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November 2014
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
VPI MW-1 Cyclone Record Cleaning Machine
Marking the passing of the torch of father to son, as Mat Weisfeld puts his imprint on VPI Industries.
Review By Anthony Nicosia

 

VPI MW-1 Cyclone Record Cleaning Machine  My interest with the new VPI MW-1 Cyclone Record Cleaning Machine stems from both owning and having positive experiences with previous VPI products. Every time either a record cleaning machine or turntable from this company finds its way into my house it has always been a very pleasurable experience. After reviewing, their at that time, new Scout II record player it was quite tempting to reach into my wallet and make a purchase. That decision was held off only to save up and purchase one of their more expensive turntable designs. When the Classic 3 turntable hit the marketplace no longer was there a need to wait and now it can be found residing as a proud possession in my main audio system. Most recently, another gem, the Traveler was also purchased for use in my second system. As for their record cleaning machines, I previously owned the HW 16 and then later the HW 16.5. So when the news hit me concerning the new MW-1 Cyclone it felt only natural to follow up by doing a review to pay witness to the evolution of the16 series in this its third form. Mat Weisfeld has now taken over his father's place as head of VPI Industries. The Cyclone being Mats first statement on the company's lineup makes this review even that much more interesting. After all a first only happens once, so it is kind of a special rite of passage. As the world waits to see what the son can add to an already well-established legacy, it was time for me to purchase some extra dusty records especially for this review.

Now there are some people who might think, it is just a device to clean records, so what. Why spend $1000 on a machine when I can just hand wash each and every record in an effort to save my money for use in other places. Well having tried the later it was my preference to lay out the cash and buy those earlier machines from VPI. Not only was it more convenient but they did a much better job consistently with its combination of washing and vacuuming my collection of one thousand plus vinyl albums. For this review VPI's own cleaning solution was used rather than dive into other products or personal homemade concoctions. Never looking back on my decision to purchase either of the two previous models it is with great anticipation that I looked forward to reviewing the new MW-1 Cyclone.

 

Difference Between The Older Model 16.5 And New MW-1 Cyclone
VPI MW-1 Cyclone Record Cleaning MachineLike the 16.5 the Cyclone comes with an 18 rpm high torque turntable motor and a 2" Delrin record clamp. They also both have dust covers on top and drainage tubes on the back with which to empty the water tanks within. The differences being that the dust cover for the Cyclone is removable by just lifting it up rather than being attached with hinges like with the 16.5 model. This may not seem like much of a difference to you but my 16.5 stays on the floor and under an end table. When needed the machine is pulled out from under the table as there is not enough room to fully lift up the top cover. With the new machine all that is needed is to slide the cover just slightly up and off to the side to then place the record on the platter. This saves me a step while giving a less exposed clutter look to my listening area. The Cyclone is housed in an aluminum water proof case rather than within the 16.5's MDF (medium density fiberboard) construction. The former being more durable for sure and less prone to liquid damages in case you are too or lazy or simply forget to clean up afterwards. Even though I tried being careful there was usually some cleaning fluid that managed to spill from the record surface onto the Cyclone's deck. The new platter and bearing are stronger to allow for a more vigorous cleaning session plus the Cyclone can clean and vacuum in both directions, unlike the 16.5 which spins clockwise only. The newer model is said to be twice as powerful and quieter as well. Listening while it cleaned records the Cyclone did sound a bit quieter and an informal test with my Radio Shack SPL meter confirmed that it indeed was. While none of the previous models proved to be silent during the vacuuming stage, the Cyclone took the noise level down enough to make it noticeable. It was after all vacuuming the record surface and as such will make noise. Now though it was less intrusive to those in nearby rooms, like when my wife is watching TV. For that she would like me to thank you Mat.

 

The Cyclone Cleaning Process
The steps to cleaning a record are really quite simple and relatively quick. Place the record on the Cyclone; secure the delrin record clamp being careful as not to over tighten. Pour the VPI cleaning solution onto the center of the record, being careful to not get the record label wet. Turn on the motor to allow the record to spin in either direction you prefer to start with and after the supplied dry brush gets moist press hard to clean the record as you spread the fluid around. After it is brushed in one direction flip the switch to brush in the opposite direction. Once accomplished, remove the brush and then place the arm over the record to point directly at the spindle and then turn on the vacuum switch. After two revolutions of the record spinning one way press the vacuum switch to reverse the direction allowing for it to clean in the opposite direction for two additional revolutions. When this is done you must first stop the vacuuming process, then the spinning of the record and place the arm back to its original position off to the side. It is important to turn off the vacuuming first and the spinning second. For complete details please refer to the "Setup and Instruction Manual" that comes with the Cyclone. Once done loosen and remove the delrin record clamp to turn the record over to the other side. Repeat the whole process once again. This process is quite simple and rather quick really. For those of you with seven inch 45-rpm and ten inch 78-rpm records a special adaptor can be purchased from VPI. Do not forget to empty the used cleaning fluid from the machines catch basin after ever six records.

