VPI 16.5 TurnTables

16.5

Manually operated LP cleaner

User Reviews (15)

Showing 1-10 of 15  
Joe   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 27, 2015]

The machine as a whole is good and does what it should. Finding replacements for the cheap plastic parts is impossible and the manufacturer is no help at all. Their response is find a dealer. Thanks, but there aren't any within 50 miles. That leaves the internet. Search for hours, still can't find what is needed.

The first thing to break was the flimsy plastic hose clamp that prevents the dirty fluid from flowing out of the unit. I could live with that by placing a cup under the hose. Not an ideal solution for an expensive machine. Next finding replacement felt pad is not easy. Many of their dealers don't sell them.

The last and most crucial malfunction of the machine is a piece that prevents the vacuum tube from moving freely back and forth. I assume there is some type of stop inside the unit that keeps the tube stationary when it is in operation. Whatever was stopping it, doesn't any longer. Now the tube just travels with the turntable until it falls off the record. Pretty useless when this happens. Can't find anything, anywhere, at any dealer that would fix this. VPI won't help. It's really a shame when you pay top dollar for a product and it isn't supported at all. I understand things fail over time (especially plastic) but when a business won't even help get it fixed, well that is the ultimate failure.

I would NOT recommend this product.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
oldmgbguy   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 29, 2010]

In the 40 odd years that I have played and collected vinyl LPs, I tried a variety of cleaning devices and gadgets. They were all just barely adequate. Despite my best efforts, some records seemed to accumulate some type of grunge that I could not remove.

The VPI HW 16.5 machine solved my record cleaning problems. It really works. A couple of my LPs had become almost unplayable, but the HW 16.5 cleaned the accumulated deposits out of their grooves and now they sound fine.

The other machines in the VPI line are more convenient to use because the cleaning fluid is applied automatically instead of manually. The top model spins the record in both directions which should be a bit more effective. But, those machines are much more expensive, and bulkier too. The HW 16.5 is a basic machine, but it gets the job done. I am very satisfied with mine.

I would like to reserve the top rating of 5 for products like the more automated machines in the VPI line-up. As a basic machine, the HW 16.5 certainly merits a Very Good rating of 4. This is a fine product that I expect will last a lifetime.

Cons

The machine is bulky and noisy in use.

Pros

It works. If you play LPs, you need a machine like this.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
daddy_guy   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 10, 2003]
Strength:

Does exactly want you want...it CLEANS YOUR RECORDS. PERIOD!!!!! Once you get a system down, you are a cleanin' fool!!!!!

Weakness:

It is a big, bulky, heavy machine....and it will definitely scare the cat...it is L.O.U.D!!! A little pricey, but built like a tank....and it will be worth it in the long run......5 stars...price - 4 stars

OK. I know you're asking yourself.....$400.000 for a record cleaning machine??? I know I did. I thought, no way, uh uh...Then I looked at my 35 year old record collection, realized I still really love my vinyl, and that I NEED to take care of my records. This machine loves to take care of your records. It NEEDS to take care of your records. That is it's sole mission in life. It works just as advertised....how simple....clean the record, then VACUUM up the residue.....night and day difference on all vinyl....new or old, dirty, or REALLY dirty......this machine (will take some practice, and a few tricks learned through constant use, along with cleaners, brushes, etc..)will make your records look almost new, and make them sound way better than ever......The end result is amazing...better than any other way to clean vinyl.... Alot of money to spend?? Yep, but if you love your vinyl, and want to take care of it, this machine will do all that for you. Shop around for some good brushes, cleaners, etc, and with this machine, you are set. Better than any other method. A real miracle for vinyl!!! You do love your vinyl, don't you?? You do want to take good care of it, don't you???? Make the move. You will not regret it.

Similar Products Used: Primitive, stone-age, Discwasher.......
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Michael Heine   AudioPhile [Dec 13, 2002]
Strength:

Easy, fast, thorough

Weakness:

bit noisy

What a deal! You pay a rather steep entrance price but what you get back is all your old LPs. In my case 3000. That is priceless.

Similar Products Used: all kinds of liquids and remedies, none worked
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Bill   AudioPhile [Jul 04, 2002]
Strength:

Price, ease of use, highly effective

Weakness:

The wife thinks I'm nuts

This machine is worth every penny. It is a blast pulling out my old records and turning them into near mint beauties. It is even more fun finding gems in the used bins and converting them to pristine quality. I I recently converted back to LPlistening. CDs have come along way since the 80s, but there is nothing like listening to a clean LP.

