RECORD DOCTOR V - record cleaning machine
Unbeatable value for vacuum record cleaningRated 5/5 based on 1 reviews.
By far the best way to clean a record is a wet cleaning process using a vacuum record cleaning machine to remove the dirty fluid.
And the most economical machine on the market today is the Record Doctor V.
Other brands and models offer more features, are heavier duty for continuous use, or are quieter - but the RDV provides the essential facility of sucking off the dirty fluid at a price point less than half of most alternatives.
Even if you only have a modest collection of vinyl records this machine will be easy to justify because of its low price.
Free regular parcel post included for Australian addresses only. International buyers will need to email us for a freight quote.
The Record Doctor record cleaning machine was introduced in USA about 2003. Over the years several versions came along but the cost of manufacturing the wooden cabinets rose steadily. The RD Mark III sold for US$299. In 2013 the Record Doctor V was introduced, and due to being manufactured in China the retail price was able to be reduced to US$199. A 230V version was also made available at a price of US$299.
Due to the current exchange rate and freight costs the Australian price for the 230V model is $365.00 including GST.
So if you enjoy listening to vinyl, you can hardly afford not to get a Record Doctor vacuum-powered record cleaner. It not only cleans your records, but it can also help prolong their life by keeping them free of dust, dirt, and grime.
"I think this compact all-in-one box is the way to go," reports Michael Fremer in his AnalogPlanet.com review for November 27, 2013. "I highly recommend the Record Doctor V to any serious vinyl fan who's been without a vacuum machine."
The vacuum powered Record Doctor is the most highly recommended low-price record cleaning machine in the world. Stereophile magazine calls the Record Doctor, "the least expensive way to effectively clean records."
Record Doctor V features the same vacuum motor and vacuum cleaning strip as much more expensive machines, but it does not have the expensive motor that turns records for you. So, turn the records by hand, and save a handful of cash!
The Record Doctor V features a precision roller bearing to make records spin easily, and a handy storage tank for the easy removal of spent record cleaning fluids. The Record Doctor V comes complete with a 4 oz fluid applicator bottle, applicator brush, and illustrated cleaning instructions.
Here is an example of how it works:
This one by Mike Thomas discusses the RDV in more detail including some suggestions to improve it's use.
Brian's Review - March 2014
I am always looking for products that I think will provide outstanding value for my clients. This business has been running for more than 11 years and I was inspired to set up the website because I felt that there was a resurgence in interest in vinyl records and therefore people would be looking for related products, particularly cleaning products, because if there is one inescapable feature of vinyl records it is that they are notorious for their susceptibilty to dust and other crap.
So I started my website in 2002 selling the Disc Doctor cleaning system because in my research his products seemed to be the most highly regarded. Although the DD cleaning system is very effective, and hundreds of customers in Australia are achieving good results, it is laborious. Vacuum based cleaning machines speed up the process and more effectively remove the dirty cleaning fluid off the records, but until now have been too expensive for most vinyl enthusiasts. There are record cleaning devices, like Knosti and SpinClean, which give good results and enable batches of records to be cleaned more efficiently, but they still aren't as good as a record cleaning machine (RCM) which sucks the dirty fluid off the record leaving it nearly dry and ready to play. The main problem with RCMs is the price, our least expensive one for many years has been the Moth RCM2 at about $1200 or $900 if you assemble it from a kit.
There have been a few low cost vacuum RCMs available over the years, mostly in the USA. The KABUSA EV1 requires the use of an external vacuum cleaner and I have tried to import them but without success. The Nitty Gritty Model 1 does have a vacuum motor but the 240V version was a lot more expensive than the 120V version and by the time it was freighted to Australia was still over $700 - a lot too high for most vinyl enthusiasts with modest numbers of records to be cleaned.
I have always thought that there would be a good market in Australia for a RCM under $500 but could never find one I could sell. I have experimented over the years and made up a number of prototypes but never come up with a design that I was satisfied with. Meanwhile, in the USA, a product called Record Doctor has been selling for about 12 years at about US$300, but only available as 120V. Recently the company behind it introduced a new version, made in China, and selling for US$199. Named the Record Doctor V it is also available as a 240V version for the European market, and therefore Australia. Although freight from the USA is still a significant factor it is available to Decibel Hi Fi to retail in Australia at a breakthrough price of $297.
