It's Record Store Day so thought I'd opine on the PHK NANO MECO (motorized) Record Cleaning Machine
, a unit I've had since early February 2011. I'm well pleased with how well the Nano Meco cleans albums, esp. for the relatively low price.
The unit ships from Brazil, which adds to the overall cost of the unit: $195 (US) + $55 shipping = $250. An image of the small-footprint, lightweight unit is pictured above (yes, it's plastic). It comes well packaged with extra bristles and a small tray that can be used to pour out cleaning fluid collected during operations (Paulo also included a cd on which he plays everything: guitar, bass, and drum machine. Man has some guitar skills!). The advertising states that you'll get cleaning fluid with your purchase. However, PHK owner Paulo corresponded that US customs operations have made it highly impractical to ship the fluid with the Nano Meco unit, so purchasers can get additional brushes in lieu of the cleaner, which is the option I chose. [Note the non-US cord plug - you can purchase a US adaptor from Paulo; however, I found it easier / less costly to purchase a plug from HD / Lowes, and install it after removing the stock cord termination.] The platter is motorized and bi-directional - change motor direction by toggling the white rocker switch on unit's front right corner. You supply a vacuum cleaner, attach the hose in the orange hole on the left side of the unit. Remember the the unit is lightweight when you turn on your vacuum during cleaning - I'm considering attaching the unit to a granite slab to give it more heft.
Operation for me seems straightforward. Put on an album. Screw down the black clamp. Turn on the machine. Judiciously squirt on your choice of cleaning solution, then drop down the brownish colored arm that has the cleaning bristles. Let the platter rotate for a couple revolutions as the bristles spread the fluid. Toggle the motor switch if you want the bristles to "scrub" in the other direction. Lift the cleaning brush, turn on your vacuum, lower the orange arm that will vacuum up the water - after two revolutions, my album seemed totally dry.1
Stop the machine, unsecure the clamp, flip over the album, tighten the clamp, and repeat the steps. After you've cleaned 10-15 albums, turn off the machine to dispose of collected fluids - the unit has a removable plug, and simply tilt the machine so to dispose of the fluid into either the provided tray or directly into your sink.
1For me, I added another step. I next use distilled water, dropped the cleaning brush, and went through a second wash / dry cycle. Also, if you have a pretty nasty album to start with, you may want to let the machine scrub longer, etc.
My results indicate the PHK Nano Meco works as advertised. Easy to use, easy to store. The speed and content of Paulo's correspondence was very good; although English is a second language for him, it never interfered with him answering any of my questions. [Put another way, his English is far, far
superior to my Portuguese.] I was pleased with using priority international shipping from Brazil to NH, took about 1 week total. I'm not sure how you can get a motorized record cleaning machine that works this well at this price unless you make it yourself. Two thumbs up.