Similar Products Used: Disc washer and various other dry brushes
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
corbey   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 17, 2000]
Strength:

Cleans your records "real good"

Weakness:

Noisy
Big and bulky (I keep mine in the kitchen)
Messy
Kind of expensive for what you get

If you do a lot of your record shopping at garage sales, second-hand bookstores and the like, you really need this machine. It's the only way to get off the built-up dirt and groove grunge. If a record's been abused, this machine won't make it sound like new, but it certainly will help.

What amazes me almost as much is what it does for new or "like-new" records. Just clean them on the VPI and almost all the surface noise disappears.

Once you get the hang of it, it's also a lot faster than most of the manual cleaning methods I've tried.

If you decide to get one, just be aware that it's big, bulky, kinda heavy, and noisy. Also, it can be a little messy: the brush is wet, the liquid has to be emptied, etc. If you use an alcohol based cleaner, it can mar your furniture.

I'm not sure this machine is really worth its $500 list price. (Most dealers seem to charge about $450.) However, it doesn't seem to have any real competitors.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ralph Perrini   Audiophile [Apr 13, 2000]
Strength:

Restores any dirty record to near new condition

Weakness:

NONE AT ALL

If you are still into vinyl, a vacuum record cleaning machine is absolutely essential. The VPI 16.5, along with it's 17.0 bigger brother, is the best record cleaning machine you can buy. Based on my experience with it and others from Nitty Gritty, the VPI machines do a more consistent job.
I've been collecting records for over 25 years, and it's amazing how this machine can restore dirty records to mint condition. I even use it on brand new records to remove any mold release compound that might still remain in the grooves. Of course, it can't do anything about scratches, but if a record is only dirty, it really works wonders. And the best thing is you don't need to have a megabucks record player to hear the benefits. While my VPI / Triplanar / Sigma Genesis record playing system really shows off this machine's work, I've heard many far more economical record players really shine when playing vinyl that has been cleaned on this machine.
When you consider the investment in vinyl most of us "vinylistas" have in our record collections, and the fact that so many records are no longer available, as well as the improvement in sound, the few hundred dollars this machine goes for makes it the bargain of the ages! And as I said before, it is absolutely essential. If you are into records and don't have one of these, please, get one or sell your vinyl to someone who does!!!

Similar Products Used: Nitty Gritty
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Chris   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 05, 2001]
Strength:

Proper cleaning of your valuable vinyl collection

Weakness:

None

This machine is the investment that will increase
your enjoyment of vinyl. It's easy to use and the
results will amaze you. Even if the LP still has surface
noise, the noise is GREATLY reduced and the music
becomes more dynamic with greater depth and impact.
If you have 500 or more LPs, get one of these machines
you will NOT be sorry!

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Ruairidh   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 27, 2001]
Strength:

It does what it says it does

Weakness:

None

I decided to transfer my precious old vinyl to CDR. On first listen a couple of things struck me - one of which was that vinyl really could sound good apart from the annoying pops and crackles..... I kept on reading about the cleaning products on the market and remembered how long it used to take me to "clean" a LP back in the 70's. Well I do not have that much time these days but do have a little more money so I came across one of these units and bought it. IT IS AMAZING. It does not remove scratches but the other bad stuff that bugged me - is gone. Honestly if you have not heard the difference and you like vinyl then at least give it a go at a dealers.

Similar Products Used: Manual vinyl cleaners
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Stephen Murphy   an Audio Enthusiast [Jun 02, 1999]

I have been collecting records for about 25 years. My records have been collecting dust and grime for about the same period of time! I was getting depressed because some of my gems were starting to show their age. I have better playback equipment than I have ever had in my life, but that shows up dirty records all the more. I have always treated my vinyl well, but still they were collecting dirt.
Finally broke down and got the VPI machine and can't believe how well it works! It has literally restored my favourites to "new" condition. I have many Japanese pressing that used to sound great but were starting to sound grungy. After one cleaning with the VPI, they are back to their original.

This machine doesn't remove scratches. If anything, it makes scratched garage sale items sound worse. If the record is just dirty or fingerprinted, however, it works wonders. I would advise anyone with a moderate size record collection to get one. Can't beat it!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 15  

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