grooves that can negatively impact the playing cartridge’s lifespan and the overall sound performance of a vinyl hifi system. This dirt often consists of both organic and man-made residues that combine to “grate” at the record wall when a stylus is in the groove. While there are ‘Dry’, or mechanical, ways of cleaning records – such as using a carbon fibre brush – these methods are often only capable of removing lighter, surface-layer dust and dirt, and have no effect on the deeper-lying, more damaging impurities. Pro-Ject have therefore settled on a ‘wet’, or chemical, method for the VC-S MK II which makes use of a cleaning solution to dissolve any dirt and remove it from the record walls. The drawback of the wet method is that the records then need to be dried in a way that removes the remaining dirty fluid. The solution is therefore to follow the wet cleaning method with a vacuum process that removes all moisture from the record surface, leaving a clean, dry record that’s ready to play.

Operation of the VC-S MK II record cleaner is simple. First, apply a small amount of cleaning fluid to the record surface using the supplied applicator bottle and set the motor spinning. Then use the supplied goats’ hair brush to spread the fluid across the record surface, optionally changing the motor direction to ensure the entire groove is covered. Finally, set the vacuum arm over the record and turn the suction on. Within a few rotations (in both directions), the record side will be cleaned and dry, ready for playing. The accumulated solution that’s sucked through the vacuum is filtered away from the built-in electronics and stored in a 2.5 litre waste container. The fluid level gauge on the side of the VC-S chassis indicates when the tank is nearly full, and discharging the waste liquid is simple with the supplied funnel.

The VC-S MK II is supplied with Pro-Ject’s improved cleaning solution, Wash-IT. Wash-IT does not contain alcohol, which can harm record surfaces. Instead it contains only high-purity components, which are 100% eco-friendly, non-toxic and non-flammable. It’s also designed to evaporate without leaving any residue on the record surface after drying. After mixing with distilled or demineralised water, one litre of Wash-IT can be used to clean up-to 1,500 records.

The VC-S MK II is supplied with all the accessories you need to get started, including 100ml of Wash-IT. Separate accessories, including an optional dust cover, a 7” record cleaning kit and various sizes of Wash-IT cleaning solution, are also available.

SRP £349.00 available in the UK now.

 

 

 

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