I order some samples and as soon as they arrived opened one up to inspect and try it out. I had already read many of the reviews online, and although most were positive there are a sprinkling of negative comments so I wanted to see for myself before offering them for sale. I wasn't expecting much. I have used Loricraft and Moth RCMs for many years so the idea of a manually turned machine did not inspire me. Secondly, that fact that it is cheap and from China had reservations mounting concerning effectiveness, build quality, and reliability. I unpacke one and set it up on my workbench. The 240V model has a European power plug so I quickly replaced that with a legal Australian one rather than use a travel adapter.
I read the instructions carefully - placed the "platter" on the spindle, placed an LP on top and dribbled some of the RxLP cleaning fluid onto the record. Then I rotated it carefully, it wobbled a bit, and used the supplied brush to spread the fluid. It need more fluid than the instruction photo indicated but that was probably because the brush was dry and soaked up most of the initial amount. Then I flipped it over and turned on the vacuum motor while rotating it slowly. The noise from the motor is loud, although not as loud as the Moth RCM2. I removed the record and inspected the cleaned side and was impressed at how clean and dry it looked. I cleaned the other side and took the record to the lounge to hear how it sounded. Once again I was impressed. The record originally had dust, fingerprints and generally looked grubby. Now it looked new. It played quietly, not perfectly but I have yet to hear a cleaned record which is perfectly quiet.
So, in my opinion this RDV machine works as claimed.
What about other considerations like build quality and reliability? Well it's not a Loricraft! The cabinet construction is like an inexpensive loudspeaker - thin MDF with vinyl coating, but precision cut and very neatly assembled. The suction slot has a synthetic felt-like covering which will wear out and need replacing (so do Moth, Nitty Gritty, VPI etc). The bearing for the record platter is minimal but seems adequate. The brush for applying the cleaning fluid is not as good as the Disc Doctor brush but does the job. Overall I thought the unit was reasonably constructed considering the price so I thought I would look inside. This was a bit of a surprise. The vacuum motor is huge, it seems to be the same size as in a Moth RCM2, no wonder it is noisy. The interior size is about as small as it could possibly be. That means comments I have read about these machines getting hot are true but that's not likely to worry customers who only use it for small batches of records. The interior construction is sound, with reinforcement blocks at important positions for strength.I was concerned that there might be a problem with sucked off fluid affecting the fibreboard base and panels but very cleverly the designers have used a double PVC tube arrangement to collect the fluid, and there's a plug which enables the collected fluid to be drained away.
This is a cheap, but not at all nasty, vacuum record cleaning machine. It's an RCM for people with modest requirements, say batches of 10 records at a time. I am impressed with its clever design, robust build quality, and particularly its effectiveness in cleaning records.
Performance: 7/10 Value for money: 9/10
Here's some comments from a recent purchaser ...
Hello Brian, Just thought I would let you know my experiences with the Record Doctor V cleaning machine which I used for the first time this evening.
I cleaned 5 LPs and boy oh boy, this unit does get hot so I have limited to 5 records every day or so. Anyway, I am amazed how good this thing cleans records, it really does work extremely well and one quite dirty mouldy record which is a Thelma Houston “I’ve Got The Music In Me” cleaned up perfectly. I am very impressed and this little machine is certainly worth it’s money. It is very noisy though so am using a set of earmuffs with it.
Thanks again Brian and I can certainly recommend this machine to anyone wanting to clean their records and keep them clean! I am then transferring the cleaned records into new LP sleeves so they do not become dirty again!
Best regards, Michael S.
Several people have asked regarding the cleaning of 45s. The main issue is that most of the suction slot needs to be covered when doing so. I have experimented and found that problem to be easily solved. I cut off a 6cm piece of standard garden hose, then slit it end to end and removed about a 1cm strip. This made a C shaped piece which clipped over the vacuum slot – it worked fine.
Really does do an excellent jobBy: Michael Weise on 21 April 2014I have spent a lot of time considering all options for cleaning and maintaining my treasured vinyl collection. After looking at everything from the "Spin Clean" to all of the available auto brush and vac machines, I was pleased to come across this unit as an alternative and was even happier that it could be sourced locally. At under $300 it was worth a shot. So after putting the unit to work i found the following: This is a really good record cleaner for those of us that cherish our vinyl collection but who may not have the cash to buy the top of the range auto brush and suction cleaning machines. The unit is very compact, has a powerful suction unit and gets the job done without any real effort. 3 or 4 rotations to clean and another 3 or 4 to remove the cleaning fluid and you end up with a very clean and dry record. Very pleased i took the chance on this unit and have an extra $700 in my pocket to buy more records.