Loricraft PRC3 and PRC4 record cleaning machines represent the professional’s choice for record cleaning.
The importance of good record handling, and cleanliness, in relation to optimum playback, cannot be over-emphasised. A dirty record results in high surface noise and contributes to advanced stylus wear.
Today’s Audio Affair Blog focusses especially on Loricraft’s range of professional record cleaning equipment.
Loricaft – Masters of vinyl restoration
The name “Loricraft” will be synonymous in certain circles with high-end restoration and manufacture of vinyl reproduction and cleaning equipment. Loricraft first came to fame thanks to their efforts in “continuation” and restoration of Garrard turntables.
The Garrard 301 and 401 turntables have a legendary reputation, one which was sustained by Loricraft’s efforts in using original factory jigs and personnel in the restoration of these turntables to “as new” condition.
Off the back of this restoration effort, came the newly designed 501 and 601 models, as well as a range of record cleaning machines which have quickly become a byword for being the finest of their type in the world.
The Professional’s choice
With the “gramophone record” itself being over a century old, the need for preservation and archiving of the material stored upon them has been recognised as far back as the 1960s.
In October of 1964, Percy Wilson presented a paper to the Audio Engineering Society entitled “Record Contamination: Causes and Cure”. As one of the founders of phonograph playback theory, people paid attention to Percy’s recommendations!
The Loricraft PRC range, which is now nearing 30 years of age, was founded on Percy Wilson’s theories and began to be recognised as a significant and valuable resource in the archiving and restoration of gramophone records.
As an example, Bing Crosby’s original 20″ transcription discs were cleaned using the bespoke PRC5 machine before their award-winning transcription to CD release. Loricraft PRC record cleaning machines are trusted by librarians, conservators and dedicated audiophiles, globally.
The Loricraft PRC3 incorporates the advancements and improvements learned from almost 30 years of producing high-end cleaning machines. Thanks to rationalisation of manufacture, the latest PRC3 costs less than the original PRC cleaner, yet performs just as well.
The key to the Loricraft cleaning secret is a concentrated vacuum suction, upon a small nylon tip, which “floats” upon a nylon thread. The anti-static nylon thread (which is manually drawn out before each clean) ensures the record surface only ever comes into contact with a clean, soft surface.
Where a cleaner like the PRC3 varies from other cleaners, is its use of a laboratory grade suction pump; this ensures the machine can be used continuously (ideal for use in record shops for example) and silently, allowing for cleaning whilst listening to music at the same time.
The Loricraft PRC4 employs an upgraded pump compared to the PRC3 guaranteeing true 24/7 operation for industrial level usage. It is also even quieter than the PRC3 for the most demanding of users.
A deluxe version of the PRC4 is available featuring a hinged acrylic lid and an armrest for the cleaning arms. The PRC4 Deluxe must surely count as the “Rolls Royce” of record cleaning machines
The budget choice – Pro-Ject VCS MkII
For those of us with more modest budgets but who still care deeply about the integrity of their vinyl collections, Pro-Ject offer the great value VCS record cleaner; now enhanced with the newly improved MkII version
Using a much simpler and hence much cheaper vacuum motor, the Pro-Ject VCS MkII is only recommended for small-scale cleaning. It’s also rather noisy, prohibiting any listening at the same time!
Non the less, the results are superb for a unit at this price point, and as such comes highly recommended as a budget option to the magnificent Loricraft record cleaners.