Which record cleaner is better? VPI or Nitty Gritty?

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KCI-JohnP

I would like to buy a record cleaner but don't know a thing about them.  It seems the two most popular brands are VPI and Nitty Gritty.  The VPI looks like a better machine but I could be wrong.  Any of you guys have any experience with either or both of these cleaners?  Could you fill me in and advise which one is better and why?  We are looking in the $4-500 range.  Thanks in advance for your help.
John
PS-Also, if anyone has any recommendations of a good place to buy them that would be great too!!

mgalusha

Which record cleaner is better? VPI or Nitty Gritty?
« Reply #1 on: 6 May 2003, 01:34 am »
As an alternative you can build your own for substantially less money. Chris Brady of Teres Audio has a nice page describing a DIY version here.

I have started gathering the parts. Picked up an old Japanese direct drive turntable at the GoodWill thrift store for $7.00 this weekend. Now I just need to find an old canister vacuum to get the motor/impeller assembly from and put it all together.

I'm too cheap to spend $500 on a cleaning machine, so I can't say which is better. You might post someing in the vinyl asylum over on AA. I'm certain you would get an answer. :)

Mike

Tonto Yoder

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Which record cleaner is better? VPI or Nitty Gritty?
« Reply #2 on: 6 May 2003, 11:20 am »
I have a Nitty Gritty I'm happy with. It's whichever model that lacks automatic cleaner application, but has automatic spin and vacuum. I apply liquid manually, turn the spin on and spread liquid with a felt brush; I flip LP over (since the vacuum is underneath) and spin and suck. Now I repeat the process with the side of the LP that's now on top.

I don't have any experience with the VPI machines, but know some people prefer them. I bought the Nitty Gritty in some part due to price--Upscale Audio has some blem models they sell discounted so I couldn't refuse the deal he gave me.  For some reason, the Upscale site doesn't list any discounted price, so you have to actually call him.

Audio Advisor has those totally manual Record Doctors (which are made by NG), but they seem inconvenient to me.

KCI-JohnP

Which record cleaner is better? VPI or Nitty Gritty?
« Reply #3 on: 7 May 2003, 02:12 am »
Chris,
Thanks for the info, I am going to go check that link out but I must admit I am not a DIY type guy.  I have a tenedency to screw things up pretty good.   :oops: Let me know how yours works out.

Tonto,
   I saw those on the Upscale website and thought about calling to see what type of deal he had on them.  I did notice that Audio Advisor has the 16.5 for like $429 with free shipping, that looks like a pretty good deal.  I may just jump on it.  Thanks for your help!
John

Anton

Which record cleaner is better? VPI or Nitty Gritty?
« Reply #4 on: 7 May 2003, 04:11 am »
I have used the VPI 16.5 and now own the 17. I found that the 16.5 was a very good machine with very good results. I moved to the 17 because I have too many LPs and sometimes I listen to opera recordings (some have six or seven records). The 17 works faster, is automatic, and can handle record after record without overheating.

Tonto Yoder

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Which record cleaner is better? VPI or Nitty Gritty?
« Reply #5 on: 7 May 2003, 10:45 am »
I e-mailed Kevin at Upscale about the NG cleaners.  He doesn't even e-mail those prices, so you have to call him.

PeteG

Which record cleaner is better? VPI or Nitty Gritty?
« Reply #6 on: 7 May 2003, 04:57 pm »
I've been very happy using a VPI 16.5 for years. You can pick
one up used on Audiogon.

Tonto Yoder

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Which record cleaner is better? VPI or Nitty Gritty?
« Reply #7 on: 7 May 2003, 05:40 pm »
I think we should settle this once and for all with a Nitty Gritty vs. VPI wrasslin' competition (masks and tights will be optional).

JoshK

Which record cleaner is better? VPI or Nitty Gritty?
« Reply #8 on: 7 May 2003, 07:49 pm »
I was going to stay out of this because I haven't compared the two, but I own a VPI 16.5.  My dealer had been a dealer for both for a long time but said that really he didn't feel the nitty gritty was in the same league so he dropped the line.  Hence why he pushed me into the VPI.  

