REVIEW: Knosti Disco-Antistat Record Cleaner
Vinyl's back and all that. Yep, we're hearing it all the time. The truth is, older records in circulation are now being picked up at fairs, op-shops and passed down from family members and played once more. Not surprisingly, many of these records have accumulated years of dust and all things bad deep down in the grooves and really need a bit of a wash to play at their best once more.
If you've been looking for an affordable solution to cleaning your records, the Knosti Disco-Antistat might be the answer. I've been using the Consonance RCM we reviewed here for a couple of years now, and with great results. However, with a young family, cleaning a record late evening on a machine that sounds like it's about to take the roof off isn't always an option. A silent, low-cost back up is what I've been looking for and at just $159.00 for the kit, it fits the bill.
The kit is supplied with the wash cradle, spindle, a drying rack and a 1-litre bottle of "mixture". Other products at this price point only include 120ml (concentrate) mixture, and as you won't want to use tap water you'll need access to distilled water as well. The drying rack is certainly part of the process also, so the inclusion at this price point is certainly appreciated.
Getting started couldn't be easier. Separate the rack from the cradle and pour in the mixture up to the specified level (which is the top of the brushes located inside the cradle). The brushes in the cradle are genuine goat's hair, which most experienced record cleaning enthusiasts (yes, they do exist) swear by, as opposed to felt or other material pads.
A supplied spindle is pushed through the record, and easily screwed by hand to protect the record label. Drop the assembly into the cradle and manually turn the record two to three times. Experience tells me that a few extra turns won't hurt. You could experiment with giving the record another turn in the opposite direction, but I wonder if this could even push dirt back into the grooves?
The mixture doesn't disclose the ingredients, other than Ethanol.
A few turns and what was quite a dirty record picked up from the recent Australian Record Fair, easily became a NM graded vinyl. A little wetting of the very outer edge of the record label was evident as I unscrewed the label clamp, however with subsequent records I lowered the level a little and took more care before unscrewing the clamp.
The conveniently provided drying rack works a treat, with enough space for 15 records to dry. The drying time is advertised as 7 minutes and I found it spot on.
The whole process takes less than 2 minutes to clean both sides of a record at once, and this is an advantage over my Consonance machine that only does a side at a time. Arguably does a better job due to the vacuum process.
In any case, to the naked eye, the Knosti does the job as well as the Consonance. Once you're done you use the supplied funnel to pour the mixture back in the bottle utilising one the supplied filter pads. After quite a few records I did notice some discolouration of the mixture, so I've starting using the Melbourne based and now well regarded Melody Mate cleaning solution. I use this with my Consonance RCM and found the best results after comparing many alternatives. It works just as well but leaves no streaking like the enthanol based Knosti solution does. Drying time is a couple of minutes longer however. 1 litre will set you back $49.95 but should easily last a few hundred records if you filter the solution as you return it to the bottle.
You'll want to setup on the kitchen bench or similar to clean your records. It's a little messier than using a RCM such as the Consonance or Okki Nokki. There will still be some wiping up once you're complete.
Playing back the cleaned records revealed a much cleaner record, less hiss, pops and as if new once more. I really can't argue for certain that the vacuum process of other, more expensive RCMs is better, but in theory it should be. It likely depends on the condition of the record being cleaned to start with. For just $159.00 for a German made product though, the Knosti Disco-Antistat is now in high-use here.
There's no snake-oil here. Clean records sound better. End of story. But on another note, don't talk to your records. We're not kidding. Just ask Soundsmith.
If you're on a budget and looking to clean your records, the Knosti Disco-Antistat is my choice.
The review product was supplied by Radiance Audio Visual.
StereoNET's Founder & Publisher and still buried deep in the review room auditioning everything from docks to soundbars, amplifiers and headphones. Marc is also the founder of the annual International HiFi Show.
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