By Matt Chung (original Chinese article per PSV magazine issue 91, page 73-75).
About the Author
Matt Chung is a seasoned hi-fi enthusiast, a music lover who knows his Cantopop music by heart and a regular, witty article contributor to PSV magazine for many years. Analog is his primary source as he adores the Denon anniversary turntable with an Ortofon Cadenza Bronze cartridge. Amplification includes Rogue Audio Hera II pre-amp, Rogue Audio Ares phono stage and Marantz amp driving a pair of MBL bookshelf speakers.
Collection of Over A Thousand Pieces
Playing vinyl is addictive and this is something every enthusiast knows. Once you’ve stepped into this sea of plastic, the more you tread, the deeper you get. This sea of plastic is point of no return!
It was about 10 years back when I first started buying vinyl. Due to space constraints, I wasn’t able to play to its potential. Not until 2008, when I finally have my own home, did this addiction got liberated. Having broke free, I started buying rather fiercely (or subconsciously). To date my collection has grew to over one thousand pieces.
Without A LP Washing Machine, All Count For Nothing
With such a collection now, although feeling somewhat satisfied, but a problem lingers on and that is, how do I clean them?
Seasoned vinyl fans know that it is essential to own a vinyl cleaning machine in order to return used records to its former glossy self. Without one, even if you owned over a million copies of vinyl, it is a waste. When old vinyl is uncleaned, you hear the sound of endless “frying beans” and you wear down your precious stylus fairly quickly. Hence, a LP washing machine is an essential partner to every vinyl fan. In this article, I want to talk about my new record LP cleaning machine – Nessie Vinylmaster!
D.I.Y Record Cleaning Machine
Some years back, I started with one fully manual DIY record cleaning machine. By fully manual, I mean that after you have placed the LP on the machine and secured it, you then spray the detergent by hand; spread the liquid by a wet vinyl brush by hand; spray water to wash off the detergent all by yourself and blow dry. Repeat the steps for the other side and after washing, I have to find a place to let the machine and the apparatus dry out.
Although this DIY record washing machine is very affordable, but just by washing a few would tire you out and the result is not necessarily satisfactory. So for the past few years, I have been looking for a suitable and functionally superior replacement.
The record cleaning machines available in the market are various and varied. The market has seen some popular ultrasonic record cleaning machines but they are usually big and take up a lot of storage space. When the ultrasonic waves come on, the noise level is high. Coupled with the unpleasing appearance – I did not consider.
After some searching, I finally come across this record washing machine named Nessie Vinylmaster distributed by Modular Audio (Singapore). For those who are familiar with my articles, I always buy equipment with appearance ranks first! Of course, auditioning and sharing information is the highlights here.
The Nessie Vinylmaster comes from a German company named Draabe Technologies. Nessie’s trademark is a dragon. With a single button operation, using two swinging brushes, the machine automatically changes the direction of rotation with its brushes’ height being flexible and easy to adjust.
Music Background Becomes Super Quiet
This record cleaning machine surprises me time and again. Now when I am back home from work every day, I would wash my records, and boy, did I find washing records to be this fun? After each wash, I find the sound improves, vinyl background darkens and becomes really quiet. I also tried my 40 year old records with lots of ‘frying beans’ noises and they were cleaned without a trace. This Nessie Vinylmaster is indeed super – incredible in fact! According to Martin, one of the owners of Modular Audio, Nessie Vinylmaster works best with their own Vinylin solution produced by the same company. Using it, the effect is more significant. Sure enough, this LP detergent restores my vinyl to its shiny, luminous state as I admire them in my hands after wash.
In the written instructions, each bottle of Vinylin (500ml) that goes into the Nessie Vinylmaster can wash up to 100 records. Another advantage is your records are cleaned from the outermost track to the innermost. After each wash, the LP is completely dry and spotless and the record label is never wet too, thanks to the specially designed pluck.
Nessie Vinylmaster appearance is very seductive – one (blue) button operation, two short ruler-long brushes. From a distance, it looks like a turntable. I have timed that it only takes three and a half minutes to complete each wash (both sides of a record). The suction power in my opinion is way stronger than similarly priced ones in the market and doubly quieter. Given than almost 80% of its operation is automatic, I’m now addicted to washing LP, ha ha!
in fact, not only used vinyl needs to be cleaned before play, new vinyl needs the same treatment. This is because in each newly pressed vinyl, there is a lot of factory dust and particles on the vinyl surface. My master taught me “to clean each new LP before listening or else you’ll hear a lot less”. So each time this record cleaning machine is showing its mettle! I dare not say Nessie Vinylmaster is invincible, but I think at this price, there should be little competition!
Nessie Vinylmaster cleans records really well. To me the biggest selling point is that it cleans from the outermost to the innermost grooves. Together with AER LP Energizer, they make a perfect combination. The above, is my experience and sharing with you. If you are really looking for a record cleaning machine, I sincerely recommend this machine. Do find the right opportunity to talk to Martin, tell him I point you there and he may just offer you some discount, ha ha!
To my friends who discusses hi-fi with me knows that I am “very hot” on vinyl, for two main reasons. First, I have a sizeable vinyl collection (good and first editions!). Second, I have heard many CD systems, but none has challenged at the vinyl level. Hence, if we could spend just $2000 to further vinyl sound by obtaining a superior record cleaner, isn’t that wonderful? Nowadays, $2000 really cannot buy you too many good records. Given Nessie Vinylmaster’s build quality, ease of operation at the asking price, I ask if there is a more recommendable product?
Article translated by Oyster on 6-Apr-17