I finally ordered some parts to build a record cleaning machine. I've been thinking about it for about a year. I was to the point where I was going to buy a VPI, but now that I understand that its just a platter with vacuum wand it seems kind of pricy for what you get. So far my parts list includes a sacrificial Realistic Lab 300 turntable that I really only want for bearing, platter and spindle, and some extra Disc Dr. pads. The plan is to use some 1/2 inch pvc pipe slit long-ways with DD pads attached to protect the vinyl, and elbows to build an arm wand, and then connect that to a shop-vac. I can test this mess just holding the pipe while I manually spin the platter. The eventual plan is to remove the bearing, platter and spindle from the TT and mount them in something a little more suited to attaching the plumming. So far my investment is $20 for the TT and $15 for the pads. If it doesn't work I haven't broken the bank. As soon as I get the parts I'll start posting pictures.

Components Toggle details

    • Musical Fidelity M-3 nuvista
    I've had this in my system for about six months. Used, but it sounds fantastic.
    • Spendor S8e
    Sorry they're sideways.
    • Paul Speltz Anti-Wires
    These were the best $100 I ever spent. It sounded like someone windexed my speakers. And I'm offended by people charging four figures for wires so these were perfect.
    • Ethan Allen Ethan Allen
    I can hear hi-fi guys rolling their eyes. I have dogs. I needed something with doors and WAF. But, its a metal base and solid Ash. Very heavy and stable, plus, you'd be amazed how many "entertainment" pieces are out there that don't hold standard 17.5 inch components. This thing has three doors, each twenty inches wide, and the back is open to give good ventilation.
    • Sota Star Sapphire Series III
    I love this thing!
    • Project Tube Box
    This is working well.
    • Audio-Technica USA AT-OC9
    A little dusty
    • RCM Wet Wash Cleaning Element
    Note the soft pink cleaning element. Safe for your most delicate vinyl.
    • Cambridge Audio 840C
    Terrific player for the money

Comments 84

I love your record cleaner. Lol.


System edited: I've had some changes in the system since the last time I posted. The Jolida JD100 CDP was replaced with a Cambridge 840C, and the Rotel Amp and Pre-Amp were replaced with a Musical Fidelity NuVista M3.


Great pics and hillarious story! Thank you for the entertainment as well as making this hobby fun! :)

Ag insider logo xs@2xhansonaudio

I'm with you on the anti cables brother!! I just received mine and I'm orbering another pair so I can bi wire. Paul is the "shizzle" as the kids say these dayz! Cheers!


One of the best combination of two hobbies i've ever seen and great pictures as well!


No, I got rid of the TV. Flat screen on the wall now. Switched the cd player to a Cambridge 840C too. Need to update photos.

And we're thinking that any day now the Pirates are going to rise up to become a championship team... no really...


Nice! Cleveland fan here, suffering from depression!! two major world championships in one year, hum thats like double clevelands entire history!!

At least your tv sucks!! lol.


I have the Spendor S8e speakers and love them. I didn't like the full length apron covering all that good wood so I had a local cabinet maker made a much more attractive short cover for them for around $100. Pictures available upon request.

Mine are being driven very well by a Cayin A88T amp which is very musical and plenty powerful for the Spendors. In line with that is a Monarchy M24 DAC. Wonderful musical vibrant, alive, 'you are there' front-row-center acoustics.

My preferred tubes for the Cayin are SED KT88 power tubes, RCA VT-231s (6SN7)and Mullard CV569 (6SL7) which give it midrange texture to die for. My favorite tubes with the DAC are Amperex USN-CEP 7308 (white lettering). If you ever decide to try tubes, I don't think you can beat the above at any price.


ROTFL!!!! Great post.


System edited: While I'm trying to perfect a DIY Record Cleaning Machine I thought I'd share some the experiments that didn't go so well. Fortunately, with willing partners in the house the research continues unabated. We predict success shortly.


I had the S5e for about two weeks, then returned them for the S8s. They were too small for my room and they had no bass - to the point where I new there was stuff on the record that wasn't being repro'd. The dealer was happy to do the upgrade though. I had to go all the way to NJ to get them though. I've had them for about four years now and they're the only component I have that I don't consider upgrading. They really are great.


Haha how disappointing!

Everything looks good though. I've always had an interest in the Spendor, ever since the S5e, but I've never been able to audition them.


Actually, we have a new lcd tv since that was taken. Still no cable though.


A listener after my own heart: a Rotel fan with thousands in audio gear and an old tube tv. Brilliant!

Your priorities are in line, my friend. Well done!


Hello Islandmandan - I use a couple of things for setup. I have a friend with a Technics scale that I borrow periodically for VTF. He also has a Geotracker that I have used, but I actually prefer the little cardboard alignment tool that came with my old Shure cartridge. I like it because it has two alignment points - inner and outer - so you can check the cartridge in two places. Its very handy.


Hi Grimace,

Just happened on your system and thread, both very nice. Sherman caught my eye, my sweet Ruby dog (a mixture of Rottweiler and Norwegian Elkhound, I believe), passed on about three years ago, and the wife says no more pets. Bummer. On a lighter note, your real-world system must be very easy on the ears. I was wondering, though, what you use for cartridge set-up? With my TT, I never really heard what it could do until getting the MintLP arc protractor. Now vinyl rules the roost, with digital a close second. Highly recommended.
Happy Holidays, and enjoy that sweet system!

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

I just switched over to anti's from some pricey cables and ic's..these anti's are great....


Exactly, how many highly expensive loudspeakers could be seen put against the wall, close to side walls. This is a very nice and I bet good sounding real world system,which is well set up. And good set up is paramount to a sizeable investment.


I had to inch the speakers out from the wall over time to get them where they are today. It was a WAF consideration, but its a big room so she'll live. They're also toed in a little and spaced a little further apart than they are in that picture.


Yeah, finally somebody that knows how to correctly place his speakers, good for you Grimace.


Great rig. Tubes to sweeten things up, and the new Sota Star Sapphire. The Sotas are fantastic. I had the very first one in the 80's which I think was just called the Sapphire. I loved it.



Thats alright. The dog was not offended. In fact he slept through it.

the jolida is pretty good. I replaced the stock tubes with some NOS Phillips and that made a difference. It is smooth, with very little glare, and as CD players go it sounds very good. However, once I started listening to vinyl it was all over. I very rarely listen to CDs anymore. I haven't heard a CD player that sounds as good as my vinyl - although I haven't shopped lately either. I think I'd have to look at a pretty pricey player to match the TT.


I just saw that I had already commented on your system. I had forgotten; I don't come to this site that often. Heck, my wife and I are both professionals with advanced degrees, but I'll never have anything to match some of the systems on this page...

Your picture looks like a real system for a "real" guy. I tend to feel the same way about Rotel (and the rest of my gear). Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever truly love my stuff when there's something better over the hill...

Sorry about the previous comment about your dog...I just didn't recognize the breed. We have three terriers ourselves (a Wheaten, Kerry Blue and a Lakeland). People always ask if the KB is a schnauzer.

How do you like the Jolida? I'm thinking about buying one at Christmas. I've done a couple of upgrades to my TT (also a Thorens) in the last year, and I can hardly stand the sound of my 1000 cds any more. Is the Jolida vinyl-esque??



Nice cabinet, I had no idea EA offered such a product. DO you have any mor info. on it?




Greeting from the East End of Pittsburgh. Happy Listening


Displaying posts 1 - 25 of 84 in total