When it comes to vinyl, listen to your sex ed teacher – you gotta keep it clean! Sure, people who don’t listen to vinyl (and some hipsters that do) think that the signature crackle and pop of a dirty record holds the charm of yesteryear, but what it actually holds is dirt. And dust. And germs. Lots of germs. So what’s an audiophile to do? You could sit down with Are You Experienced and your grandpa’s hanky and buff away those ashes from your uncle’s opium den (the 60s were a crazy time, man), but there’s a better way – I introduce to you, keepin’ it 100 since 1981….the Nitty Gritty.
If you’re fortunate enough to have one of these marvels of hifi creation in your home, you understand how great this is, but for the uninitiated, let me lay it out for you:
This machine, in all of its 80’s wood-paneled reminiscent-of-a-Dodge-Caravan glory, effectively cleans your records with cleaning solution, wipes it automatically, and then evaporates the cleaning solution off with a vacuum. You don’t have to wipe anything, you don’t have to worry about scratching anything (the record is wiped against velvet so thousands of microfibers clean every groove perfectly), hell all you have to do is put the record on it, pump the solution a few times and press a button, and like magic, your records are instantly restored to a satiny luster. No more skips during that crucial moment of Never Gonna Give You Up. Rick roll uninterrupted and with clarity, my friend.
“What kind of sorcery is this?!” you may ask, and to that we tell you it’s the brainchild of Ken Erickson, Michael Baskin and Elliot Buckler – three audiophiles with a mission to get cleaner records into the hands of listeners with professional quality. Currently run by Gayle Van Syckle, one of the original employees and friend to late founder Ken, the Nitty Gritty company is still cranking out these incredible machines, now with the ability to clean both sides of the record at once (because you are obviously too busy to flip it over. You have cables to tinker with!).
You can see the different models they offer on their website, and who knows? You just might find one of these coveted cleaners up for sale here at AudioFlea, though you might want to set a search alert because people rarely want to give them up and once they’re listed, these guys don’t last long!
For every dirty LP, turn, turn, turn… until next time!