The weekend has rolled round again, and my replacement Knosti has arrived. So here's a mini-review if you will.
Unpack the various bits and bobs supplied and you're likely to be a bit underwhelmed. Your £45 gets you an array of flimsy injection moulded plastic components and a litre of cleaning fluid. Build quality does not inspire confidence. As a case in point, the two-part plastic screw-together clamp that holds your records and protects the label from getting wet looks like a prime candidate for shattering when it's tightened onto a record at some point in the not too distant future.
On the subject of the clamp, somewhat ridiculously it's actually a bit too small to fully cover the labels on some records, and rarely achieves a properly watertight seal - a rubberised edge would be an improvement here. Having said that, it probably makes no odds, as when you take the clamp off the residual cleaning fluid drips down onto the label anyway.
So, is it all doom and gloom for the knosti? Not at all.
Fill up the record bath with fluid, clamp your first record, insert, rotate a few times both ways, remove, unclamp and leave to drain in the draining rack. It's all quick and easy, although take the stated 7-minute drying time with a hefty pinch of salt.
The cleaned vinyl looks absolutely pristine, mint as the day it came off the press, and the wetting of the label appears to cause no cosmetic damage once it's dried out. Pop it on the turntable and things get even rosier. Yes folks, "it's like a veil has been lifted from the music."¸ Surface noise is greatly reduced, and you can expect greater definition and clarity throughout the dynamic range.
The used fluid can be drained back into the bottle using the supplied filter and funnel, and if your records are like mine (a bit on the dusty side but not covered in mould) your litre of fluid should be good for maybe 100 pieces of vinyl.
* Does what it says on the tin (or the box, in this case) and does it very well indeed.
* A whole load cheaper than a proper record cleaning machine.
* There's a certain satisfaction in the repetitive process of manually cleaning a big box of records which lends a sense of purpose to an otherwise empty Saturday afternoon.
* Flimsy construction doesn't inspire confidence in its longevity.
* Record clamp could be better designed.
If you are Serious (with a capital S) about your vinyl collection, you'll already have an expensive vacuum record cleaning machine or the like. For more casual vinyl enthusiasts, the Knosti is an essential purchase. It may be the most expensive piece of plastic you'll ever buy bar a Radiohead box set, but it's cheaper than trashing your stylus with grubby charity shop records and then trashing your records by playing them with your trashed stylus. Thumbs up.