SME Loricraft Introduces Upgraded "Thread Type" Vacuum Record Cleaning Machines

SME Loricraft recently announced upgraded versions of its PRC4i and PRC6i "thread type" vacuum record cleaning machines.

The upgrades include a newly designed vacuum pick-up arm. The PR4i in either Black or Walnut retails for approximately (based on currency conversion rate) $3243. The larger and more powerful PR6i retails for $3929 in either Walnut or Black. GBP prices (including VAT) are €2,352 and €2,850.

The U.S. Loricraft dealer is Oliver Felibrico in New Jersey. (Tel: 732 890-5353, email:

Russo7516's picture

I rather have a Sonic cleaner

rich121's picture

I have a Keith Monks Gemini (dual platter) which is similar to the Loricraft and I also have a Degritter ultra sonic.

The Degritter is an does very well at final cleaning, but cannot do it all.

If I could only have one, I would keep the Keith Monks no question... It does much more than a US cleaner could ever do.

Andrew L's picture

Disappointing that with all SME's technical know-how, the jam(jelly) jar waste vessel on the side couldn't be improved upon. It's also not clear from the image whether it is still attached with a piece of net curtain cord. At this price, you would expect a less homespun appearance despite the clearly improved fit and finish.

Andrew L's picture

On looking at Loricraft's site, I can now see more detail and indeed there is a waste vessel holder rather than the previous curtain cord. It does look more refined than the original model.

Hergest's picture

I've had a PRC4 for close to ten years now. Brilliant machine even if the waste vessel is a jam jar held on by a bit of curtain cord. I also have an ultrasonic machine and the Loricraft does as good a job in a fraction of the time and does it almost silently so my ultrasonic machine sits idle gathering dust. Worth every penny and works perfectly.

rshak47's picture

is about 15 years old. It has cleaned 1000's of records with nary a failure. If I had to decide on a new RCM today, it would be another Loricraft. Yes, it is a little "Rube Goldbergish" - - but it delivers wonderful results year in and year out.

AnalogJ's picture

The Keith Monks company has a new affordable machine called The Prodigy. It works rather well, although it's a bit fiddly. Once set up correctly, it and the Monks proprietary fluid work really well. $900 US dollars retail.

rich121's picture

Poor choice in name in my opinion... as this is a very poor performer when compared to their better, closer to the original design machines.
This is a toy compared to my Keith Monks Gemini.

rich121's picture

Actually the prodigy is a 'toy' compared to their other models.
It is only good for 'light' cleaning.... the vacuum is so low that it can get away without even using string.. the nozzle sits directly on the record, which I also would not be comfortable with.

Vinyl Rules's picture

I’m curious which is better/faster/more convenient.

So far, “Hergest” and “rshak47” endorse the thread cleaning approach.

Mr. Fremer, may I politely suggest you referee a cage match between a thread cleaner and an ultrasonic cleaner and publish your findings. Curious minds want to know.

Lazer's picture

But I don’t think Mr. Fremer owns a thread cleaner but he does own a couple ultrasonic machines. He certainly could own a thread cleaner if he thought it beat or equaled the ultrasonic cleaners. That tells me what he has concluded.

rich121's picture

I have Keith Monks Gemini (Pro dual platter model) and a Degritter.
Both of these I feel are the 'best' in there respective categories.

The Keith Monks Gemini is much better at 'deep cleaning', especially when a record needs multiple cleaning agents to remove contaminants.

The Degritter is great as a 'supplemental' cleaner, getting the finer stuff in the grooves, but, as with all ultrasonic cleaners, it is very limited in what it can do.

If I could only have one... no question... the Keith Monks Gemini would be my choice... and this is a 50 year old machine!!!!!

Anton D's picture

I start with a Nitty Gritty wash and finish with an Auto Desk U/S wash. Then I mark the sleeve as "clean" and party on.

I've played with a Loricraft and it's fine. The older models get too hot after about 8 cycles.

I say all this as an avid lover of a good washing for any new acquisitions that I bring home. I picked up the habit when I was young and dating.

xtcfan80's picture

As in most things in hifi...Thread Cleaning vs. Ultrasonic Cleaning?...the answer is BOTH!! No harm in cleaning using both methods...what one type does not clean the other may clean...Plug here for Audiophile Archive & Grading Services... I've been using them for a few months now...."It really, really Works"

rich121's picture

Totally agree!
I use both a Keith Monks Gemini (dual platter) and a Degritter.

I clean the record first using the Keith Monks, then run through the Degritter as a final clean and usually will do final rinse on the Gemini.

The Degritter works great as a final cleaner, but Ultrasonic cleaners are limited on what they can do. I also feel much better cleaning the record before using an Ultrasonic as I don't feel comfortable with solids/particles being bombarded onto the vinyl.

LarryRS's picture

Although I have not tried a Loricraft, I agree that a vacuum type machine and an ultrasonic can nicely complement one another. At one point in time I cleaned my entire LP collection with a SpinClean. I then bought a VPI MW-1 and, when ultrasonic cleaning began to catch on, put together a system with an ultrasonic bath and a disk spinner (the Vinyl Stack). Generally, if a record looked particularly needy, I would clean it on the MW-1, give it the US treatment, and then follow that with a dH2O rinse/vacuum with the MW-1. With this method I was quite happy with the results but it was very time consuming and pretty labor intensive.
I recently purchased an Audiodesk Pro and am very happy with both the results and the convenience. If a record is really dirty I still give it a good clean on the MW-1 but, if not, I just pop it in the Audiodesk and listen for the beeps that tell me its done. It seems to do as good a job as the put-together ultrasonic bath/spinner method with much less fuss. I have also done a few batches of records where I clean them in the Audiodesk and then give them a dH20 rinse in a SpinClean and let them air dry in a record rack, but really have no way to evaluate whether the rinse is really necessary. In any event, I think both ultrasonic and vacuum cleaning have their place and can complement one another. The convenience of the Audiodesk really makes the process less a production and more a routine.

vince's picture

I have used a PRC-4 for about a dozen years. It works perfectly. I use a distilled water (high resistivity, polished water) final rinse and really appreciate the thought that there is nothing left on the record when I am done.

Clean once at beginning, replace the inner sleeve, and you will have silent records for many plays.

rich121's picture

At least not when comparing the vacuum pumps.
The PRC-4i vacuum pump is rated at 28 liter/minute (noisier), while the PRC-6i is rated 18 liter/minute (quieter though).

I don't know if there is anything different between the 2 in value, other than noise level... as the PRC-6i is taller too.

I would probably go for the less expensive PRC-4i if I were buying, as I doubt it would be that noisy to begin with.