The new ProJect VCS Record cleaning machine represents ProJect’s first wet cleaning machine, at a bargain £349. Is it a clean sweep or does it suck?
The importance of clean records cannot be overstated; dust and dirt in the grooves leads to poor signal to noise ratio, irritating pops and clicks plus advanced wear of the record and stylus. It therefore makes sense for any vinyl enthusiast to have some sort of cleaning regiment in place, to get the best out of their precious vinyl collection.
Until now, record cleaning machines have either been inexpensive, time consuming and messy, or hugely expensive. Enter the ProJect VCS…
CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS
For dedicated collectors with a large record collection, it could be considered an essential to have some form of ‘automated’ record cleaner. Whilst simple, manual cleaners such as ProJect’s own Spin Clean record cleaner do an excellent job for the price, they can be time consuming for those with large collections. Ideally, a record cleaner should be able to quickly clean a record in a few seconds, leaving it dry and safe to store away.
The ProJect VCS smashes into the automated, wet cleaner market, at a brand new price point. Thus far, wet cleaners have required a substantial financial investment; the ProJect VCS proves to destroy that train of thought.
EFFICIENT AND AFFORDABLE
One of the key values of ProJect products has been exceptional value for money, coupled to no-frills, minimalist design. In this regard the VCS is a classic piece of ProJect design. A simple black box made from particle board, two switches, a platter and a vacuum arm is all you get, and really all you need. A small degree of home assembly is required, the vacuum arm and platter are supplied loose, but this shouldn’t pose any issues for the average Hi-Fi enthusiast.
Cleaning records is simple: place a record onto the platter, and clamp it down with the supplied record clamp. Switch the platter to rotate, and apply a few drops of the included ‘Wash-it’ cleaning fluid. Spread this across the record with the included brush. Switch the vacuum on, lower the vacuum arm onto the record and allow one full rotation, then switch the platter to reverse for another full rotation. That’s it! Done! Now repeat for the other side and you have a perfectly clean record!
WORKS FOR ALL RECORDS
For those with large collections of 7″ or 78-RPM records, fret not, the ProJect VCS can accommodate those, too. The Included ‘Wash-it’ cleaning fluid is certified to be safe for use with both vinyl and shellac records. Additionally, ProJect have made available a shorter vacuum arm for 7″ records.
Whilst we’re on the subject of accessories, ProJect also offer an attractive, clear, perspex lid for the VCS as an optional extra. One will find the necessary fixing holes already pre-drilled on the rear of the VCS. All that’s required is a screwdriver to fit the attractive and practical lid.
THE PRO-JECT VCS CLEANS UP
OK, no more cleaning jokes, I promise! In all seriousness though, for anyone serious about their vinyl collection, the VCS is a serious no-brainer. With some pick-up cartridges retailing for many times the cost of the VCS, not to mention the investment you may have in an irreplaceable vinyl collection, don’t you owe it to yourself and your music library to keep it in the best possible condition?