Good morning all,
This will be an abbreviated review of the PHK machine because I am working very hard on updating and re-working my business website. That's taking much more time than I had imagined it would.
I ordered the PHK record cleaning machine and within 4 days I was picking it up at the UPS store. Mind you, this machine comes all the way from Brazil. I was somewhat taken aback with the size and weight of the machine. I would guess the machine weighs 10 to 15 pounds is is almost a 7 inche square. It's a little over 4 inches tall. However, it appears to be made in a substantial manner and should hold up with regular use.
Sent along with the PHK was a bottle of concentrated cleaner that will make one liter of cleaning solution. I used this for cleaning 3 records and my own mixture (based on feedback from and a few others) for the 4 remaining records. Both mixtures did equally well.
The PHK has a platter that is about the size of the record lable, maybe a tad larger. It holds the record to be cleaned firmly once the holding clamp is screwed on snug but not too tight. The machine also coes with a standard nozzle hold for the vacuum cleaner tube. By the way, I am using a "Husky" shop vac purchased from Home Depot that seems to work well. The vac has a 1,7 peak HP, 4.0 amp motor. The cost of the vac was $29 dollars. This think is a little loud but sitting on the floor under the table the PHK sits on rendered it less loud. By the way, there are several other shop vacs in this power and price range but I chose Home Depot because it's close to me and for their easy return policy.
One of the more amazing things about this very inespensive record cleaning machine is the fact that it can go in the reverse direction when the switch is cut off and then back on. This permits cleaning a record in both directions if one wanted to do that.
Before I go any further, let me share my music system with you. It consists of the following:
> DIY belt drive turntable (photos in the Vinylengine gallery)
> Jelco 750D tonearm
> Riggles VTA Adjuster
> Sumiko Peral & Benz Micro Silver Cartridges
> Threshold 3/300 (updated by the man)
> Classe DR-5 (one of the best pre-amps per HP of the Absolute Sound)
> Mirage OM-9 floor standing speakers
I have a fairly large stash of records purchased from Germany and other places overseas and in the USA back in the 1960 and 1970's. I have recently been buying used records from the Salvation Army store and Ebay. Needless to say these records were not in the best shape. However, I did my best to pick records that were obviously not well cared for. In other words, I stayed away from those with deep scratches and other marks. Here are the records purchased recently I used for this review:
1. Sertio Mendes & Brazil 66 (Fool On the Hill)
2. Pablo Casals-Cello Plays (Mendelssohn/Couperin/Schumann)
3. Cat Stevens (Tea For The Tillerman)
4. Joan Baez (Vol 2)
5. Van C;iburn (Beethoven Emperor Concerto)
6. Billy Joel (The Stranger)
7. Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie (Night In Tunisia/The Champ)
I used the mixture sent along with the PHK (requires litre of distilled water and 150mil or Isoproplyl and my mixture which consisted of: gallon of distilled water, a few drops of Jet Dri, and 2 parts 91% Isopropyl. I probally forgot to put something important in my mixture but.............
Using the Sumiko Pearl cartridge, I played each record after only a good dry cleaning. They were all playable but had a closed in sound and no real depth and clarity. I used the mixture that came with the PHK on four of the records and must say that the sound of each was superior to what I heard before. These recordings sounded more open with clear depth of field and transparancy. The other three records were cleaned using my own mixture. There was certainly a definite improvement in the sound but not to the extend I would have been able to live with. By the way, I gave each record 2 cleaning and 2 drying cycles per side.
Before I close, I must say that I really enjoyed using the Riggle VTA adjuster. This is a most useful piece of equipment. I played a few of my very best classical and jazz records. What I noticed is that when I used was able to set the VTA while the record was playing, I was able to set an accurate condition for the stylus in the record groove. As I was able to slightly adjust the VTA the sound of my records opened up as never before. Mind you, I don't intend to use the Riggles piece to make adjustements for every record. My primary concerned is to make sure each new cartridge I purchase is being played at it's maximum and most useful position in the record groove. This was exciting to me and I want to thank those who recommended the Riggles VTA adjuster. It's dy-no-mite
The PHK, I feel was well worth the money I paid for it. It did a fine job of cleaning records and helping them sound as new. The machine worked well and was very easy to use. Right now I am perfectly satisfied with the job it does to help me listen better to my records. Without a doubt I would purchase the PHK again. When I looked at the quick delivery, fit of the machine, cleaning ability, dollar cost, great communication with the builder, and overall quality, I would have had to spend much more to get this kind of service. If you can't afford a Keith Monk or mid level costing VPI, get this machine and start cleaning your records and laugh all the way to the bank. The PHK is certainly worth what I paid and perhaps more.
Please forgive me if if rambled abit. And double forgive me if I left out anything important. This is my first ever attempt to write a review. I wanted to share with you who have been so helpful to me in my quest to understand this awesome field of Audio. Each of you has provied what I need to move forward. I have got to get back to working on my website now. Thanks everyone for your kindness and patience.