|Photos from official website|
The Okki Nokki record cleaning machine is probably one of the most affordable vacuum based record cleaning machines on the market. Locally, it costs a shade under S$ 900.
The Okki Nokki has a bi-directional motor (a useful function to brush the grooves of the record in both directions), and comes supplied with a small battle of record cleaning concentrate, and a goat's hair brush.
The Okki Nokki is quite idiot proof to operate. Two switches control the unit. The top switch toggles between clockwise and anti-clockwise rotation. The bottom switch controls the vacuum.
The vacuum motor has a useful automatic shut-off feature in case the reservoir becomes full. A visit to the kitchen sink, pull out the tube behind the unit, and drain the dirty fluid out.
With a bit of practice, you can apply the cleaning fluid, brush the surface over a few revolutions in both directions, and vacuum up the dirty fluid, all in about a minute a side. The vacuum arm is spring loaded and you push it down while engaging the motor switch. When you switch it off, the arm will lift off the record automatically. The arm is lined with replaceable velvet strips to prevent damage to the record surface.
Thankfully, the motor is relatively quiet (as far as vacuum motors go), and you should be able to vacuum your records in the late evenings, without risking a visit from your irate neighbour.
Even during relatively long record cleaning sessions, the unit was never more than warm to the touch.
Although the machine is sturdy and solidly constructed, it also shows signs of being rather rough in appearance and assembly. The metal panels do not line up perfectly, and some dings and dents are visible in certain areas (my machine was brand new !).
Of particular consternation was the fiddly record clamp. The spindle threads continued to flake off metal filings over many record cleaning sessions - a visit with the house vacuum cleaner proved necessary to remove the debris.
Also, no cover is supplied. A suitable acrylic cover is available as an optional extra. You would not want dust all over your platter, so you will need to find some way to keep the dust off.
Operation was flawless though, although there was a tendency for the velvet strips on the record cleaning arm to become saturated and to deposit liquid on to the records as it lifts up after the vacuum motor is switched off.
Prior to the Okki Nokki, I was using a spray-on cleaner that requires a simple wipe off after application, without any brushing. While the spray was somewhat effective, it was expensive, and a chore to use. The Okki Nokki also had much better results.
Anyone with more than a handful of records really needs a good record cleaning machine. Many of my records were picked up from dusty piles yonks ago. I had written off almost all of those records - they sounded dull, lacking in dynamics - just awful.
After a clean, the records were quieter, clearer and more dynamic. Given our tropical weather and humidity, some of the records in question could qualify as fungus production farms. I am eternally grateful to the Hi-Fi Gods that I gave my records a spin in the Okki Nokki before binning them.
Give the Okki Nokki a try if you are looking for a decent budget record cleaning machine. It may not be the last word in finish and aesthetics, but it works well and is effective.
Given how much good vinyl costs nowadays, this is a must have investment if you are even remotely serious about vinyl.
Final recomendation - Okki Nokki ! (Thumbs up in Dutch)