TTFWIW,
Josh

nathanm

Which record cleaner is better? VPI or Nitty Gritty?
« Reply #9 on: 7 May 2003, 08:35 pm »
I've been happy with my KAB EV-1 unit, which works great if you have an external vacuum cleaner.  (I offset the otherwise bargain price by using it with a 600 dollar Air-Way vacuum cleaner, but hey it's not only for cleaning records! :P)



You get a decent workout using this thing plus it offers great index finger exercise.  I thought about modding mine with lead shot on the turning clamp to give it some more heft.  The base also could afford to be bolted down or weighted.  But it does the trick.

randog

Which record cleaner is better? VPI or Nitty Gritty?
« Reply #10 on: 7 May 2003, 10:09 pm »
How much for that one?

I've been eyeballing these things as well having recently been getting back into vinyl and I'm stoopified :!:  at how damn pricey they are. These damn audiophile trinkets are robbing me blind.  8)

These have been on the market far long enough for the mfgr's to have gone to standard higher volume manufacturing processes and methods to lower the price to the $100-200 range (and that's being generous). I mean, wtf do you need an oak record cleaner for?  :rotflmao:

Randog

Marbles

Which record cleaner is better? VPI or Nitty Gritty?
« Reply #11 on: 7 May 2003, 11:14 pm »
Try this one:

http://www.garage-a-records.com/spin.html

Only $50 I use it and it works great.  You have to order a package of lint free rags $7.50 to dry them.


Scott F.

Which record cleaner is better? VPI or Nitty Gritty?
« Reply #12 on: 8 May 2003, 03:23 am »
Quote from: nathanm
I've been happy with my KAB EV-1 unit, which works great if you have an external vacuum cleaner.




I'll second the KAB EV-1. Don't bother with the Nitty Gritty cleaner though. The Disc Doctors cleaners are FAR superior and do a WAY better job at removing all of the gunk on your vinyl.

I built a full blown record cleaning station for mine. I used an old, cheap, TV stand on rollers. Installed a flea market portable vacuum cleaner on the second shelf. Took an old turntable, removed the bearing and platter, mounted it on some MDF, added a light and a few wire pencil holders for all of the brushes, cleaners and other stuff.

Heres the link to the article I wrote a couple of years ago or so on the Disc Doctors product.
http://www.tnt-audio.com/accessories/discdoctor_e.html

Have fun :-)

nathanm

Which record cleaner is better? VPI or Nitty Gritty?
« Reply #13 on: 8 May 2003, 04:57 am »
Randog: The EV-1 is 139 bucks.  When I got it I'm like, "Sheesh! 140 bucks for THIS!?"  But oh well, what can ya do? (build your own I suppose - heh!)  It's basically a crevice tool with a hole cut in it and some styrofoam etc.  I think $50 would be a better price, but compared to the other wood-cheeked thing it's cheap.  I can't fathom spending more, but I must admit it would be nice to have a fully automatic one.  If you listen to a LOT of vinyl you might be looking at a sore arm! :wink:

KAB website

Wow, nice work Scott!  That is definitely full-ass! :D

soundguy3

I also have the KAB
« Reply #14 on: 8 May 2003, 08:24 am »
I also have the KAB and it works great. No quibbles here!

Sounguy3

randog

Which record cleaner is better? VPI or Nitty Gritty?
« Reply #15 on: 8 May 2003, 02:51 pm »
Now you guys are talkin'!
I prefer both the alternatives to the mega-buckers. Even these lesser jobs are making a killing for what they offer. Still, it's much more palatable to pay $50 for something that should be $19.95 (doittoday!) or $139 for something that should be $59.95 than it is paying $500 for something that should be $129.95. It ain't rocket science.  :wink:

I never should have gotten rid of that old coat hanger and firehose combo I used back in the 80's...  :o

Randog

KCI-JohnP

Which record cleaner is better? VPI or Nitty Gritty?
« Reply #16 on: 9 May 2003, 01:13 am »
Wow, thanks for all the info! I think I'm just going to go with the VPI 16.5, that should do the trick.

Scott F,
Man, what a beast you built!! I like it, just box that bad boy up and ship it right on over to my casa!! :mrgreen:

Scott F.

Which record cleaner is better? VPI or Nitty Gritty?
« Reply #17 on: 10 May 2003, 12:58 am »
Quote from: Joker
Scott F,
Man, what a beast you built!! I like it, just box that bad boy up and ship it right on over to my casa!! :mrgreen:


Show me da money !!!! :)

It actually only took about 3 hours to build. Most of the stuff I got from a flea market. I'd bet I don't have $30 tied up in the whole thing (less the EV-1 of course).

Have fun with the VPI :)