 

So How Does An MW-1 Cyclone Affect A Record's Sound?
Recently a copy of Joan Baez [Vanguard VSD 2077] came into my possession which included one of my favorite songs, "House of the Rising Sun". Unfortunately it was unplayable. Having a lot of pops and clicks due to it being a bit dusty did not bother me as much as it staying in one grove indefinitely, never allowing the song to play through to the end. Thanks to the Cyclone the song was now rendered playable as the obvious grime had been cleaned away. Still there was some noise that would have nice to have been made to disappear. A vigorous second cleaning took care of most of that, allowing me to now enjoy my music without being distracted by any loud nonmusical sounds. After a careful listen the album was deemed by me to play at an acceptable level, free from any obvious distractions. While still being able to hear pops and clicks on silent tracks all was fairly quiet during musical or vocal passages. Remember this was a very filthy copy of a record that looked not to have been cleaned since its release date back in 1960. When purchasing this album for fewer than fifty cents, expectations as to the quality of life left on the record was exceedingly low. Thanks to the Cyclone I am again enjoying Joan Baez with a smile on my face and reliving memories from my distant youth.

VPI MW-1 Cyclone Record Cleaning MachineBrowsing once again through the under one dollar bin at my favorite record store up popped a copy of, A Romantic Mood With Sarah Vaughan [Viking VK003]. After listening to side A it was apparent why one would pay less than one dollar in its present condition. Again thanks to a thorough cleaning, another double dose, the recording was not only very quiet but sounding as if a heavy veil had been removed between me and the performance. The cleaning allowed me to now enjoy Sarah Vaughan without distraction and in a clearer light with regard to less surface grime being amplified along with her vocal talent.

On that same day and from that same discount bin came a copy of The Beatles [Capitol SWBO 101], known too many as the double White album, what a lucky find. Not expecting much as surface scratches could be visibly seen and quite long, on it went to my VPI Classic 3 turntable. To my surprise it played without a glitch as the scratches were not deep at all, although it was still plenty dirty and played with so many very annoying pops and clicks. In stepped Mat's MW-1 Cyclone to the rescue and a few cleanings later, viola a very listenable record was had for such a ridiculous low price. Adding to the find was that the album even came with the original color pictures of each of the four Beatles and in immaculate condition to boot. The poster though was gone, but an original was found in one of my three copies of that album. It is not uncommon to find that those pictures and poster had been removed and placed on someone's wall. This double album cost me one dollar and after cleaning played just beautifully. If you are into vinyl and like searching for bargains like me, then having a record cleaning machine is a must. If you do not enjoy the search in bargain bins or garage sales that is fine also as the Cyclone works well to keep your pristine records, well pristine.

Now it was time to see what the Cyclone would do with a newer album. Having played the Mozart Violin Concertos [2L 038-LP] album only maybe five times and never having cleaned it, this would look to be a good test. Even though it was "new" there was some surface noise, perhaps left over vinyl pressed into the grooves during its initial pressing or just dust that might have collected on it after being exposed to the environment. One cleaning session from the Cyclone was all it took and now the LP sounded as it should, clear and clean and right off its fresh pressing, impressive indeed. It should be noted that not all brand new records seemed to improve with a cleaning and vacuuming. But since keeping them clean is important then whether or not an initial cleaning is necessary is of little consequence. Eventually a thorough wash and vacuum will be needed, so yes even brand new records will soon need the benefit of the Cyclone.

