I recently acquired a Record Doctor V and I must say that it is a game changer in the realm of record cleaning machines (commonly referred to as RCMs). Basically, it’s a manual powered VPI in the sense that you turn the record manually instead of there being a motor to turn it for you, and it’s the elimination of this motor that makes it the most affordable vacuum powered record cleaning machine on the market. At an affordable (and even lower than before) price point of $199.99 it is a must have for serious vinyl enthusiasts / audiophiles. I am never looking back after using this thing, everything is getting cleaned on it. If you want one too, you can get it direct from the source via Audio Advisor at this location. Below is a video demonstrating its use.
Whether you get the RDV or not, you should know that ALL records come dirty from the pressing plant, you just can’t see it. Basically, there is a residue from an agent/compound they use to prevent the records from sticking together when they’re pressing them. The unfortunate side effect is left over residue, which degrades the sound of the record. I can personally verify that records which appeared clean and played clean before using the RDV sound much better after cleaning them, there is more depth to the music. It really is a jaw dropping experience. So, needless to say you should have some type of way to deep clean your records effectively. Also, you should know that there can sometimes be tiny vinyl fragments within the grooves and once the needle/stylus hits it blows a hole in the sidewall of the groove and then you will have a permanent “pop” in that spot, this obviously only applies to brand new records because used records usually have been played at least once.
-Max ‘ManJewky’ Wallis
KM Co-Founder / Blog Editor