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From Stylus cleaning the record to a Record Cleaning Machine!


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Still remember vividly Ivor Tiefunbrun of Linn picking up records of the floor and playing them on the Linn Sondek to demonstrate that there was no need to clean records. The stylus would clean the grooves as it played. Then clean the stylus!

Well I got the Linn Sondek, but not sure I fully got the record cleaning bit!

Then followed the discwasher kit- still got the record brush and stylus brush- and Zerostat gun. Despite that, records were hard to clean and pop and crackle continued. Friends were suitably impressed with the cleaning ritual I would go through before playing one side of a record.😉 

Finally  settled on the Last products- record cleaning and preservative meticulously applied to every record.  This was used in conjunction with Last  stylus cleaner and stylus treatment which I still use. The AT 637 ultrasonic brush was excellent, but didn’t use it as much after I started using the Last stuff. Lost it, bought another one of eBay( before they got expensive), then found the original when shifting house. Both still working and used frequently.


Most of the records I’ve acquired over the past 17 years have not been   Last treated and I had returned to the Ivor Tiefunbrun method of just brushing/ cleaning the stylus. 

Many records I’ve purchased over the last few years seem to attract static, fluff and other specks of whatever. I also have a valuable and comprehensive  collection of 1950- 1990s -classical music that I acquired from a deceased estate. They had been meticulously cared for, but pops and crackles were very distracting. Doing the Last record clean and treatment was daunting as my hand function had deteriorated and was having difficulty getting records out of their sleeves,

I toyed with idea of an RCM for several years, but the manual handling and noise was putting me off and the automatic ones were too expensive.
In December 20 finally landed on the Keith Monks Prodigy which seemed to suit my needs. Procrastinated over 12 months due to the cost. Finally took  the plunge couple of weeks ago and received it end of last week. 

I christened the KM Prodigy last Saturday - did 5 LPs. Took me a bit of trial and error with the amount of cleaning fluid to put on the record. Improvised the process  a bit as I still can’t hold the cleaning fluid bottle and apply with my right hand. Got the routine right now. Did 10 LPs on Sunday and 10 more on Monday. Much easier than I was expecting. Seems to take about 5mts an Lp. The LED lighting feature is quite relaxing!😂


The records come out pristine and no fluff on stylus after playing.

Surprised by the improvement in SQ. Mostly ambient detail, acoustic space and depth. Instruments timbre, Low level subtle detail and just overall clarity are other improvements. 

Apart from the expense, I’m pleased with the purchase so far. Unfortunately the lower cost ones, involve more physical action and noise. I have the Prodigy on the table behind my listening seat. All there is is a sort of “buzz” when motor is on. The link here gives a good demo.






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Ahh, Ivor and his recommendations. IMO some he got quite right, and some not at all.

Using an all Linn table (LP12, Ittok, Troika) I can certainly hear dirt on the records although 'fluff' doesn't make much noise.


Cleaned records sound better to me (it's not just the reduction in clicks and pops) and clean records also wear the stylus a lot less. After all, the diamond gets worn tracking soft vinyl and most dirt is much harder and more abrasive than vinyl.



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