 

Conclusion
VPI MW-1 Cyclone Record Cleaning MachineThe MW-1 Cyclone is an impressive machine that at $1000 seems well worth the price considering all that it does. No it will not make forty plus year old recordings new again. Damage done by placing a hard diamond stylus tip into soft vinyl groves for all those year can never be repaired. If though you seek getting the most possible out of your old records so as to hear them as best you can this certainly is a way to go. Why it even helped out some of my new records by cleaning the grooves and getting them to sound as I thought they should. While not all new albums improved because of a cleaning it is certainly something you would want to do for preventive maintenance in order to keep them in top condition throughout the years. Cleaning in both directions makes sense to me and given a choice between the one directional 16.5 and the new Cyclone, my choice would be to go with the later. Either way it would not be a bad decision as my 16.5 has always done such a good job of cleaning my dusty old LPs. For me though all the positives of this new machine were just too much to pass on and so I purchased the WM-1 Cyclone review sample. So today I am happily cleaning and vacuuming in both directions while my wife is content that this is done just a bit more quietly. As always, when reviewing gear from Harry Weisfeld and now his son Mat, all that can be said is, "What is not to like?" The MW-1 Cyclone is highly recommended for anyone serious about their vinyl, which hopefully is everyone who is into music. With this "first" out of the way it will be interested to see what other new creations Mat might eventually add to VPI Industries product line.

 

The Listening Environment
The review room is eighteen feet eight inches long by thirteen feet wide with loudspeakers and equipment kept on the short wall. The cathedral ceiling starts at eight feet on the short wall slopping upwards to reach a height of thirteen feet in the middle than returning to eight feet at the opposite end. The hardwood floor is partially covered by a nine by six foot oriental rug lying down the long ways facing toward the loudspeakers, placed dead center between but not under the listener or the audio rack. The room has no doors but there are two openings. One opening is in front of the right loudspeaker on the long wall giving access to the hallway the other behind the listening position to a formal dining area. There are two large floor standing GIF Tri-trap acoustical panels one in each corner of the short wall in front of the listener and two panels from Acoustic Revive (AR) located on the wall directly behind each loudspeaker. A third AR panel is placed flat against the right side wall near that walls loudspeaker. The fourth and final AR panel is located behind the listener and to its left blocking a partial portion of the opening to the dining room located behind. Numerous Auralex Studio foam squares are placed along walls and high up in each of the four corners of the room. All the audio equipment is located in a Synergy Twin S30 Salamander audio rack placed about a foot away from and in the middle of the short wall opposite the listening position.

 

Review Equipment
Magnepan 3.6R Loudspeakers placed on special custom made three wooden layer platforms 
Two Magnepan DWM Bass Panels 
Aesthetix Saturn Calypso Line Stage Tube/Hybrid Preamplifier 
Parasound A21 Solid State Power Amplifier
McIntosh 2102 Tube Power Amplifier 
OPPO Digital BDP-95 Universal player 
VPI Classic 3 Turntable
Lyra Delos Moving Coil Cartridge 
Musical Surroundings Nova Phonomena Phono Stage
VPI MW-1 Cyclone Record Cleaning Machine
VPI 16.5 Record Cleaning Machine
Audience aR2p-TO Power Conditioner 
Acoustic Revive RPT-4 Ultimate Power Supply Box 
Cherry Synergy Twin S30 Salamander audio rack
Various Acoustical Room Treatments

 

Specifications
Type: Vinyl LP record cleaner
MW-1 Cyclone Features:
35 second cleaning cycle (wash/dry) per side
18 rpm high torque bidirectional turntable motor operational in forward and reverse
Fully enclosed: no splashing, no mess
Powerful suction (vacuum) ensures quick deep cleaning
Removes old residue, prevents new build-up
Fail safe design
All components extra heavy-duty professional grade
Professional quality toggle switches have a 100 thousand cycle life
Safety coated record contacts; easily user replaceable
Leaves a pristine, dry, static-free record
The MW-1 is housed in an aluminum water proof case with a welded stainless steel water tank which drains out the back.
New vacuum tube assembly with auto adjustment
Removes solution from record's surface all at once

Included with the MW-1 Cyclone:
2" Delrin record clamp
Easily removable dust cover
8oz bottle of VPI cleaning fluid & cleaning brush
Replacement brushes, fluid and suction tubes may be purchased as needed (extra charge).
1 year manufacturer warranty on motor.
2 year manufacturer warranty on machine.
Price: $1000

 

Company Information
VPI Industries, Inc.
77 Cliffwood Ave. #3B
Cliffwood, NJ 07721

Voice: (732) 583-6895
E-mail: vpiindustries@yahoo.com
Website: www.VPIIndustries.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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