That's peanuts compared to the Vinyl-Turbo itself which hits your wallet with €279. We're told this reflects ground-up tooling since nothing was available for ready-made incorporation. And must-haves included compact dimensions and minimal weight. Otherwise the hand-held vacuum would have been difficult to use, possibly even risky on valuable records. Actual suction power was critical. Too forceful a suck and users would struggle with hard stiction. Also, cleaning efficacy only tracked so far before heightened noise and energy consumption took over. As such, a pile of prototype rejects built up before optimal parameters were locked and loaded– and all proudly made in Germany. Nice that acquisition of this gizmo keeps domestic workers employed. Of course our real motive is far more personal. Could this electrically powered little helper truly displace traditional record brushes and deliver on its maker's numerous promises?


I didn't conduct a scientific trial but for a few weeks, vinyl did become my primary medium – not much different from normal to be fair. But for the duration, I only spun records which, following Flux Hifi's instructions, had first been cleaned with the Vinyl-Turbo. First I performed a visual check. No listening room is a laboratory clean room so even post treatment, a few dust grains remained. But compared to my traditional carbon fibre brush, I estimated about half the pesky remnants. A competing brush with stylish wood handle and soft goat hair did no better. But would this be audible? With the right music, quite. Curious about a sample?


Take "California Dreaming" from Diana Krall's Wallflower twofer. It's the type record where even a few dusty stragglers can ruin the intro. Here Flux-Hifi's suction champ clearly paid dividends. Except for the Lyra Titan i's minimal groove noise, I essentially heard nothing from my speakers; no typical pops but heavenly calm until Krall's husky voice emanated from the Clockwork Event Horizons. Her articulation and diction felt a tad clearer and more urgent as though a thin veil had parted. For confirmation, I spun up Benedicte Torget's "Sleep awhile" from the Accustic Arts sampler Audiophile Female Voices from their Uncompressed World range. Similar results. The Norwegian songstress virtually vibrated with tension and intensity. Like with Diana Krall, I enjoyed slightly better speech intelligibility. Obviously deeper bass or higher highs were domains the Vinyl-Turbo couldn't breach.



That said, I should mention that with bigger ensembles and escalating SPL, say grand symphonica or Heavy Metal, any sonic benefits fell below the audible event horizon. That seemed par for the course. As playback gets denser and louder, sonic side effects from dust are more and more masked. So just a tool for committed hifi whisperers? Not. Instead, this is a cleverly executed tool to maintain valuable hence costly records. That doesn't replace deep wet cleaning. Flux-Hifi's Turbo enters the dry post treatment of record care just prior to needle drops. Here it offers two advantages over traditional brushes. First, I really can't conceive of one that'd do better at removing remaining dust. Here that micro dirt ends up in a replaceable filter rather than, with more or less success, having to be extricated from a brush's fibres.


Two, gains in lower playback noise and concomitant precision seem beyond imaginary even if the hifi world's axis won't wobble or tilt. But so often it's true that small improvements add up incrementally to become one decisive step forward. More importantly, actual use posed no issues whatsoever and the running costs of air filter, protective edging and battery replacement are modest. True, the initial investment of what might seem little more than a 'fancier brush' could undermine an impulse buy. Then you best ask your dealer for a weekend loaner. A good dealer should happily comply. Simply figure that despite your best-groomed skepticism, you'll not want to part with the Flux-Hifi Vinyl-Turbo thereafter.


Facts
Category:
Record brush with electrical suction
Dimensions and weight:
125 x 122 x 64mm HxWxD, 265g with batteries
Trim: Black
Other: Includes batteries
Warranty: 3 years
redaktion @ fairaudio.de


Flux-Hifi website