I posted this question over at Vinyl Engine, but I would sure like Polkies feedback as well.
I am starting to get serious about getting an RCM and have begun narrowing down my choices by reading through this forum. I am still unsure which type to choose, the immersion bath like the Spin Clean, the vacuum type like the KAB EV-1 or PHK, or the pressure washer G.E.M. Dandy. My budget is under $200 for the foreseeable future so the higher priced VPI or Nitty Gritty models are out of the question. Meanwhile, due to gifts and inheritance I have added about 1100 LPs to my own collection of 400. I have also renewed my flea market hunting.
So here are my thoughts and questions for each type:
Spin Clean: http://www.needledoctor.com/Sp.....ord-Washer
Immersion tub allows a good soaking and scrubbing with the brushes submerged. Simple design, quiet, and a great price ($80). But is there really no residue left behind after just wiping and air drying or is a vacuum pickup really required?
KAB EV-1: http://www.kabusa.com/frameset.htm?/rcleaner.htm
These two vacuum type RCMs would make use of my home vacuum. Is either one clearly better than the other at getting the gunk out? Are the vacuum heads finicky or as troublesome as George Merrill thinks?
G.E.M. Dandy: http://www.gmanalog.com/gem.aspx
This is a brushless, pressure washer type designed by George Merrill, who believes that brushes damage the lands at the top of the groove which, in turn, distorts the groove and therefore the sound. Is he right? He also doesn't like the drying effect of the vacuum which can dry out the washing fluid before it gets sucked up. Is this really a problem? What bothers me about this RCM is that it uses tap water in the pressure washer. Given the scale encrusted around my faucets it seems like a bad idea to allow even tiny amounts of tap water dry in my records' grooves.
So can anyone comment on the relative merits of these three types of record cleaners. It can't be easy to make a fair comparison since no two records are going to be dirty in exactly the same way.
Thanks for reading this far.